May 2004
New Republic;5/10/2004, Vol. 230 Issue 17, p10
The author argues that Richard Perle is in denial about the increasingly dire situation in Iraq, and the measures needed to address the problems. Like many neoconservatives, Richard Perle painted a rosy picture of what would happen in Iraq once the United States removed Saddam Hussein from power. In November 2001, Perle predicted that "there will be dancing in the streets. When that didn't come to pass as U.S. tanks made their way to Baghdad, Perle attributed it to the military strategy of avoiding major cities, which, he said, largely denied the United States a chance to see the outpouring of joy he was convinced was imminent. "Just be patient," he instructed in March 2003. "When this war is over, we will have the full sense of how Iraqis feel about the war and... liberation. Well, Perle must be a man of infinite patience, because last week, in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he refused to budge from any of the positions he advocated before the war--positions that, like the situation in Iraq, grow more untenable by the day. To begin, Perle refused to acknowledge the less-than-rosy pictures coming out of Iraq. But even more maddening than Perle's general state of denial were the rare instances when he did acknowledge problems in Iraq--but then refused to change his positions in such a way as to solve them.


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