The perception of the intent of attacker is one of most important elements in aikido training I believe.
I agree with you. In fact, over the years, I've agreed with you quite a lot. Not always in method of delivery...
but, content, yes. I think it's not only perceiving the intent, but joining it... not in social values, etc., but in (this is difficult to put in words) energy quantities. Kind of like walking with your special someone holding hands, equalizing the feeling in both directions without squeezing too hard or being "less than..."