Dead in Their Tracks
Iraqi obstruction started early. In the summer of 1991, after only two months of inspections, U.N. personnel were stopped dead in their tracks in a face-off lasting four days.
Swedish diplomat Rolf Ekeus -- who led the U.N. investigations from the cease-fire through the summer of 1997 -- headed to Baghdad for talks.
"These talks were quite tough," said Ekeus. "And I remember my report for the (U.N.) Security Council saying Iraq has undertaken what has been requested, and promised to cooperate."
But according to U.N. documents, Iraq did not cooperate. Instead, a ritual developed. Every few months, Ekeus' reports to the United Nations spoke of "gaps and inconsistencies," a "policy of concealment," "unaccounted for warheads," "wrong information" and "disturbing incidents."
And over the years, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz would regularly assert Iraqi compliance.
"We have been working day and night strenuously for six and a half years,"
Aziz insisted late last year. "Give us a chance before stampeding another unjust resolution against Iraq."