AFTERMATH OF WAR: The Home Front : Words on the Gulf

“Suggestions out of Washington that reparations could be dropped if the Iraqi military would only overthrow Saddam Hussein are shortsighted. The principle that a country is legally and enforceably liable for damages it causes to others must surely be a foundation stone of a new order based on law.

“But Kuwait is perfectly free to reduce its reparation claims or forgive outright, if it wants to shore up a successor regime in Baghdad. After all, the friendly dispositions of the future Iraqi government may be important to Kuwait’s interests. America’s interests are grander--the whole world order.”

--JEFFREY LAURENTI, executive director of multilateral studies, United Nations Assn. of U.S.A.