grassrootspeace.org

November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.

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See press advisory, below and more on Scott Ritter.

"Bush Lied...What are you going to do about it?"

Scott Ritter, recently returned from the Middle East, challenged students at three high schools to hold Bush accountable for his lies that encouraged the American people to support his war on Iraq. He first spoke to an assembly of over 400 students at Mohawk Regional High School. Hear the audio of his talk, with questions and anwers (mp3 audio). You may also read the transcript (pdf file) (it is raw so please compare with the audio for accuracy when quoting.) We give our hearty thanks to Mike Gorse, mgorse@alum.wpi.edu, for his wonderful work doing the transcript on short notice.

The transcript is © 2003 Traprock Peace Center and the audio is © 2003 Charles Jenks and may not be re-published, except that the audio may be broadcast by radio on a non-profit basis.

See also the Greenfield Recorder's online version (condensed) story, below. Watch for Scott Ritter upcoming article in March in Harper's Magazine.

Ritter then held a student press conference at Frontier Regional High School. Mike Rivero (whatreallyhappened.com) called in from Hawaii with a question, and a half dozen students asked questions. The press conference was videotaped by the students, who will edit it and produce a video. Please contact Traprock Peace Center if you have an interest in obtaining the video.

Over 500 students then welcomed Ritter at Amherst Regional High School. After his talk, he stayed for a long time talking with a large circle of students.

The evening concluded with his meeting over dinner with a gathering of about 40 of Traprock's supporters at the Woolman Hill Conference Center next to Traprock Peace Center.His message to the adults was similar to that he gave to the students. Stay on message. Clinton's lies about an Oval Office affair were insignificant compared to lies that have caused the deaths and maimings of thousands of people in Iraq.

Here is a small photo album of the day. Following the album are the Recorder's article and the original advisory to local press.


Lynn Dole, teacher at Mohawk Regional High School, welcomed the students to this special event.

Leah Garfield-Wright (winner of a 2002 Student Peacemaker Award) introduced Sunny Miller and Scott Ritter.

Sunny Miller, Traprock Executive Director, initiated Traprock's work with Scott Ritter in December, 2001.

Scott Ritter challenged over 400 students at Mohawk to get involved.

Students at Frontier Regional High School video taped a student press conference with Scott Ritter; Sunny Miller served as MC. The students are editing the video and will make it available for cable access and will give a copy to Traprock for distribution.

Over 500 students heard Scott at Amherst Regional High School.

Many students stayed for about an hour after the presentation and Q and A to discuss the issues with Scott.

After stops at 3 schools, Ritter had discussions with local activists and Traprock supporters at Woolman Hill Conference Center in Deerfield, MA (next to Traprock Peace Center).

Mark, Leela and Annie thank local people and organizations who contributed food to the dinner. About 40 local activists and Traprock supporters came to dine and talk with Scott Ritter. (This is the second time we have welcomed local folks to meet with him; he had come here in October and gave an evening talk at Frontier Regional High School.

After addressing two student assemblies (staying both times to answer many questions), a press conference and discussions, Scott still had the energy to advise activists to focus their message to an essential point - "Bush lied... what are you going to do about it?" And to those who ask whether we are better off with Hussein out of power, Ritter says that if Bush had allowed inspections to continue, thousands would have lived who have died, thousands would be whole who have been maimed by war, the US would have the respect of the world rather than its scorn, we would have a stronger position vis a vis international terrorists (for whom Iraq is now a magnet and a place to go to kill Americans) and billions of dollars would have been saved that could have gone to health care, schools and other necessary programs.


Former U.N. weapons inspector talks tough to Mohawk students

December 19,. 2003

BUCKLAND - Read the Constitution and become an informed citizen to avoid a situation like the Iraq War, a former U.N. weapons inspector told Mohawk Trail Regional School students Friday.

"Our Constitution wins hands down," said former Marine Scott Ritter, who has become an unabashed critic of George W. Bush and his Iraq policy.

And he minced no words telling the students how wrong he thinks the war and Bush are, during a visit to the school sponsored by Traprock Peace Center of Deerfield.

After questioning both the United States' and the United Nations' resolve to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, Ritter resigned from his post in 1998 after seven years of service following the first Gulf War.

Ritter plunged dramatically into his Mohawk presentation, which he characterized as "in your face," and challenged students to come back at him in the same vein. He offered a graphic description of being shot and how a young soldier's life becomes gratitude for "one breath after another."

