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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 21, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4 New Braunfels, Texas Thursday, February 21, 1991 World awaits the call to ground war So far, support for Bush war policy remains high By DONALD M. ROTHBERG AP Political Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — A gift shop operator in Michigan confesses she “went from being a dove to a hawk overnight.” A conservative Republican congressman frets that a ground war would send American troops ‘ ‘ into a meat grinder. ’ * Their contrasting views were shaped by the first month of the Persian Gulf War, when the United States and its allies dominated the air and suffered few casualties. The air war also was prelude to a ground assault widely expected to sharply increase U.S. combat deaths. Pollsters and academics guess that if a ground war starts, Americans will rally around the flag and their president. But how long that support will last is as difficult to predict as war itself. “A lot of this is simply going to be event driven,” said Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll. “What happens? How quickly does it move? But I wouldn’t anticipate as a professional pollster that we would find an immediate negative reaction.” Current polls show strong support for the president and his policy to reverse the Iraqi takeover of Kuwait. A Washington Post-ABC News poll said 78 percent of Americans approve of the decision to go to war, a level of support remarkably consistent since the fighting began on Jan. 17. A New York Times-CBS News * survey put the president’s approval I rating at 78 percent. J But within those overall approval \ numbers were signs of nervousness • over a ground war. For example, the J New York Times-CBS poll found that { while 71 percent expected a ground J war to occur, 79 percent said they r wanted to continue the air war a few r i r [Iraq may | have U.S. | night vision [equipment f WASHINGTON (AP) — Iraq f obtained night vision equipment, built j'with American pans, from a Dutch rfirm that apparently sold it illegally, ; government and corporate officials rsay. The Pentagon is investigating how Iraq got the equipment, key elements of which were supplied by Hughes Aircraft Co. in Los Angeles. Richard Doce, a Hughes spokesman, said the company was “kind of hoodwinked” because it believed the infrared imaging sensors it agreed to sell Delft Instruments in Delft, Holland, were destined for the Dutch military. But a U.S. official familiar with the case said a “considerable amount of night vision equipment” was shipped to Iraq through a Delft subsidiary in Belgium, as well as through other sources. “We also know some of that equipment had a U.S. origin,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The imaging sensors, which detect the infrared rays given off by warm objects such as machines or troops, can be mounted on tanks or missiles or can stand alone. Dore said Hughes sold the sensors to Delft, which made a range of end products. The United Stales has suspended all weapons contracts between American suppliers and Delft Instruments pending the outcome of the investigation, according to officials at the State and Defense departments. “We have informed the Dutch government that all munitions licenses to Delft have been suspended,” the official said. Dore said deliveries of sensors for infrared imaging systems to Delft were halted in January, two months after Hughes learned of an investigation by the Pentagon’s Defense Technology Security Agency. Hughes is cooperating with the probe and is not accused of any violations U.S. military officials have said the allies have an big advantage over Iraqi troops in the Persian Gulf War because of its sophisticated night-vision equipment. The Iraqis’ night-vision capability “is very marginal,” Maj. Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, commander of the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division, said in September more weeks. Andrew Kohut, director of surveys for Times Mirror Corp*. **id Bush “has as much support as any president we've seen in a long time.” He and Newport pointed out that Americans they questioned anticipate higher casualties, but say they would support the war anyway. But Newport noted that people often change their minds “when the reality hits.” “If indeed this stretches to Memorial Day and to July 4th, the question is really going to be patience and cohesion, and up to now the American public has shown both, tremendous cohesion and tremendous patience,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart. “Does that change? Sure. I think time can wear that away.” Mark down Kathy Adams as an early skeptic who now is strong backer of Bush's policy. “I went from being a dove to a hawk overnight,” said Adams, who operates a gift shop in Traverse Qty, Mich. In early January, she said of Bush: “I never would have guessed him to be this aggressive and this hard-nosed. I hope he has a sane enough reason for this.” Now Adams sees Bush's firmness as a big plus. “He is aggressive and is more than the milquetoast type he appeared to be.” Yet, even normally hawkish conservatives are expressing misgivings about losing American lives in a ground war. For some, the alternative to a ground war is even less acceptable — use of nuclear weapons to dislodge the Iraqi forces. “If we are going to send our ground troops into a meat grinder we should use whatever weapon we have to,” said Rep. Dan Burton. Escalation of ‘clashes’ may mean ‘G-Day’ near Showing support The children from Happy Days Day Care gather on the center’s property for a patriotic salute during a recent rally in support of American servicemembers in the Middle East. Among the special features of the rally was the formation of a living tribute, in which children dressed in red, white or blue took positions on the hillside to form an American flag. (Photo by Erik Karlsson) By MORT ROSENBLUM AP BpseM Correspondent DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia (AP) — In barren border encampments and ornate halls of government, the war vigil ticked today toward ”G-Day” — the start of the allied ground offensive in the Arabian desert. An escalating series of clashes suggested the call to battle was near. Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz was expected in Moscow today with an answer from President Saddam Hussein to a Soviet peace proposal. However, President Bush was reported to have told Mikhail S. Gorbachev that the proposal needs additional conditions to be acceptable to the United States. In Iraq, meanwhile, official Baghdad radio announced that Saddam was to deliver an "important speech” to the nation this evening. It gave no further details, but the address appeared timed to coincide with Aziz* expected arrival in Moscow. Iraqi media said today that Saddam and his inner circle, the Revolutionary Command Council, had studied the Soviet proposal and decided on a response. In a military communique, the Baghdad government said Iraq is a “sincere advocate of peace.” But today’s Baghdad newspapers took a warlike tone. "All Iraq is one army,” said the state-run paper Al-Jomhuriya. “They are all ready for the biggest, the fiercest battle ever.” After two nights of heavy bombardment, weary residents of Baghdad had a night free of allied air attacks. The Iraqi occupiers of Kuwait did not. In a midday communique, Iraq’s military said the allies had carried out more than 320 raids on military targets in the southern war zone over the past 24 hours — more than thrpe times the number reported the previous day. The Iraqi communique alto claimed Iraqi forces inflicted "substantial losses” on the allies with missile strikes on front-line positions. 5 As of early afternoon, allied commanders in Saudi Arabia had r$t offered reporters any information ret new engagements, though the French said their Jaguar fighters has targeted artillery unite in Iraq and southern Kuwait today. On Wednesday, the U.S. military reported intensified fighting along th£ northern Saudi frontier, including artillery duels and allied incursions into enemy territory. In one clash, Iraq lost five tanks, 20 artillery pieces and an unspecified amount of men, while one American was killed and seven wounded by Iraqi fire, the U.S. military command said Wednesday. hi another action, two teams of Army helicopters, each composed of a Kiowa scout and an Apache gunship, destroyed a complex of more than a dozen Iraqi bunkers across the border Wednesday afternoon, capturing 476 Iraqi soldiers, the command said. Iraq today called the mass surrender claim a lie, saying such things' ‘only happen in American movies.” U.S. commanders refused to say whether the two engagements took place in or near Kuwait or Iraq and would not name the units involved. Military analysts have said a key element of a ground assault could be an allied end run through southern Iraq to cut off Saddam’s forces in Kuwait . 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