News & Analysis
Scott Ritter Says U.S. Plans June Attack On Iran
Jensen , United for Peace of Pierce County
21 February 2005
-- United for Peace of Pierce County (WA) -- 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
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 in Iraq.
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 M. Hersh.
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 act."
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
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.
Mark Jensen is a member of United for Peace of Pierce County.