Giuliani has surrounded himself with advisors who think the Bush Doctrine didn’t go nearly far enough.
by Michael C. Desch
Like most Americans, I knew little about Rudolph Giuliani, save that he had been the very successful mayor of New York City catapulted to iconic status for his cool-headed demeanor after the Sept. 11 attacks. I was curious about where he stood as a presidential candidate, so in April 2007, I joined nearly 3,000 other Texas A&M faculty and students to hear him speak.
After saying some nice things about his host, President George H.W. Bush, Rudy launched into a stemwinder about the “war on Islamic fundamentalist terrorism” that basically repudiated everything the former president stood for in his foreign policy. Moreover, in the space of 40 minutes, Giuliani never once mentioned Osama bin Laden, the man who masterminded the attack on his city.
I was so appalled by the mayor’s simplistic message that terrorists were attacking us because they “oppose our freedom and … want to impose their ideology on us” that I ignored protocol and challenged him during the Q&A. To the accompaniment of hisses from the rabidly pro-Rudy students, I reminded the mayor that Islamic fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and elsewhere in the Middle East have taken our side against al-Qaeda at various times. Like the students, Hizzonor was not amused, and I got five minutes of unvarnished Rudy chiding me for just not getting it.
To the cheers of the partisan crowd, Giuliani argued that my “failure to see the connection between Islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups [was] a recipe for disaster.” In his view, the campaign of radical Islamic terrorism began back in the 1960s and 1970s and included things like the Black September attack upon Israeli Olympic athletes at Munich in 1972. He ridiculed my call to disaggregate the terrorist threat, saying it ignored the fact that Yasir Arafat, whom, he lamented, we helped win the Nobel Prize, was responsible for “slaughtering 29 Americans” over the years. I learned later that Giuliani was so annoyed by my hectoring that he complained about it at the reception after the talk. He was reportedly shocked to learn that I was not some lefty professor but a member of the faculty at the Bush School.
After this disheartening experience, I decided to look more closely at what Giuliani was saying about foreign policy and who was advising him. What I found alarmed me: Rudy’s performance here was no aberration. Those who thought George W. Bush was too timid in the conduct of his foreign policy will find a champion in Rudy.
The Giuliani campaign was slow to articulate a detailed foreign policy. Through the summer of 2007, it was content to offer platitudes among the mayor’s “Twelve Commitments” such as, “I will keep America on the offense in the Terrorists’ War on Us.” But by the fall, the candidate published a major piece in Foreign Affairs that outlined his agenda. Explicitly rejecting realism, he instead sounded the tocsin: “Civilization itself, and the international system, had come under attack by a ruthless and radical Islamist enemy.” Giuliani warned, “the terrorists’ war on us was encouraged by unrealistic and inconsistent actions taken in response to terrorist attacks in the past. A realistic peace can only be achieved through strength.”
Had I been more attentive over the years, I might have been less surprised by the mayor’s hard-line neoconservative stance. I had forgotten that while U.S. attorney in New York, Giuliani tried to close the PLO’s New York office. As mayor, he made headlines in 1995, when he had Arafat ejected from a concert at Lincoln Center. In a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition this fall, Rudy pointed to this incident as emblematic of his leadership style: “I didn’t hesitate, like Hillary Clinton hesitates to answer questions on what she’s going to do about Iran. I didn’t seek to negotiate with him, like Barack Obama would do or says he’d do with these people. I didn’t call for a team of lawyers to help me. … I just made a decision. See, I lead. That’s what [being a] leader is about.”
To the extent that a mayor of New York has a foreign policy, it needs to be loudly supportive of Israel. In a speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention, Giuliani struck the “Israel’s war is our war” note by claiming that the war on terror began in Munich in 1972. His September 2007 proposal to expand NATO to include Israel is part and parcel of this approach. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Giuliani is “the clear favorite of the party’s top Jewish activists.”
