Iraq's worthless word

August 08, 1991|By Los Angeles Times

NOW Saddam Hussein's regime has acknowledged that, well, yes, as a matter of fact it did once upon a time have a laboratory devoted to developing germ warfare agents. But that project was shut down last fall, Baghdad now claims, out of concern that the site might be attacked by allied forces.

Are Iraq's assurances that it has gone out of the biological weapons business now to be believed? Of course not. Iraq's long and unblemished record of dishonesty and deceit requires that all of its promises, guarantees or assurances be regarded as not just suspect but worthless, until proved otherwise.

The best way -- the only way -- to keep Iraq honest and to guard against its developing nuclear, chemical or biological weapons is unrestricted, on-the-ground inspection of the kind the U.N. Special Commission is now carrying out.

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