The early stages of military operations against Iraq began last night, with President Bush telling the country that the “time of peril” has begun. Senator Chuck Grassley, a republican, says he greeted the news with a sense of sadness. Grassley says the movement into Iraq is “within common sense and within the rule of law as well as within the U-N charter.” But Grassley says as right as that might be, “war should always be a last resort.”Grassley says he’s sure the President wished last night had never come, but now that it has, Grassley says it’s time to pray for the troops. Grassley says he hopes for a “quick and speedy” victory in Iraq, but he warns there’s a great possibility of terrorist attack here at home, so he says Americans have to be on alert and be looking out for themselves. President Bush also said the war may be “longer and more difficult” than some predict, and Senator Tom Harkin, a democrat, says that’s what worries him.Harkin says his first thoughts are for the safety and security of the men and women who’re over there. Harkin says he hopes the loss of life is “minimal.”Harkin says he’s also concerned about the well-being of so many innocent Iraqi citizens who’ve lived under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. Harkin says there’s no guessing how long the war will last. Harkin says it depends on how quickly the U.S. can get to Saddam, how vigorously the Iraq’s military resists, and whether the people of Baghdad defend their city. Harkin warns of the World War Two experience of Stalingrad, when the people of that Soviet city fought alongside the army to resist the Nazis for months. Congressman Tom Latham, a republican from Alexander, says his first thoughts last night were with the safety of the troops.Latham says he believes the war is “right, moral and necessary,” but all of the country’s thoughts and prayers are “over there with the men and women in uniform.”Latham says Iraq is a huge territory, but he says there are Iraqis who’ll be sympathetic to and may support the U.S. effort to liberate the country. Latham says he hopes victory comes quickly, without great loss of life.
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