- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

From Sept. 3, 1998, congressional testimony of Scott Ritter, former UNSCOM weapons inspector, before the Senate:

Sen. Carl Levin: [W]ould you agree that it’s important that if there’s a threat of force, that that force be implemented and not just made and then ignored? If you’re going to make a threat of force to enforce a policy, you darn well better carry out that threat if you are thwarted. Would you agree with that?

Mr. Ritter: Yes, sir. This is part of the cycle of confrontation and concession that I have been talking about, and we can’t give concessions. If we have confrontation, it must have a resolution.

Mr. Levin: OK, and that means then if your threat of force is credible, it’s got to be implementable, and there’s got to be a will to use force if necessary once that threat is made. Now that’s where we are [with Iraq]… But it’s better not to make a threat if you’re not going to carry it out than it is to make a threat and ignore it… Would you agree with that?

Mr. Ritter: Senator, the threat was made back in April 1991 [with U.N. Security Council Resolution 687].

Mr. Levin: No, I mean the threat of force.

Mr. Ritter: The threat of force was made back in April 1991 when the Security Council, together with the vote and pushing and backing of the United States, passed the original cease-fire resolution. I don’t see anything that would have caused the law to be altered. Iraq has not been disarmed. I would assume that that threat of force still exists today.

Mr. Levin: Would you agree though that… it has to be credible if you’re going to succeed?

Mr. Ritter: Yes sir.

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