Bush's Top Neocon Denies Existence of Neocons

To widespread guffaws
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2009 1:36 PM CST
Richard Perle speaks at the 92nd Street Y in New York City in 2007.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) –  In real life, Richard Perle is the neoconservative mastermind who devised the Bush Doctrine and argued vociferously for the Iraq war. But apparently, Perle lives in a different world, writes Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. At a foreign policy forum yesterday, Perle insisted that:

  • He is not a neoconservative.
  • Neoconservatives don't exist.
  • If they did exist, you couldn’t blame them for Bush’s foreign policy.

“There is no such thing as a neoconservative foreign policy,” Perle insisted. So what about the 1996 report he co-authored that lays out neoconservative foreign policy? “I didn’t approve it. I didn’t read it.” His barnstorming tome An End to Evil? “There’s hardly an ideology in that book.” His cheerleading for the Iraq war? “Regime change does not imply military force … when I use the term."