Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 15, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

MORE RUDY....Hell, James Joyner is a conservative, so I'd expect him to be at least a little more sympathetic toward Rudy Giuliani's recent foreign policy manifesto than me. But no. The former Giuliani fan, after watching America's Mayor in action for a few months, has changed his opinion slightly:

I must concur in Matt Yglesias' judgment: "this man is batshit insane."

....The more I hear and read, though, the more I think Giuliani is either a charlatan or a simpleton. Either he's lying to us and we therefore have no idea what his foreign policy will be or, worse, this is what he really thinks.

....Essentially, he wants to massively increase [the] defense budget....topple every regime we don't like....wipe out every instance of non-democratic badness....diplomatic policy that finally lives up to the caricature of Bush policy....win the hearts and minds of Muslims everywhere by allying ourselves even more closely with the Israelis....spend billions on surveillance systems....learn the one lesson from Vietnam that no serious student of that war has learned: We were THIS CLOSE to winning!

In a way, this essay is a test for the bipartisan foreign policy community that's taken so much abuse in the blogosphere lately. I mean, Rudy is plainly nuts. No one closer to the center than Charles Krauthammer should take this as anything more than the incoherent burblings of a national security naif. But will they say that? Or will it be considered a serious addition to the foreign policy discussion? Any bets?

Kevin Drum 11:56 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (65)

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"this man is batshit insane."

On foreign policy Giuliani represents the worldview of your average wingnut. That's to whom he is appealing with this 'batshit insanity'.

Posted by: Nick on August 15, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

It will be taken semi-seriously because it is basically a full-employment program for the foreign policy industrial complex. It may be no more 'serious' than advocating the closing every overseas base and embassy, but isolationism would require thousands of people in Washington to get real jobs.

Posted by: F. Frederson on August 15, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

I tend to agree. To me, Giuliani's foreign policy seems little more than "Remember 9/11" mixed with an idealogical agenda. Frankly, even as a conservative, I have to admit we've had more of that than I care for over the last five or six years. It's just not the basis for a solid, practical foreign policy.

Posted by: BTD Greg on August 15, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

A cursory listening of any speech by Bush previous to his first election to the Presidency provided glimpses of him being batshit insane. At a minimum it showed glimpses of batshit incompetent. That didn't stop his election. Why will it harm Rudy?

Posted by: steve duncan on August 15, 2007 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Giuliani's FA article will be taken seriously.

This has been another edition of simple answers, etc.

Posted by: ChristianPinko on August 15, 2007 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Joyner references this summation of Rudy's "plan", which is short and funny: http://tinyurl.com/2gmkec

Posted by: gummitch on August 15, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Wiping out every instance of non-democratic badness in the world is a noble goal. And it would take the Hero of 9/11 to motivate every man, woman, and child in America to take up the arms necessary to accomplish it.

By the way, will the last person to leave before marching off to Zimbabwe please remember to turn off the lights?

Posted by: Grumpy on August 15, 2007 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

As long as Rudy's surveillance plan includes any misuse of falafels and loofahs - of course, for national security purposes, the Tryst Bunker at 1600 Wilhelmstrasse will still be off-limits.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on August 15, 2007 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Rudolphus Giulianius is not insane, he is merely operating on an intellectual level miles above you pygmies. How can you question This Leader?

But don't worry, so is Fred Thompson and the rest of our America Loving Leadership.

Someday you will understand.

Posted by: Free Lover of Freedom and Free Liberty on August 15, 2007 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

... this essay is a test for the bipartisan foreign policy community ... will it be considered a serious addition to the foreign policy discussion?

—Kevin Drum

Yes, and anyone who disagrees will be demolished as a wimp.

Posted by: Econobuzz on August 15, 2007 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Giuliani, given his post-Decalogic personal life, is the only candidate that actually scares me....if he wins the nomination.

Assume arguendo, that for every turned-off fundie who looks at Giuliani and stays home, a fear-addict, or authority-worshiper, or closet racist, who couldn't otherwise bring him or herself to vote for a southern, Talibornagain Republican comes off the bench.

Are we sure the former outnumber the latter? Is the superego vote really bigger than the id vote?

Because we could be gambling the Republic on it.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on August 15, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Our entire government is a joke.

The Powers that Be have already determined the nominees, and the final winner. The joke is on We The People, who actually still believe that we have any say in the matter.

