Monday, May 5, 2008

Scott Ritter Predicts...

Scott Ritter recently appeared on Democracy Now! and these are some of his remarks. Amy Goodman conducted this interview.

RITTER: Well, first of all, we have to be concerned about the evidence. We have interior photographs and exterior shots and nothing that links the two. And so, on the surface, I would say that if you’re bringing this evidence to a court of law—it’s a strange dimension, the rule of law, when we speak of American foreign policy lately—you would have trouble having anybody say yes, this is definitive evidence that links the allegations to this specific site in question.

But let’s just assume for a second that the data is in fact accurate. I have to take exception with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when he says that the alleged activities are against international conventions. Actually, they’re not. If Syria had in fact been constructing the reactor they’ve been accused of, they were in total conformity with international law. The nonproliferation treaty, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which Syria is a signatory, requires that facilities be declared to the IAEA only when nuclear materials are to be introduced to these facilities, that a facility under construction is not a declarable item. And so, it’s absurd to sit there and say that just because Syria and North Korea were pouring concrete that they are somehow breaking the law.

And this notion that the reactor was on the verge of becoming operational, again, is absurd. You know, there would have to be literally thousands of pounds of pure graphite that would have to be introduced to this facility, and there’s no evidence in the destruction. You know, there were a number of reporters who went to the site after it was blown up. If it had been bombed and there was graphite introduced, you would have a signature all over the area of destroyed graphite blocks. There would be graphite lying around, etc. This was not the case.

I don’t know what was going on at this site. If the images are accurate, it appears that Syria was producing a very, very small research reactor. But it is not a reactor usable in a nuclear weapons program. Syria was not violating the law.

And if there were concerns over this reactor, a simple referring of the material, these photographs, to the International Atomic Energy Agency would have produced an insistence on special inspections that would have had the inspectors on the site actually determining what was going on and a peaceful resolution of the problem. This shows that the United States and Israel have a wanton disregard for the rule of law. And this is especially critical when the United States is holding up the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a standard in which we hold Iran and North Korea accountable to.

Ritter also talked about US intentions towards Iran:
There’s no doubt in my mind that the United States is planning right now, as we speak, a military strike against Iran. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and almost every senior US military official has pretty much acknowledged the same. They speak of the need to punish Iran and deter Iran from continuing to provide material assistance to Iraqi groups, these so-called “special groups” that operate, according to the United States, outside of the umbrella of the Mahdi Army. And they speak of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command as being a rogue organization within the Iranian government that provides this support. The United States Senate, through the Kyl-Lieberman resolution, has pretty much given a target list blessing to the US military by passing a resolution that labels the Revolutionary Guard Command as a terrorist organization. And the Bush administration, of course, is engaged in a global war on terror backed by two congressional war powers resolutions.

We take a look at the military buildup, we take a look at the rhetoric, we take a look at the diplomatic posturing, and I would say that it’s a virtual guarantee that there will be a limited aerial strike against Iran in the not-so-near future—or not-so-distant future, that focuses on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command. And if this situation spins further out of control, you would see these aerial strikes expanding to include Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and some significant command and control targets.

This is all just one more indication that, if the American people don't start paying attention, there WILL be a third war on their hands very soon.

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