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.”

Writing
in the
News of the World, April 13, 2003

 

“Relax, celebrate victory.”

Writing in USA Today, May 2, 2003

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.