Off the Cuff: Scott Ritter
Scott Ritter was chief weapons inspector for the United Nations Special Commission tasked with monitoring Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs in the 1990s. Since then, Ritter has become a highly visible opponent of the invasion of Iraq. Prior to working for the UN, Ritter was an intelligence officer in the Marine Corps. He has also written several books, including his latest work, Target Iran: The Truth About the White House’s Plans for Regime Change.
I think in America we need to resolve our own problems before we speak of a global solution. We have to re-assert the supremacy of the constitution, a system of checks and balances, a legislative branch that will confront the executive in a meaningful fashion. We have to renounce the concept of a unitary executive and if that means a constitutional crisis that goes to the Supreme Court, so be it. We should not have this unapproved changing of the Constitution we’ve had with this expansion of executive power.
[There is] cause and effect linkage between our lifestyle and the policies of our government. It’s like global warming. Say we believe it exists; if we continue to buy SUVs and produce carbon dioxide there is no meaningful change. We have to address the roots of this and interface with America’s addiction to resources that don’t come from America.
If you deal with that, then you can turn to the world and say, “We’re back and now we’re ready to interface.” I think the UN is the appropriate forum, I think there are some modifications that need to be taken at the Security Council level and empower the General Assembly so the UN represents the will of the world and not of five nations.
I think the anti-war movement has to wake up to the fact that this is a real struggle, a literal life or death struggle for the future of our country, and they have to act as if the stakes are indeed that high. There are other organizations out there like AIPAC, the NRA or the AARP. What gives them their political clout? That they have the resources to remove whoever they want from Congress. They cannot replace everyone, but if they target someone they are done.
I think the anti-war movement should focus on a Nancy Pelosi. They should say, “We’re going to war with you, you are done,” and not with a Cindy Sheehan. That’s not smart, that’s dumb. They need to go into the district and find a representative of the people. They need to go to war against their political opponents, and I don’t mean the Republicans; I mean the Democrats.
But the anti-war movement doesn’t know how to do that. They’ll light candles, hold hands and have Cindy Sheehan go up there and make radical speeches, drive people away and get Pelosi re-elected. There comes a time when the anti-war movement recognizes that Code Pink doesn’t speak for the movement.
You are a self-described Republican. Is there any presidential campaign right now on either side that is making the right points on Iraq?