Posted by: Thomas Mc on August 15, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

1. Free Lover of Freedom is a comic frickin' genius.

2. It's more about the irresponsibility and laziness of the media than it is about Rudy's manifest incompetence.

He's fed them red meat. You expect them not to chew it up and shit it out?

Posted by: cazart on August 15, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

More jobs will be created when Rudy takes the throne - Freedom Lover supra and Norman Rogers can help change the signs from 1600 Wilhelmstrasse to 1600 Piazza Venezia.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on August 15, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Check Shadi Hamid--so lately demonized for his willingness to talk to more than one faction of the *Democratic Party*--on this;

http://www.democracyarsenal.org/2007/08/highlights-from.html

Posted by: David on August 15, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Of course he's "batshit insane."
His is, after all, running for nominee of the Batshit Insane Political Party.

Posted by: Thomas Mc on August 15, 2007 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Are we sure the former outnumber the latter? Is the superego vote really bigger than the id vote?

Because we could be gambling the Republic on it.

This is a very important question, and yes, one to which we need to be paying serious attention.

In addition, I'm not convinced that the entire turned-off fundie vote will stay home. In his world-class authoritarianism, constant liberal-baiting, undirected pugilism and unspecific Muslim-bashing, Rudy displays qualities that outweigh his unfortunate marital peccadilloes in the minds of many religious right voters. For a much smaller number of fundies, those qualities may even trump his stance on abortion.

They won't support him in the primary, but I don't think they'll all sit out the general election.

Posted by: shortstop on August 15, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

I mean, Rudy is plainly nuts. No one closer to the center than Charles Krauthammer should take this as anything more than the incoherent burblings of a national security naif.

Do we know who wrote this for Rudy?

Posted by: Askance on August 15, 2007 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, great, another draft-dodger who really, really loved the Vietnam War!

And who TOTALLY thinks we should just have kept pouring in troops, so long as they weren't him.

Gosh, where have I seen this guy before?

Posted by: anonymous on August 15, 2007 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

It's worth remembering that there's a method to Giuliani's batshit insanity.

Giuliani produced the document to win the Republican primary, and this manages what seems to be the impossible, namely dragging Republican foreign policy even further to the right. I'm sure his opponents are going to have to shift too just to keep up.

This really highlights the deep problem the Republican have from here until, well, eternity. They've built up their kennel of rabid dogs who will settle for nothing less than the red meat of endless war against someone. How do you ever get them to back away from any aggression, however irrational and contrived?

This is just the characteristic of all true radical groups. It's like the Libertarians, whose most basic issue is always, just what sort of armaments do we allow citizens? Machine guns, no question, bazookas, no question, but how about genuine WMD, and, if they should be lucky enough to get their hands on one, a nuke? Even those Libertarian candidates who blanch at the idea of genuine WMDs have to excuse themselves all over the place to make themselves seem like they have their hearts in the right places. To any outside party, the entire discussion is breathtakingly nutso; but it is simply the playing out of a radical constituency.

Thing is, that constituency in the Republican Party is just not going away. It's been too carefully cultivated over too many decades.

And, beyond this, the Republican Party has simply no answer to the question, if it's not in favor of hyperaggression at the drop of hat, what IS it's reason to exist? What distinguishes it from the Democratic Party?

I've never seen an answer to that question after the Iraq fiasco. There's just no room for the Republican Party now on the foreign policy spectrum that doesn't put them far off the deep end of public opinion.

Posted by: frankly0 on August 15, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

There's just no room for the Republican Party now on the foreign policy spectrum that doesn't put them far off the deep end of public opinion.

Posted by: frankly0

Yes, but one more 9/11-type terrorist attack in this country can change all that. Then their approach to foreign policy will be mainstream -- and the dems will be on the losing side again.

Posted by: Econobuzz on August 15, 2007 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

There is nothing insane about Giuliani's approach to foreign policy.

Look, it's no more than common sense that someone who has never held a job related to foreign policy and has no record of thinking deeply about the subject is going to sound as if he doesn't know much about it. Giuliani knows that variations on the Bush administration's rhetoric appeal to the Republican primary voters most likely to vote; he knows also that the only chance for a GOP win in next years election is for the Republican nominee to face another weak Democratic candidate. In that scenario the only thing that matters now is to win the Republican nomination.