Giuliani holds up his résumé as mayor to buttress his claim that he is ready to be president. “I know from personal experience,” he wrote in Foreign Affairs, “that when security is reliably established in a troubled part of a city, normal life rapidly reestablishes itself: shops open, people move back in, children start playing ball on the sidewalks again, and soon a decent and law-abiding community returns to life. The same is true in world affairs.” Alas, his New York record is not so reassuring. Recall such pre-9/11 missteps as his decision to locate the city’s counterterrorism center in the World Trade Center, which had already been the target of an al-Qaeda terrorist attack in 1993; his failure to integrate the fire and police communications systems; his penchant for surrounding himself with sketchy characters like Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, whom Giuliani would later recommend to train Iraqi security forces and as secretary of the department of homeland security. He dropped out of the blue-ribbon Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group because it cut into his paid speechmaking. Giuliani apparently thinks his years in Gracie Mansion sufficed to school him in high politics.
In one sense, his campaign is a big tent: it has by some estimates between 60 and 70 advisors. Some—British Soviet expert Robert Conquest and Reagan campaign defense advisor William Van Cleave—are clearly window-dressing. The core of senior advisors includes former Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz, Martin Kramer (Middle East), Stephen Rosen (defense), S. Enders Wimbush (diplomacy), Peter Berkowitz (statecraft, human rights, and freedom), Kim Holmes (foreign policy), and perhaps Daniel Pipes. Giuliani’s chief foreign-policy advisor is retired diplomat and Yale instructor Charles Hill. In the face of controversy about how many neoconservatives were playing prominent roles, Podhoretz bragged to the New York Observer,“Giuliani doesn’t think that this is a liability.”
Podhoretz is the person whose presence has done the most to set in concrete the notion that Team Rudy is all neocon all the time. Famous for arguing that we are in the midst of “World War IV,” Podhoretz is scathing in his criticism of those he suspects of not waging the war with enough vigor. He even charges that many senior military officers show insufficient stomach for the fight, singling out former CENTCOM commander John Abizaid and his successor, Adm. William Fallon. Podhoretz is also an assiduous peddler of the new neocon myth that the antiwar camp stabbed President Bush in the back.
And he doesn’t stop at Iraq: Podhoretz constantly beats the drum for bombing Iran to halt its nascent nuclear program. Air Marshal Podhoretz assured The Telegraph that the air campaign “would take five minutes.” His optimism that attacking Iran would be another cakewalk combines with pessimism about the prospects of multilateral sanctions preventing Iran from getting the bomb. “Yet for all their retrospective remorse over the wholesale slaughter of the Jews back then,” Podhoretz sneers, “the Europeans seem no readier to lift a finger to prevent a second Holocaust than they were the first time around.”
There are areas where Podhoretz is out of synch with the rest of the Giuliani team. One is his steadfast commitment to the Bush administration’s efforts to spread democracy in the Middle East, which he applies equally to American enemies like Iran and Syria and friends like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Other Giuliani advisors are more restrained about democracy promotion. Another point of departure is Podhoretz’s long-standing critique of the Clinton administration for treating terrorism as simply a “crime problem,” a charge somewhat discordant with the mayor’s claim that his successful campaign against crime in New York City justifies electing him global sheriff.
The biggest problem Podhoretz poses for the Giuliani campaign is that he has some particularly far-fetched beliefs that even in these fevered times most Americans do not share. As Ian Buruma noted in a recent review of World War IV, Podhoretz “expresses a weird longing for the state of war, for the clarity it brings, and for the chance to divide one’s fellow citizens, or indeed the whole world, neatly into friends and foes, comrades and traitors, warriors and appeasers, those who are with us and those who are against.”
Another neocon stalwart in Rudy’s camp is Martin Kramer, a long-time think-tanker in Israel and the United States, who specializes in exposing the “biases” in academic studies of the Middle East. These wrong-headed ideas need to be challenged, in Kramer’s view, because they undermine U.S. policy. Among them, the faulty notion of “Arabists” in academia and government that the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict is somehow related to America’s problems in the Middle East. In Kramer’s view, the U.S. should stand firmly with Israel because only then will the Arabs respect us. In 2001, he told the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) that the United States’ key problem in the region is “its perceived lack of resolve; its quickness to forgive, or at least forget; its penchant for creating categorical boxes, like the state sponsors of terrorism list, and then ignoring them altogether. This is perceived as weakness, and when you are perceived as weak in the Middle East, you become a tempting target and the vultures begin to circle.” Kramer’s lack of confidence that America will show the necessary mettle persuades him that Podhoretz is too sanguine about our chances in World War IV.
