Nuclear inspectors did have access in Iraq

Larry Smith's letter regarding U.S. foreign policy ("Nuclear threat keeps U.S. troops overseas," Feb. 7) reflects, perhaps, a "wishful remembrance" in its stating that "if Saddam Hussein had allowed inspectors full access to Iraq, we never would have gone in there."

Hussein did, indeed, bar inspectors after Clinton-era 1998 raids on suspected remnant Iraqi weapons facilities. But Hussein caved to U.N. Security Council demands in the fall of 2002, and U.N. inspectors were active in Iraq for three months — before being pulled for their safety just prior to late March of 2003 U.S.-led military action. The war was commenced even though the inspectors did have full access and were finding nothing of significance.

Frederick N. Mattis, Annapolis

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