by Mark Jensen
United for Peace of Pierce County (WA)
Feb. 19, 2005
Forward courtesy of Geoff and Caroline Cole <email@example.com>
On Friday evening in Olympia, former UNSCOM weapons inspector
Scott Ritter appeared with journalist Dahr Jamail. -- Ritter made two shocking
claims: George W. Bush has "signed off" on plans to bomb Iran
in June 2005, and the U.S. manipulated the results of the Jan. 30 elections
Scott Ritter, appearing with journalist Dahr Jamail yesterday
in Washington State, dropped two shocking bombshells in a talk delivered
to a packed house in Olympia´s Capitol Theater. The ex-Marine turned
UNSCOM weapons inspector said that George W. Bush has "signed
off" on plans to bomb Iran in June 2005, and claimed
the U.S. manipulated the results of the recent Jan. 30 elections in Iraq.
Olympians like to call the Capitol Theater "historic,"
but it´s doubtful whether the eighty-year-old edifice has ever been
the scene of more portentous revelations.
The principal theme of Scott Ritter´s talk was Americans´
duty to protect the U.S. Constitution by taking action to bring an end to
the illegal war in Iraq. But in passing, the former UNSCOM weapons inspector
stunned his listeners with two pronouncements. Ritter said plans for a June
attack on Iran have been submitted to President George W. Bush, and that
the president has approved them. He also asserted that knowledgeable sources
say U.S. officials "cooked" the results of the Jan. 30 elections
On Iran, Ritter said that President George W. Bush has received
and signed off on orders for an aerial attack on Iran planned for June 2005.
Its purported goal is the destruction of Iran´s alleged program to
develop nuclear weapons, but Ritter said neoconservatives in the administration
also expected that the attack would set in motion a chain of events leading
to regime change in the oil-rich nation of 70 million -- a possibility Ritter
regards with the greatest skepticism.
The former Marine also said that the Jan. 30 elections, which
George W. Bush has called "a turning point in the history of Iraq,
a milestone in the advance of freedom," were not so free after all.
Ritter said that U.S. authorities in Iraq had manipulated the results in
order to reduce the percentage of the vote received by the United Iraqi
Alliance from 56% to 48%.
Asked by UFPPC´s Ted Nation about this shocker, Ritter
said an official involved in the manipulation was the source, and that this
would soon be reported by a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist in a major
metropolitan magazine -- an obvious allusion to New Yorker reporter Seymour
On Jan. 17, the New Yorker posted an article by Hersh entitled
The Coming Wars (New Yorker, January 24-31, 2005). In it, the well-known
investigative journalist claimed that for the Bush administration, "The
next strategic target [is] Iran." Hersh also reported that "The
Administration has been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside
Iran at least since last summer." According to Hersh, "Defense
Department civilians, under the leadership of Douglas Feith, have been working
with Israeli planners and consultants to develop and refine potential nuclear,
chemical-weapons, and missile targets inside Iran. . . . Strategists at
the headquarters of the U.S. Central Command, in Tampa, Florida, have been
asked to revise the military´s war plan, providing for a maximum ground
and air invasion of Iran. . . . The hawks in the Administration believe
that it will soon become clear that the Europeans´ negotiated approach
[to Iran] cannot succeed, and that at that time the Administration will
Scott Ritter said that although the peace movement failed
to stop the war in Iraq, it had a chance to stop the expansion of the war
to other nations like Iran and Syria. He held up the specter of a day when
the Iraq war might be remembered as a relatively minor event that preceded
an even greater conflagration.
Scott Ritter´s talk was the culmination of a long evening
devoted to discussion of Iraq and U.S. foreign policy. Before Ritter spoke,
Dahr Jamail narrated a slide show on Iraq focusing on Fallujah. He showed
more than a hundred vivid photographs taken in Iraq, mostly by himself.
Many of them showed the horrific slaughter of civilians.
Dahr Jamail argued that U.S. mainstream media sources are
complicit in the war and help sustain support for it by deliberately downplaying
the truth about the devastation and death it is causing.
Jamail was, until recently, one of the few unembedded journalists
in Iraq and one of the only independent ones. His reports have gained a
substantial following and are available online at dahrjamailiraq.com.
Friday evening´s event in Olympia was sponsored by South
Puget Sound Community College´s Student Activities Board, Veterans
for Peace, 100 Thousand and Counting, Olympia Movement for Justice &
Peace, and United for Peace of Pierce County.
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