February 07, 2006
|"I've Talked To Bolton's Speechwriter"||Iran|
Scott Ritter, former Marine intelligence officer and chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq, who told everyone who would listen — before the war — that Iraq had no WMD, is a man with a track record. Here's what he said the other day on US plans vis-a-vis Iran. Santa Fe New Mexican (via ICH):
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...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 said.
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. [...]
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.
Ritter has a habit of being right. Unfortunately.