Now, it would look better if Giuliani had at least gone to the trouble of memorizing a more sophisticated set of talking points. The Democratic frontrunners don't know any more about how to conduct foreign policy than he does, and are runing against candidates with genuine experience, but they've covered their bases as far as talking points go. But this whole process is about the campaign, and only about the campaign -- every candidate is doing what he or she thinks will win the next election, and no more or less than that.

Posted by: Zathras on August 15, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

... every candidate is doing what he or she thinks will win the next election, and no more or less than that.

Posted by: Zathras

Exactly. And Giuliani is tapping into the fear and anger that the right has been fostering to ensure Republican victories.

Remember, fear and anger will trump incompetence and scandal every time.

Posted by: Econobuzz on August 15, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

The audience for Rudi's ramblings isn't the "serious"-minded foreign policy people (who largely, by the way, share his desire for Arab extermination). The Drezners and Pollacks et al will probably stay silent - it's their wet dream, but they know when to be embarrassed.

Instead, the audience is the rubes. Rudi knows the article will create a slight buzz, and quotes might be excerpted into more mainstream newspapers and such. It'll trickle down to the Rush Limbaugh listeners, people who are interested in politics and foreign policy - and are also complete dumbasses. They'll eat it up.

People vote on character and personality, not policy positions. Hard core Repubs and Democrats are going to vote for whoever is nominated. The mushy middle swing voters go for image - and Rudi's swaggering is what he's selling.

Will help him in the primaries, and in the general. Plus, as far as product positioning goes, he can't run on "family values" issues obviously, so a kill-all-Muslims is not the worst Brand identity to be selling.

Posted by: luci on August 15, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Look, it's no more than common sense that someone who has never held a job related to foreign policy and has no record of thinking deeply about the subject is going to sound as if he doesn't know much about it.

You'd think that would be common sense, wouldn't you?

And yet here we have a guy not only is basing his entire candidacy on selling a phantasmic expertise in terrorism, he actually appears to believe he holds said expertise--uniquely so.

I think that singles him out for some very special mockery, don't you?

Posted by: shortstop on August 15, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Oh. come on. These rantings, and every other extreme or just plain stupid statement made by the Republican candidates will be flushed after the nominee is selected.
The nominee will then be made over into the combination of JFK, Churchill, and most importantly, Reagan or whatever combination of Ubermenschen the "serious" commentators tell us we need to save us from the biggest threat ever, which they will also tell us about.

And they'll do it gratis. Just for the hell of it, cause they like him, in fact, they've already had a beer with him, and he's a super guy.

Posted by: Mooser on August 15, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

We are being given the chance to replace Fredo Corleone with his younger brother: "I don't feel I have to wipe everyone out -- just my enemies -- that's all."

And a round of applause for Davis X. Machina's contribution ("post-Decalogic") to the English language. Did he have any commandments other than the Sixth, Eighth and Ninth in mind [using the Vulgate, not the KJV, as my marker]?

Posted by: Henry on August 15, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

In addition, I'm not convinced that the entire turned-off fundie vote will stay home.
shortstop

Stay home, and risk the "faith based" grants? "Not on my watch", every fundie minister will say, and then just watch the apologetics for the heretics, shortstop.

Posted by: Mooser on August 15, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, but one more 9/11-type terrorist attack in this country can change all that. Then their approach to foreign policy will be mainstream -- and the dems will be on the losing side again.

You have a point, but I think that a great deal is going to hang on who is President at the time, a Democrat or a Republican. If it's a Democrat, I would predict a great deal of rallying around the President, and I also predict a quite aggressive response. The Republicans will of course demand something vastly more aggressive, but I think they won't get a lot of support if we have already deployed our military in a forceful way.

If a Republican is President at the time, then it would certainly work to his favor -- though not nearly as much as it did Bush.

You see, I really do think that the Iraq war changed something very basic in the American consciousness. Before the Iraq war, it was pretty much always perceived among a good number of voters that it was impossible to deviate on the side of being too aggressive. Both Reagan and Bush I seemed to demonstrate to them that there was no real downside to hyperaggression in today's world. The Iraq war proved it could be far, far overdone. I think most Americans now accept the notion that a targeted counterattack is the only correct answer to terrorism. Wild strikes by a Republican President are going to seem all too reminiscent of the Iraq war.

