The Washington Post’s editorial board

The Washington Post’s editorial board sides with the view of the U.S. as to how inspections in Iraq should be handled. The Post finds that Hans Blix and Kofi Annan have already “lapsed back into the old routine of misusing [U.N.] inspectors” and urges the administration not to accept that routine. This otherwise solid editorial errs, however, in stating that the purpose of the Security Council’s resolution “is not to dispatch international inspectors on a prolonged hunt for the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein has produced and hidden.” That is precisely what Kofi Annan and key members of the Security Council have in mind, and the more prolonged the better. To them, this exercise is about avoiding war, not finding and eliminating weapons of mass destruction. The Post’s news story below makes that clear enough.

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