Former U.N. weapons
inspector talks tough to Mohawk students
December 19,. 2003
BUCKLAND - Read the Constitution and become an informed
citizen to avoid a situation like the Iraq War, a former U.N.
weapons inspector told Mohawk Trail Regional School students
"Our Constitution wins hands down," said former
Marine Scott Ritter, who has become an unabashed critic of
George W. Bush and his Iraq policy.
And he minced no words telling the students how wrong he
thinks the war and Bush are, during a visit to the school
sponsored by Traprock Peace Center of Deerfield.
After questioning both the United States' and the United
Nations' resolve to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction,
Ritter resigned from his post in 1998 after seven years of
service following the first Gulf War.
Ritter plunged dramatically into his Mohawk presentation,
which he characterized as "in your face," and
challenged students to come back at him in the same vein. He
offered a graphic description of being shot and how a young
soldier's life becomes gratitude for "one breath after
Ritter's message is resoundingly that the war did not have to
start and ought not have and that President Bush is "either
incompetent or a liar" to have told Americans he had proof
Iraq was proliferating weapons of mass destruction.
"After nine months we haven't found any," Ritter
said of the weapons claim. He said during his years on the
ground in Iraq searching for them, he believes there were
weapons, that they were hidden and that the Iraqis did
"lie." But, he added, after four or five years
"taking sites apart" to search for them, inspectors
were "able to ascertain 90-95 percent of the weapons
produced by Iraq had been destroyed."
"The system we call the United States of America failed,
it failed miserably," Ritter said of the subsequent move to
war. "Iraq is the manifestation of all the failures of
American citizens. If you don't live citizenship, you're a
consumer. Iraq is your issue; you're going to pay the price. My
generation failed you."
"This is your life, what are you going to do about
it?" he challenged students. "I can train a monkey to
wave an American flag. That does not make the monkey
Saying he is probably "the most anti-war person you're
ever going to meet," the 12-year veteran said he's also
"If someone threatens my country, if someone threatens
you … I'm willing to lay down my life for you," he said.
* Gulf Veteran
& Weapons Inspector to Speak
Press Advisory from Traprock Peace Center in
Deerfield, MA. http://www.traprockpeace.org
Contact: Sunny Miller, Ex. Director 413 773-7427
Former US Marine and U.N. Weapons
Inspector, Scott Ritter will speak at two area high schools in
December through the auspices of Traprock Peace Center. Ritter's
topic will be, "Disarmament Works, but Requires Political
Traprock has made invitations on behalf of
schools with assemblies of more than 300 students eager for an
opportunity to hear both historic perspectives on disarmament
efforts and a current assessment of military, social, economic
and diplomatic prospects in Iraq. Traprock asks community
members for support for this and other educational programs in
our public schools, promoting thoughtful dialogue and
Writing and speech classes, history and social
studies classes, J.R.O.T.C. and peace studies -- students and
teachers will be interested in assessing Ritter's presentation.
In presentations Ritter calls for engaged citizens to
investigate his claims for themselves. Ritter will speak on
December 19 at 9:15 at Mohawk Regional and at 1:20 in Amherst. A
local & national press conference /call will give be held
mid-day. For reservations for a Friday evening reception and
dinner, call 413 773-5188 x. 3. See Traprock's web site for
Ritter's previous commentary, at http://www.traprockpeace.org.
Former UNSCOM Inspector and Marine Intelligence
Officer, Scott Ritter is ... a seasoned media commentator, and
has been interviewed by Congressional staff and committees as
well as CNN, MSNBC, NPR and the BBC, and on such shows as
Hardball, Crossfire, Frontline, and Donahue. His assessments
stem from nearly a decade of professional on-the-ground
experience in Iraq.
* An authority whose knowledge of Iraq’s
military and notorious police state apparatus is based on
extensive, first-hand dealings with it. Ritter was stationed
in Iraq from 1991 to 1998 and is credited with initiating
aggressive intelligence-collection measures. He became
familiar with the workings of the upper echelons of Saddam
Hussein’s regime, and ‘rank and file’ operatives.
* A former intelligence officer with
professional experience of planning military operations inside
Iraq. Ritter served directly under General Schwarzkopf during
the 1991 Gulf War. Ritter can speak with unusual depth and
detail to the logistics of launching military operations
inside Iraq. His right-on-the- money analysis made him a
Pentagon “whistleblower” during that war, when he
single-handedly refuted US military claims that it was
shooting down Scud missiles.
* A recognized expert on Iraq’s program for
weapons of mass destruction. In the course of his UNSCOM
career, Ritter participated in 30 weapons inspection, 7 of
them as chief inspector. The Iraqi government branded him a
“spy” for his aggressive inspection style. Ritter can
address questions on concealment, noncompliance, and
destruction of weapons and production capability in Iraq.
Ritter will explain why he trusts surveillance and forensic
sampling, not Iraqi disclosures. Collaboration with
intelligences services from many nations has given him a
unique perspective on the “War against Terror.”
Author of Endgame: Solving The Iraq
Problem Once And For All, and Frontier Justice,
Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Bushwhacking of America.
Ritter’s writings have appeared in the Boston Globe, New York
Times, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, The Guardian, &
Arms Control Today.
15, 2003 Charlie Jenks
103A Keets Road, Woolman Hill
Deerfield, MA 01342
Phone: (413) 773-7427; Fax:(413)773-7507; contact