Wednesday | September 24, 2003
Perle slapped silly
From Monday's Newshour:
RICHARD PERLE: The amounts that have been spent on reconstruction up until now have been spent under extremely difficult circumstances. And I have no reason to believe that that money under those circumstances has not been spent reasonably or spent well. This is not a situation in which you can go out and offer contracts where contractors are free to employ work forces without security concerns. It's a very difficult situation. And so if one were to go back and do an audit, I suppose you'll find that some of the standards of peacetime stable societies didn't apply. But on the whole, given the circumstances, I think we've done rather well.
RAY SUAREZ: Medea Benjamin?
MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well, we've done miserably, Ray. Just think -- Halliburton is making $2 billion, Bechtel is making $1 billion. And they haven't been able to turn on the electricity or turn back the water supply. They can't do the job, plus they're wasting massive amounts of money. Even the governing council that was hand-appointed by the U.S. is saying that the money being spent is being wasted because it's U.S. companies in charge instead of Iraqis.
RAY SUAREZ: So you would suggest immediate turning over of authority to the U. N. Does the U. N. have a track record in these matters that's more encouraging than America's thus far?
MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well, it certainly has a track record that's more encouraging than the Americans. It's been six months since this occupation, and even the Iraqis who welcomed the U.S. with open arms and were so happy to get rid of Saddam Hussein are now extremely bitter and angry. The resentment will only grow unless the U.S. turns this over to a legitimate authority, which is the United Nations, which will have a quick time line for Iraqi self rule and that the money that is pledged by the U.S. and the international community -- and let's remember the international community will not pledge money unless it is in the hands of the United Nations -- and that money should go directly to Iraqis and not to companies like Halliburton and Bechtel that are profiteering from this war.
RICHARD PERLE: What you just heard is a tirade against American companies in the left-wing tradition that she represents. Her characterization of the situation in Iraq is not at all borne out by many conversations I've had with Iraqis, including members of the governing council she's been referring to.
MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well, I challenge to you go there with me, Mr. Perle, because I was there in July, I was there in August, I don't stay in the presidential palace, I don't go around with bodyguards and helicopters and sniffing dogs like Paul Bremer and Colin Powell. I challenge to you go with me, without any bodyguards and let's walk around the streets of the cities of Iraq and see what it looks like six months after the U.S. occupation.
RICHARD PERLE: With all due respect, your sojourns in the cities of Iraq are hardly the appropriate measure of how well we have done in restoring electricity and getting water back on track. I don't think --
MEDEA BENJAMIN: You know better sitting in Washington, D.C.?
Notice how Perle reacted when Medea took him to the cleaners: She's a leftist anti-American. And she shoved it right back in his face.
Does Perle have a soul? How can he stand to look at himself in the mirror?
Posted September 24, 2003 01:49 PM | Comments (158)