You may remember that last week I talked about the decision by Iraq to halt all cooperation with the UN inspectors. Now comes behind-the-scenes evidence that the United States has intervened to prevent a confrontation. This all coming while the Clinton administration's public position has argued for unconditional access to any site in Iraq. And remember that six months ago, the United States pledged to strike immediately and with significant military force if Iraq failed to honor a February 23 agreement.
Publicly the Clinton administration has been retreating from the vows it made six months ago. And privately Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has apparently been trying to rein in Richard Butler, executive chairman of the U.N. Special Commission responsible to Iraq's disarmament. Butler routinely dispatches senior lieutenants to London and Washington to provide highly classified briefings on the intended inspection "targets." According to the article in the Washington Post, U.S. and British officials worked to dissuade Butler from going forward with the inspection plan.
Again, we have the specter of another crisis in the Middle East with Saddam Hussein. But this time the reasons are disturbing. If the story is true (and I believe that it is), then the U.S. has been avoiding a confrontation for months. Well, we'd better confront Saddam Hussein now or there will be more trouble in the Middle East.
I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.
© 1998 Probe Ministries International