Is a Vote for Rudy a Vote for War?
Rudy Giuliani has made a "promise" not to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear capability, even if it requires U.S. military action. Though the U.S. Army is scrimping to meet recruitment goals, Rudy has pledged to add at least 10 new combat brigades.
Speaking to an Atlantic Bridge conference in London, Rudy called for NATO expansion to include Japan, India, Australia, Singapore and Israel. Has Rudy thought this through?
Why would Japan and Australia, each of which already has a U.S. commitment to come to its defense, commit to go to war with a nuclear-armed Russia if it invaded Estonia? For joining NATO would require them to treat an attack on Estonia, or any other NATO nation in Europe, as an attack upon themselves.
Why should the United States commit to war for India, which has territorial conflicts and has fought wars with China and Pakistan? What vital interest is it of ours who holds Kashmir? As for Israel, are American boys now to fight Hezbollah and Hamas?
While FDR talked to Stalin, Ike and JFK to Khrushchev, and Nixon to Mao, Rudy would not talk to any "enemies bent on our destruction or those who cannot deliver on their agreements." Would he be even-handed in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute? Answers Rudy, "America shouldn't be even-handed in dealing with ... an elected democracy ... and a group of terrorists."
If Rudy rivals McCain as the hawk's hawk in the Republican race, the foreign policy advisers he has signed up make the Vulcans of Bush look like Howard Zinn and Ramsey Clark. Arnaud de Borchgrave titled his column about them "Dogs of War."
Team leader is Charles Hill, a co-signer of the Sept. 20, 2001, neocon ultimatum to Bush, nine days after 9/11, warning the president if he did not attack Iraq, his failure to do so "will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender to the war on international terrorism."
Yet Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.
A second member of Rudy's team is Martin Kramer, an Israeli-American who, according to Ken Silverstein of Harper's, "spent 25 years at Tel Aviv University and whose Middle East policy can best be summarized as, 'What's Best for Israel?'" Silverstein calls Rudy's eight-man advisory group "AIPAC's Dream Team" – AIPAC being the Israeli lobby, two of whose leaders go on trial in January for espionage against the United States.
According to the New York Times, another key Rudy adviser is Daniel Pipes, "who has called for profiling Muslims at airports and scrutinizing American Muslims in law enforcement, the military and the diplomatic corps." Another is AEI's Michael Rubin, "who has written in favor of revoking the United States' ban on assassinations."
Best known of Rudy's advisers is Norman Podhoretz, who wrote in June, "The Case for Bombing Iran" in Commentary, thinks we are in "World War IV" and writes that "as an American and as a Jew, I pray with all my heart" Bush will bomb Iran. Podhoretz sees us at Munich in 1938 and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Hitler.
"Like Hitler," writes Podhoretz, Ahmadinejad "is a revolutionary whose objective is to overturn the going international order and to replace it in the fullness of time with a new order dominated by Iran and ruled by the religio-political culture of Islamofascism."
Time to return to Planet Earth. Ahmadinejad is not only jeered at Columbia but at colleges in Tehran. He is openly attacked by rivals. He does not control the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. He does not decide on war or peace. He runs a regime with 2 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, no nukes and no navy or air force to rival ours. He is a Shi'ite in a Sunni world. How is this 5 foot, 4 inch Persian going to strong-arm the United States, Russia and China – not to mention an Israel with 300 nukes – into his "new order"?
After the axis-of-evil speech threatening war on Iraq, Iran and North Korea, Podhoretz wrote that Bush had not gone far enough.
The "regimes that richly deserve to be overthrown ... should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya, as well as 'friends' of America like the Saudi royal family and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian Authority." After toppling them all, wrote Podhoretz, as he mocked the "timorous ... incorrigibly cautious Colin Powell," let's find "the stomach to impose a new political culture on the defeated."
Bush found the stomach. Near 4,000 Americans are dead, 27,000 wounded, Walter Reed is full, and Norman is looking for new wars. On a recent National Review cruise, he ranted that Iraq was an "amazing success," "a triumph. It couldn't have gone better." As for Saddam's WMDs, they were secretly "shipped to Syria."
After meeting with his candidate, Podhoretz emerged happy to assure us, "There is very little difference in how he (Rudy) sees the war and I see it." If true, a vote for Rudy is a vote for endless war.
And, as James Madison said, wars are the death of republics.
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