But I don't think it's going to be very easy for Republicans to regain the Presidency for a good number of years in any case.

Beyond that, I will simply state my own personal opinion that I don't think we will in fact see another attack like 9/11, even though there is a small probability that we might. 9/11 worked because we just didn't take terrorism on our soil seriously -- consider the Aug 6 memo received by Bush. Even Bush, incompetent extraordinaire that he is, would take such a memo seriously nowadays. And intelligent Presidents would do everything in their power to stop such an event with such a warning.

I see the probability of a recurrence to be real, but quite low.

Posted by: frankly0 on August 15, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

But I don't think it's going to be very easy for Republicans to regain the Presidency for a good number of years in any case.

Posted by: frankly0

I hope you're right. But I fear that a Republican candidate who promises to (a) win in Iraq, (b) bomb the terrorists wherever they are, and (c) close the borders might win handily.

Posted by: Econobuzz on August 15, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Of course he's "batshit insane."
His is, after all, running for nominee of the Batshit Insane Political Party."
Posted by: Thomas Mc on August 15, 2007 at 12:39 PM

Hopefully that's not entirely true. Only about 28% of the public supports Bush, so there might be about 20% of the electorate who are Republicans with a brain.

"America would be easier if it were a dictatorship, but only if I was the dictator." -- Bush in 12/2000.

'You can only be free if you submit to authority.' -- paraphrasing Giuliani

Sound similar?

Posted by: MarkH on August 15, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Rather than another 9/11, we need to consider the far more likely event of a car bomb going off in a major city or a suicide bomber blowing themselves up in a mall. How does a terrorist attack on U.S. soil that kills a small number of people impact politics vs. thousands dead and major skyscrapers destroyed? No doubt it will stir security fears but it would also weaken the notion that terrorism poses an existential threat.

Posted by: demisod on August 15, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

When prince bandar offered the victims of 9/11 a multi-hundred-million dollar check, Rudy tore it up, and said "you're part of the problem. . . " or something to that effect.

Now - that kind of talk actually resonates with me. I'm not "anti-arab" at all. I'm not. I just think that the Saudi royal family is corrupt as hell, and pays off terrorists (like Osama bin Laden, and George W Bush) to stay in power.

And this is why I'm not at all worried that Rudy will get elected - because a lot of money is going to be funnelled into swiss bank accounts, and then back out again, into his opponent's pockets, who will stop him.

I'd like a little honesty in our foreign policy, especially with regard to the Israeli, Saudi, and Pakistani regimes.

But I don't want "Nuttier than squirrel turds."

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on August 15, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

From the linked article:

“Many historians today believe that by about 1972 we and our South Vietnamese partners had succeeded in defeating the Vietcong insurgency and in setting South Vietnam on a path to political self-sufficiency. But America then withdrew its support, allowing the communist North to conquer the South.”

This is proof positive that one can make up any batshit drivel one wants by quoting "many historians".

Actually this reads as if it has been written by Al.

Posted by: AnotherBruce on August 15, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

"I'll take 'Considered a Serious Addition to the Foreign Policy Discussion' for $200, Alex."

"The answer is: Liberals say rightly that he's batshit insane, but neocons will love his foreign policy ideas."

"Who is Rudy Giuliani, Alex?"

"Correct!"

Posted by: KDR on August 15, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Matt Yglesias states as a criticism that Giuliani offers "a diplomatic policy that finally lives up to the caricature of Bush policy."

Matt seems to ignore the fact that the majority of American voters don't seem to have a problem with Bush policy per se. They have a problem with the fact that he has been incompetent and thus unsuccessful at pursuing it. As I see it, that's also HRC's main argument: not that the Bush policy is wrong, but that it has not been carried out competently.

If the next election boils down to competence in foreign affairs in general, and fighting terrorism in particular, the dem candidate may have no comparative advantage whatsoever over the Republican candidate. And, if between now and then, fear of terrorism on our own soil becomes more entrenched than it even now seems to be, the Giuliani approach to foreign policy may be the preferred one.

If HRC (as the nominee) has the very same debate with Giuliani (as the nominee) as she had with Obama over whether to attack terrorists wherever they are, even if the hosting country can't or won't cooperate, and takes the same position, she will lose the debate.

Indeed, if Obama keeps up the attack on the foreign policy front, Giuliani's (new) foreign policy position may become as relevant to the dems' primary races as to the repugs'.

