Section One

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January 18, 1998: “We’ve Had Reports That He’s Conducted Tests On Human Beings.”
Washington Post

A few days before Herblock drew this cartoon, the UN’s chief weapons inspector, Richard Butler, testified in a closed session of the Security Council that Iraq might have conducted chemical warfare experiments on human prisoners and that UN personnel were prevented from conducting an investigation. The council again condemned Iraq for obstructing UN weapons inspections. Given the deep divisions of the Security Council’s member nations, its deliberations were likely to result in the same outcome that had occurred during a similar episode the previous fall, in which no vote was taken on military action or even new sanctions.

The reaction from the White House, in Herblock’s view, was weak. President Clinton stated that he did not want to “convict them [Iraq] in advance,” although the UN “ought to be able to go look.” Clinton added that everybody needed “to stiffen their resolve.”