Richard Perle says he has nothing to apologise for. True, in 1998 he signed on to a letter from prominent neo-conservatives calling on the then president, Bill Clinton, to use force if necessary to oust Saddam Hussein. True, too, that as chairman of the defence policy board from 2001 to 2003, he was an adviser to the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, in the pivotal days of planning for the Iraq war. But of the unfortunate consequences that flowed from those events - a war that by some estimates has claimed the lives of 655,000 Iraqis, and more than 3,400 US troops, a war that has entrenched hatred of America and brought suicide bombings to the cities of Europe - Perle says he has no regrets.
Instead of apologising for the enormous human catastrophe his deceitful manipulations have caused, Perle instead prefers to blame others- in particular, the US military- for the debacle in Iraq. "I have, I concede, a low regard for (General Tommy) Franks. I think he is a fool, and I thought that the first time I met him," he says.
Franks may well be a fool. But Perle is a knave, which is far, far worse.