Posted by: Econobuzz on August 15, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Remember, fear and anger will trump incompetence and scandal every time.

Except when it didn't in 2006.

Look, I know it's fashionable to think the sky is falling all of the time and that the 'sheeple' are so darn stupid that they always fall for the same flavor of fear -- but that ain't the case.

Bush is less popular than herpes. The vaunted GOP machine is in disarray. Rudy is a thrice-married authoritarian. He WILL get a lot of votes. But his fear and division soaked rhetoric won't be the trick that wins him the election.

And tell me again how another attack wins the election for the party who says their cruel and vicious attack on terror has 'kept us safe'?

Look people said the same exact think in 2006 and the Dems swept. How is 2008 any different?

Posted by: noltf on August 15, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Remember, fear and anger will trump incompetence and scandal every time.

Except when it didn't in 2006.

Posted by: noltf

You're right, I should have qualified the statement with "in a presidential election."

Posted by: Econobuzz on August 15, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy is bat-shit insane with morals subservient to his ambition. A dangerous combination.

Posted by: downtown on August 15, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

2. It's more about the irresponsibility and laziness of the media than it is about Rudy's manifest incompetence. He's fed them red meat. You expect them not to chew it up and shit it out? Posted by: cazart on August 15, 2007 at 12:35 PM

3. Agree. And moreso, that a large percentage of the voting public accepts what the media shits on them and says: Thank you, Sir. May I have some more? Case in point: Rush Limbaugh and Ilk continued dispensing of said crap over national airwaves due to high ratings, not to any intellectual content or say...facts?

Far too many folks are Much Too Busy to research and decide issues for themselves, so they give their decision making powers to some Authority Figure, usually in the Media because TV accounts for most of their Busy-ness) and if the Busy Person is a Republican, look who they watch(pick a name). And any Republican media figure seems to feel very entitled to dispense leading information and more entitled to tell the masses what God would have them do. And the masses listen, because it is easier than thinking, and never question where all these magic answers come from.

Oh from God? Well, then, hey. Can't argue with that or I will be "liberal". So vote for Guiliani it is!

What is so hard in displaying verifiable facts and telling people to decide for themselves. Would that loose the GOP any further hope for power in WA? No. But it might curb their willful agenda a bit.

Posted by: Zit on August 15, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Barring catastrophe, Rudy is not going to be the Repub nominee. Drop Dead Fred hasn't even announced yet, wait till he tears Rudy a new one on immigration, profiteering on 911, on playing footsie with the public employee unions [quasi-mafiosi at best] endorsing Mario Cuomo, etc. Take it from someone that knows Repubs, Rudy is not going to cut it.

Posted by: minion on August 15, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Look people said the same exact think in 2006 and the Dems swept.

The Dems hardly swept, and only got majorities with an assist from Mark Foley.

Posted by: Disputo on August 15, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Franc Reyes said it best: "the Guiliani Dictatorship" (Empire, 2002).

Posted by: ajw_93 on August 15, 2007 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Will anyone on the Right take him seriously?

You bet! They took George Bush seriously, didn't they.

It wasn't already batshit crazy to attack Iraq, create 60% unemployment, destroy the infrastructure and arm both sides in a Civil War whilest attempting to steal their oil reserves?

Or maybe there is a Conservapedia definition for "Batshit Crazy" I am not familiar with.

Posted by: bcinaz on August 15, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Fortunately for us, "batshit insanity" is a shrinking base.

Posted by: Kenji on August 15, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

The Dems hardly swept, and only got majorities with an assist from Mark Foley.

No question that Foley--or more importantly, Denny & Crew's gargantuan mishandling and cover-up of same--put them over the top, but I don't think "sweep" is an unfair characterization. We held every single Dem-incumbent House and Senate seat that was up, in addition to picking up enough for majorities, and made substantial gains in state leges, too.

If you subscribe to the view that the GOP was up to its usual tricks re vote fraud, the Democratic success may have been even greater than the final numbers showed.

Hey, are you in Hastert's district, BTW?

Posted by: shortstop on August 15, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Fortunately for us, "batshit insanity" is a shrinking base.

Narrow but deep, deep.

Soon, I hope, we'll be able to drown it in a bathtub.

