Once again NPR faced a tough choice after the talks between Iran and the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China resulted in Iran's agreement to open inspections of its new nuclear facility at Qum. Who should NPR turn to for expert opinion about the reliability of inspections and whether such inspections will head off hostilities between the US and Iran? NPR could look back to the run-up to the Iraq War and ask if there were any inspectors who got it right in spite of the US decision to attack Iraq regardless of what inspectors found.
Actually there was one former UN inspector who got it EXACTLY right before the Iraq war and campaigned tirelessly to stop the horrors of the Iraq war before it began. That person - Scott Ritter would be a logical person to have on a news show to talk about the Iran agreement.
-OR-You could go with a former UN inspector, David Kay who was thumping his chest for "regime change" back in December of 2002 . Best thing is that this "expert" has lots of ties to the mililitary/intelligence/industrial complex.
God, what a tough decision. Who to choose? If only you could pop into old Déjà Vu machine and match the two inspectors in a head to head debate about inspections and war. Well, dang, what do you know? You can! Turns out that Scott Ritter and David Kay appeared with Margaret Warner on PBS in the run-up to the Iraq invasion. I know that was like two hundred years ago, but here's what each had to say:
- David Kay: "I think the age of inspection is over....as long as Saddam is in power, I think it would be foolish of anyone to believe that you could carry out effective inspections in Iraq. Now inspections are over. The Iraqis had their chance to cooperate; now is the time for another strategy."
- Scott Ritter: "The bottom line is inspection worked. That's the fact. No matter what Dick Cheney says in terms of rewriting history, inspections worked and if given a chance could work again."
"Based on the Iranians' record of not disclosing this plant near the city of Qum until it was evident that the U.S. and other countries were aware of it, can Iranian declarations about the nuclear program be accepted or be trusted?"To this bit of unsubstantiated, unsourced propaganda, David Kay gets all nostalgic for his glory years of 1991-2002 and says,
"Well, this takes me back to a real déjà vu. I remember in 1991 explaining to very senior Iraqi authorities that if they continued deception and lying and letting us discover stuff before they declared it, eventually we would not believe them even if they started telling the truth. I think the Iranians are on the cusp of that point where even if they are fully cooperative in this inspection that is now going to be taking place at this facility, no one will be terribly satisfied about it."Yeah, when a government lies and manipulates facts again and again, and shows that it is willing to launch wars of aggression, there just comes a point where you can't trust anything it says - takes me back to a real déjà vu, too.