Charles Goyette Interviews Scott Ritter

Charles Goyette, May 14, 2008

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Scott Ritter, the former chief United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq and author of Target Iran: The Truth About the White House’s Plans for Regime Change, discusses the Chicago city council’s attempt to bring attention of the possibility of war with Iran to the Illinois congressional delegation, the effectiveness of city council’s antiwar resolutions, Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ attempt to focus attention on Iraq instead of Iran, Cheney’s role, the chances he’s giving that the U.S. will attack Iran, Iran’s influence in Iraq, the bad Ho Chi Minh Trail analogy, Iran’s possible response to a U.S. military attack, the scenario of a what a war between the U.S. and Iran would look like, Iran’s air defense system, why a U.S. strike on Iran would be the worst thing for Israeli national security, the president’s lack of constitutional authority to go to war, and takes questions from callers.

MP3 here. (24:50)

Scott Ritter is the former chief United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998. He is the author of “Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Antiwar Movement.” Scott Ritter has been noted for his criticism of United States foreign policy in the Middle East. Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Ritter publicly argued that Iraq possessed no significant weapons of mass destruction. He has become a popular anti-war figure and talk show commentator because of his stance.

21 Responses to “Scott Ritter”

  1. Pretty much on Scott Ritter's beat, and certainly on Antiwar.com's – a new and bizarre theory from Albright and Co. at ISIS Online, dated May 12, claims that the Syrians used fiendish cunning to avoid building smokestacks for their 'reactor' building:

    http://www.isis-online.org/publications/syria/Syr

    Arms Control Wonk loves it, and blogged it on the 13th. Crocodile tears drip off his nose at the thought of the poor workers, forced to endure toxic vapor discharges at ground level:

    http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/1881/syrias-short-

  2. Hello Antiwar.com and thank you for your strong resources in the name of peace.

    I am running for Massachusetts House of Representatives. I’d love to correspond with you about my philosophies of peace.

    Iraq certainly posed no imminent threat in 2003. An invasion of great scale is always matched by lengthy military buildups and mobilization of popular support that we didn’t see in Iraq, but instead in the United States. We in the US were preparing for a lengthy war involving chemical weapons, not Iraq. Nor does it seem is Iran readying itself to invade other countries.

    I will vote to remove Massachusetts National Guard troops from overseas. I will vote to denounce George W Bush and his legacy if he is not impeached by the time I get to office in what would be 2009. I will vote to impeach anyone who would pardon him and begin new official and independent investigations into this filthy White House and the Pentagon and reopen 9/11.

    I am collecting signatures of petition against a new war in Iran.

    Thank you, Antiwar, for your efforts in service of true peace.

  3. “Gates is trying to minimize a war with Iran”…

    Mr. Charles, haven’t you ever heard of the “good cop, bad cop” routine? Gates would not be the SecDef if he did not meet the approval of Bushney. That is the bottom line. He is just another lackey in their chain of command…

  4. You don’t have to be smart or a Middle Eastern expert expert to know, to project, or to infer the fact that whatever the Israelis want us to do, it will be done.
    Don’t listen to our politicians because whenever it comes to any issue related to the Israeli wishes and wants, they have no power and they are fully and unexceptionably controlled and closely leashed by the invisible power of the Jewish lobby in Washington.
    It is a joke of sadness to use logic whenever we ought to fairly attempt to justify or to analyze the directions and the trends of US ME policies. Whatever the Israelis ( via the powerful Zionist lobby in Washington ) want, it will go to become reality, despite of what our leashed politicians might think. No one has the courageous “guts” and the “Man’s balls” to stand up tall, or to open his /her lips to spell the words of neutrality and fairness when it comes to the unacceptable directions of Israeli policies and behviour in the occupied Palestinian and Arab lands.
    My remarks her is only in responding to respected Mr. Scott Ritter’s article, I would certainly like to ad that the Israelis want war against Iran to happen as immediate as possible. It doesn’t matter under what US administrations, the Israelis’ will make it happen.. You just relax, watch, and calmly see that war is to be happening. They will drag our controlled politicians by the close leash of the Zionist lobby’s power and the influence. I remember saying that before the Iraq War I (1991), and saying again little prior to our invasion of Iraq War II. Now, I state it again by just changing the letter Q to N (Iraq, then and Iran, now)…wait and see.
    If you are interested and you are a young enough, you will surprisingly understand, certainly see, and documenters remember my words of today about the Israelis’ near future strategy towards Pakistan. Pakistan is next after Iran! You will see the same strategy implemented against Pakistan’s nuclear warheads, too. That will come as the following stage three /or stage four strategy to be implemented later and at the appropriate prepared time. They will create the climate needed for the justifications of that war in accordance to the degree of success or failure in implementing previous and on going stages of their strategy. stage, I, II, III IV, etc.The Israeli strategy based on their significant and vital dependency on American/ British, etc. military, human resources and economy in launching their wars of choice against its neighbours under the empty slogan of national security and survival. The ultimate strategy is to win/or/ loose theses war with no, or minimum Israeli human and cost sacrifice by using others’ to pay the price. The strategy of war might the strategy of the devil, but it is certainly very smart and I admire the Israelis’ strategists and architects of such success of monopolizations of others an using them as shield of protection. The only dumbest in this equation are politicians, the ones who accept to be dominated and controlled by the power of a foreign power because of his/her political career ( election or elections) interest. There are visibly a short of Man’s balls of in Washington when it comes to any issue related to the Israelis policies. When it comes to Israel, they are “chickens”.They provide a blind support , unquestionable argument, consciously closed eyes, deaf ears, and unspoken truth for the fearful punishment by the their powerful and the intimidation of their masters: The Zionist Lobby.
    It is coming on horizon > Let us wait and see!
    Kakoush