Posted by: shortstop on August 15, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

“Many historians today believe that by about 1972 we and our South Vietnamese partners had succeeded in defeating the Vietcong insurgency and in setting South Vietnam on a path to political self-sufficiency. But America then withdrew its support, allowing the communist North to conquer the South.”

"Many"? Name more than two reputable historians who think so(by reputable I mean those with a PhD who actually make their living by teaching and writing at a reputable university, not some wingnut welfare recipient at a think tank).

Posted by: Stefan on August 15, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think "sweep" is an unfair characterization.

Nor do I. We held every single seat that was contested, gained in both chambers, and now hold the majority of Governors mansions.

If that isn't a sweep, I don't know what would qualify.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on August 15, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Many historians today believe that by about 1972 we and our South Vietnamese partners had succeeded in defeating the Vietcong insurgency

Hell, we defeated the Vietcong during Tet. By 1972 we were fighting the NVA, which was perfectly happy to throw away the Viet Cong because they were ready to join the fight.

And it's laughable that there's no mention of how "our South Vietnamese partners" enjoyed neither the confidence nor the support of the Vietnamese populace, down to Marshall Ky, whose power base was reduced to his own fighter jet.

sheesh.

Posted by: Gregory on August 15, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

oh yes, the war in iraq is so popular these days that the prospect of another war with iran, syria, north korea, canada or anyone else that gets in our way will just sweep rudy into the white house. this is the kind of batshit insane thinking that keeps democrats from getting elected.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on August 15, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Giuliani is that bat-shit insane. Standing on that heap of rubble that was the twin towers really went to his head.

Re-enter The Onion

"Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over"

because it's all relative, ya know. If you thought Bush was bad...

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28784

Posted by: Desmodus on August 15, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin seems to have changed his view. No longer does he claim that Rudy's article lacks content. He now admits that it has content, but says that the content is wrong -- so wrong as to be "nuts."

It's striking that those who call Rudy "insane" base their opinion on some exaggerated paraphrase of what he (or his ghosts) wrote. I'd be more impressed with criticism based on his actual text.

Posted by: ex-liberal on August 15, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, ask and ye shall receive. This from Giuliani's text. (And I only excerpted from the first few pages.) We are going to make the world over in our image and by emphasizing military aggression over diplomacy. If you don't see a problem with this then I guess Rudy is your guy. Happy reading.

*****************************************


"Preserving and extending American ideals must remain the goal of all U.S. policy, foreign and domestic.

A realistic peace is not a peace to be achieved by embracing the "realist" school of foreign policy thought. That doctrine defines America's interests too narrowly and avoids attempts to reform the international system according to our values.

It would also place too great a hope in the potential for diplomatic accommodation with hostile states.

Above all, we must understand that our enemies are emboldened by signs of weakness.

We must learn from these experiences for the long war that lies ahead.

Succeeding in Iraq and Afghanistan is necessary but not sufficient. Ultimately, these are only two battlegrounds in a wider war. The United States must not rest until the al Qaeda network is destroyed and its leaders, from Osama bin Laden on down, are killed or captured. And the United States must not rest until the global terrorist movement and its ideology are defeated.

...our military is too small to meet its current commitments or shoulder the burden of any additional challenges that might arise. We must rebuild a military force that can deter aggression and meet the wide variety of present and future challenges. When America appears bogged down and unready to face aggressors, it invites conflict.

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. Rebuilding will not be cheap, but it is necessary. And the benefits will outweigh the costs."

Posted by: Desmodus on August 15, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

In a way, this essay is a test for the bipartisan foreign policy community that's taken so much abuse in the blogosphere lately. ...will it be considered a serious addition to the foreign policy discussion? Any bets?

Maybe. A look at Giuliani's foreign policy team is telling (see here): Charles Hill, Norman Podhoretz, Senator Bob Kasten, Stephen Rosen, Martin Kramer, S. Enders Wimbush, Peter Berkowitz, and Kim R. Holmes.

The common theme seems to be a desire to rewind history and have a do-over, resurrect PNAC, and because we weren't aggressive enough in the past we must be more aggressive in the future. Hill's recent statement is indicative (here):

...we must overcome what recently has been our "deep hesitation about not wanting to offend others or frighten the American people."
Ugh.

Posted by: has407 on August 15, 2007 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Desmodus. Now, I would ask you to specify what parts you disagree with and why. e.g.