Kramer is representative of the Giuliani team’s more cautious view of nation building. Challenging the Bush administration’s faith in democracy as a panacea for our problems in the Middle East, he reminded a WINEP audience in 2002, “from the vantage point of Israel, things look precisely the opposite. Israel has five immediate neighbors: Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Authority. Syria, Jordan, and Egypt are ruled without even a pretense of democracy. … And witness: Islamist movements are no great threat to order in any of these three autocratic states.” Conversely, he observed, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority both have some measure of “pluralism” and are rife with Islamicism. Like most other members of the Giuliani varsity foreign-policy team, Kramer takes a more Jeane Kirpatrick-type line on democracy promotion than neocons in the Bush administration did.
Giuliani’s senior defense advisor is my old colleague from Harvard’s Olin Institute of Strategic Studies, Stephen Peter Rosen. He qualifies as a movement neocon, having signed many of the Project for a New American Century’s ukases, such as the Sept. 21, 2001 letter arguing, “even if the evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq” and the April 3, 2002 letter baldly declaring, “Israel’s fight against terrorism is our fight.” Not surprisingly, given his experience on the National Security Council during the early years of the Reagan military build-up, Rosen supports increased defense spending and the expansion of our ground forces. He is also an unabashed advocate of American primacy, arguing in a recent piece in The National Interest, “successful imperial governance must focus on maintaining and increasing, if possible, the initial advantage in the ability to generate military power.”
But Rosen’s view of international politics goes beyond renascent Reagan-era hawkishness and embraces a social Darwinistic framework for understanding hegemonic America’s challenges. Rejecting Bush’s pre-9/11 argument that America needed a “humble foreign policy,” Rosen wrote:
Humility is always a virtue, but the dominant male atop any social hierarchy, human or otherwise, never managed to rule simply by being nice. Human evolutionary history has produced a species that both creates hierarchies and harbors the desire among subordinates to challenge its dominant member. Those challenges never disappear. The dominant member can never do everything that subordinates desire, and so it is blamed for what it does not do as much as for what it does.
Giuliani’s senior team has another Harvard connection through Peter Berkowitz, a former political theory professor in the Government Department who now holds a joint appointment at George Mason Law School and Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Berkowitz is extremely critical of academia, issuing jeremiads like the one that appeared in April 2005 in the Washington Post charging that many Middle East studies programs are in thrall to the “poisonous political proposition that Israel is the root source of all the ills that beset the Muslim world.” In a summer 2007 piece in Policy Review, he dismissed academia as “unaccountable to outside authority, largely sheltered from opposing points of view, given to seeing themselves as a saving remnant both unappreciated by the broader public and besieged by an evil government, professors at our leading universities have created an intellectual environment that has undermined the conditions that foster free and unbiased exploration of the great issues of the day.” To be sure, academia has its biases, but these are counterbalanced by other intellectual forces in society. If Berkowitz and other neoconservatives had their way, they would impose their own orthodoxy on campus, thereby removing a check on themselves.
S. Enders Wimbush, a former Radio Liberty director and currently a Hudson Institute senior fellow, apparently aspires to be President Giuliani’s Karen Hughes. One of his major strategic planks is to establish a “Radio Free Iran” to undermine the mullocracy. He epitomizes the ambivalence about Iran among the Giuliani crowd: on the one hand, they envision a major role for the captive Iranian masses yearning for freedom; on the other, they treat Iran as a monolith. In January 2007, for example, Wimbush despaired that Iran is undeterrable because the regime is willing to “‘martyr’ the entire Iranian nation, and it has even expressed the desirability of doing so in a way to accelerate the inevitable, apocalyptic collision between Islam and the West that will result in Islam’s final worldwide triumph.” Like Berkowitz, Wimbush complains that American universities are not doing their part by producing graduates with the skills necessary to wage the global war on terror, so he is an advocate of the philanthropic community using its resources to prompt reform.
