Are We Better Off: In His Own Words

Richard Perle is widely credited as the “intellectual architect” of the Iraq invasion. But with the clarity of hindsight, it’s clear that the former Defense Policy Board member trafficked in more than faulty intelligence; he also put forward a number of prognostications that turned out to be, well, off target.

Photo: AFP Imageforum


“Iraq is a very wealthy country. Enormous oil reserves. They can finance, largely finance,
the reconstruction of their own country. And I have no doubt that they will.”

PBS interview
July 11, 2002


“We are not talking about a massive invasion along the lines of 1991. We’re talking
about a much more modest effort in which the United States would assist Iraqis in freeing
their country.”

—Washington Post interview, August 22, 2002


“UN weapons inspectors are being seriously deceived…. It reminds me of the way
the Nazis hoodwinked Red Cross officials inspecting the concentration camp at Theresienstadt
in 1944. The SS even organized a phony concert to show what a wonderful new home the Jews had.
But Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has MORE evidence of secret weapons dumps.”

Writing in the News of the World, February 23, 2003


“The predictions of those who opposed this war can be discarded like spent cartridges.
You remember them? We will kill hundreds of thousands. We will create thousands of new terrorists.
The Arab world will rise up and set the region aflame. Tony Blair and George Bush knew better.”

in the
News of the World, April 13, 2003


“Relax, celebrate victory.”

Writing in USA Today, May 2, 2003

    Members like you

    Mother Jones is a nonprofit, and stories like this are made possible by readers like you. or to help fund independent journalism.