LOOK OUT! "THE CRAZIES IN THE BASEMENT" HAVE ESCAPED!!!
In this final part of the three-part series, the former weapons inspector details his beliefs about the neoconservative movement, the American legislative process and his hopes for the future.
Raw Story’s Larisa Alexandrovna: Paul Wolfowitz stated prior to the Iraq invasion that Iraqi reconstruction would pay for itself. It seems that Mr. Wolfowitz, now charged with handling the World Bank, miscalculated. What is going on with the oil in Iraq?
Former UN Weapons Scott Ritter: Paul Wolfowitz was a salesman; his job was to sell a war. He acknowledged this in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, in which he acknowledged that WMDs and the threat they posed, was nothing more than a vehicle to sell this war to America. Now you come to the war itself and selling it to Congress and questions: How long will this take? Or how much will this cost? etc…
Paul Wolfowitz lied to Congress about the costs of war. There is not a responsible member of government who thought this would be quick and cheap. There was nobody who believed that Iraq oil would pay for itself, no one in the oil business thought so.
Raw Story: What about oil companies, were they for the war or against it?
Ritter: No oil professional in their right mind would support what is happening in Iraq. This isn’t part of a grand ‘oil’ strategy; it is simply pure unadulterated incompetence.
Raw Story: So they are concerned about their bottom lines, and chaos doesn’t forward that goal.
Ritter: Right. Oil company executives are businessmen and they are in a business that requires long-term stability. They love dictators because they bring with them long-term stability. They don’t like new democracies because they are messy and unstable. I have not run into a major oil company that is willing to refurbish the Iraq oil fields and in invest in oil field exploration and development. These are multi-billion dollar investments, that in order to be profitable, must be played out over decades. And in Iraq today you cannot speak out to projecting any stability in the near to mid-future.
Raw Story: Okay, so now to Congress. They approved the war. I know we have discussed the post-9/11 reality and the pressure of not seeming unpatriotic.
Ritter: Yes, but they also approved the war because Congress had been locked into a corner by the NeoCons in 1998. Our policy in Iraq since 1991 has been regime change.
How many times did G.H.W. Bush have to say “we will not remove sanctions until Saddam is removed from power?” Bill Clinton inherited this policy of regime change, but the Bush policy was not an active policy, it was a passive policy to strangle, as it were, Saddam. It was not our policy to take him out through military strength. Saddam, however, was able to out-maneuver this policy, he did not get weaker he got stronger. The NeoCons played on the political implications of this, to box the Clinton administration and Congress into a corner.
When you declare Saddam to be a threat with WMDs and then do nothing, you have a political problem. The NeoCons played on this. In 1998, the Heritage Foundation, Paul Wolfowitz and the American Enterprise Institute… basically drafted legislation became the Iraq liberation act. This is public law. So when people ask why did Congress vote for the current war in Iraq, it is simply that they had already voted for it in 1998, they were trapped by their own vote.
Raw Story: So your implication is that in our current foreign policy the NeoCons have set the tone via thinktanks or supposed thinktanks?
Ritter: Yes. Look at who funds the American Enterprise Institute, and the Heritage Foundation, and I think you’ll have your answer.
Raw Story: What do you think these institutions are trying to achieve? I know the public claim is conservative values, but there is a some speculation regarding what appears more like Leninist, even Trotskyite values, especially given the current domestic government involvement and control or attempt at control of almost every facet of society, economy, family, etc. Even the term Leninist was used by the Heritage Foundation to describe their approach to Social Security during the 1980’s (read it here - PDF).
Ritter: A high level source, a NeoCon at that, within the system has said to me directly that “John’s Bolton job is to destroy the UN, Rice’s job is to destroy the State Department’s and replace it with a vehicle of facilitation for making the Pentagon’s national security policy.”
Raw Story: And what of Karen Hughes’ appointment?
Ritter: Hughes she is a salesperson; she will sell the policy. She is irrelevant. She is nothing. Her appointment means nothing. Rice has already capitulated to the Pentagon and the White House, and Hughes’ appointment is but a manifestation of that larger reality.
NeoCons are parasites. They build nothing. They bring nothing. They don’t have a foundation. They don’t stand for business. They don’t stand for ideology. They use a host to facilitate and grow their own power. They are parasites that latch onto oil until is no longer convenient. They latch on to Democracy until it is no longer convenient.
Rice’s appointment to the State Department is simply to reshape it into a NeoCon vehicle.
Raw Story: Why the State Department? Why Rice?
Ritter: The State Department still has free thinkers in it. Rice is a dilettante. Anyone who was there during the Reagan era and her advising on Soviet policy knows how inept she is. She is not there because she is a brilliant Secretary of State.
The media has bought into this, because the NeoCons cleverly put a woman, an African American woman at that, into this position. So when Rice goes abroad, people do not look at the stupid things she says, they look at what she was wearing and such.
Raw Story: So you believe the NeoCons are elitist parasites?
Ritter: Yes, elitism is the perfect term.
Raw Story: Do you consider it localized or global elitism?
Ritter: The NeoCons believe in what they think is a noble truth, power of the few, the select few. These are godless people who want power, nothing more. They do not have a country or an allegiance, they have an agenda. These people might hold American passports, but they are not Americans because they do not believe in the Constitution. They believe in the power of the few, not a government for or by the people. They are a few and their agenda is global.
Raw Story: You suggest the Republican Party is simply an organizational host. Is there any vestige left of the host or has the entire party been devoured?
Ritter: The Republicans have been neutered by the NeoCons.
Raw Story: Your concept of NeoCons seems confusing because, using your host/parasite paradigm, they cannot tell between the host and the parasite which invades it.
Ritter: I know people who have worked for George H. W. Bush, both when he was Vice President and President. Bush Sr. called the NeoCons the “crazies in the basement.” I think it is dangerous to confuse the two, because there are Americans who love their country and are conservatives who do not support what is going on. Until the host rejects the parasite, it is difficult to separate the two. Brent Scowcroft for example is not a NeoCon, yet people call him one. Scowcroft worked hard to reign in the “crazies in the basement,” as did Reagan.
The rest of the interview is just as thought-provoking as this part... check it out!