For a moment peace seemed imminent, but within hours Friday many Americans had taken a closer look and joined President Bush in dismissing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's proposal to withdraw from Kuwait.
International reaction- Britain: Prime Minister John Major dismissed it as a "bogus sham."
- France: President Francois Mitterrand said, "At the point we are at now, the Iraqi proposal . . . cannot be engaged."
- Israel: Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir dismissed Saddam's offer to quit Kuwait and said there would be no peace in the Middle East until Saddam was deposed.
United Nations: Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar said the Iraqi proposal deserved "careful consideration" despite the conditions attached to it.
- Egypt: "Iraq's initiative is not serious because its conditions are not acceptable. The Iraqi statement is completely rejected," said Egypt's Foreign Minister Esmat Abdel Meguid.
- Kuwait: "We shall fight to the last drop of our blood until our country is liberated," said a spokesman for the Kuwaiti military.
- The Vatican: "Certainly this new fact should . . . open the door to a solution of this crisis that is reasonable and worthy of mankind."
- Jordan: "We welcome the offer and hope that other countries will do the same," said Foreign Minister Taher Masri.
- Libya: Moammar Gadhafi said he welcomed any peace initiative. "It is Iraq's prerogative to bide its time until it has made sure that Kuwait will not be delivered to America or others."
- Soviet Union: Leaders called the proposal "an important beginning" but said it needs further analysis.
Utah soldiers in Saudi Arabia enjoyed a "short lived period of elation" after hearing Saddam mention a withdrawal from Kuwait.
The mood was tempered by President Bush's remarks later in the evening, Saudi time, but still left troops hoping the war might take a turn toward peace.
"I was at a Saudi gymnasium when I heard the first announcement on the radio at about 2:30 p.m. Friday. Somebody started yelling and screaming. Guys and girls started hugging each other. Someone came over and pushed me in the pool," said Sgt. A.J. Walkowski, who is on the staff of the Utah Army National Guard's 144th Evacuation Hospital now operating in the Saudi interior.
One of the soldier's remarks was that he would throw his gas mask as far as he could once word came that there was a serious withdrawal offer.
And while Saddam's list of conditions for withdrawal let the troops know the end wasn't as close as they had hoped, "At least he said the word" withdrawal, Walkowski said.
"He's got something up his sleeve," said Josephine Tice of Sellersville, Pa., whose son Jeffrey is among about 30 Americans taken prisoner in the month-old war.
"My first initial reaction was, `Thank God. Let it be true. Let it be over,' " said Barbara Lyons of Operation Homefront in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. "And then reality set in.