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Following is Major Scott Ritter's response to Richard Butler's WashingtonPost OpEd (previously posted, but available here: <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54632-2000Jul16.html>): === <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3215-2000Jul18.html> Disarmament Dispute in Iraq The Washington Post Wednesday, July 19, 2000; Page A22 In his July 17 op-ed column about Saddam Hussein re-arming, Richard Butler said that in my article in the June issue of Arms Control Today I claimed that Iraq is "qualitatively disarmed" without offering new evidence to support my position. In fact, I quoted from five U.N. arms inspection agency documents and referenced events in which I was involved to support my analysis. Mr. Butler also said that my position regarding Iraq's qualitative disarmament has been shaped by conversations with "unspecified Iraqi officials." I have articulated this position since late 1998 through numerous public speaking engagements and the publication of a book as well as in opinion pieces in the New York Times, Boston Globe and The Post. My position regarding Iraq's disarmament status is no about-face, but a careful assessment based upon an examination of all the facts I was privy to during my time with UNSCOM, the U.N. inspection team. Mr. Butler further misrepresented my interaction with the Iraqi officials. My article noted that Iraq almost certainly would cooperate with an inspection team if the disarmament program was specifically linked to the lifting of economic sanctions upon a finding of compliance. At no time did Iraq try to sell me on the concept of "qualitative disarmament;" it is strictly my own position. The missile tests cited by Mr. Butler, all of which reportedly failed, tend to reflect the reality that Iraq has not had any quantum leaps in the 18 months since weapons inspectors were last in Iraq. Mr. Butler also cited U.S. assertions that Iraq continues to possess 20 to 30 Scud missiles. This figure is without substance. Since 1991, I had been struggling with U.S. intelligence over Scud numbers and watched as the figure shrank from more than 200 to "around a dozen" without any corresponding analysis. UNSCOM never supported a figure of more than eight, and even that number was speculation. SCOTT RITTER Delmar, N.Y. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi