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Author Topic: Scott Ritter talking in Vancouver
GulfAlien
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1259

posted 05 October 2002 11:03 AM      Profile for GulfAlien   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I went to see Scott Ritter speak last night here in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I doubt that this will get much coverage in Canada let alone the US.

A huge crowd of people arrived to hear him. About 1600 people were jammed into the church where he spoke and another 1600 people were apparently turned away. The previous night he was in Victoria, BC talking to another, not quite as large, audience.

Ritter garnered two standing ovations and a lot of applause during his talk. He came across as well, American. You know, all that patriotism stuff. He was also the stereotypical marine. Defending the constitution of his forefathers.

He certainly was not a Saddam Hussein apologist as he has been accused of in the US. He warned against demonizing Saddam and equating Saddam with the Iraqi people. He believes that in order to initially get the American people to agree to have the US wage Desert Fox and Storm campaigns against Iraq, that Saddam needed to be demonized because years before he was a US ally and the pretext was required.

He wanted to tell us that when he was taken off the job of disarming Iraq, that 95% of the facilities, stocks and capabilities to produce biological, chemical and nuclear weapons were found and decommissioned. He didn't think that in the intervening period of time since he was last in Iraq that they could have rebuilt weapons capability so as to be a credible threat.

He wanted to underscore that it is his opinion that the US government wanted to keep the weapons disarmament success a secret so that further disarmament would provide options for further interdiction in Iraq.

He was speaking out because he a saw the current US government foreign and domestic policy hijacked by neo-conserative ideologists. He believes that these policies of unilaterism are the beginning of pax americana and are contrary to the US constitution and the rule of law.

It is obvious that he is as much a flag wrapped American patriotic as the best of them. He is a proud marine. He is funny and a great speaker. He is a straight talker. He talked of good and evil.

He noted that he has four ongoing FBI investigations against him and that his wife was recently implicated in another FBI investigation. One has to wonder if Ritter has somehow been swept up, in spite of his background, by the momentum he has gained, being invited to speak at anti-war events worldwide, etc. He has been transformed from a CIA intelligence officer diligently outing Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, to activist at peace rallies. He even said that found himself thinking "what the hell am I doing here?" when he was marching in London's 450,000 person strong anti-war march recently.

He still has the marine bravado but talks about waging peace. I suspect that this is what allows American commentators to suggest that Ritter has been "compromised" and that he is a "chameleon". He seems somehow, reluctant to accept his new role, or at least shed his old role.

I believe what he has to say though and agree with his point of view. And I sincerly and loudly applaud his courage of conviction to dare be a dissenting voice in America in this post 9-11 era.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 05 October 2002 04:49 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wish I could have been there.

Scott Ritter's patriotism, in my view, is leading him to better goals than George W. Bush's. He is proud of his country and he has a right to be. But I think he also understands that patriotism involves more than just waving the flag every time a President wants a war. It involves asking if it is right that American men and women should be sent off to that war.

And that makes Ritter a gem, because he doesn't want his country's leaders to do the wrong thing.

Next time he comes around I've got to go.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Operation Bomberclad
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Babbler # 2425

posted 05 October 2002 06:11 PM      Profile for Operation Bomberclad     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

-An Evening With Scott Ritter-
an expression of opinion- by franxis

http://vancouver.indymedia.org/news/2002/10/18267.php

Thanks for an excellent review, I was hoping that someone would write it down, and that there would be a debate afterwards on the issues. I think the technical points were very well recorded, and essential to the understanding of the political situation in Iraq.

I too was very impressed at the sensitivity of Svend Robinson's opening speech. I think it called to mind the importance of the issue and sounded out the climate of the packed audience. People were quite ready to hear what they have been denied so long in the media, which has been a distasteful contradiction to their own misgivings. Reassurances were the order of the day and many were perhaps a little smug afterwards having slaked their thirst for disobediance.

Anyone observing the Canadian reaction to this lengthy republican drumbeat for regime change, with its prowess and detailed analysis, may have been impressed by their clapping, participatory naivete. However, I am certain that there were many who, though reassured in the presence of others, were of like mind and kept their own skepticism to themselves in the habit of Canadians. Such is the repugnant habit of Canadians to publicly engage in their closet republicanism, while their aloof and characteristic reserve digests the proceedings later.

I had two points to make in the interest of debate:

  1. The war on Iraq has not stopped since... well, take your pick- I prefer 1925, when the British bombed Bagdhad. If there is anyone here with any historical expertise, then please enlighten me with further details.

  2. As regards a change of government which nobody seemed to question, the U.S. has a very poor historical record at changing absolutist regimes. Difficulties with Iraq serve as a prime example at how endlessly the U.S. will engage in setting up a dictatorship and then fail miserably to tear it down when it no longer serves their interest. They have been quite successful at exporting fascism and undermining democracy, not the other way around. I have every doubt that any initiative to change a regime in Iraq on the part of the U.S. will be successful.

Why nobody has even made a comparison to Vietnam in light of Mr. Ritter's comments and how it resembles the present war of attrition in the Middle East testifies to the self-satisfying desire to rid oneself of the fear of the coming conflict. Canadians should prehaps take a more neutral stance and remind themselves that the U.S. walked straight into a bear trap in the Vietnam war, and they must recognize that the a very similar cycle of violence is underway presently with Iraq and concerns the entire Middle East.

