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Re: [casi] re: non-Iraq related posts (re: Scott Ritter)

On 7/20/03 10:01 AM, "nagy" <> wrote:

> Dear Colleagues,
>  I not only respect Voices but frankly it was the heroic actions of Kathy
> Kelly, of Vocices,  that compelled  me into taking steps which may have, among
> other things, demolished my  20 year academic  career in the U.S.
>  I am sorry that the author views our plight in the U.S. and urgent need for
> inspiration  as "nonsense". I suggest that a possibly more constructive
> solution is for the author to install a  bozo filter to block all messages
> from me  as well as to block all messages from anyone else the writer views is
> offensive  or a  waste of time.
>  It is hardly by intention to start a flame war on CASI but the children
> keep dying, there seems little support for Galloway or Ritter and now it seems
> that it's fine to dismiss some of my concerns as "nonsense". Perhaps, Dr.
> Pipes was right in designating me as the sixth professor in the US most in
> need of adult supervision. And perhaps its right that my career, at least in
> the U.S., should end.
>  While I am zero suicidal, I have to wonder if Dr. Kelly had had more
> support, maybe even from the CASI list serv, he might be alive now (assuming
> that his death was really suicide.
> sincerely,
> tom

Hi - This is a long email and has to do with the above comment concerning
Scott Ritter. This IS Iraq related, it seems to me.

I'm not sure what Dr. Nagy means, exactly, by 'little support' for Ritter.
I'm not disputing the statement, though in some quarters his message is
being taken seriously, as discussed below.

Scott's always been difficult for some in the US peace movement to swallow
as he is not a pacifist. Concerning Iraq, though, he has been steadfast
against the war, has bemoaned in many public settings the horrendous effects
of sanctions, he calls for the soldiers to come home (and has ideas on how
to do that quickly by turning authority over to Iraqis to run their own
country) and voices grave concern that the US is slipping from what he
considers oligarchy to fascism.  He's also an advocate of nuclear
disarmament. Pretty good stuff in my book concerning Iraq and other issues.
Perhaps we'll disagree on the next war, perhaps not, but he's great on Iraq.

When we were planning to organize a trip last summer with him through the
mid-west and to the mid-atlantic (after doing events with him in New
England), we  had asked a major national peace coalition to get involved.
They wouldn't, so we did it without a national group's help.  However, we
found enthusiastic partners in Boston, Baltimore, Indianapolis and Kansas,
of all places. Grassroots folks were excited to have him. We also found
receptive editorial boards at the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and Boston

You are no doubt aware of the whispering campaign that was started about him
last January. He was planning a trip to Iraq as part of a peace effort (he
had told me about this in December). One morning in January, the FBI calls
him in for questioning about his planned imminent trip. That afternoon, an
'unnamed source' whispered to a newspaper that he had been arrested a few
years earlier. It didn't matter that the charges were dismissed by the judge
or that the record was sealed to protect the victim of false allegations -
namely Scott. (I'm a lawyer, and sealing records like this is hardly unusual
to protect a person falsely accused.) The ensuing controversy was enough to
derail the trip and to turn the media's focus on him, rather than his
message that Iraq had been disarmed and did not pose a threat to world

Traprock has stood by him throughout. We're not alone in doing that. Another
has been WAMC, 90.3 FM (a prominent NPR affiliate that covers much of New
York State and western New England.). Their take was that it was character
assassination, the substance of which was totally irrelevant to a discussion
about weapons of mass destruction in any case.

Scott Ritter has an important message, based on his years of experience,
expertise and insight. It is indeed very sad and, I say tragic, if some in
the US would turn whispers into something tantamount to conviction.  I'd
question if these people were inclined to give any benefit of the doubt to
Scott, in a system where one is supposed to have every reasonable doubt in
their favor before being found guilty.

Some good news. Students seem unaffected by the attitudes that some of their
elders may have. (I say 'may have' because I have not personally heard much
in the way of criticism about Scott.)   He was a featured speaker on Feb. 15
in NYC before hundreds of students  - I was there and they were very happy
to hear from him. The controversy was still relatively fresh then. Students
that I converse with now are likewise interested in hosting him at their

The recent international press conference with Scott that was hosted by
Traprock had a huge response. Information Clearing House called it a "Must
Listen Interview."
(We posted the transcript at

The Washingtn Post called Traprock after the interview. Two days later CNN's
Wolf Blitzer interviewed him (transcript on our website) after CNN had not
interviewed him since January. The focus was entirely on Iraq. He also then
gave a press conference at the UN, with coverage by the AP and Reuters. The
focus was on Iraq.

So, is it really that case that Scott is not getting support in the US?
Young people and the media seem interested in his message that the American
people were Bushwhacked on Iraq. If it is the case that he is not getting
support, is this from non-student peace organizations?

Sorry for the long email. I would appreciate thoughts - on or off list -
about the attitudes of US anti-war groups toward working with Scott. The
purpose of that would be to help me understand how best to communicate with
these organizations. If Scott is ignored by a natural audience at this
critical time, then the US government has won quite a victory.

Thank you.  Charlie Jenks

Charles Jenks, attorney at law
President of the Core Group
Traprock Peace Center
103A Keets Road
Deerfield, MA 01342
413-773-1633; Fax 413-773-7507

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