Scott Ritter: ‘It took me two years to get rid of the desire to kill Russians’
Former United States Marine Corps intelligence officer and former United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) weapons inspector Scott Ritter has visited Kazan for the first time. The world-famous expert arranged a tour of Russian cities with a single goal — to establish a dialogue between the peoples of the United States and Russia. His book “The Disarmament Race” should help in this, which tells about the history of the conclusion and fulfillment of obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) in the late 1980s. It describes the formula for reducing tension, the speaker assures. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
“This treaty prevented a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union”
Scott Ritter's arrival caused a serious stir among journalists and even local students. Several dozen people gathered to listen to the opinion of one of the most famous American columnists (albeit a former one).
Scott Ritter is a native of the United States, who for many years was an intelligence officer in the US Marine Corps, leading analyst of the Marine Corps Rapid Deployment Forces and a UN weapons inspector in Iraq. Today, he is known as a critic of US foreign policy, whose opinion has ceased to be published by the American media. According to Ritter, this is because he expresses a completely different opinion that is undesirable by the Biden administration.
Ritter told what is remarkable about his book, which he began writing since the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in the late 1980s. This happened back in 2019, when the United States and Russia officially broke the agreement, which had been in force for more than 30 years.
“Now people say that relations between the countries have never been so bad, and they do not see a way out of this situation. I say in return: 'Read my book and maybe you will find it, because then we found it," he said.
The expert believes that both the United States and Russia have forgotten about the meaning of this treaty. In his opinion, it was this agreement that helped both countries avoid a nuclear catastrophe at the end of the last century.
“The contract is of great importance in my life. If there was no treaty, we would not be alive today. This treaty prevented a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. But today not everyone knows about this contract. Even my family members and friends don't know," Scott shared his opinion.
The main message of the foreign guest is that people should not see demons in each other. He confirmed the opinion that real Russophobia now reigns in the United States. And he had been once subject to this state for about 5 years. But coming to the USSR and getting to know the locals changed his mind.
“I was sent to Russia to work there. It took me two years to get rid of the desire to kill Russians to the desire to understand them. And this book is the story of this transformation," Ritter said.
Besides the stories about the impressions of the trip to the USSR, the book has a place for the attitude of the American government to the issues of disarmament and control of nuclear weapons and other points related to the implementation of this treaty. However, as the interlocutor told Realnoe Vremya, the reader still shouldn't expect any secrets.
“I know very well what constitutes classified information and what is not. There is not a single word in this book that represents confidential information. Everything that is written there is not a secret. I relied on some information that has not been known before. For this reason, I didn't write about the contract before," Ritter told us.
The book itself was published in a circulation of 20 thousand copies. Its publisher intends to present it not only in Russia, but also in the USA.
It is a matter of survival for Russia
Speaking about the current situation on the world agenda, Ritter admits that it is different. In the late 80s, there was a war of formations between the two countries, where the United States stood for capitalism and democracy, and the USSR -for socialism and communism. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, this confrontation also collapsed. Now Russia is trying to survive in a fight with the American hegemon.
“The United States are trying to treat (Russia — ed.) as Boris Yeltsin. I can tell you what the attitude towards Russia was like in the 90s. At that time, the United States tried to control you politically and economically. But today's president (Vladimir Putin — ed.) believes that this should not happen again. And this, of course, angers us (US — ed.)," Ritter stressed.
Speaking about the nature of the conflict between the two countries, Ritter notes that the American authorities need not a strong but a weak Russia. This, according to the expert, is the current conflict. At the same time, Ritter emphasises that it is Russian nuclear weapons that stop the United States from further aggressive actions against the country.
The expert also understands that after the US withdrawal from the treaty, the Russians stopped trusting America. But there is no other way out, except for the conclusion of a new disarmament agreement between the powers, the expert assures. This is necessary to preserve the future for the younger generation.
“If we both have nuclear weapons, we will not be able to control the situation. It will become more and more dangerous until someone makes a mistake. This is not a computer game. Reboot won't work out," he added.
At the same time, Ritter understands perfectly well why it is now impossible for Russia to conclude this agreement. He says it's a matter of survival for the country. Therefore, the “ball” is on the side of the United States.
As he answered the question of Realnoe Vremya, under the administration of the current US President Joe Biden, it is most likely not worth counting on the resumption of “warm relations” between the countries. Great hopes should be placed on another president of America.