Stand Firm on Iraq

The United Nations should not give an inch in its insistence that Iraq fulfill the obligations of the Gulf War cease-fire agreement.

The evidence is clear that Saddam Hussein has taken every opportunity to avoid those obligations. He has tried to deceive UN weapons inspectors on many occasions, and he is doubtless trying to use the current crisis (of his own manufacture) to further hide the trail of his biological, chemical, and nuclear projects.

Tough economic and diplomatic sanctions are the price he pays. The sanctions are likely to become even more stringent as the UN seeks ways, short of military action, to convince Saddam there'll be no backing down.

Some Mideast critics ask why Iraq faces a determined UN while Israel, with US acquiescence, avoids UN resolutions requiring the exchange of land for peace. We favor adherence to those resolutions too. But that situation is no argument for going easy on Saddam. His war machine, by developing weapons of mass destruction, is a threat to all peoples in the region. It can't be allowed to retool.

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