A Cautious Man
April 07, 2007
Tougher Than The Rest?
I'm really tired of Rudy Giuliani and his "one note" campaign. This article in today's New York Times shows how he has nothing constructive to offer. He's running on his reputation as being Mayor of New York on 9-11, and is offering a hodge-podge of right-wing ideas coupled with "toughness":
But Sept. 11 was a constant backdrop, and as Mr. Giuliani promoted his vision of a forceful foreign policy that calls for the United States to continue slugging it out in Iraq, he let his audiences know that his was an outlook forged by fire.

“What they say in Washington is not going to affect the fact that there are terrorists around the world that are planning to come here and kill us,” he said in Iowa, in the most spirited part of his newly honed stump speech.

Pointing his finger and bouncing up and down on his toes, he declared, “It is something I understand better than anyone else running for president.”
What makes him qualified to "understand better" about dealing with terrorism? All of us in the New York area had to deal with 9-11. Lots of us know people who perished on that day. Even in the suburbs, we helped our friends and neighbors who ran from the collapsing towers. Public officials of all stripes, in ways large and small, showed strength in the face of such terrible events.

What part of Mr. Giuliani's background makes him "better"? Was it the way he left his police and firefighters unprepared to even communicate with each other? Was it the way he put New York's emergency center right at the city's biggest target? Was it the way he tried to delay the election of his successor? Was it the way he ordered the rubble of the Twin Towers to be bulldozed, instead of allowing the search for remains to continue?

He says he'll be tough on foreign policy, citing the time he barred Yasir Arafat from a United Nations concert - which is really an example of showboating, not of diplomacy. And here's what we could look forward to under President Giuliani:
At a house party in New Hampshire on Monday, he said the United States would most likely be fighting in Iraq for a long time, “unless there is some kind of miracle.” He attacked the “dangerous and irresponsible” Democratic effort for a withdrawal timetable.

And speaking at a high school in St. Petersburg, Fla., he maintained that the struggle would be over only “when they stop planning to come here and kill us.”

Mr. Giuliani spoke of what else he means when he says America needs to be on the offensive against terrorism. He would resist efforts to water down central provisions of the USA Patriot Act. He favors legal but aggressive eavesdropping. He backs intense interrogation of suspects, though not torture.
This is a recipe for endless warfare and fear-mongering, not a strategy to actually make America safer.

The solution is not to treat the terrorists as if they were just like the squeegee men he once chased off city streets, only better-armed.



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