Saturday, November 04, 2006

Perle and Adelman: We Shouldn't Have Invaded Iraq

Richard Perle, long known as the Prince of Darkness among politcal and anti-war circles, admitted to Vanity Fair yesterday that if he had to decide all over again he would not support a military invasion of Iraq and would instead urge the President and the Joint Chiefs to pursue "other means."

Perle is also one of the architects of the current neo-con policy and a major player in advising the Pentagon, White House and Defense Department. Perle is thus one of the most prominent neo-con policy advisors to publicly admit that the invasion of 2003 was, in hindsight, a bad idea. Here's an interesting quote from the interview:

"I think if I had been delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said, 'Should we go into Iraq?,' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.' … I don't say that because I no longer believe that Saddam had the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction, or that he was not in contact with terrorists. I believe those two premises were both correct.
What seems strange here is that Perle, a major sculptor of foreign policy under this administration and a key consultant leading up to and during the war in Iraq, moves away from the claim that Saddam ever had WMDs and instead acknowledges that Saddam "had the capability to produce" WMDs. That in itself is a dramatic shift from the pre-war affirmation every administration official exhorted that Saddam had WMDs and was selling them to terrorists (see Colin Powell's U.N. sales job).

The rest of the article also quotes other administration and policy officials.

"I always believed as a speechwriter that if you could persuade the president to commit himself to certain words, he would feel himself committed to the ideas that underlay those words. And the big shock to me has been that although the president said the words, he just did not absorb the ideas. And that is the root of, maybe, everything."

Yikes. Now the speechwriters are instigating major foreign policy decisions? Is ANYONE captaining this ship?

The best part? They're all throwing Bush under the bus. The loyalty among neo-conservatives is about as thin as the facade of power.

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