  5. Mr. Ritter, it is you sir that needs to do your homework on the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution is one branch of the Federal government authorized to delegate it’s enumerated powers to another branch. This is not only implicit in the document, but since this power (delegation to another branch) is not enumerated, the 10th amendment explicitly reserves that (and any other non-enumerated power) to the people and the states.

    So don’t quote the War Powers act as some sort of Constitutional standard. A statute by congress (the act) does not have the authority to modify the Constitution (only a convention or amendment may do this). Thus, by the plain language of the Constitution, the president MOST CERTAINLY DOES NOT have the power to attack Iran without a declaration of war by Congress.

    If you’re going to retreat to pragmatism, then there’s no point in even mentioning the Constitution since pragmatically speaking, the Constitution has ceased to have any relevance to our Federal government. But if you’re going to appeal to the supreme (man made) law of the land in your criticism of those claiming the unConstitutionality of an attack on Iran, you must demonstrate from the Constitution, not an act of congress or opinion of the Supreme Court, that your perspective is correct.

  6. Well said Brian but monkey-boy in the White House would undoubtedly respond, ” well the Constitution is either with us or against us..”

  7. Scott,
    Thanks so much for your bravery in confronting the lies about Iran. I know your bravery is not without a high personal cost since the Israeli lobby has been relentlessly slandering all those who have opposed their murderous and criminal agenda in the US or tried to expose the truth to the American public. YOU sir, are truly a hero of the American people….

    As an Iranian who does not support the theocracy, i can tell you that we Iranians are sick and tired of America’s aggression and their sabotage and manipulation of our domestic affairs. We are disgusted by the vilification of the Iranian people in the US media (yes, we have youtube and satellite). We have suffered from American terrorism for 55 years. I won’t bother making a list of individual acts here, it would simply be too long. But enough is enough! Leave us alone!

    Your government may condemn and resent the mullahs, but if the mullahs have done nothing else for Iranians (and believe me they haven’t done much), they have at least brought us independence and for this we are grateful. No Iranian wants a conflict with the US or with Israel, including our leaders, but we refuse to be American and Israeli slaves. We reserve the right to independent foreign policy. That is what it means to be a sovereign state. I realize the American people may not understand this concept given that Israel runs their country. However, if the prospect of a strong and independent Iran frightens Israel, too bad. The only suggestion i can give to them is to make peace with the Palestinians, give back their property and stop trying to “wipe them off the map”. Its a win win situation.

    But if Iran is attacked, by either the US or Israel, i promise all Americans and Israelis that we will not sit back casually and calmly while our family members are murdered. If you understand nothing else about the Iranian people or our culture, please understand that we would not still be around after 3000 years if we could not defend ourselves. The formula is simple: if you attack us, we will attack you. The American people, i think, should understand this after experiencing 911.

    To the people of Israel i say this. Nobody in Iran, including Ahmadinejad, wants to “wipe” anybody “off the map” as has been popularly misquoted in the press. If today were 1938, Iran were Germany and Ahmadinejad were Hitler, then why are Jews not being persecuted in Iran?? Hmmm??? I can tell you that there are no concentration camps in Tehran and the 50k Jews who live here live in peace. I am glad they are here otherwise i would not find my favorite kosher food or the Jewish sweets that i usually enjoy. We welcome the Jews here as we welcomed them from Poland, Hungary and Switzerland in the 1930′s and 40′s and from other nations for 3 thousand years. Please stop these lies and vilifications of Iran. It does more to hurt the Image of Jews abroad and increases hostility towards Israel when friends of the Jewish people are so aggressively called anti-semites and nazis.

    Thank you
    Reza N
    Tehran

  8. A superb interview with Ritter, covering all the important points. Scott is very effective when talking, but I found his book ‘Target Iran’ to be written in a way that was often confusing and unclear. He should write another book the way he talks, in a direct and clear way, perhaps by transcribing some of his talks. In general, use short sentences and active verbs!

    Here’s an example of a confusing sentence from the beginning of Chapter 3:

    “The citizens of the small French village of Chattelerault could not have known that a dentist-turned-scientific advisor, working on behalf of their one-time mayor, would be responsible for bringing down the European Commission…”

    Whaaat? Get to the point immediately, without too much auxilliary detail. Also, to help the busy citizen, it is always a good idea for such books to have many subheadings, so the reader doesn’t have a massive block of text to read, and can look particular points up quickly.

