Scott Ritter

Reality Vs. the War Party


Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter discusses the likelihood of a U.S. attack on Iran and the smokescreen of diplomatic progress, how Iran’s recent promise of retaliation has raised the stakes by ensuring limited U.S. strikes would be inadequate, how facts and reason are irrelevant since the neocons in command believe they can generate their own realities, the need for Congress to reduce the level of tension not increase it with their current pending Iran war resolutions, how the War Party’s aggressive rhetoric towards Iran only helps their hardliners, Iran’s nuclear program as pretext for regime change, the dubious origins of the “smoking laptop,” the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. against Iran and the need for American business to demand Congress put an end to the march to war.

MP3 here. (47:29)

Scott Ritter was a Marine Corps intelligence officer from 1984 to 1991 and a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998. He is the author of numerous books, including Iraq Confidential (Nation Books, 2005), Target Iran (Nation Books, 2006) and his latest, Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Antiwar Movement (Nation Books, April 2007).

24 thoughts on “Scott Ritter”

  1. I continue to remind you that the theological dimension of this conflict is being ignored (and has been for some 30 years); not only by the mainstream media, but also the ‘alternative’ media.

    And while you are *deluding* yourself if you ‘think’ that this conflict can be resolved *without* addressing its theological dimension; it may very well require the outbreak of such a war, unfortunately, to ‘heal’ you of such a delusion (which, certainly, would not be *my* fault)…

    But at what COST?

    That is the question.

    And, then, how will you *justify* to yourselves your refusal to address the theological dimension of the conflict before it was too late?

    That would be *your* problem rather than mine.

    Michael Cecil

  2. Scott Horton and Scott Ritter,


    I sense that the two of you may be hoping that the massive consequences that will occur with a war on Iran would cause the Bush regime to take a pause and rethink their current positions. Hardly. Without outside pressure forcing the Bush regime to take a pause, there will be war. Bush, Cheney, and their criminal gang will not rethink their positions or their criminal natures. They will continue to engage in one criminal venture after another until the clock runs out on Jan 20, 2009, provided that they even allow an election to take place and even allow a new president to be sworn in.




    By the way, the American people deserve gas going above 4 dollars a gallon and they will deserve the economy being destroyed when war with Iran is launched because of their stupidity in electing a criminal gang in the White House and both houses of Congress. Anyone who thinks that American Troops in the Middle East is a good thing should look at the price of gas in December 2002 and the price of gas now in July 2008.

  4. The only rational argument I have heard for a Bushney attack on Iran came from a noted French Intellectual whose name escapes me. His take was that Europe would weather the global economic collapse proceeding from a hot Iran Gulf war far worse than the US economy, which is arguably “doomed” anyway, and has more options of takable oil (Venezuala, Alaska). The European economy taken as a whole now exceeds the US economy and a US attack on Iran can be regarded as an indirect, deniable, attack on the economy of its prime rival to minimise or reverse its likely future preeminance.

    You can believe to taste, but it is notable how few commentators address this possible motive when bemoaning how an attack on Iran “makes no sense”.

  5. That’s interesting. Seems counter-productive since it’s the wars that are doing such a number on our economy in the first place, but I guess murder/suicide is just part of being an empire.

  6. If the US economy is bound to fall hard, the only way for the US to retain its *relative* position is to pull down its rivals too. To change the rules of the game it is losing.
    Most of the analysies of likely ramifications of US/Israel attack on Iran relate to immediate consequences for the US and Israel, but the Gulf is a square on the long-term “global game” board and the likely effects on Europe, China, Russia, India and so forth must be considered when searching for possible rationales. I wish I could remember the name of the theorist who propounds this so you could google him and consider his case first hand, but I think I have the gist of it.

    That Bush and Cheney are outthinking us does seem on the face of it unlikely, but if such a case is being made behind closed doors it might explain Congressional complicity. The US wouldn’t need to “win” such a war on Iran. Just screw everything up for the rest of the planet. And the US has form here.

  7. To Reed Richards:


    The likelihood that *any* politician will “rethink” his position is *several* orders of magnitude *greater* than the likelihood that a *theologian* will “rethink” his position; which is why there is this conflict in the first place.

    The politicians seek only power and money, which would be threatened by such “rethinking”

    The theologians seek not only power and money, but that their followers stand in absolute *awe* of them as if they spoke the Words of God Himself and as if they knew the ‘Mind’ of God Himself.

    *That* is why so many millions must die.

    The theologians simply CANNOT be wrong.

    They would *lose* too much.

    Michael Cecil


    LISTEN CAREFULLY TO THE ENDLESS TIMES THE MSM’ERS ALLOW THE WARMONGERS TO PEPEAT UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS ABOUT IRAN. Over the last five years I have heard Chris Matthews, ( he allowed McCain to repeat claims, did not challenge him) Joe Scarborough, (Joe repeats these claims himself) George Stephanapouous, (allowed both Hillary Clinton and Stephanapoulous to repeat unsubstantiated claims about Iran) Diane Rehm, (heard her allow Reuel marc Gerecht repeat these claims) Neil Conan from Talk of the Nation allowed John Bolton to have a full 45 minutes a while back to repeat unsubstantiated claims about Iran.

    Let’s start documenting the times we hear these unsubstantiated claims repeated.


  9. this assumes that the MIC cares about US casualties or the US economy. Everything else they have done has been damaging to both and they dont seem to care. Also what about nukes?

