Saddam's nuclear lies


INTERNATIONAL inspection of Iraq's nuclear programs and Iraq's admission that it has been attempting to produce enriched uranium indicate that Saddam Hussein remains dangerous. Saddam's army was crushed in the gulf war, but as long as he remains in power he must be contained.

That's because where once there was informed suspicion that the Iraqi leader still craves a nuclear bomb and the power it would give him, there now is certainty. The Bush administration believed the Iraqis had secretly produced enough weapons-grade uranium for at least one bomb and possibly two. The inspection team said Saddam instead has enough to eventually build 20 to 40 bombs.

The cease-fire agreement that ended the fighting compelled Iraq to dismantle its capacity for producing and using weapons of mass destruction. It needs remembering also that Iraq has signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, under which it pledged not to acquire nuclear weapons.

The Iraqis strain credibility to the breaking point when they assert that their nuclear program is peaceful.

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