Richard Perle on Charlie Rose: “Democracies Don’t Start Wars”
Yes, that’s right. You read it correctly. Richard Perle has taken complete leave of his political-historical faculties by stating on the January 7th Charlie Rose Show that democracies do not wage wars, while tyrants and dictators do.
Perle is quoted in numerous interviews available on the web saying the same thing. I’ve located a transcript of this Perle interview with Ben Watterberg for the PBS show, Think Tank, where he says:
The lesson of history is that democracies don’t initiate wars of aggression, and if we want to live in a peaceful world, then there’s very little we can do to bring that about more effective than promoting a democracy. People who live in democratic societies don’t like to pay for massive military machines. Democratic societies don’t empower their executives to make unilateral decisions to plunge countries into war. Wars have been started by tyrants who have complete control and who can squander the resources of their people to build up military machines.
Gee, sounds like all of these statements fit George Bush pretty well too.
And if democracies don’t wage wars of aggression, then how shall we call the following wars which the U.S. definitely did not start: War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Spanish-American War, Vietnam War and Iraq War? Or does this mean that Perle does not consider the U.S. to be a democracy?? I guess I learned my U.S. history all wrong in high school and college when they told us that our nation declared and fought those wars.
Perle had been trying to bolster our efforts at bringing democracy to the Mideast by saying that only dictators like Sadaam brought war to their people, but that democracies did not bring such misery to their populaces. A totally dubious, actually flat out wrong statement. Perle appears to have a brilliant, strategic mind. But he clearly has lapses in which he falls prey to historical delusion.
2 thoughts on “Richard Perle on Charlie Rose: “Democracies Don’t Start Wars” – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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I did not know that you were still in high school or college when you were taught about the Iraq war. 🙂
Thanks for pointing out my inconsistency. Yeah, I’m 17 today (NOT!) I was referring to the other wars I mentioned. THe current war is occuring during my “dotage.”