Kim Holmes, a defense analyst for the Heritage Foundation, recently served as assistant secretary of state for international organization in the second Bush administration. Like most of the rest of the team, he is cautious about depending too much on democracy promotion, arguing in an August 2006 lecture: “We must distinguish between elections and democracy, and between populism and freedom. Frankly, there may be times when supporting overseas elections may not be advisable. And not every populist movement desires liberty. Even despots and terrorists can get elected in some circumstances. We have only to look at Belarus or the Palestinian elections.” Holmes still maintains that we went to war in Iraq exclusively to prevent Saddam from developing weapons of mass destruction and to disrupt his links with al-Qaeda. He blames most of our troubles today in Iraq on Iran, arguing that the Islamic Republic is “acting as if it’s on a roll.” Holmes is also critical of European politicians he thinks are insufficiently supportive of the United States. The strangest example was his March 2007 broadside against the British Conservative Party, which he suggested was going wobbly.
Daniel Pipes is the crazy uncle of the Giuliani campaign. In some places he is listed as a senior advisor, but the chair of the senior advisory team went to great lengths to minimize his influence. This is not surprising because even among this group, Pipes stands out as an extremist. His day job is as director of The Middle East Forum, a think tank that focuses on U.S. interests in the Middle East and includes Campus Watch, a group that monitors Middle Eastern studies on campus for evidence of anti-Israel bias. He gave this over-the-top assessment of the situation to the New York Sun in December 2006: “Self-hating Westerners have an out-sized importance due to their prominent role as shapers of opinion in universities, the media, religious institutions, and the arts. They serve as the Islamists’ auxiliary mujahideen.” Pipes’s appointment to the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace by President Bush sparked controversy because, among other things, he urged Congress to pass legislation to establish a board to monitor federally funded area studies programs in universities for anti-American sentiments.
That alarmism also colors his view of Israel’s security situation: in an October 2007 article in the Jerusalem Post, Pipes portrayed the Jewish state as besieged from all sides: “Count the ways Israel is under siege: from Iranians building a nuclear bomb, Syrians stockpiling chemical weapons, Egyptians and Saudis developing serious conventional forces, Hezbullah attacking from Lebanon, Fatah from the West Bank, Hamas from Gaza, and Israel’s Muslim citizens becoming politically restive and more violent.” No one denies that Israel faces a challenging security environment, but few serious analysts would endorse this apocalyptic view. In the New York Sun, he dismissed the bipartisan Iraq Study Group’s conclusion that many of our problems in Iraq are linked to the unresolved Israel-Palestine conflict as the product of “small minds.”
Pipes’s uncompromisingly pro-Israel line has at times gotten him into trouble. For example, he was a major supporter of From Time Immemorial author Joan Peters’s discredited thesis that the Arabs had no claim to Palestine because most of them did not arrive there until shortly before 1948. Pipes, like neoconservative hawk Laurie Mylroie, has also flip-flopped wildly on how to treat Saddam Hussein. Both advocated closer ties with Saddam when he was fighting Iran in the 1980s. After that war ended, both suddenly discovered his horrendous human-rights record and support of Palestinian terrorism. But nothing better demonstrates how far out of the post-Annapolis mainstream Pipes is than his association with extremist groups, such as Jerusalem Summit, which oppose the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the Occupied Territories and advocates that Palestinians settle in other Arab countries.
Finally, Giuliani enlisted former Foreign Service officer Charles Hill to chair his senior advisory team. Many reports imply that Hill, a previously rather obscure figure, was chosen to counter the widespread perception that Giuliani’s team was a wholly owned neoconservative subsidiary. In an October 2007 interview in the New York Sun, Hill expressed dismay about a recent New York Times piece because “the subtext seems to be war crazy neocons have captured the campaign and that is a distortion.” Hill countered, “this is a non-ideological approach that we take. … It is a center right group of people with a wide range of thoughts and ideas.”
Hill describes himself as an “Edmund Burke conservative,” but as one former Yale International Security Studies Fellow explained to me, “There’s not much if any daylight between Charlie and the neocons, except on the degree to which is Charlie is more of a multilateralist than them. … I suppose the only difference is that Charlie is more like Cheney, who dovetails with the neocons on most issues of the last 6.5 years, rather than strictly being a neocon. And like Cheney, I think 9/11 had a massive effect on Charlie. You can’t underestimate just how much it galvanized him.”
