Itching for A Fight

Saddam snubs U.N. arms inspectors and now may face an ultimatum

Patience may have finally run out. The U.N. inspection team that had been parked round the clock outside Iraq's Agriculture Ministry for 17 days, waiting to search for missile documents believed to be stashed inside, abandoned its mission. Faced with menacing mob demonstrations that included peltings with eggs and tomatoes, tire slashings and an attempted assault with a skewer, the inspectors retreated, empty-handed.

The sudden withdrawal immediately prompted an angry exchange of threats between Washington and Baghdad and frantic negotiations at U.N. headquarters in New York City to seek Iraqi compliance. By week's end the U.S., Britain and other allies were...

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