My life with Richard Perle

Robert A. Pape, University of Chicago political scientist, is author of an influential book on suicide terrorism called Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism. He’s coming to Washington to debate me on November 8. I’m grateful he has found the time.

Readers with long memories will recall that I found some glaring errors in his database, when he first published his findings in the journal of the American Political Science Association two years ago. Today he’s made another error, according to this quote in an Indiana newspaper (offered in advance of a talk he’s giving at a university there): “I will be returning [to Washington] next week to debate with Martin Kramer, an associate of Richard Perle, one of the architects of our decision to invade Iraq.”

I think it would be most interesting to meet Mr. Perle, but I’ve never had the pleasure, and he would be as surprised as I am that we’ve been named “associates,” whatever that means. If Professor Pape wants to tar me with guilt by association, let him at least pick someone I’ve met. By the way, this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. An article in a well-known propaganda broadsheet once described me as a “close associate of Perle’s.” Close, no less.

Well, that’s one reason I run this weblog: to keep ’em honest. I look forward to my close association with Professor Pape.

Update: Here’s a summary of my debate with Professor Pape, and the full text of my remarks. And just for the record, on November 17 I made a point of introducing myself to Richard Perle, at an event at the Hudson Institute. He hadn’t heard of me. I guess our association has a long way to go.