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Saturday, November 18, 2006
Richard “Dick” Perle
American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC  20036

Dear Mr. Perle,

     You helped me win my bet!

     My wife, Viola, has a theory that everybody named Richard is a psycho.  It’s all because a long time ago before I met her, she had a boyfriend named Richard who was a psycho!  Anyway, I bet her if I could come up with five Richards who weren’t psychos, she’d vote Republican in the next election.  If I couldn’t, I’d have to vote Democrat.  I think I won.  Here’s my Good Richard’s Almanac.  What do you think?

1. Richard “Dick” Cheney-I’m proud to say I’m one of the 18% who think he’s not a psycho.  I know you’re not a psychiatrist, but as a trained neocon, what’s your opinion?

2. Richard “Dick” Nixon-Let’s forgive him for passing the Endangered Species Act and remember him for the good things he did, like giving us Law & Order at home and Peace with Honor in Vietnam.

3. Richard “Dick” Pombo-Speaking of the Endangered Species Act, thanks to Pombo there are less endangered species than ever!

4. Richard “Dick” Armitage-The “Deep Throat” who outed Valerie Plame.  Wasn’t he great as Colonel Kurtz in “Apocalypse Now”?  That was my favorite movie of all time!

5. Richard “Dick” Perle-That’s you!  The man they lovingly call: “The Prince of Darkness!”  I win!  Viola has to vote Republican!

     I made up a joke.  Want to hear it?  Okay, here it is:

Question: Why did the neocons invade Iraq?

Answer: So the Richards could get richer and the poor would get Dicked.

     Get it?  See, usually you say, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” but you and Cheney are both named Richard and the nickname for Richard is “Dick”  so I thought it would be funny to say the Richards get richer and the poor get Dicked.  

     But why am I explaining this to you?  You were Rumsfeld’s Defense Policy Board Chairman!  You, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Lewis Libby, John Bolton, and Dick Cheney were in the Project for a New American Century!  You wrote the Iraq policy!  You’re the Think Tank King!  I shouldn’t be explaining things to you!  You should be explaining to me!

     It’s like Rumsfeld said:  The Iraq war is too “complex for people to comprehend.”  He’s right!  I’m just a neighborhood grocer and I don’t understand it.  That’s why I turn to great minds like yours, Richard “Dick” Perle, to help me sort it out.

     Remember when you said:  

     “Even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the (9-11) attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.”

     I follow you.  Bin Laden attacked us with Saudi Arabian hijackers, so there was only one thing to do: Take out Saddam Hussein!  But we couldn’t stop there!  Here’s what you said in 2002:

     “No stages. This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq ... this is entirely the wrong way to go about it. If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don't try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war. . . our children will sing great songs about us years from now.”

     Okay, I think I get it.  Our children will be holding hands in a circle around the campfire and singing:

All we are say--ying,
Is give world domination a chance.

     But we had to start with Saddam, and he was such a threat, we couldn’t take any chances--we had to keep our troop levels below 40,000!  Here’s what you told Congress in 2000.

     “We need not send substantial ground forces into Iraq when patriotic Iraqis are willing to fight to liberate their country.

     And Wolfowitz agreed:

     “I am reasonably certain that they will greet us as liberators, and that will help us to keep requirements down."

     Great minds think alike!  Here’s what Rumsfeld said:     

     "I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today will last five days, five weeks or five months, but it won't last any longer than that."
     Then, a month after we liberated Iraq, you gave another psychic prediction:  

     “The idea that liberating Iraq would spawn terrorists all over the Muslim world I think will be proven to be wrong, and it will be proven to be wrong by the Iraqis themselves."

     Up to this point, I was keeping up.  But then, last week you said something so complex that I’m having trouble wrapping my tiny little mind around it.  Here’s what you said:     

     “I'm getting damn tired of being described as an architect of the war.  I was in favor of bringing down Saddam.  Nobody said, `Go design the campaign to do that.'  I had no responsibility for that."

     But, I thought . . . .?

    “The decisions did not get made that should have been. . . . At the end of the day, you have to hold the president responsible.”

    My President?  Responsible?  What are you getting at?

     “Let's consider other strategies for dealing with  Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. . . . Could we have managed that threat by means other than a direct military intervention? Well, maybe we could have."

    What?!  Other means?!  Don’t you know we’re fighting a War on Terror?  Don’t you know we have to fight the terrorists who are against us so we don’t have to fight the ones who are with us?  

     You’re either over here or you’re over there!

     Now you’ve got me totally confused! This is way too complex for me!  But if you’re saying My President is to blame, then this is where I get off the bus, Richard “Dick” Perle!   I’m starting to wonder if that think tank you’ve been sitting in is running out of oxygen!  Maybe you and your buddies can do something useful in that oxygen-free think tank of yours and come up with one more Richard for my Good Richard’s Almanac because I’ve only got four now.  

     Please help me think of one--I don’t want to have to vote Democrat in ‘08.

Carl Estrada

P.S. Will you send me your picture?  Autographed?  Make it out to my grandson, Lester.  You’re still his favorite neocon.  He likes you even better than Rumsfeld!



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