Sent to you by Sean McBride via Google Reader: Perle Explains via by admin on 1/6/09
Don’t miss Richard Perle’s comprehensive but remarkably unpersuasive
explanation in The National Interest Online of how neo-conservatives,
least of all himself, really exercised very little influence over the
Bush administration’s policies, even in the run-up to the Iraq
invasion. Actually, you won’t find much of what he writes particularly
new, and, if you were hoping for some insider insights, or even
interesting personal anecdotes about his chairmanship of the Defense
Policy Board, friendship with Dick Cheney, or how he persuaded Rumsfeld
to hire Paul Wolfowitz as his deputy and Douglas Feith as his number
three, there really aren’t any. In many ways, the article is a rehash
of his complaints about the State Department and the CIA in the book he
wrote with David Frum, An End to Evil, and an unenlightening
condensation of Feith’s remarkably poorly received War and Decision.

In several of my first posts (here, here and here) on this blog, I
cited examples of Perle’s propensity for historical revisionism, but I
was particularly struck in his latest effort by his assertion, “I know
of no statement, public or private by any neoconservative in or near
government, advocating the invasion of Iraq primarily for the purpose
of of promoting democracy or advancing some grand neoconservative
vision.” He dismisses the notion as well that neoconservatives may have
promoted war with Iraq in hopes of bolstering what they thought were
Israel’s interests.

I would just refer him to two letters drafted by Bill Kristol and
signed by him, among many other neoconservatives close to the
administration, and sent to the president under the auspices of the
Project for the New American Century (PNAC) which, in fact, did lay out
a grand neoconservative vision for the region, one based on the
conviction that Israel’s and U.S. enemies in the Middle East are one
and the same and that “Israel’s fight against terrorism is our fight.”
The first letter was published on September 20, 2001, and lays out the
step-by-step blueprint for how the war on terror should be fought,
including, of course, the necessity of ousting Saddam Hussein whether
or not he was involved in the 9/11 attacks (although Perle, in his
interactions with the media, never missed an opportunity to suggest
that Saddam was indeed involved) followed by “appropriate measures of
retaliation” against Iran and Syria if they did not end their support
for Hezbollah. The second letter, published April 3, 2002, calls for
breaking all ties with Yasser Arafat and for accelerating plans to
remove Saddam as the first step toward realizing “a renewed commitment
on our part, as you suggested in your State of the Union address, to
the birth of freedom and democratic government in the Islamic world.”
If those two letters (which, of course, echoed the arguments made by
the hawks within the administration) didn’t constitute statements
advocating the invasion of Iraq primarily for the purpose of of
promoting democracy or advancing some grand neoconservative vision,”
it’s hard to know what would.

It’s what I wrote for back in 2004: “Chutzpah: Thy Name is

Things you can do from here:
- Subscribe to using Google Reader
- Get started using Google Reader to easily keep up with all your
favorite sites

Reply via email to