A brief review of Hill’s career reveals how he has moved steadily closer to the neocon camp. As his former Yale student Molly Worthen recounts in her treacly biography, The Man On Whom Nothing Was Lost, Hill began his Foreign Service career in Switzerland. While he was watching the young Red Guards in the vanguard of the Cultural Revolution from across the bamboo curtain in Hong Kong, Hill realized the double-edged nature of youth: he appreciated their dynamism, but feared their disregard for established order. This lesson was reinforced during a sabbatical he took at Harvard in 1970, where he experienced American youth rebellion firsthand. Worthen reports that Hill flirted with the antiwar movement, writing articles in the campus newspaper and even contributing a chapter to a book edited by Noam Chomsky. But after his next assignment in Vietnam, which he initially resisted, Hill came to believe that the antiwar movement had undercut the American effort just as it was beginning to succeed.
Hill’s assignment to the Israel desk at Foggy Bottom and then to the embassy in Tel Aviv edged him closer to the neoconservative camp. According to Worthen, Hill “was very informed by his experience in Israel and has deep, deep sympathy for the Israelis, not based on their political situation, but a very existential empathy for their national philosophy and their culture, which he perceives as honest and manly, really standing for something that is good and true about the human race.” Hill found the Israelis he met to be “intrepid,” in contrast to the effete Americans he encountered in Cambridge. During his posting in Israel, Hill was introduced to Menachem Begin and was so taken that he asked the Likud prime minister for an autographed picture. Later, when he was Secretary of State George Shultz’s executive assistant, Hill would develop a close relationship with Israel’s United Nations representative Benyamin Netanyahu.
Hill’s government service ended abruptly with Schultz’s departure during the transition to the first Bush administration. While Bush and Reagan’s personal relations were cordial, a fact historian Douglas Brinkley tells me is amply evident in Reagan’s soon to be published diaries, there was little love lost among lower-level officials in the two administrations. Hill went with Schultz to the Hoover Institution for a year, but was forced to resign from the Foreign Service after it became clear that he had concealed evidence of Schultz’s extensive knowledge of the Iran-Contra scandal from federal agents. Hill moved to New Haven and commuted for a time to New York while he worked for UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali. With Boutros Ghali’s retirement, Hill began to teach in 1997 in Yale’s Freshman Directed Studies in the Humanities program.
It was there that he met historians Paul Kennedy and John Lewis Gaddis and came to play a role in the development of Yale’s Studies in Grand Strategy program. From the beginning, the program was a lightning rod for controversy. Some Yalies objected to its elitism—the former ISS fellow says the program “very much views itself as elite and cultivates that reputation”—others to its right-of-center political orientation (probably unfair to Kennedy, though he has of late started signing Project for a New American Century manifestos), still others to its pretentiousness. On this last count, Worthen admits, “sometimes it can seem like students in the grand strategy course are laboring under the delusion that they will be appointed secretary of state or find themselves nominated to the Supreme Court just a few months after they graduate.” Another former fellow described how Kennedy and Gaddis convened an “emergency dinner” of the grand-strategy faculty and ISS fellows after 9/11 and had the transcript of the evening’s discussions sealed in Yale’s archives for posterity. Worthen’s biography of Hill itself grew out of a paper she wrote for Gaddis, which is the sort of self-referential assignment that one would only get in a program that thought so well of itself.
But the most frequent criticism of the program involves Hill’s pedagogical approach. Worthen observes, “Hill’s teaching style dazzles and offends in the same way that religious indoctrination does.” His demeanor in the classroom, along with its extracurricular manifestations, turned Worthen from an acolyte who scrawled “Charles Hill is God” in her freshman notebook into a skeptical biographer, who confessed that “each time I packed up my notebook and left his office, I could not help feeling a bit brainwashed.” Worthen fretted, “something about Professor Hill made us wildly anxious to prove ourselves, evidently to the point of self ruin.” She recounts how Hill encouraged one undergraduate to enlist in the Marines and another to forego a lucrative corporate job for a U.S. government post in Kuwait, much to her parents’ chagrin.
What do we know of Hill’s own foreign-policy agenda? In an interview broadcast over a conservative website called Captain’s Quarters in July 2007, Hill focused on three issues. First, he argued that the American Diplomatic Corps was badly in need of reform because of a “lack of professional dedication came into the Foreign Service.” He explained that this problem was “related to the 1968 generation of young people coming into the Service and essentially not wanting to put loyalty to the President or American foreign policy first. They were putting their own employee rights first, as if they were unionized workers.” Hill promised that Rudy will “get rid of the people not on the team” and suggested the mayor will do for the Foreign Service what he did to the New York Police Department.