I do not doubt that Mr. Ritter's comments were genuine, and expressed one of deep concern for his own country. I am also personally shocked that the FBI should be investigating his family and the media insisting on slandering him into oblivion. It is to his merit that he can make his point so eloquently. But Canadians should not be so fearful if the U.S. should insist on blundering its way into a serious error, though it may eventually come to haunt them if this conflict spreads out of the region of the middle east.

As regards any blowback of terrorism that may occur, many have come to believe that the purpose of the demolition of the WTC was to initiate this war in the first place. Canadians should look back to that day and even further to the appointment of the Bush regime and understand that a counterinsurgency has taken place in Washington and that perhaps Mr. Ritter, though genuine in his intent, is an advocate for the old regime which was no safer. I too will take up a placard and protest the horror, but nothing can erase the suggestion that the U.S. is once again blundering into the future.

Please accept my apologies for the following photograph, as it is the most completely disgusting thing I have seen in a long time:

Chicken Hawks Ready To Fry


[ October 05, 2002: Message edited by: Operation Bomberclad ]

[ October 05, 2002: Message edited by: Operation Bomberclad ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Operation Bomberclad
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2425

posted 05 October 2002 07:05 PM      Profile for Operation Bomberclad     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

-My Letter To Christopher Hitchens-


Subject:
Has Hitchens Succumbed To Political Pressure?
Contact:
franxis@shaw.ca

Dear Peter K(webmaster of The Christopher Hitchens Web)
in reference to the article: "Taking Sides",

There is no lack of Christopher Hitchen's customary spray of ascerbic defoliant over leafy pretentions such as the recent peace initiative of the antiwar movement. That the cruel despot Hussein must be removed can hardly be questioned. Hussein resembles in every way the survivor in Elias Canetti's depressing book: "Crowds And Power." Whatever course history may take in the coming years, the west will only have succeeded in killing everyone around that oh so terrible despot, which is fully his intention and the fate reserved for his people. Why argue with fate, in that case?

I would agree with Mr. Hitchens' point of view of taking out Hussein if only for one desperate tiresome fact, that the war on terrorism is one of unlimited murder with no moral principle. There is a curious irony in the fate of Iraqis in that they are doomed to face another killing spree, whether the fault lies with Hussein or sombody else. There is no other person who might dream up such a pogrom of genocide as Mr. Kissinger himself. The Iraqi people may not yet escape the epicenter of the survivor phenomenon in the personage of Kissinger if they manage to live out the civil conflict under the collapse of the murderous Hussein regime. Either live out the horrors of a nihilist like Hussein or succumb to the ministrations of a fatal, pathological dentist such as Kissinger. Root canal via bombing or endless public executions and civil war, they are both the same, really- just take your pick.

As a backdrop to all this, Christopher has not yet reconciled his position with the scheming, tin-pot backdrop to this made-for-television world drama in the appointment of Bush, and the terrible revelations of foreknowledge of the eleventh of September of last year. I can never pick up a book of Christopher's any longer without thinking how much a Kissinger acolyte may rejoice in the recent bellicose declarations of his. The curious change in direction he has taken after the disaster of september of last year is quite understandable given the overwhelming reaction to terror in the United States.

Mr. Hitchen's bread and butter depends upon the limitless woolly-mindedness that characterizes the left. There should be no missing the broad side of a barn when it comes to sounding out its hollow incompetence. But his focus has changed from being one of accusation to revenge and therefore so has his prey. His traditional focus, whether he truly realizes it or not, has turned from delivering a solid crunch on the bubble-headed protestations of the left to swinging wide and exporting collateral damage to unsuspecting, deminished peoples in the world at large.

Why he should go around apeing his nemeses by supporting the narrow-minded, murderous bombing lunacy of the Bush regime points to the result of his campaign against Kissinger. His strategy fails to cast aspersions on the desperate conclusion that the appointment of Bush, the foreknowledge of disaster and subsequent impatience of the Bush regime as it hastens remorselessly towards global domination are all part of the same relentless planning.

Yet Mr. Hitchens would prefer to pussyfoot his way around the ring in a prize fight he has declared himself, never taking off his celebrated robes, cheerleading the way around his -by far- more sinister opponent, shaking his glove outside the ring at the crowd with remonstrances of conspiracy at islamic zealots. He may as well have thrown in the towel at this heckling crowd, imagining that he has conquered their idiocy with pot-shots at their tin-foil hats. Yet at his back there must be considerable heat and steam from his opponent, calmy waiting and watching.

Mr. Hitchens must take care if he should spend his time in parlay against the tin-foil hats in the crowd, that he begins to speak with a tin-foil tongue.


*This page is an expression of opinion by
a concerned flight attendant*



http://members.shaw.ca/franxis/index/xpostreply300902.html

From: Vancouver | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Operation Bomberclad
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2425

posted 05 October 2002 07:06 PM      Profile for Operation Bomberclad     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 


From: Vancouver | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged

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