Ex weapons inspector Scott Ritter covers the history of UNSCOM through the 1990s and its final dissolution in 1998. He maintains it was manipulated by the US for its own political ends which included provoking Iraq into confrontation. The film also lays bare the deceptions and concealment that characterises Iraqi behaviour over its arsenal of WMD. Assembled over almost a decade and completed in 2001, In Shifting Sands is remarkably timely – but in the wake of the latest reports from the inspection team that succeeded UNSCOM, it offers much food for thought and few easy answers.
 

4
Incredibly confronting and proves you don\'t need a big budget to tell a fascinating story.

The truly fascinating documentary In Shifting Sands at first seems dated. It was made two years ago, before the current tragedy in Iraq, and the director is Scott Ritter, who is not a film-maker, until now, but who was chief weapons inspector for the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) in Iraq. Ritter is clearly angry about what happened in the period leading up to the original departure of the weapons inspectors, and he fills in the background events with clarity and precision, incorporating interviews with many people, including Iraqi officials like Tariq Aziz, and footage shot by the UNSCOM team.

Ritter\'s contention is that the inspectors were betrayed, that they were never allowed to fulfill their mission properly, and he sheets a lot of the blame to his boss, Richard Butler, who he believes is a pawn of the Americans. It\'s a highly provocative film which should certainly initiate a heated debate about what really happened in Iraq and, by extension, why we\'re now at war.

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PG
1 hour 32 min

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