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Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#17 - JRL 7139
An Interview with Richard Perle
Washington Profile News Service
April 7, 2003

Has the war with Iraq altered the long-term goals of the US foreign policy, 
or have they remained the same?

I believe the goals have remained very much the same - if anything, they have 
reinforced them. It seems to me fundamental to the policy of this 
administration that we will, in dealing with threats to the US, take 
appropriate action, including against states that harbor terrorists or are 
building weapons of mass destruction. 

How will the Administration now deal with Iran and Syria?

I think every one of these potential threats is different - no two are alike 
and because the situations are unique, the cases are unique. In the case of 
Syria, I would hope that the Syrians understand now that it is not in their 
interests to continue to harbor terrorists. And I hope we can persuade them 
of that and they will voluntarily change their policy.

Where do you see Russia's role?

It remains to be seen. It's not clear that Russia could play a constructive 
role, frankly. I was rather hoping there would be signs that Russia would in 
fact play a constructive role; now there is reason to doubt that.

Do you think Russia's ties to Syria and especially Iran will present a 
significant problem for US-Russia relations?

Absolutely. A very serious problem. I think we're going to have some very 
serious discussions with the Russians - with President Putin - about what 
kind of a relationship he wants with the US. We work closely with our friends 
but friends don't…let me just say that there was nothing friendly about the 
Russian policy in Iraq.

What strategies would the US use to get Russia on their side?

Our strategy is always the same - it is to try to persuade the leadership of 
other countries that their interests and ours are sufficiently close so that 
they would be justified in joining with us. I don't believe it is in Russia's 
interests to see a tyrant like Saddam Hussein sustained in power. 

What is the status of finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

I believe I've seen news reports this morning that such weapons were found. 
They will be found. If they haven't been found yet, they will be. There's no 
question, there's no doubt. The only questions is: where were they hidden? We 
are quite certain about this.

Now that the war is its final stages, will the Administration eb turning more 
to North Korea?

There are a number of situations that are threatening to us, and in most 
cases to others as well. North Korea is one of those. If they now, having 
withdrawn from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, start to produce nuclear 
weapons, they will be a threat to us, and potentially to others, because 
there is every reason to believe they would sell nuclear material or nuclear 
weapons and it will take a concerted effort with many countries cooperating.

Everyone I know hopes that a combination of countries that have influence in 
North Korea will be successful in persuading North Korea to give up the 
nuclear program voluntarily, but no one can be sure that they would do that.

Do you think the American-European relationship has been altered permanently 
by this war?

I think the relationship with France has been seriously affected, because the 
French not only disagreed with us, which is okay, but they actively worked 
against us and are continuing to do so even now. So there's going to be an 
impact there, I don't think there's any question. 

Where would you like to see the US-Russia relationship going?

Well I would like to see a close relationship, and I'm disappointed that this 
first test of the relationship  - the policy toward Iraq - did not produce a 
basis for optimism. I think the Foreign Ministry is still in the hands of the 
ghost of Andrey Gromyko, and I think there are peoplearound Putin who are 
bitter about the end of the Cold War and are not eager for a new kind of 
relationship with the US. 
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