Ex-U.N. Inspector: Decision Already Made To Attack
Ex-U.N. inspector: Iran's next: Ritter warns that another U.S.
invasion in Mideast is imminent
By Brandon Garcia
Fe New Mexican, The (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog
NewsEdge) The former U.N. weapons inspector who said Iraq
disarmed long before the U.S. invasion in 2003 is warning
Americans to prepare for a war with Iran.
"We just don't know when, but it's going to happen," Scott
Ritter said to a crowd of about 150 at the James A. Little
Theater on Sunday night.
Ritter described how the U.S. government might justify war with
Iran in a scenario similar to the buildup to the Iraq invasion.
He also argued that Iran wants a nuclear energy program, and not
nuclear weapons. But the Bush administration, he said, refuses
to believe Iran is telling the truth.
He predicted the matter will wind up before the U.N. Security
Council, which will determine there is no evidence of a weapons
program. Then, he said, John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the
United Nations, "will deliver a speech that has already been
written. It says America cannot allow Iran to threaten the
United States and we must unilaterally defend ourselves."
"How do I know this? I've talked to Bolton's speechwriter,"
Ritter also predicted the military strategy for war with Iran.
First, American forces will bomb Iran. If Iranians don't
overthrow the current government, as Bush hopes they will, Iran
will probably attack Israel. Then, Ritter said, the United
States will drop a nuclear bomb on Iran.
The only way to prevent a war with Iran is to elect a
Democratically controlled Congress in November, said Ritter, a
lifelong Republican. He later said he wasn't worried his advice
would be seen as partisan because, "It's a partisan issue." He
said the problem is one party government and if Democrats
controlled the presidency and Congress, he would advise people
to elect Republicans.
Most of Ritter's hour-long speech focused on Iraqi weapons
programs from shortly before the Persian Gulf War in 1991 to
2003, when the U.S. invaded Iraq. He also discussed the
weapons-inspections process during that time.
Ritter was in charge of U.N. weapons inspections until he
resigned in 1998. Before the Iraq invasion, Ritter said, he told
Congress that inspections needed to continue.
He also said he was a Marine in the Persian Gulf War and was
part of an assassination attempt on Saddam Hussein in the early
Throughout the 1990s, Ritter said, America's real policy for
Iraq was regime change -- not forcing Iraq to disarm and destroy
chemical-, biological- and nuclear-weapons programs. The U.S.
insisted on regime change, he said, because it believes
transforming the Middle East countries into democracies will
help ensure American access to oil.
The policy, he said, was borne from a political problem, not a
threat to national security.
Ritter said the CIA knew Iraq had no ballistic, nuclear,
chemical and biological weapons by 1995. "We knew there were no
WMDs in Iraq," he said.
Ritter blamed Americans' apathy for allowing Bush to claim there
was an intelligence failure. Presidents can lie to the public
too easily about national security issues because Americans
aren't paying attention, he said.
"It's a damn shame there's so many more people interested in the
Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers," he said in
reference to the two teams that played in Sunday's Super Bowl.
After his speech, Ritter took questions from the audience. The
first questioner wondered whether the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks
were faked. Ritter, a fiery speaker, seemed irritated by the
question and said the attacks were real.
Someone else asked if he was interested in running for Congress.
While the question drew applause, Ritter responded, "I hate
Ritter, 44, was promoting his book Iraq Confidential: The Untold
Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and
Overthrow Saddam Hussein. The speech was sponsored by Peace
Action New Mexico.
Contact Brandon Garcia at 995-3826 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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