Understanding the Roots of Terrorism: Iraq as a Case Study
Wednesday November 13, 2002
Ramo Auditorium, Caltech
This event is free and open to the public;
no tickets or reservations are required.
There were several requests for audio/video recordings of the Scott Ritter keynote address. Below
is the event separated into 2 audio (mp3) files, the keynote address and then the question and answer
session which followed.
In 1998, Scott Ritter resigned his post as chief weapons inspector for the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) in Iraq, charging that the United States was purposefully obstructing the completion of the UNSCOM mission. Weapons inspectors have not returned to Iraq since, and the threat of unfound or newly constructed weapons of mass destruction forms the basis for the Bush administration's argument that the United States should again wage war on Iraq.
Ritter, a former Marine intelligence officer and author of the book Endgame: Solving the Iraq Problem Once and For All, believes this war is already in the making.
But is a new war against Iraq justified? Ritter does not think so. Despite UNSCOM's unfinished mission and suspect Iraqi accounts, Ritter believes that the UN inspectors destroyed 90-95% of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction in the seven years they spent there. He also argues that it would be impossible for Iraq to build new weapons in the three years since inspectors left, without being detected. In a September address to the Iraqi parliament he said, "The rhetoric of fear that is disseminated by my government and others has not to date been backed up by hard facts that substantiate any allegations that Iraq is today in possession of weapons of mass destruction."
If these allegations are false, the real impetus behind the Bush administration's call to war seems harder to fathom. With his experience relating to the previous Clinton and senior Bush administrations, Ritter hopes to offer his insight on what this impetus might be.