Second, Hill argued that a Giuliani administration would give high priority to combating anti-Americanism. This is urgent, in his view, because many of our problems in the Middle East are the result of the “propaganda pumped out by Arab regimes” rather than any specific U.S. policies.
Finally, Hill offered what he considered a more nuanced and effective policy for promoting human rights and democracy than the Bush administration’s. Under Giuliani, the emphasis would be on supporting dissidents “bravely resisting tyranny” rather than on reforming friendly governments. Hill further promised to focus on the more limited goal of spreading “decent government.” He explained to The American Spectator that the United States “has to stand for democracy. We can’t turn away from that, but we have to do it in a way that’s realistic and Rudy Giuliani has talked about the realistic piece.”
Otherwise, Hill is squarely in the neoconservative camp. He maintains, “If we pull out of Iraq now, it’s just going to break the dam and there will be flood waters of chaos and murder across the region.” He evidently buys into Podhoretz’s World War IV mindset, writing in The Yale Israel Journal, “if the Islamists can defeat the Middle Eastern states that seek reform and work with the international system, we will be faced with another world war.” It’s as if Hill believes radical Islamic terrorists constitute a greater danger to the United States than the Soviet Union did.
In State of Denial—the third installment of his Bush at War trilogy—Bob Woodward recounted a conversation between then-Texas governor George W. Bush and Saudi Prince Bandar bin-Sultan before the 2000 election in which the candidate confessed, “I don’t have the foggiest idea about what I think about foreign policy.” To fill that empty vessel, the Bush campaign assembled a diverse group of advisors—“the Vulcans”—who represented a broad range of opinion within the Republican Party, from neoconservatives (Paul Wolfowitz) to traditional hawks (Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld) to realists (Colin Powell, Richard Armitage, and Condoleezza Rice). That Bush eventually threw his lot in with the neoconservatives is a function of the dramatic events of 9/11 combined with the weaknesses of his other advisors. But at least this was not a foregone conclusion.
Rudolph Giuliani, in contrast, is no empty vessel. He knows exactly where he stands. His spokesman told the New York Observer: “Mayor Giuliani has a range of advisors to provide him information on foreign policy issues and at the end of the day Mayor Giuliani’s viewpoints regarding foreign policy are his own.” Hill confirmed to Captain’s Quarters that Giuliani has a “really fully formed foreign policy approach, a comprehensive vision. … not something where he needs to turn to somebody and say ‘what do I do, or what do I think about this?’ He already has it in mind.”
Unfortunately, he is of one mind with some of the most unrepentant, unreconstructed neoconservatives around. Podhoretz told the New York Observer that “as far as I can tell, there is very little difference in how he sees the war and how I see it.” If anyone thinks that neoconservativism is on the outs after the debacle in Iraq, they need look no further than the Republican frontrunner’s brain-trust.
To be sure, neoconservatives do not all think alike on every issue, as evidenced by the Giuliani team’s skepticism about social engineering. But the continuities far outnumber the divergences. Even allegedly non-neocon members of the team like Charles Hill turn out, upon closer inspection, to be solidly of the familiar persuasion.
Some hope that all of this is just posturing to secure the Republican nomination, which will be delivered by a base troubled by Giuliani’s multiple marriages, occasional cross-dressing, and support for abortion, civil unions, and immigrants’ rights. A post on Matthew Yglesias’s Atlantic Monthly blog offered a theory: “Giuliani is stocking up on these stock characters not for real advice—he’s not that insane—but rather to get out a sort of dogwhistle message to the true rightwing nuts, who are willing to forgive a guy anything if he will only pledge to nuke significant parts of the Middle East.” Yglesias himself is not so sure: he thinks Rudy is “bat-s – – t insane.”
Giuliani’s tendency to conflate all terrorist groups—whether Islamist or not and whether they attack the United States or just allies like Israel—led Fred Kaplan of Slate to dub him the “anti-statesman.” Sending him and his team to the White House might actually ignite World War IV.
Michael C. Desch is Professor and Robert M. Gates Chair in Intelligence and National Security Decision-making at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University.