Skip to comments.Ritter lashes out at U.S (at the Abu Dhabi-based Zayed Centre, affiliate of the Arab League)
Posted on 02/11/2003 11:33:03 PM PST by TLBSHOW
A former U.S. navy officer and UN chief arms inspector in Iraq yesterday lashed out at the United States, accusing it of acting against international law by seeking to use military force to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussain and control the oil-rich country.
Scott Ritter, who served as the top arms inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998, said more than 95 per cent of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction have been destroyed while 100 per cent of its factories producing such weapons have been neutralised and shut down.
In a lecture entitled "The coming war in Iraq: how did we get there", Ritter scoffed at the recent address in the United Nations by the U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who he said produced no concrete evidence and his accusations against Iraq were baseless.
"Unfortunately, the U.S. is one of the voters for a resolution in the Security Council calling for the return of the arms inspectors into Iraq but it is now doing its best to kill the mission of those inspectors," Ritter said in a lecture at the Abu Dhabi-based Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-up, an affiliate of the Arab League.
"As you see, the U.S. administration has taken a decision to overthrow the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussain. There is no law in the world legalising this behaviour. Weapons inspection has become a mere cover by the U.S. to topple the Iraqi regime and spread instability and insecurity throughout the region.
"Iraq must have the chance to show its credibility and deal with its neighbours in a normal way. But the U.S. is coming up with excuses, including its national security and interests, and the Iraqi threat against global stability, to overthrow Saddam. It is a corrupt and bad approach which is totally against the international law."
Ritter, who himself was subject to pressure by the U.S. intelligence over his mission in Iraq, ridiculed evidence and satellite pictures presented by Powell to the United Nations.
In the lecture, attended by Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Ritter said Powell made a mistake by saying Iraq is hiding weapons of mass destruction.
"Powell said Iraq is trying to conceal those weapons. He also said Iraq still possesses biological weapons. But what evidence did he present? Only old pictures and laboratory drawings! As for anthrax laboratories, Iraq had only one in 1996 but it has been completely destroyed and eliminated. Iraq can no longer produce such substances.
"I can tell you Iraq can no longer produce these things and Powell's words are inaccurate and incorrect. He also presented pictures of Iraq's chemical weapons, but they were taken during the Iraq-Iran war. Powell himself knows there is a written document that Iraq no longer possesses chemical weapons and they cannot be there any more.
"What I want to say is that Powell's pictures and evidence support nothing. As you must have noticed, he said the CIA has supplied them with pictures and drawings of sites, but the inspectors found nothing. This shows that all the information he presented was far from the truth."
In a question and answer session after the 30-minute lecture, Ritter again scoffed at Powell's evidence and dubbed it a "baseless demonstration."
"It was a baseless demonstration aimed at giving the impression that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. The real purpose is to create a sort of lack of confidence or credibility in the mission of the arms inspectors and go ahead with plans to overthrow Saddam.
"So what the U.S. administration is looking for now is not weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but ways to overthrow the Iraqi regime.
"The U.S. does not want the inspectors to come out of Iraq and say it has no weapons. This will constitute an obstacle for the U.S. policy of changing the regime and that is why the Americans keep saying the inspectors are not fully doing their job."
Ritter, who had met Saddam and other top Iraqi officials many times, said he believed Baghdad is now serious about cooperating with the inspectors to avert a possible war. He said there was now a "real chance for a real arms inspection mission.
"But the U.S. administration appears bent on killing the mission of those inspectors. The administration should ponder upon its actions and think deeply before it embarks on any military adventure.
"But the problem is that it is adopting what I call a preventive military strategy aimed at imposing a unilateral system on the entire world. It is the start of an imperialist policy and control of the globe. I am really very disturbed by this policy."
During his visit to Japan last week, Ritter said he warned the government against backing the war in Iraq on the grounds the U.S. is dealing with this issue "on the basis of its interests and away from the international community."
He said he made it clear that once the war in Iraq is over, North Korea and other countries will be the next targets.
"I am an American and believe in my nation and my country. But what I see today is very disturbing. We, the people, believe in democracy and equality. So I say that this is not the way to success. It only means that the American democracy is collapsing."
Ritter drew a resemblance between the present U.S. policy and a "car driven by a drunk driver, who is driving aimlessly and pushing himself to a disaster."
He lamented what he described as the lack of credibility by the U.S. media, which he said "has become a mouthpiece of the administration." But he also blamed the administration for trying to control the public opinion and silence any opposition.
"I myself was interrogated by the FBI after my return from Iraq. They put a lot of pressure on me and accused me of spying for Iraq. The media there has become an accomplice and part of the official American policy. No one can say no now and those who oppose will be accused of being against the national security or lack of patriotism."
Ritter, who served in the U.S. Marines for more than 10 years, said he believed the present U.S. military forces in and around the Gulf, estimated at around 150,000 troops, would not be enough to invade and occupy Iraq.
"But even if they massed more troops, the question is: can they break the will of the Iraqi people," Ritter asked, expressing his belief the Iraqis will resist a U.S. invasion.
"They will resist not because they love Saddam but because of the love of their country, their people, their children and their national resources. The Americans could destroy their cities and resources, and kill 500,000 children and women. But I don't think it will be a swift war, or a matter of weeks and months. The invasion will awaken the people.
"You still remember what happened during the Second World War. Germany devastated Britain but could not break its will. Two atomic bombs on Japan led to its capitulation but not to the surrender of its people.
"In Russia, the people fought the Germans and defeated them not because they loved Stalin but because they loved Russia."
Wonder if he borrowed the infamous kneepads from Monica so he can oblige his bud, Saddam. Saddam has his own supply of cigars.
We were attacked on a massive scale, with over 3000 dead, and are now at war.
Iraq, through its support of international islamic terrorists, threatens our national security.
We will not sit idly by and do nothing until the next attack.
National security is not an "excuse".
Actually, Scott, you are a traitor and believe only in pedophilia.