From remarks yesterday by Chairman Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

I have heard it argued that any weapons inspections in Iraq are better than no inspections. I do not subscribe to such a view for one obvious reason: Meaningful inspections must be intrusive, thorough and open-ended--in other words, not different from the inspections conducted by UNSCOM. If anyone concludes, therefore, that I regard any new inspection regime accepted by Saddam Hussein as a charade, the conclusion will be valid--for that is precisely my apprehension.

Worse yet, in exchange for whatever inspection regime Saddam and his allies will agree to, the United Nations will ease sanctions on Iraq. Our friends at the Department of State obviously believe that easing sanctions on Iraq will undercut the argument that it is sanctions that are starving the Iraqi people.

Which, it seems to me, is bureaucratic nonsense. It is Saddam who is starving the people of Iraq. Food and medicine are rotting in Iraqi warehouses while little children suffer and die. In Northern Iraq, where the United Nations distributes food, child mortality rates are below pre-war levels. In the center and South (where Saddam is in charge) mortality rates are twice what they were before the war.

Meanwhile, Forbes magazine recently rated Saddam Hussein as one of the richest men in the world, with $6 billion in personal wealth.