What a difference four years makes


"The Iraq story boiled over last night when the chief UN weapons inspector, Richard Butler, said that Iraq had not fully cooperated with inspectors... As a result, the UN ordered its inspectors to leave Iraq this morning." — Katie Couric, NBC's Today, December 16, 1998.

"As Washington debates when and how to attack Iraq, a surprise offer from Baghdad. It is ready to talk about re-admitting UN weapons inspectors after kicking them out four years ago." — Maurice DuBois, NBC's Saturday Today, August 3, 2002.

"The chief UN weapons inspector ordered his monitors to leave Baghdad today after saying that Iraq had once again reneged on its promise to cooperate." — Associated Press, December 16, 1998.

"Information on Iraq's programs has been spotty since Saddam expelled UN weapons inspectors in 1998." — AP, September 7, 2002.

"Immediately after submitting his report on Baghdad's noncompliance, Butler ordered his inspectors to leave Iraq." — Los Angeles Times, December 17, 1998.

"It is not known whether Iraq has rebuilt clandestine nuclear facilities since UN inspectors were forced out in 1998" — Los Angeles Times, September 10, 2002.

"This is the second time in a month that UNSCOM has pulled out in the face of a possible US-led attack... Weapons inspectors packed up their personal belongings and loaded up equipment at UN headquarters after a pre-dawn evacuation order. In a matter of hours, they were gone, more than 120 of them headed for a flight to Bahrain." — Jane Arraf, CNN, December 16, 1998.

"It has now been several years since those inspectors were kicked out." — John King, CNN, August 18, 2002.

"Russian Ambassador Sergei Lavrov criticized Butler for evacuating inspectors from Iraq Wednesday morning without seeking permission from the Security Council." — USA Today, December 17, 1998

"Saddam expelled UN weapons inspectors in 1998, accusing some of being US spies." — USA Today, September 4, 2002.

"But the most recent irritant was Mr. Butler's quick withdrawal from Iraq on Wednesday of all his inspectors and those of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors Iraqi nuclear programs, without Security Council permission. Mr. Butler acted after a telephone call from Peter Burleigh, the American representative to the United Nations, and a discussion with Secretary General Kofi Annan, who had also spoken to Mr. Burleigh." — New York Times, December 18, 1998.

"America's goal should be to ensure that Iraq is disarmed of all unconventional weapons.... To thwart this goal, Baghdad expelled United Nations arms inspectors four years ago." — New York Times editorial, August 3, 2002.

"Butler ordered his inspectors to evacuate Baghdad, in anticipation of a military attack, on Tuesday night — at a time when most members of the Security Council had yet to receive his report." — Washington Post, December 18, 1998.

"Since 1998, when UN inspectors were expelled, Iraq has almost certainly been working to build more chemical and biological weapons." — Washington Post editorial, August 4, 2002.

[From Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. Visit <http://www.fair.org>.]

From Green Left Weekly, October 30, 2002.
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