Earlier today, Iraq followed days of threats, warnings and pavement scrawlings by flagrantly refusing to shoot down a U-2 surveillance plane flying over its territory. "It's flown and everything went well," said one excited Pentagon official Tuesday.
It had been the first U-2 flight since Saddam Hussein ordered U.S. weapons inspectors out of Iraq last Friday, and the fact that it passed without incident was a sign of emerging détente. What Madeleine Albright described as a "little carrot" for Saddam — allowing Iraq to sell more oil in exchange for food in return for allowing the inspectors back — was being discussed by American, British, French and Russian officials.
Despite tough talk in public, both sides appeared to be touting compromise solutions and avoiding provocative acts, indicating a greater willingness to go that extra mile for peace.