Ritter's message is resoundingly that the war did not have to start and ought not have and that President Bush is "either incompetent or a liar" to have told Americans he had proof Iraq was proliferating weapons of mass destruction.

"After nine months we haven't found any," Ritter said of the weapons claim. He said during his years on the ground in Iraq searching for them, he believes there were weapons, that they were hidden and that the Iraqis did "lie." But, he added, after four or five years "taking sites apart" to search for them, inspectors were "able to ascertain 90-95 percent of the weapons produced by Iraq had been destroyed."

"The system we call the United States of America failed, it failed miserably," Ritter said of the subsequent move to war. "Iraq is the manifestation of all the failures of American citizens. If you don't live citizenship, you're a consumer. Iraq is your issue; you're going to pay the price. My generation failed you."

"This is your life, what are you going to do about it?" he challenged students. "I can train a monkey to wave an American flag. That does not make the monkey patriotic."

Saying he is probably "the most anti-war person you're ever going to meet," the 12-year veteran said he's also "no pacifist."

"If someone threatens my country, if someone threatens you … I'm willing to lay down my life for you," he said.


 

* Gulf Veteran & Weapons Inspector to Speak

Press Advisory from Traprock Peace Center in Deerfield, MA. http://www.grassrootspeace.org
Contact: Sunny Miller, Ex. Director 413 773-7427

Former US Marine and U.N. Weapons Inspector, Scott Ritter will speak at two area high schools in December through the auspices of Traprock Peace Center. Ritter's topic will be, "Disarmament Works, but Requires Political Will."

Traprock has made invitations on behalf of schools with assemblies of more than 300 students eager for an opportunity to hear both historic perspectives on disarmament efforts and a current assessment of military, social, economic and diplomatic prospects in Iraq. Traprock asks community members for support for this and other educational programs in our public schools, promoting thoughtful dialogue and engagement.

Writing and speech classes, history and social studies classes, J.R.O.T.C. and peace studies -- students and teachers will be interested in assessing Ritter's presentation. In presentations Ritter calls for engaged citizens to investigate his claims for themselves. Ritter will speak on December 19 at 9:15 at Mohawk Regional and at 1:20 in Amherst. A local & national press conference /call will give be held mid-day. For reservations for a Friday evening reception and dinner, call 413 773-5188 x. 3. See Traprock's web site for Ritter's previous commentary, at http://www.grassrootspeace.org.

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Former UNSCOM Inspector and Marine Intelligence Officer, Scott Ritter is ... a seasoned media commentator, and has been interviewed by Congressional staff and committees as well as CNN, MSNBC, NPR and the BBC, and on such shows as Hardball, Crossfire, Frontline, and Donahue. His assessments stem from nearly a decade of professional on-the-ground experience in Iraq.

* An authority whose knowledge of Iraq’s military and notorious police state apparatus is based on extensive, first-hand dealings with it. Ritter was stationed in Iraq from 1991 to 1998 and is credited with initiating aggressive intelligence-collection measures. He became familiar with the workings of the upper echelons of Saddam Hussein’s regime, and ‘rank and file’ operatives.

* A former intelligence officer with professional experience of planning military operations inside Iraq. Ritter served directly under General Schwarzkopf during the 1991 Gulf War. Ritter can speak with unusual depth and detail to the logistics of launching military operations inside Iraq. His right-on-the- money analysis made him a Pentagon “whistleblower” during that war, when he single-handedly refuted US military claims that it was shooting down Scud missiles.

* A recognized expert on Iraq’s program for weapons of mass destruction. In the course of his UNSCOM career, Ritter participated in 30 weapons inspection, 7 of them as chief inspector. The Iraqi government branded him a “spy” for his aggressive inspection style. Ritter can address questions on concealment, noncompliance, and destruction of weapons and production capability in Iraq. Ritter will explain why he trusts surveillance and forensic sampling, not Iraqi disclosures. Collaboration with intelligences services from many nations has given him a unique perspective on the “War against Terror.”

Author of Endgame: Solving The Iraq Problem Once And For All, and Frontier Justice, Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Bushwhacking of America. Ritter’s writings have appeared in the Boston Globe, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, The Guardian, & Arms Control Today.

Page created December 15, 2003 by Charlie Jenks

 



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