Stop saying "Smoking Gun"

Please read some of the UN Resolutions regarding Iraq. A simple search on Google will find exactly what you need.

The inspectors are NOT looking for a smoking gun. The resolutions place squarely upon the shoulders of Saddam the responsibility to provide proof either the location or destructions of chemical and biological weapons the UN KNOWS Iraq was in possession of.

The placement of the burden of proof upon the inspectors is intellectually dishonest and smacks of hidden agendas.

Here is a jumping off point for anyone interested in reading some of the resolutions:

Per the language in the resolutions, it is incumbant upon Iraq to provide proof of destruction of contraband weapons, not incumbant upon the UN or USA to proove they exist.

So my question is, why do intelligent people continue to look for a “smoking gun”? If they are not interested in what the letter AND spirit of the resolutions really are, then why are we interested in ANYTHING the UN has to say in the matter?

Sounds like “Are you still beating your Wife?”

Are you saying that there are weapons seen by the UN, proven to exist at one time, that Iraq cannot account for? Like the cops come to my house and say “It is documented that you bought a shotgun at a pawnshop in April 2000. Where is it?”

And further complicated by the fact that w amount of pre-cursors could, theoretically, if x amount of factories that we assume exist, wer working at full capacity for y years could produce z amount of nastiness. That doesn’t mean Iraq has Z amount, except in the minds of those who want war.

There could be anything from zero to Z, hence the need for inspectors to hunt the stuff. We can’t go to war because Iraq can’t meet an unmeetable test. find he’s lying, prove a threat to the UK and the USA, prove that war is better than pinning him down with inspections and the anti war crowd may listen.

Jumping up and down and screaming theoretical hyperbole whilst being constantly caught out lying about things is not going to cut it.

I think it would be prodent to assume they have something less than z but greater than 0.

0< wmd < z

One can’t go to war over an equation, though. Perhaps U2 flights will put some light (or infrared) on the subject one way or the other.

From our friends at Merriam-Webster:


Main Entry: smoking gun
Function: noun
Date: 1974
: something that serves as conclusive evidence or proof specially of a crime


Works for me.

Agreed. i’m sure he has WMD’s of some nature. I agree he has to be made to give them up. i don’t then leap across a chasm of assumptions to conclude war is the only option.

We all want him disarmed, we just disagree on the method. I see a rigorous and intrusive inspection process as the way to go, others don’t.

My understanding is that this is exactly the case. What I’m not sure about is exactly how long ago the UN most recently “saw” the chem/bio weapons.

This is the jist of the inspections. We know you had it. Either cough it up or tell us where it is now…

It is unfortunate that you did not take the time to read the resolutions. While it may work for you, it is not what is called for under the resolutions.

So, as to my OP:

So my question is, why do intelligent people continue to look for a “smoking gun”? If they are not interested in what the letter AND spirit of the resolutions really are, then why are we interested in ANYTHING the UN has to say in the matter?

Because, if nothing the UN says is of any relevance, Iraq is under no obligation either to disarm or to demonstrate that it has disarmed, and the US and other countries have no basis for criticising it for not disarming or demonstrating that it has disarmed.

And, FWIW, my sense is that a “smoking gun” is a political necessity rather than a legal or diplomatic one; Bush want it in order to persuade elements of his own electorate, or the electorates of his allies, that war is necessary or justified.

  • cite? -

Cite? What other purpose would a “smoking gun” serve?

I haven’t got a cite; that’s why I said that this was “my sense”.

But doesn’t it strike you as true? My impression is that the “smoking gun” phrase is not heard in the mouths of diplomats or lawyers; it comes most often from media commentators.

If Bush is going to war, he wants the maximum amount of support at home, and from his allies. The American people don’t like war. If the war becomes messy, and US soldiers start to die in numbers, or if the war become prolonged and their are seen to be heavy civilian casualties, continuing electoral support is not assured merely by demonstrating that Iraq is in breach of UN resolutions; the American people do not conceive it to be some kind of national duty to go to war in order to enforce UN resolutions (and they are quite right about that).

Hence, to retain support for war at home, Bush needs to show more than breach of UN requirements to demonstrate this or that; he needs to show that Iraq certainly or very probably does have large quantities of ready-to-use, or nearly so, weapons of mass destruction, consistent only with the idea that it intends to mount a large-scale attack on its near neighbours.

OK, he doesn’t actually need to show that, but the closer he can get to that the happier he’ll be, because his support at home will become more and more solid and assured. And the same goes for the support of allies.

And this, I think, is the real attraction of the “smoking gun”, and the political imperative to find one.

I think it’s easier for the public to understand the “smoking gun” situation than the more complex, “prove you don’t have them anymore” deal from the original resolution.

I was wondering the other day why the UN didn’t just insist on supervising the destruction of the WMDs in the first place instead of telling Iraq to do it and then report about it. Would that have been too man-power intensive? More so than these silly inspections that are going on now?

That does seem like it would have been a better idea. And they should have gotten it done back in the early 90’s while we still had troops there…

Perhaps because, rather than slavishly cleaving to the letter of the law, as codified by the UN resolutions, were prefer to see evidence of a credible threat, which might serve as a just basis for a war aimed at ousting Saddam. Your letter and spirit argument founders the moment you say Bush and UN in the same sentence. What’s involved here are minor infringements on the resolutions of an organization that the administration has no respect for in the first place. That seems a mighty thin excuse for war, even if the papers are written up all legal and proper-like.

Smoking Gun! Smoking Gun Smoking Gun Smoking Gun! Bwahahahahaah!

STOP IT! Now you just STOP NOW!

eh…somebody…make him STOP!

Yeah - everyone stop saying “smoking gun” - or even better, “smoking” - as I really gotta quit. :wink: