Friday, August 17, 2007

Giuliani dabbles in foreign policy. Blames the rest of the world for his stupidity.

Shorter Rudy Giuliani: I have knowledge of 9/11 beyond that of all others. I was there. I know the terrorists. I can save you. I know where the terrorists came from. They came from Logan International, Dulles International and Newark airports. We will get them there and create a lasting, realistic peace. I will call in Batman.


Canadian Cynic dangled Giuliani's piece of foreign policy tripe in front of me. He's right. I started screaming. Giuliani seems content to compare his role as the mayor of a city to that of an international statesman. And we're all supposed to swallow it. Believe me, there is a brighter student of foreign relations on holiday in Crawford, Texas at the moment, and I thought he was as low as one could go.

Luckily, Fred Kaplan, at Slate, took Giuliani's unbelievable and "shoot-in-the-dark" foreign policy bomb and counter-mined it.
Rudy Giuliani's essay in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, laying out his ideas for a new U.S. foreign policy, is one of the shallowest articles of its kind I've ever read. Had it been written for a freshman course on international relations, it would deserve at best a C-minus (with a concerned note to come see the professor as soon as possible). That it was written by a man who wants to be president—and who recently said that he understands the terrorist threat "better than anyone else running"—is either the stuff of high satire or cause to consider moving to, or out of, the country.
At which point I would ask where Kaplan found the generosity to issue it a C-minus.

Giuliani rambles on in deluded grandeur, making bizarre statements and suggestions without the slightest acknowledgment of the realities of today nor even a basic understanding of history.

Kaplan had a difficult enough time picking out the most glaringly grotesque bits of Giuliani's essay, so much so that he simply started at the beginning and, with little effort, tore it to shreds.

Giuliani describes the Viet Nam conflict in a way that demonstrates something very clearly. He wasn't there and he wasn't paying attention when it was happening.

His view of how to deal with Iran would do nothing short of starting an even bigger war in South Asia, probably sucking in the rest of the world.

And his vision for a constellation of satellites peeking into every nook and cranny of the globe is so beyond the realm of sanity that one could stop reading right there and be satisfied that Giuliani has lost complete possession of his faculties. If he ever had them to begin with.

If there is one thing which should alert people to how this narcissistic asshole would deal with the world, it's this statement:
The time has come to refine the diplomats' mission down to their core purpose: presenting U.S. policy to the rest of the world. Reforming the State Department is a matter not of changing its organizational chart -- although simplification is needed -- but of changing the way we practice diplomacy and the way we measure results. Our ambassadors must clearly understand and clearly advocate for U.S. policies and be judged on the results. 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. The American ideals of freedom and democracy deserve stronger advocacy. And the era of cost-free anti-Americanism must end.
Does that rattle you? If not, it should. Giuliani thinks diplomacy is a one-way operation where the US is involved. The US speaks and the world heeds the words. No mention is made of even the slightest attempt to gain an understanding of the rest of the world or the grievances other countries may have. In fact, before he even gets there, he dismisses any possible complaint with US foreign policy with his little line about "cost-free anti-Americanism".

Does Giuliani understand that anti-Americanism has a root, and that the root is people just like him? It is a regurgitation of the principles laid out by uber-wanker Bill Kristol and the Project for a New American Century. The hubris and sense of entitlement are overwhelming.

What Giuliani seems to miss is that anti-Americanism is a disease lodged in America. Most of the world has a huge hate on for the US right now. From the bungling of a righteous incursion into Afghanistan to the mindless perpetration of a slaughter in Iraq, the US is not viewed as a collection of thoughtful world leaders. Indeed, the country is collectively assessed as a reactionary bully out to steal the lunch money of anyone and everyone they can in as short a time as possible.

Giuliani doesn't get it. America is soaked in the blood of its victims. The world isn't going to suddenly provide water for a bath without serious evidence of a reversal of the tendency to threaten or beat the daylights out of anyone who objects to the way the US does business outside its borders. Any good the US has done in the past century has been erased from the tote by the actions of the Bush administration, and Giuliani suggests that those actions be increased and expanded. He writes like a drug-dealer demanding personal respect at the point of a gun.

Giuliani's exaggerated style is nothing new. It might have worked in New York City - for a while. It has no place in global affairs and his flights of fancy should underline how bad this turkey would be for America and the world.

But then, Giuliani isn't beyond exaggerating. It suits him well. And I'd bet if you ask him, he will tell you he knows Batman.

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