So, I'm making it official today: Dreams Into Lightning endorses Rudy Giuliani for President of the United States in 2008. In fact, I've even made a modest campaign donation just now.
I'd tell you why I like Rudy, but I don't think I can improve on the endorsement given by Linda S. Heard in Gulfnews:
In short, Giuliani is no benign patriotic do-gooder. He's a hawkish, sabre-rattling, pro-Israel, nationalistic neocon.
Ms. Heard reminds us of Giuliani's record:
A clue to Giuliani's leanings emerged during the visit of Prince Al Walid Bin Talal to Ground Zero in October 2001. Bearing a $10 million donation for disaster relief, the Saudi prince suggested the US reexamine its Middle East policies and adopt a balanced stance towards Palestinian aspirations. Giuliani's response was to hand back the cheque.
But that's in the past. What about the future?
Giuliani makes no bones about the fact he would use military force to set-back Iran's nuclear programme. In September, he promised to use America's military might to prevent Iran pursuing its nuclear ambitions should he be elected president.
His senior foreign policy adviser Norman Podhoretz has spelled out this message, advising that Iran be bombed with cruise missiles and bunker busters. "None of the alternatives to military action - negotiations, sanctions, provoking an internal insurrection - can possibly work," he told The Daily Telegraph.
Giuliani is talking tough when it comes to Pakistan, too. He recently urged the president to be more aggressive in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden within Pakistan even if such a move would result in alienating the Pakistani government.
On Iraq, Giuliani has been consistently gung ho. He supported the war from the outset, backed the so-called surge and believes American troops should stay in Iraq for the foreseeable future.
But what about the Palestinian issue - which, as we all know, is central to everything in the Middle East?
He has declared in no uncertain terms his antipathy towards a two-state solution because a Palestinian entity would "support terrorism" and threaten US security.
That's great. But what about Israel's security? Is Giuliani really as "pro-Israel" as Ms. Heard asserts? Well, there's this:
It's also worth recalling that in 1995, he banned the former Palestinian president Yasser Arafat from attending events held in New York to celebrate the UN's 50th anniversary and ordered his removal from a concert held at the Lincoln Centre. It's not surprising that a panel of eight Israeli experts assembled by the daily Ha'aretz determined Giuliani is the best presidential candidate for Israel.
So far, so good: Ms. Heard has substantiated "hawkish", "sabre-rattling", "nationalistic", and "pro-Israel". But is Giuliani really a neocon?
A recent article on the front page of the New York Times titled "Mid-east hawks help to develop Giuliani's policy" enlightens us as to the former mayor's new best friends. "Mr Giuliani is consulting with, among others, a particularly hawkish group of advisers and neoconservative thinkers," the article reads.
Go read the rest at the link. On the subject of "the civil liberties of Americans", I will defer to Ms. Hurd's superior expertise on the subject, as she is a British journalist based in Cairo who has written in defense of certain mores:
The fact is when it comes to certain mores and core values East is still East and West is West and that's surely as it should be.
Well, there you are then. And I'm going to go with my mores and core values, and suport Rudy in '08.
A grateful hat tip to a member of the 911 Neocons e-list.