November 17, 2002
A HAWK FOR THE AGES:Portrait: Richard Perle: An alpha hawk spreads his wings (THOMAS OMESTAD, 11/25/02, US News)
His culinary specialty is lemon and grapefruit soufflés-fragile, puffed concoctions he has mastered in his suburban Maryland kitchen. Richard Perle's policy specialty, however, is a far less delicate undertaking: bucking up the Bush administration to overthrow Saddam Hussein. [...]
A review of Perle's commentary since Sept. 11, 2001, reveals a striking pattern: He often seems to telegraph tough positions before they become accepted wisdom at the White House. "He has provided the party line before the party adopted it," says Frank Gaffney, a friend who runs a conservative foreign-policy institute in Washington. Perle was touting links between states seeking weapons of mass destruction and terrorist groups before that became a staple of Bush's "axis of evil." He foreshadowed a new national-security doctrine by arguing that the need to pre-empt threats had trumped traditional deterrence. He derided the United Nations as a latter-day League of Nations months before Bush issued a similar warning, and he described in advance some of the U.S. demands for U.N. arms inspections in Iraq. Perle shrugs off his influence. "It's coincidence," he said in an interview with U.S. News. "We see the world in similar terms." Besides, he confides, his place in the media spotlight "annoys" cohorts in government.
What's next on his agenda out of the spotlight?
There may be no other single person who will have played such a pivotal role in the defeats of communism and Islamicism as Mr. Perle (the Pipes family, for example, had to split the roles, Richard for the Cold War, son Daniel for this one), but that souffle deal is kind of hard to process mentally. Posted by Orrin Judd at November 17, 2002 10:30 AM