Rudy disagrees with the "realist" school. Do you believe the US should seek to support "friendly" tyrants?

Rudy believes success in Iraq and Afghanistgan is necessary. Do you think it's unnecessary for us to succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Rudy wants 10 additional combat brigades. In your opinion, should we add some specific number of brigades less than 10? Should we reduce the number of brigades?

Rudy says our enemies are are emboldened by signs of [US] weakness? Do you disagree?

More generally, Rudy seems to imply that it's our job to deter aggression all over the world. He recommends military policies consistent with that view.

I'm not happy about the US being policeman for the world, but as far as I can see, that's pretty much the reality. Whether the threat is Saddam, OBL, Castro, Putin, the former Yugoslavia, Chavez, Iran, etc., it seems that nothing gets done without US leadership and the US playing the major role. I'd rather see the US unfairly burdened with protecting the civilized world, than see civilization collapse.

Posted by: ex-liberal on August 15, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

This is civilization?

Posted by: Kenji on August 15, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

"We must also take a hard look at other requirements, especially in terms of submarines, modern long-range bombers, and in-flight refueling tankers. Rebuilding will not be cheap, but it is necessary. And the benefits will outweigh the costs."
Sounds batshit insane to me. 9/11 and the Iraq debacle have shown that our current military (especially the machinery listed) is already more than adequate for toppling any foreign regime we don't like (Iraq can be yours in only two months!), but not as useful against terrorist groups like al Qaeda or for winning the hearts and minds of a populace that doesn't want to be won over.

Posted by: Qwerty on August 15, 2007 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

As a female voter, I cannot take one more macho hypermasculine show boater with a passion for himself advancing an imperial agenda and ignoring social programs and networks.
A mere casual examination of his statements reveals a dependency on the failed Bush Doctrine. Once more, we will have a most polarizing figure mindlessly chanting 9/11
and breathlessly spewing fear mongering rhetoric into our daily lives.
Luckily, he is controversial within his own party and that may take care of itself.
May the Democratic leadership's ascendency prevent this highly contentious figure from advancing. Can you imagine the adversarial relationship with the Congress? And his free market bullshit will create even more sub-prime lending type disasters. He will not tolerate dissent by citizens. The poor will decompensate, more Katrinas will be evident, but he will be happy to have the defense department bulging at the seams.
We must focus on the election.

Posted by: consider wisely always on August 15, 2007 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

...we must overcome what recently has been our "deep hesitation about not wanting to offend others or frighten the American people."

What the fuck? Where and when was this deep hesitation exactly?

Posted by: France, Germany, Canada, Vietnam, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran, Syria, Hait on August 15, 2007 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal,

"Rudy disagrees with the "realist" school. Do you believe the US should seek to support "friendly" tyrants?"

Yours is a loaded question. Iraq has taught us that deposing tyrants with military force gets bad results.


"Rudy believes success in Iraq and Afghanistgan is necessary. Do you think it's unnecessary for us to succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan?"

Another loaded question. I would define success as not fueling hatred toward America by resorting to heavy-handed military solutions for every problem.


"Rudy wants 10 additional combat brigades. In your opinion, should we add some specific number of brigades less than 10? Should we reduce the number of brigades?"

The wise use of military force for protecting America from actual threats as opposed to waging wars of aggression suggests that a military build-up is unnecessary.


"Rudy says our enemies are are emboldened by signs of [US] weakness? Do you disagree?"

Yes, I do disagree. Our enemies not emboldened by US weakness they are emboldened by our in-your-face foreign policy which offends and threatens them and spurs them to action. This is the very policy that Giuliani wants to exacerbate.


Seeing enemies everywhere and responding to them with violence is the problem not the solution. Iraq is now a breeding ground for American hatred and recruiting ground for terrorists - events created by the US invasion and occupation. This is not winning the war on terror. Initiating violence only creates more violence and enmity toward America. We should be paying attention to the consequences of our actions.

Posted by: Desmodus on August 15, 2007 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "Whether the threat is Saddam, OBL, Castro, Putin, the former Yugoslavia, Chavez, Iran, etc. ..."

With the noted exception of Osama bin Laden -- who's the head of an active and ongoing criminal enterprise, and not the leader of a rogue nation -- we currently represent a far greater threat to the aformentioned members of that list than any of them do to us. You can bloviate all you want, but that is just simple, honest fact. Period.

ex-liberal: "I'd rather see the US unfairly burdened with protecting the civilized world, than see civilization collapse."

