Oh, THAT smoking gun

BRITAIN and the United States will today press the chief UN weapons inspector to admit that he has found a “smoking gun” in Iraq. Such an admission could persuade swing voters on the Security Council to back the March 17 ultimatum.

The British and US ambassadors plan to demand that Hans Blix reveals more details of a huge undeclared Iraqi unmanned aircraft, the discovery of which he failed to mention in his oral report to Security Council foreign ministers on Friday. Its existence was only disclosed in a declassified 173-page document circulated by the inspectors at the end of the meeting — an apparent attempt by Dr Blix to hide the revelation to avoid triggering a war.

The discovery of the drone, which has a wingspan of 7.45 metres, will make it much easier for waverers on the Security Council to accept US and British arguments that Iraq has failed to meet UN demands that it disarm.

Oh no! A slightly too large drone!

So what WOULD it take Jason?
I listed most of the evidence in the other thread, just PLEASE tell us what it would take to convince you that something needs to be done. Maybe Saddam should make a few malapropisms, THEN he would need to be taken care of hmm?

I actually think the whole inspections gotcha-game is kind of a waste of time.

But this is a perfect example of what I was bitching about in the other thread: Iraq having a unmanned drone isn’t going to convince a goddamn person of anything. It’s just a trumped up pretext.

And the missiles? And the viruses and nerve toxins? The mobile chemical labs? All of them are trumped up? The repeated attempts at a nuclear program? The invasion of his neighbors?

Lemme take a wild stab in the dark here: O.J. was innocent wasn’t he?

You fucking idiot, do you even read my posts? Forget it.

Just FYI… the Iraqi unmanned aircraft program isn’t those cute little “Predator” drones like what we have. No, these are old Mig-21 fighters that have been retooled with chem/bio agent tanks and would either be crashed into a target or used to “cropdust” with the agent.

So, if they have to state the nature of the beast, then YES, the gun would be smoking in this case.

No Jason’s Right more or less - people have pretty much made up their minds (ie normal people) - iraq having a bio weapons drone won’t change anyones mind except for perhaps diplomats in the UN.

About the only thing that would change the mind of most anti-war people is if we had plans signed by Saddam Hussien with his own blood detailing the nuking of New York. And maybe not even then.

(Draws line between himself and flaming anti-McCollough rhetoric elsewhere on the board)

In all honesty, Jason, is there something you think would justify war in Iraq? Right now, one of the main issues is whether Iraq has complied with UN mandates. Iraq has always maintained that they are in compliance–that they don’t have any WMD and just forgot to write down what they did with them. Every time it comes out that they lied (warheads, aluminum tubes, missiles, and now this plane), doesn’t that strengthen the argument that Iraq hasn’t disarmed? Doesn’t that make it more likely that Saddam has clandestine nuclear, bio and chem programs somewhere in his country? Do the UN weapon inspectors need to find an actual functioning nuclear device, or perhaps a uranium-enrichment device (rather than just the components of such a device, e.g. the tubes), before war would be justified?

Is the issue for you that you don’t think it matters whether or not he has disarmed, because even if armed with WMD he is unlikely to attack the United States? Is it important that he has continually defied UN resolutions? Would defiance of UN resolutions ever justify a war, or are you saying that you think UN issues should always be handled diplomatically, with war reserved only for direct military/terrorist threats?

I just asked a similair question of all the ‘anti’ folks in the other thread. There seems to be plenty of perceived reasons why we are going and why those reasons are wrong, but why exactly do they think we are going in and what would it take to justify it.

Blix in a Newsweek article said without the troops we have shipped to the border, he did not believe the inspectors would have even been allowed in now.

What about the simple fact that Blix may have intentionally buried this revelation regarding the drone? He did not speak about it Friday and he had it in his report as if it was not breaking the guidelines from the U.N. resolution. Does that not put a giant black eye on the inspectors and this whole silly cat and mouse game Hussein is playing with inspectors?

I’m not sure that any of this justifies war RIGHT NOW. Why not intensify the inspections process and try to find more stuff just so Saddam doesn’t have it if or when we attack?

I’m also wondering if these kinds of things are a pretext for war, when the invasion of Iran is scheduled to begin? They’re building nuclear power plants. That’s scarier, isn’t it?

Finally, I still have doubts that the Bush administration has properly weighed the consequences of us invading Iraq. The expense of maintaining an army over there for years, of propping up a puppet government, the record-setting deficit spending Bush wants to engage in and the likely disasterous effect it will have on the economy, the potential that the invasion has for creating new terrorists – is it really worth all this just to get Saddam, who didn’t have the capacity to directly attack the U.S. anyway?

If the inspections are a sham because Blix and the U.N. do not want to be the one’s to give the green light, then, obviously that solution would be worthless. This report tends to lend more creedence to this claim, IMO.

In all honesty, Jason, is there something you think would justify war in Iraq?

