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Perle's Privileged View of War and Its Effects

October 20, 2002

Well, well, well, isn't it wonderful to see Richard Perle sitting in his multi-acre Chevy Chase, Md., estate having a souffle and a glass of imported port with a good book while convincing President Bush to send our sons and daughters off to invade Iraq. This dilettante has somehow avoided military service of any kind and, of course, has not experienced combat, i.e., that environment where folks kill each other, sometimes at close range. The subject of war and all its consequences is merely another academic exercise to toss about with fellow ultraconservatives at the local think tank. It is amazing how glorious and honorable war can be when one has nothing at stake. Should Perle's war go badly he, like Robert McNamara of Vietnam fame, will write a bestseller telling how sorry he is for his poor judgments.

Frank Ferrone

El Cajon

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Perle's influence is scary. This man, chair of the Defense Policy Board, was a staunch advocate of Ronald Reagan's now-defunct "Star Wars" program. He now lobbies for the "bullet hitting a bullet" offspring of "Star Wars," equally doomed to failure. And his comparison of Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler to the antiwar policy on Iraq shows either ignorance of European history or, sadly, a deliberate, motivated attempt to mislead the uninformed among the public and Congress.

Aristid Berk

Malibu

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Your article mentions that Perle, 61, studied international politics under professor Ross Berkes of USC, read the realist classic text of Hans Morgenthau, studied at the London School of Economics, went on to study at Princeton and has a flair for gourmet cooking. Except for going on to UCLA instead of Princeton, I too am of the same age, studied under Ross Berkes of USC, read Hans Morgenthau, studied at the London School of Economics and have a flair for gourmet cooking. But I am not a crazy, unflinching hawk.

Raju G.C. Thomas

Marquette University

Milwaukee

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