“We are at war with Iran”

Scott Ritter told an audience in Deerfield, Massachusetts that the Bush Administration has launched the same kind of acts of war against Iran that it did before the official start of the Iraq invasion. Ritter, former Marine officer on General Schwartzkopf’s staff in the first Gulf War and UN arms inspector in Iraq in the ‘90’s has been warning that Bush is readying forces for attacks against Iran. Now he says “We are at war with Iran.”

According to Ritter, the Bush Administration has drone aircraft flying over Iranian territory, sends infiltrators overland into Iran from a base in Afghanistan, and launches acts of terrorism against Iran by using a group called the MEK. The MEK is an Iranian exile army that lives in Iraq and had been trained and directed by the government of Saddam Hussein. Ritter says they number 20,000. They were disarmed of major weapons by the US when it invaded Iraq in 2003, but they were allowed to keep a base in Iraq. The MEK is officially listed as a terrorist organization by the US government. Nevertheless it has granted MEK members in Iraq “protected status” will not send them back to Iran. Ritter says they are now fed, clothed and paid by the CIA. He says this group attacked Iran in early June killing eight citizens. Ritter pulled no punches. Speaking about the killing the MEK has done in Iran under US direction, Ritter said the US was a “terrorist state”.

Ritter says the allegations that Iran has a nuclear weapons program comes from the MEK. He compared them to the charges about Iraq’s supposed mobile biological weapons facility that are now claimed to be the fantasy of one drunken Iraqi defector.

The Democrats and Republicans (not to speak of the Israeli government officials) all demand that something be done about Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Ritter denies Iran has one. He says Iran’s nuclear program is a nuclear energy program, the same program started by the Shah of Iran and given approval by the US in the ‘70 by officials of the Ford Administration which included Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. In answer to the charge that Iran is “awash in oil” it obviously has no need for a nuclear energy program Ritter presents the same rationale that the Shah made for the program in the ‘70’s. Iran could be crippled by attacks on its oil fields or sanctions on oil sales. It needs nuclear energy as a back-up.

Ritter’s talk in Deerfield was on June 23. For the full audio transcript go to the TraprockPeace website.

Do an internet search for the MEK and you find some revealing information. According to Global Security.org the MEK had over 2,000 tanks until they were confiscated by the US government. Is it conceivable that Saddam would have allowed any unit to have such weapons unless they were under his total control? During the 1991 popular uprising against Saddam in Iraq MEK forces joined in the attack to crush the “Iraqi intifada”. Sources describe the group as a “cult” whose members pledge celibacy, and undergo frequent sessions of self-criticism amounting to mind control. There is a split among neo-cons on whether to use the MEK. Alternet.org says the leading group urging Washington to work with the MEK is pro-Israeli Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Apparently the INEP is getting its way.

Iran isn’t attacking or occupying any other country. It has no nuclear bombs. It is certainly no threat to the US. It has an elected government just having held a very vigorous election campaign with the underdog winning election. It isn’t much of a democracy with its candidates being filtered by the mullahs, but who are we to talk? Our candidates are filtered by the corporate elite.

The usual tactics will be used to sell this war: whopping lies about the grave danger Iran presents to the US, Israel and “the world” and pitiful accounts of Iranian tyranny and prisons.

Will Americans buy the same pile of crap a second time?

This article written by Stanley Heller, MECC chairperson

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