  9. Does anyone else think that arguing the constitution is just kinda silly these days…?

    At this point im on board with GW Bush on this one….”its just a goddamn piece of paper!”

    Goran

  10. Goran

    Practically speaking, you’re correct. It’s a dead letter and has no power anymore since the people of the various states have become ignorant and apathetic. The most important “check and balance” (the states and the people) has ceased to operate for a long time.

    But on principle, the Constitution is the law all Federal officers take an oath to. It is the absolute standard they swear to abide by. Therefore appealing to the Constitution serves a very black-and-white purpose. Comparing the actions of those in Washington to that document provides a cut-and-dry record of criminality that doesn’t require subjective political opinion to discern.

    Comparison to the Constitution also makes the following very clear:
    unconstitutional US government = lawless government
    lawless government (by definition) = tyranny

  11. I Gotcha Brian.

    But heres what i see…a government is given a 3 trillion dollar budget, the largest military in the world, and then say “but you promise to be good and follow the rules, right?” And then when they give their friends all the money, destroy peoples lives, the economy they depend on, kill people, blow things up then we act like we didnt expect it? Huh?

    The Great American Experiment, in my opinion, has proven to be a failure. And it aint over yet…

  12. 90 plus chance of the US striking Iran…. What are the chances that Iran will not only strike back by hitting Israel making them champions of the whole Muslim world, but also the oil fields in Saudi?

  13. The Iranians could never invade 10 yards onto Saudi soil…The whole Sunni arab world would rise up…Which is why Saddam would never have invaded Saudi, being a secular Sunni leader ( with Shia and Christians in the Ba’ath Party ) it would never have been tolerated for him to be the ” guardian of the 2 Holy Cities “…He simply wanted to re-take Kuwaut which had been part of Iraq-before being broken off by the Brits..And he wanted MORE OIL TO SELL NOT TO HOARD! Especially since they were in debt fm their war with Iran which we supported them in..And then our Ambassador, April Glasbie, famously gave our ally Saddam the green light to re-take Kuwait..
    Oh if only GHW Bush had a real pair at that moment and said,” I would like to congratulate our ally, Pres Hussein on retaking Kuwait-ancient province of Iraq..Pres Hussein has fought against the odds to keep his country in one piece; not to mention seperatist treasonous Kurds-many of whom are Communist-Wahabi Sunnis and Shia extremists..Pres Hussein has protected the Christians in his country and hasn’t allowed any sectarian bloodshed..This is why he was and remains a U.S. ally….My advice to the royal family of Kuwait is to stop hiring PR firms to propagandize the American people and retire to Saudi Arabia..”

  14. Strike the fucking Iranian Theocracy of Terrorists of Tehran already!

    What’s taking them so long?

    Fucking bomb the fucking mullahs, but save the people of Iran, they are very nice. They want the mullahs GONE. Help them

  15. AIPAC strikes again!
    Chicago’s mayor Daley puts Israel before America -and shoots down the Iran relolution!…
    He said: “I just supported a resolution for the 60th anniversary of Israel. Harry Truman almost created Israel. Let’s be realistic. The United States did. I’m very strong for Israel’s independence and survival. The resolution says that if Iran does something, we should not do anything. I don’t get it.”

    When are these idiots going to realize that Israel’s national security interests are CONTRARY to Americas???

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/950120,iran051508.article

  16. At the moment of the intentional Israeli attack on the USS Liberty we should have struck that Talmudic, Pharasaical Theocracy in Tel Aviv…If the Egyptians had done what the Israelis did Pres. Johnson wouldn’t have ordered the fighters fm the USS America to turn back around and allow the poor sailors to be attacked by the Israelis for another hour..And the only question that would have been asked in the halls of Congress would have been; ” just how high should the rubble bounce in Cairo?”

  17. God save America fm these people, I beg you!

  18. the united states can not defeat a few thousand insurgents in iraq and now they want to go to war with 90 million iraninans have you americans lost your minds

  19. Maher Says:

    May 17th, 2008 at 2:33 pm
    Strike the fucking Iranian Theocracy of Terrorists of Tehran already!

    What’s taking them so long?

    Fucking bomb the fucking mullahs, but save the people of Iran, they are very nice. They want the mullahs GONE. Help them

    Maher,

    Thanks for your concern for us nice people of Iran, however we prefer the mullahs to your bombs. We dont want your bombs. If you insist on sending us your bombs, we will simply send them back to you. PLease feel free to post you return address

  20. Why has the American presidential election turned in an election about Israel?

  21. Israel is the time clock of the world, every country will soon abandon her,and a new world leader will take the stage bringing a false peace to Israel and her enemies, this will happen when the world economy crashes. Cash will cease, and a new global econmy system will come into effect and everybody will have to partake with his system GOD forbid, we have to continue fighting against nations that are against the state of Israel and most of all, America come back to The God of your fathers, serve the Lord now while He still can be found.

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