All the News of the World Comment on Iraq's latest confrontation with the United Nations over arms inspections
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The Independent Culture
WE BACKED down from our dramatic show of force after Iraq's UN representative handed the UN Secretary General a letter promising full and unconditional cooperation. But the ink was barely dry on the paper before Iraq reneged, withholding documents requested by chief inspector, Richard Butler. That this would happen was surely no surprise, though the speed with which it did was admittedly breathtaking. No one here (or in Iraq) doubts that President Clinton would rather have teeth pulled than launch an attack. The question is, though, whether even this president can avoid military action, with Iraq refusing to play along for as much as one week.

The Washington Times

YOU CAN'T treat a nation of 20 million with a ruthless dictator as an occupied country (which is what freedom of inspection for UNSCOM implies) if you are not willing to commit troops and occupy it. The radical solution is to stop trying. Bomb the stuffing out of Iraq's military the next time Saddam stages a crisis, but accept that the result will be that UNSCOM will never be allowed to operate in the country again (bombing alone cannot bring Saddam to his knees).

Jordan Times

THE BUSH and Clinton administrations' confrontations with Hussein are reminiscent of JFK's confrontations with Castro: they taunted, they put all their energy into vanquishing and still couldn't catch. In our obsession to get rid of the biological weapons, we need to start over in our strategy. With or without bombing, the cycle needs to be broken, and a more politically sustainable effort undertaken while there is time.

The Washington Post

TO ANNOUNCE a policy without exhaustively considering how it can be made to work is worse than an empty gesture; it is a dangerous one. It sets in motion pressures to act, that can give rise to the most harebrained schemes. The United States could find itself headed toward a costly blunder if it doesn't stop to assess rationally and fully the implications of its hastily conceived new policy towards Iraq.

Los Angeles Times