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When we last talked with Middle East arms expert Scott Ritter, he was preparing for a fact-finding trip to Iran ("Bombs away," Metro Times, Nov. 28, 2007) in an attempt to help stave off what he predicts is a likely U.S. military attack on that country.

As it turns out, difficulty obtaining the proper visa forced Ritter to postpone that trip. He's now planning a visit in April. But before he goes to Iran he'll be in metro Detroit.

A former Marine intelligence officer and a UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, Ritter will be in Ferndale this Saturday, Jan. 26. The title of his talk will be: "Iran: Threat or another lie?" But expect the presentation to be far-ranging.

"I'll be talking about the situation in Iraq as well as in Iran," Ritter tells News Hits. "I'll make sure what I talk about is as up-to-date as possible, but will also incorporate a lot of historical information as a foundation and then bring us up to the present.

"I'll also be talking about what we as Americans should be doing to keep better informed, and what roles we can play as citizens to make sure our will is represented by those we elect to office."

Also speaking will be Jeff Cohen, founder and executive director of the media watchdog organization Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR). Cohen's most recent book is Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media.

Saturday's event, which is sponsored by the Huntington Woods Peace, Citizenship & Education Project, will be held from 2-4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Ferndale, 22331 Woodward (south of Nine Mile). Cost is $10; free for students with ID. Call 248-546-6834 for more info.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact the column at 313-202-8004 or

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