"You know," Richard Perle sighed sadly, "when Elvis used to take the stage, women would throw their panties at him."posted by Jazz at 2/18/2005 09:32:00 AM
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Shoe tossed at ex-Pentagon advisor during debate
PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) -- Howard Dean, the newly minted leader of the Democratic Party, and former Pentagon adviser Richard Perle made clear their opposing views on the war in Iraq during a debate marred by a protester who tossed a shoe at Perle.
Perle had just started his comments Thursday when a protester threw a shoe at him before being dragged away, screaming, "Liar! Liar!"Right off the bat, I have to give Richard Perle credit. Going into Portland, one of the most solidly blue cities in the country, and taking on Dean (of all people) in a debate on the war took some serious intestinal fortitude. He probably should have expected this sort of a reception, though.
While the humorous value of this is hard to deny, this seems a bit excessive. I agree that the Democrats certainly need to grow a new set of cojones to deal with the current onslaught of the neocons, they want to be careful not to act so much like Bush's GOP goons do at appearances that they are branded with the same label. I think a far more elegant approach would have been for the protester to simply walk up to the moderator's microphone and quietly say, "Excuse me, Mr. Perle, you may not have noticed but your trousers appear to be engulfed in flames."
Dean wins honors for our Quote of the Day, however.
"Defense is a lot broader than swaggering around saying you're going to kick Saddam's butt,"Perle made his usual Bush supporting case for why the war wasn't the tragic disaster of a mistake that it clearly is. Later, he was called to task by another question on his predictions concerning George W. Bush's legendary status in Iraq in the future.
That may well still happen. However, with the "grateful" Iraqi citizens having just elected a government controlled by the heavily Iranian influenced Shiites, and considering the way we've been threatening to rain hellfire down on Iran lately, I can't help but wonder how long it will be before Bush's "grand square" is the scene of a picture like this.
Perle, a veteran of the Reagan administration and a former Pentagon adviser, was forced by one of the questioners to recast a comment he made on September 22, 2003, in which he predicted that within one year, there would be "a grand square in Baghdad named for President Bush."
"I'd be a fool not to recognize that it did not happen on the schedule I had in mind," Perle said, adding that he did not deny that the administration had made mistakes in Iraq.
But, Perle added, "I will be surprised, yet again, if we do not see a square in Baghdad named after this president."
We may have a different shot of this historic moment coming in from Baghdad shortly. Stay tuned.