12/4/07

Richard Perle Calls Iraq Invasion Illegal

Hat Tip Buzzflash and WTF?
International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted with astonishment yesterday after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal.

snip

But Mr Perle, a key member of the defence policy board, which advises the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, said that "international law ... would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone", and this would have been morally unacceptable.

Morally unacceptable to whom? The criminals in the White House and GOP, of course. Fucking neocon wah-babies.

Appearing on BBC’s Hardtalk with Stephen Sackur this weekend, Iraq war architect Richard Perle attempted, on the one hand, to distance himself from the failures of the Iraq war, and on the other hand, to claim it was a fantastic success.

“I’m not happy about the way events have unfolded in Iraq,” Perle began. But when asked whether he felt a “sense of personal responsibility” for what has happened in the aftermath of the invasion, Perle said “I certainly don’t consider myself responsible” for the disastrous post-war occupation of Iraq.

Asked whether he was wrong on Iraq, Perle gave this response:

Well, I don’t believe I was wrong. Let me be very clear about that. What I think happened is that a successful invasion was turned into an unsuccessful occupation. I didn’t favor the occupation strategy. I think the occupation was a mistake.

Perle also defended his pre-war claim that regime change in Iraq would bring about “dancing in the streets.”
The epitome of criminality and taking absolutely no blame for his own advocacy of illegal actions towards Iraq...
Pre-2003 invasion

Like many in the neoconservative movement, Perle had long been an advocate of regime change in Iraq. He was a signatory of the 26 January 1998 PNAC Letter sent to US President Bill Clinton that called for the military overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime. He also linked Saddam to Osama Bin Laden just a few days after 9/11, proclaiming in an interview on CNN on Sept 16, 2001: "Even if we cannot prove to the standards that we enjoy in our own civil society that they were involved, we do know, for example, that Saddam Hussein has ties to Osama Bin Laden..." [2]

Perle argued that what he referred to as terrorist Abu Nidal's "sanctuary" in Saddam Hussein's Iraq was justification for the U.S. military invasion of Iraq. Perle states this in the recent PBS documentary series "America At A Crossroads", and refers to President Bush's 9/11 speech in which Bush stated: "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them."

Perle came into further prominence due to his role in backing the 2003 invasion, and continues to support the military presence there.

In an interview for "Saddam's Ultimate Solution", the 11 July 2002 episode of the PBS series Wide Angle, he said:

"Saddam is much weaker than we think he is. He's weaker militarily. We know he's got about a third of what he had in 1991. But it's a house of cards. He rules by fear because he knows there is no underlying support. Support for Saddam, including within his military organization, will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder. Now, it isn't going to be over in 24 hours, but it isn't going to be months either."

The US-led coalition defeated the Iraqi military within less than a month of the invasion [3] and the Coalition Provisional Authority disbanded the military and removed Ba'ath party members from authority positions, essentially dissolving the government, as well. Critical government positions were appointed by the CPA[4].

In the leadup to the war, Perle also complained that Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials were so hostile to defectors brought out of Iraq by the Iraqi National Congress that they refused to interview them and even tried to discredit them. The defectors and the head of the INC, Ahmed Chalabi were discredited not only by the CIA, but by the State Department at the time that Perle was supporting them. Later, the US military raided INC offices and stopped funding to the organization. [5]

Perle advocated invading Iraq with only 40,000 troops, and complained about the calls by then Gen. Eric Shinseki to use 660,000 troops. He preferred a strategy similar to that used in the Afghan war, in which the U.S. would insert SOF (Special Operations Forces), along with some two divisions, to assist native Kurdish and Shi'ite rebels, much as the United States had done with the Northern Alliance against the Taliban. [6] Nevertheless, in an interview he gave Vanity Fair that was excerpted in an article appearing in the 4 November 2006 Los Angeles Times, he denied having a role in the planning of the war. He is reported to have told Vanity Fair, "I'm getting damn tired of being described as an architect of the war. This is not congruent with his signing of the PNAC letter in 1998. I was in favor of bringing down Saddam. Nobody said, 'Go design the campaign to do that.' I had no responsibility for that." The same Los Angeles Times article reports that Perle now believes that his advocacy of the Iraq war was wrong.

Perle was the subject of extensive study in the April 2007 PBS miniseries America at a Crossroads, in which he made a retrospective defense of the Bush administration's decisions concerning the invasion of Iraq.

In April 2007, Perle was featured on VPRO's Tegenlicht miniseries The Israel Lobby. Perle denied that the Israel Lobby particularly AIPAC was involved in the case to go to war with Iraq. However, he did suggest that AIPAC is heavily influential in United States elections. Further hinting at if any sponsored legislation is challenged in the US Congress the likelihood of re-election is minimal.

Iraq policy regret and Bush criticism

In a Vanity Fair article that was first published online in November 2006, Perle expressed regret of his support of the invasion and faulted the "dysfunction" in the Bush administration for the troubled occupation. "I think now I probably would have said, 'Let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists'. The decisions did not get made that should have been. They didn't get made in a timely fashion, and the differences were argued out endlessly. At the end of the day, you have to hold the president responsible."
All of these shitbag neoconservative warmongers are desperately running around trying to salvage some sense of credibility by blaming everyone else for their illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. They deserve nothing less than life in prison as punishment for the death and destruction they knowingly planned to unleash upon the world.

Even if all Perle ever advocated for was bombing Iraq, it is still a war crime by his own admission.

4 comments:

Beach Bum said...

And these guys want us to now attack Iran?!?! Somewhere along the way the whole country fell down a rabbit hole.

Connecticut Man1 said...

Doesn't it make you happy to know that we have to try to live in the holes they dig and drag us into?

cxx_guy said...

I sure am glad I'm supporting anti-war saneman Ron Paul, rather than pro-war candidates like Clinton or Guilianni.

Even Osama seems to want to invade Pakistan ...

Connecticut Man1 said...

I am not a Ron Paul supporter, but if you are a libertarian or even a conservative he is the only sane choice on the right wing side.