Scott Ritter

Get Up and Stop the Next War!

Scott Ritter, author of Target Iran and Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Antiwar Movement, discusses the irrationality of Bush’s Iraq policy, the Democrats betrayal of the Antiwar Left, Mitt Romney’s fit over ABC News’ reporting Cheney’s leak of the finding authorizing CIA action against Iran, the pretext of Iran’s nuclear program as the excuse to bomb them, Pelosi and Reid’s complicity in that upcoming war and John Boehner’s blubbering crocodile tears.

MP3 here. (19:18)

As a chief weapons inspector for the United Nations Special Commission in Iraq, Scott Ritter was labeled a hero by some, a maverick by others, and a spy by the Iraqi government. In charge of searching out weapons of mass destruction within Iraq, Ritter was on the front lines of the ongoing battle against arms proliferation. His experience in Iraq served as the basis for his book Endgame, which explored the shortcomings of American foreign policy in the Persian Gulf region and alternative approaches to handling the Iraqi crisis, and for Iraq Confidential, which detailed his seven year experience as a weapons inspector.

Scott Ritter has had an extensive and distinguished career in government service. He is an intelligence specialist with a 12-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps including assignments in the former Soviet Union and the Middle East. Rising to the rank of Major, Ritter spent several months of the Gulf War serving under General Norman Schwarzkopf with US Central Command headquarters in Saudi Arabia, where he played an instrumental role in formulating and implementing combat operations targeting Iraqi mobile missile launchers which threatened Israel.

In 1991, Ritter joined the United Nations weapons inspections team, or UNSCOM. He participated in 34 inspection missions, 14 of them as chief inspector. Ritter resigned from UNSCOM in August 1998, citing US interference in the work of the inspections.

He is the author of many books, including “Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein” and most recently “Target Iran: The Truth About the White House’s Plans for Regime Change.” He lives in New York State. Ritter was born in Florida, and raised all over the world in a career military family. He is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, with a B.A. in Soviet History.

2 thoughts on “Scott Ritter”

  1. I am an odd bird. I am a Conscientious Objector, in the sense that I refused to work with Nuclear Weapons. On the other hand I did 20 on active duty in the US military, joined during Vietnam and volunteered twice in writing for Desert Storm.

    I was just watching Mr. Ritter on Book TV on C Span. He is fighting the right fight, but at the wrong time and in the wrong battlefield.

    If you are going to go to war, as you and Mr. Ritter have gone to war against ‘war’ you need to be assured that your cause is just. If you go to war shouting slogans, calling people names, denouncing the evil of your opponents, and you are not justified, you lose the trust and support of the American People. Then, later on, when your cause is just, no one will listen to you.

    Mr. Ritter talked about Americans ‘torturing’ prisoners. Can you define the word torture? I recently saw a petiton circulated in email lists of psychological professionals asking to get the psychologists who developed the CIAs interrogation techniques disbarred from practicing psychology as being guilty of crimes against humanity.

    Would you rather have interrogation techniques designed by professional psychologists or by high school dropouts improvising in the field? Someone does have to interrogate prisoners and they need to have a play book to tell them how.

    Calling that playbook torture is a cheap and ignorant shot. Naturally, interrogation of prisoners can include elements of stress. Calling that torture without fully investigating the issue is rather silly and ridiculous. I read the articles describing the techniques and nothing included in the ‘torture’ was particularly impressive. Every thing included in the ‘torture’ occurs routinely during normal military training.

    Constant exposure to loud noises. Guns, Tanks, Aircraft, etc. Going without sleep. Being short of food and water, etc. All routine and normal occurrences in normal routine military training. Yet, we hear this word ‘torture’ shouted on high from the morally selfrighteous, like YOU for example. This is not what Senator McCain suffered in Vietnam, it is not what the people of Iraq suffered under Saddam Hussein. To call it torture is to insult, demean, and belittle the real suffering of people who have suffered real torture.

    I personally do not agree with using these methods on Muslims. They were designed by Russia and China to be used on Americans. They were not designed with the Muslim culture in mind. I believe that their use is ill advised and inappropriate because they are not designed with the culture of the enemy in mind. Still, ill advised and silly as their use may be, they should not be called ‘torture’.

    Similarly, Iraq is not Vietnam. In Vietnam we faced an enemy enjoying the full financial and military support of two superpowers, China and the USSR. That meant a lot of money and logistical support to the Viet Cong. All the Muslim nations of the Middle East combined have less GNP than Spain. They simply do not have the financial power to make Iraq into a Vietnam.

    In Vietnam, the Viet Cong were able to launch serious formal military campaigns. They were able to face the US on the field of battle and put up a good show. They were capable, because of the extreme financial and logistical support they were receiving, or actually fielding a conventional military force.

    There is no evidence of anything like that in Iraq, and there is no evidene or any suggestion of evidence of anything like that ever happening in Iraq.

    All this screaming and yelling and name calling without support or justification of the facts only discredits the otherwise admirable cause which you believe you are fighting for.

    The time and cause are not right for this kind of action. You and Mr. Ritter and not justified by the facts in the positions and attitude you take. You only discredit the cause by this kind of hysterical war mongering.

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