Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Post Populace POUNDS Prevaricating PNAC Poppa Perle !

You have to forgive the alliteration.   That happens sometimes when I get giddy.  It's not everyday that you get to watch Richard Perle get smacked around  online by an angry mob of citizen-journalists.  (got me so fired up, I almost wanted to storm  the Bastille).

This glorious sight was brought to you by none other than the WashingtonPost.com and it's "live Online" chat feature.

As StevenD Has already brilliantly diaries The perpetually clueless Perle, was back beating the war drums again  this time against Iran and North Korea  (he's simply disgusted that Bush is   negotiating with these countries and concludes that it's such a chick move that it must be Condi's Fault)

Today, the Post had him do a live Chat with its readers,  and friends, let me tell you, 'tweren't a pretty sight.  For sheer Schadenfruede fun, it even beat watching  somebody take a wiffle bat to the nuts on America's Funniest Videotaped Injuries:

Now while reading the Transcript of this chat its very important to keep this disclaimer from the WaPo's website in mind:

Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.

In other words the heavy-sack beating of Perle that follows is NOT the result of some sort of "deck-stacking" by our side.  The Post's chat moderators go out of their way to try to "balance" chat comments from both sides of an issue.  That there were so few questions supporting Perle, gives you an idea of how lopsidedly negative the response to this article really was.

It was so bad in fact, that  felt the need to defend himself generally even before answering a single specific question:

I would  like to state, in response to many inquiries, that No, I am NOT in fact Beelzebub, Lord of Lies, or any other demonic minion  or incarnation of Satan.  Yes, I DID sell my soul to him and swear to do his bidding on earth, but I don't really think that's relevant to the discussion of the geopolitical strategy outlined in this article.

Okay, not really.  

What he really DID say however, was:

Many of your questions have stated or implied that I am recommending military action against Iran, or against Iran's nuclear weapons program. But nowhere in the article do I say that.

 I  do believe that we need--and do not have--a serious political strategy for Iran at the center of which would be vigorous support for the internal opposition to the dictatorship of the mullahs.

Hunh. Wonder why people would think that.  I mean just because you've advocated that very position in nearly every OTHER public statement you've made in the last five years;  that's no reason to think you are pushing for war here now is it?

and then the Inquisition of Perle got down to the nitty-gritty, and folks I've haven't recently been prouder of my fellow citizens than I was for the relentless cross examination that followed,

Phoenix, Ariz.: As we are so bogged down in Iraq I ask what military options are available?  ... why should anyone give your words any attention after how ill informed you were about the outcome in Iraq? Was not democracy going to spring up spontaneously?

Excellent Question.  Mr Perle?

Richard Perle: Speaking of ill-informed, can you find any statement from me that democracy would "spring up spontaneously?"

Whoa. I see you've decided to go with the ol "duck the important part of the question completely" gambit.   A little defensive there, are we Buckaroo?  And since you asked, I CAN find This statement that's close enough in my book:

"A year from now, I'll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush. "- Richard Perle American Enterprise Institute conference on September 22, 2003

Well it was only the second question of the Chat, maybe he was just getting warmed up.  

let's try a more focused question:

Ft Myers, Fla.: Mr. Perle, there is a remarkable consistency between your assertions today on Iran, and your alliance with the Pentagon group four years ago who insisted that Iraq had WMD. Why should we give you and AEI yet another free pass?

Richard Perle: I don't know which "assertions" you have in mind. Do you believe that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons?

Ahh that retrograde Amnesia can be such a bitch can't it, next time, wear a helmet when you go hunting with VPO Cheney.   Well you may not know, Mr Perle,  but I'm pretty sure Ft. Meyers meant:

When you insisted that Even one defector claiming Saddam had a weapons program was enough evidence to invade or when you later insisted the WMDs had simply been moved to Syria ); never mind that it had already been conclusively proven that they never existed at all

and along those same lines we GOT to give this guy mad props, he even signed his NAME to the question (which got another crappy non-answer)

Cripple Creek, Colo.: Sir, Who will you support in the coming civil war in Iraq, Shites, Sunnis or Kurds? Who was the first to come up with the hocum about the WMD's in Iraq? Thank you for your considered answers.

Sincerely, Jim Bailey

Rock on Jimbo!   and frankly thereafter Perle went into terse non-Answer mode for the rest of the chat but that didn't stop  the excellent questions from flowing:

Vienna, Va.: After reading your Outlook piece, I'm a little confused as to whether you are simply misguided as to the actual recent history of USA-Iran relations or simply one of those people who is tired of waiting for Armageddon and wants to bend the facts to speed things along....[long very readable recitation of indisputable facts]..So my question is this: Do you not actually understand Iran? Or are you a madman yourself, even worse than Ahmadinejad?


Fairfax, Va.: You're closely associated with those who thought invading Iraq was a good idea. History isn't finished with it yet, but already it's clear it was poorly thought through. Did you draw any lessons from that experience that you bring to this latest set of policy recommendations on Iran?

Potomac, Md.: Why is Iran more dangerous than Pakistan? Pakistan has nuclear capabilities and a modern delivery system in the form of U.S.- supplied long-range F-16 jets. Pakistan is a proven non-proliferation violator....


Santa Fe, N.M.: Ignominious retreat?

I'm wondering what you would prefer, Mr. Perle: yet another war without a clearly-defined objective?

And how do you propose to do that? Would we need a draft to bulk up the military? Would that be accomplished by redirecting funds now devoted to pork-barrel military equipment projects or by extending the US's indebtedness to China?


and the hits kept coming.  Hell THIS is what passed for a pro-Perle question in this chat:

Washington, D.C.: I quite a fan of yours, but not in this case. Why do you say that agreeing to join the Europeans in the discussion -- if they first suspend enrichment -- is tantamount to caving in? The alternative is that we may be forced into a military strike on their nuclear facilities, which might sour otherwise friendly Iranians on us for another generation....why NOT give negotiations a chance?

Well, well ,well. I understand those folks joining an online chat at 11 am on a Monday are a self-selecting group.  However, given the partisan battle ground the Live Online chats usually become when someone controversial is on, I was pleasantly stunned at how one-sided that conversation got in an awful hurry.

Perle and his cronies are up to their old tricks but it really does look like "that dog jest won't hunt no more".  It appears that the Great PT Barnum was finally wrong afer all.  There really IS a limit to the credulity of the American people, and I think they may have hit it in spades when it comes to reckless military adventures in the Middle East.


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