  10. The Israeli Dilemma
    The question is that how much does Israel dare if given green light to bomb Iran from a faction in the Bush Administration.

    The most likely scenario is that Israel would at best want to test the waters first.
    There is no question that Israel would do anything big, risky and foolish like sending one hundred or more aircrafts to bomb Iran.
    At its most, most courageous; Israel will do a version of Syria bombing on an easy target in Iran and hope to get away with it with minimum of costs.

    Israel will then sit back and hope for the best; i.e. Iran taking it passively like Syria did. And hopefully bringing more turmoil to US-Iran relations.

    The Israeli problem is that the country is forcing itself more and more into the above course of action. if Israel were not now to lose face and credibility both at home and abroad it would simply have to do something stupid.

  11. How’s this for a theory;

    Bush is using Iran War talk to bully Congress, specifically to bully Congress into quashing impeachment proceedings.

    There is no “reality based” argument for attacking Iran, unless you think in terms of domestic politics at least.

  12. Hardtruth, you’re wrong on several counts; Europe’s economy would weather a war far better than the teetering U.S. economy (public transportation, more solidarity within their societies, better overall governance etc.), and a ready supply of some oil, namely RUSSIA. Believe me, Russia would be more than happy to subsidize oil for the European economy and bring them into Moscow’s ‘sphere of influence.’

  13. well as Europe and the US go under its going to leave China and Japan (each with huge gold reserves) sitting pretty at the top. Not that long ago Japan once had half of all the money in the world. Its a pretty good i dea to not be a military empire and to just dominate the market with good products. Its called improving the every day lives and living standards of peope around the world.

    Ritter is the man. I agree with Scott though because reality arguments dont seem to matter. It is not like the MIC gives a poot about the US economy or the morality of sensless killing. Whiping out the Middle Class in the US has been a long term goal for some of these psychopaths.

  14. The problem with Russian oil is that Europe has to *pay* for it. And Russia can choose to withhold oil from Europe the way Canada can’t from the US.

  15. The greatest equation facing the Republic of the US at present is bankruptcy, with little heavy industry, (even little light industry), a desicated middle class, a poor working class that is becoming increasingly inept as memory skills in industry, farming, and commerce fade, and new generations of working class folks have fewer and fewer mentors. The Iran debacle, like the Iraq debacle, is all Israel and its far too powerful lobbies in the US, augmented by a greedy wealthy class that has forgotten moderation, (and will pay the price), under the heavy-handed guidance of Cheney and his sock puppet, Bush. The Republic is in dire straits. No work, no industry, no meaningful international relationships, no money, a tattered infrastructure, a broken health care system and an educational system in such disarray that industry considers it far more cost effective to import brains rather than educating them…Only the military, with its bloated budger, (all on credit) and its aging equipment lists, still is competitive. but not for much longer. Militaries cost money, and more money, and we have none. The torch is passing, my friends, to China, certainly to wealthy, endowed strong Russia…to India, Brazil, a united Europe who alone is thirty years ahead of the US in rational governing, and on and on. Our Republic still has talent, Scott Ritter and others like him prove that. Even the traitorous Pollards who make up the Neo-Cons show skill, albeit of a black sort.
    Alas, talent may not be enough, considering our depleted treasury, the opporbrium with which the world views us, and most of all, the militaristic, nationalistic self-imagery foisted upon the American public by Pseudo-patriotic politicians supported by greedy, bloodthirsty Born Agains who have so forgotten the New Testament while so ardently embracing the Old.
    We need another 100,000 Scott Ritters, in the government and in the military. Men of Honor who tell it like it is. Even that may not be enouth.

  16. As usual for both Horton and Ritter, we have here another example of some of the most insightful interviewing and analysis around. Regarding Hardtruth’s comments, I think he is raising important questions. I’m also struggling to comprehend the underlying logic and/or gross irrationality of the drive toward war with Iran. I suspect that a large part of it concerns the “all-out rush” for “dwindling supplies of hydrocarbons” (Condi Rice, UK Ambassador Sir David Manning), though I’m not sure on exactly what basis internal calculations are now being made. Unfortunately, the one really weak area of the commentary on is in analysis of this issue. Ritter for one is heads and shoulders above most in this regard, but still seems to lack detailed familiarity with all the evidence publicly available.

    I agree that a war with Iran would most likely be a disaster for everyone (and think that the only sane course is to voluntarily downscale and redesign the lifestyles that are the object of the global quest for “development”). But the common argument about oil going to $500 or whatever, if there should be an attack on Iran, suggests the need for the sort of creative analysis that Ritter rightly urges. This means $500 _on the market_. But perhaps launching a war with Iran would in effect be a move to call that game off. Details can’t be presented here, but the underlying objective situation is one which supports the judgment of an Australian Senate report (Sept 2006) “it should not be assumed that surplus energy will be available for purchase, even if countries like Australia and the US have the finance.” The amount of oil exported to international markets should decline much more rapidly than the overall rate of production decline, under business-as-usual conditions. The question then is, who is the enemy who’s actions “necessitate” preemptive action? Europe/Japan? China/India? (“We’re in a race with China and so far we’re losing” (Cheney aide, May 2006) Or the populations of the major oil producers? (Could that be the underlying driver for keeping the nuclear option on the table? Genocidal rhetoric with regard to the Middle East peoples has been a feature of the landscape for a long time.) I don’t know the answers to these questions, but it’s time they were given serious attention.

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