I’m for invading Iraq; that’s the wierd thing. The Bush administration has just created such a gigantic diplomatic mess that I don’t think it’s worth it, at the moment, unless Saddam is imminently going to get nukes. Since apparently no one thinks he’s going to get them tomorrow, we should ramp up some sort of inspections thing to keep him stagnant for a few years, declare victory, and go home.

Then, either in Bush’s second term or whoever replaces him, we could try again; this time, making arguments that don’t insult the intelligence of our allies, pointing out that Saddam with a nuke threatens everybody because he can use it to finlandize Saudia Arabia, no, he isn’t going to nuke new york, blah blah blah. I’m really not sure if Bush is capable of being a good diplomat, though; consensus doesn’t appear to be part of his MO.

This is all fantasy, mind you; Bush is going to invade come hell or high water. I’m extremely worried how it’s going to turn out; every country on earth save the UK is pissed off at us, and so on. If the current leaks are to be believed, we’re not going to set up a federal system; we’re not going to provide any sort of guarentees to the Kurds; and we’re not going to seriously attempt to rebuild Iraq as a functioning, stable democracy.

I guess theoretically turning Iraq into an anarchy like Afghanistan is an improvement; they won’t get a nuke then. Tastes like ashes, though.

A summary: inspections don’t really matter, because the political will isn’t there to keep them up forever; we need to take out Saddam eventually to keep him from getting nukes. However, there’s no reason we have to wreck the world diplomatic order to do it. Bush has treated this thing like just about any sort of means will justify the ends.

Oh, something I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned: biological and chemical weapons aren’t really that important. Every time they’ve been used, you could kill more people with an equivalent weight of conventional explosives.

This is why it’s so damned annoying that all we can find is evidence of chemical and biological weapons production; contrary to what you’d think from watching the UN, no one really cares too much about those.

Nukes are different. Unfortunately, all the evidence we’ve presented for that turns out to be hooey. Apparently there’s a consensus among the people who know that the aluminum tubes can’t be used for nuclear weapons production. You know that evidence of Iraq trying to buy uranium from Nigeria? Fake.

Interesting. I disagree with you, but I can see your position. But I think it’s just too expensive (both in terms of money, and strain on international relations) to build up this kind of force in the mideast. We have the force there, we should just go in and get this over with. Also, I am not as sanguine about Iraq not getting nukes tomorrow. I don’t think they will and I think most people don’t think they will, but I am also conscious of the fact that Iraq hid a wide-ranging nuclear weapons program from UN inspectors in the 90’s. It was only the luck of an insider defection that tipped the world off. Nuke programs are just too easy to hide.

But I can see your argument. And I definitely, definitely agree with you that Bush has handled the diplomatic aspect of this in the wrong way. I wish we had had someone else as president. But, given the cards we have been dealt, I still think we should go in now rather than waiting. Contrary to you and Mark, I don’t think the international community is going to be more willing to accept invasion in a year or two. And I don’t think the Iraqi army is going to be more “defanged” after another year of inspections.

Lastly, I agree with you that nukes are the real issue here. I mean, chem and bio are issues insofar as they show Iraq has violated the UN mandates and therefore has subjected itself to the reprisal of invasion and regime change…in other words, that’s kind of a “legal” argument or justification argument for the international community. But I agree that the real reason it’s imperative to do something about Iraq is the nuke issue. I disagree with you about the significance of the aluminum tubes. I know there have been conflicting reports about their use, but the last thing I read was that the tubes could be used for non-nuke applications such as artillery, but are serious overkill for that sort of application, i.e., the tubes can withstand pressures they would never encounter in a legitimate military use…but WOULD encounter as part of a uranium-enrichment centrifuge. In fact, if the tubes are to be used for artillery, Iraq overpaid for them by something like 50:1 (and it’s not because they’re paying a smuggling fee; artillery tubes are legitimate imports). Conclusion: the tubes were intended for use in an enrichment certrifuge, which means that Iraq continues to pursue nukes despite ongoing UN inspections.

I think we should goto war with Iraq because they’ve abandoned guns and conventional weapons in a more favorable way of waging war — big fucking missiles and biological agents!

Those pussies. The NRA will show you fuckers who’s boss.

Well, the UK will be pretty pissed at you too, since the majority of the population doesn’t support the war, IIRC. The Israelis might be relieved, though, at least if the war goes well (and there’s no reason to think it shouldn’t). I can’t think of anyone else who’ll like you for it, except perhaps the Iraqis.

If the U.S. handles the postwar situation in Iraq well, and lots of smiling Iraqis are shown on CNN, things might even go back to normal in the less U.S.-hating parts of the world.

Good point on the UK; if we go in without UN support the polling is atrocious over there, so it’s a “government agrees with us but populace doesn’t.”

Then again, only 38% of the US supports a non-UN war, so go figure.

Well, that’s not at all uncommon.

Obviously the result of weaselly French propaganda.

I think it’s useless to worry about opinion polling. We elect people so that they can be given as much information as possible and make informed decisions. The founding fathers were right to fear mob rule. It doesn’t matter what ratio you come up with if the public as a whole can’t possibly be expected to know enough to make an informed choice.