It is sometimes fun – in a grim sort of way – to trawl back through some of the predictions that were being made in the United States, just before the invasion of Iraq. Of all the various delusional statements that were made at the time, one of my favourites comes from Richard Perle – then head of the Pentagon’s Defence Policy Advisory board. Perle was debating with Daniel Cohn Bendit, now a member of the European Parliament and once a rock-throwing revolutionary on the streets of Paris in 1968. As Cohn Bendit pointed out, by 2003 the two mens’ positions had been reversed. When it came to Iraq, it was Perle who was the revolutionary and Cohn Bendit, who was the cautious conservative. During the course of their discussion (which is worth reading in its entirety – it’s quite short), Cohn Bendit suggested that there was a risk that the Americans might be seen as occupiers in Iraq. This elicited the following Perle of wisdom:
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