Last night we drove up to Woolman Hill in Deerfield to hear Scott Ritter speak. Ritter, former UN Weapons inspector, is a tall man with a commanding knowledge of his subject. He spoke without notes and with passion about how the US constitution is being shredded by the Patriot act and other adminstration initiatives. He said that the US is now at war with Iran…with spyplane flyovers and secret missions…and that the neo-conservatives have been planning our next target for years. Ritter pointed out that MEK, the Mujahadin group that was originally formed to take the hostages in Iran in 1979, now is operating with CIA funds and is sending insurgents into Iran to plant roadside explosives and do the same thing to Iran that the rebels are doing to the US. We’re backing a group that bombs people like our enemies do to us in Iraq.
Ritter made another point–In 1979, the Shah of Iran said they wanted a more reliable source of energy than the oil they are awash in. What later occured was a boycott of Iran oil after the hostage crisis…so their need for nuclear energy is real. Our dismissing of their needs, and insisting they are building weapons, says Ritter, is arrogant and not reality based. “They have a right to a nuclear energy program, just like we do,” he said. Unlike the heralded Iraqi ‘election,’ right now in Iran they are having a real election…and we should respect it, not listen to the propaganda revving up fear of their nuclear weapons aspirations.