Posted by: Kevin | August 17, 2007

Rudi Giuliani is Seriously F%$@ing Crazy

I’m writing this as someone who initially bought into the “America’s Mayor” meme in 2001 – 2.  He was there on September 11th with his people, doing his best.  It looked heroic.  Now, I look back on that and think of the Woody Allen quote, “Half of success is just showing up”.  Rudi Giuliani showed up for work on Sept 11th, admittedly harder than it sounds, and that has been the primary driver behind his presidential campaign.

Up till now, we haven’t heard much in the way of policy recommendation out of the Giuliani camp.  That is, until Wednesday, when Giuliani revealed his foreign policy vision in an essay titled, “Towards a Realistic Peace” in Foreign Affairs.  My careful reading has revealed that the only accurate word in that title is “a”.

He starts with the basic summary:

“The next U.S. president will face three key foreign policy challenges. First and foremost will be to set a course for victory in the terrorists’ war on global order. The second will be to strengthen the international system that the terrorists seek to destroy. The third will be to extend the benefits of the international system in an ever-widening arc of security and stability across the globe.”

The usual vague, macho sounding rhetoric we can expect from any candidate.

“The most effective means for achieving these goals are building a stronger defense, developing a determined diplomacy, and expanding our economic and cultural influence. Using all three, the next president can build the foundations of a lasting, realistic peace.”

Again, this is pretty vague and doesn’t sound horrible.  But, as with anything, the devil is in the details.  So tell us Mr. Giuliani, how will we achieve peace?

“A realistic peace can only be achieved through strength”

Or as Bodhi might say, “Peace through superior firepower”.  Mr. Giuliani, I liked Point Break too but before you get carried away, please keep in mind that we already spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined.  How much more power do we need?

“The U.S. Army needs a minimum of ten new combat brigades. It may need more, but this is an appropriate baseline increase while we reevaluate our strategies and resources. We must also take a hard look at other requirements, especially in terms of submarines, modern long-range bombers, and in-flight refueling tankers…
…The next U.S. president must also press ahead with building a national missile defense system…
…Constellations of satellites that can watch arms factories everywhere around the globe”

Are you shitting me!?!  Ten new combat brigades makes sense only if you plan on occupying Iraq indefinitely, otherwise it’s crazy wasteful.  As for the rest, how the hell are submarines and more long range bombers going to help us fight insurgents?  We bombed the shit out of Iraq in 2003, remember.  What we have already worked great against the Iraqi army.  I can’t come up with any justification for the submarines.  The navy we’ve got is already capable of projecting power anywhere in the globe. 

Someone is going to have to explain the Neocon fixation with the national missile defense system also.  We don’t have the technology to pull it off, it’s obscenely expensive and since when are terrorists lobbing ICBMs at us?  The missile defense system is a multi billion (trillion) dollar boondoggle for defense contractors and it’s about the only thing that could possibly revive the Cold War.

As for the constellation of satellites, um, we kind of already have that.  Go read a Tom Clancy novel, because most of that shit is real (the technology, not the plots).  Given that we can already track the sources of funding for terrorists why don’t we just take advantage of the intelligence we already have and cut off the cource of that funding?  Oh, because it’s verboten to harm the Saudis in any way and we aren’t allowed to consider the national security implications of our energy policies.

Ok, so far the plan will bankrupt the nation.  Mr. Giuliani is not off to a good start but what does he have to say about a more diplomatic approach?  He starts off with some saber rattling towards Iran and some fairly obvious statements about the basics of negotiations.  Then he gets to the meat of his diplomatic vision.

“For diplomacy to succeed, the U.S. government must be united. Adversaries naturally exploit divisions. Members of Congress who talk directly to rogue regimes at cross-purposes with the White House are not practicing diplomacy; they are undermining it.  The task of a president is not merely to set priorities but to ensure that they are pursued across the government.”

Apparently Mr. Giuliani missed that part in the Constitution about the Senate’s role in foreign policy, particularly with regards to treaties.  And for our State Department and diplomatic corp:

“The time has come to refine the diplomats’ mission down to their core purpose: presenting U.S. policy to the rest of the world.”

So to hell with what the rest of the world wants, we’ve got all this strength now and this is what we want.  In other words, our diplomatic corps will now adopt a tone similar to that of 3rd world dictatorships.  That should really improve our standing in the world.

“Too many people denounce our country or our policies simply because they are confident that they will not hear any serious refutation from our representatives.”

So people are anti-American because we aren’t assertive enough in our foreign policy, really, that’s your hypothesis?  It has nothing to do with the way we pissed away international support by invading Iraq, when virtually everyone outside of the US knew that they had nothing to do with 9/11?  It has nothing to do with 5 years of provocative, “you’re with us or against us” rhetoric?  This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

There’s a whole lot more to Mr. Giuliani’s paper but I don’t have the heart to go any further.  Suffice to say, a vote for Giuliani in ’08 appears to be a vote for perpetual war, bankruptcy and a further decrease in our international standing. 

Better writing on this can be found here and here.

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