Really? How exactly are you as an American "unfairly burdened"?

I don't see you rushing to volunteer for the military in order to lead by example -- kind of strange, if you ask me, for someone who's so Hell's-Afire determined to not "see civilization collapse,"

And most certainly, you're not paying one goddamned cent out-of-pocket for this epic clash of civilizations in Baghdad, because the funding for this entire bullshit enterprise has been literally put out to bond and t-bill -- nearly $1 trillion in debt conveniently deferred to the immediately succeeding generations of Americans.

You best think about that very real lack of sacrifice on your part, before you continue offering up my daughters or my nephew -- whose Army unit is currently in Kuwait and awaiting pending rotation "in country" -- or anyone else's loved ones, as candidates for slaughter upon your fellow chickenhawks' bloodied altar of wretchedly misguided patriotism.

In the meantime, Babooze, why don't you stuff the shopworn right-wing rhetoric where the sun don't shine, and peddle your hyperbole-laden "end-of-days" nonsense someplace else? I'm sure that there are plenty of friendlier online locales where your fellow "batshit insane" compatriots can truly appreciate, and thus commiserate with, your Popov-soaked concerns.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on August 15, 2007 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

yes, batshit rudy is the only way this guy should be described.

i recall when my girlfriend and i first encountered him. it was at mickey mantle's joint in manhattan. rudy wandered in with a girlfriend and his goombah "pals" for a late night drink.

mantle's joint was virtually empty. my girlfriend and i were at the bar having a nightcap before retiring to the essex house[we were visiting manhattan].

now we became captured by a very inebriated mayor guiliani, his inebriated girlfriend, and his goombah "pals".

it was one of those situations that you hate to be caught up in. there was no way for us to escape that jerk. in fact, mantle's stayed open after hours to accommodate his honor the mayor. and my friend and i had to be captured until he and his entourage finally decided to depart[3AM].

we were pissed. we had an early morning flight to catch. and rudy is not all that pleasant to be around. nor the gunsells that were accompanying him.

i have always operated under the precept that where there is smoke there is fire. so, i would assert that there are hundreds[if not thousands] of stories like this out there in the naked city. and that the msm knows of them.

but fascist bastids that it is composed of, owned by, controlled by, this knowledge will not be related to the sheep.

only at the netroot level can the real rudy be revealed for the alcoholic, philandering, thoroughly dishonest human being that he is.

tear this gangster down from his pedestal.

i feel better now having said this. i shall feel much better when this guy becomes erased from the political lists.

Posted by: albertchampion on August 15, 2007 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Giuliani is a militant interventionist, but that does not make the other front runners, including Romney, Thompson, McCain, Hillary, Edwards, and Obama, that much different from him. All of them stand for interventionism. Despite the CIA's warning that most Muslims hate and are willing to attack the U.S. because of our government's meddling in the Middle East, all of these candidates believe the solution is more meddling there, not less.

Bill Clinton upheld sanctions on Iraq, sanctions that killed did. George W. Bush invaded Iraq, and Hillary, McCain, and Edwards voted in favor of the war. Today, Barack Obama has sacrificed his position as an anti-war candidate with his foolish ultimatum toward Musharaff that if he did not take out Al Qaeda, America would invade.

It is time to return to the traditional enlightened nationalism of the true conservatism. It is time we accept that the military can defeat enemies, but it cannot remake foreign cultures and foreign religions in our secular, feminist, globalist image.

Instead of defeating Al Qaeda by miring ourselves further in the Middle East, why don't we defeat them by ending our well-intentioned Empire there, while at the same time ruthlessly hunting them down in the shadows with our covert assets?

The American people lack the will to uphold an Empire in the Middle East, if it is an Empire built on benevolent intentions. Meanwhile, our enemies will only be defeated if we stop doing their recruiting work for them by upholding the status quo of rampant interventionism in the Middle East. That all of the frontrunners, with the noble exception of Ron Paul, do not understand this proves that our leaders have forgotten Sun Tzu's maxim of knowing thy enemy and knowing thyself. They understand neither Al Qaeda nor the American people.

Posted by: brian on August 16, 2007 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Who'd you plagiarize that from without attribution, brian?

Posted by: shortstop on August 16, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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