Hawks on Mideast help develop Giuliani policies

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Based on his public statements, Giuliani does not share all their views and parts company with traditional neoconservative thinking in some respects. But their presence has reassured some conservatives who have expressed doubts about Giuliani’s positions on issues like abortion and gun control, and underscored his efforts to cast himself as a tough-minded potential commander in chief. And while Giuliani, like other New York mayors, liked to be seen as conducting his own brand of foreign policy from City Hall, he had little direct exposure to many of the specific issues the next president will confront and is still meeting for the first time with some of his advisers to develop detailed positions on particular subjects. Giuliani has taken an aggressive position on Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear program, saying last month it was a “promise” that as president he would take military action to keep the Iranians from developing a nuclear weapon. Warnings like that one and his reliance on advisers like Podhoretz, who wrote an article in June for Commentary magazine called “The Case for Bombing Iran,” have raised concerns among some Democrats. Podhoretz said in an interview published Wednesday in the New York Observer that he recently met with Giuliani to discuss his new book, in which he advocates bombing Iran as part of a larger struggle against “Islamofascism,” and “there is very little difference in how he sees the war and I see it.” Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, a Democratic candidate for president and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said recently that the specter of a Giuliani presidency frightens him. “I mean, here’s a guy making statements about Iran that, if he means them, guarantee there is no option but a war,” Biden said in a recent interview. Asked in a recent interview if he agreed with Podhoretz that the time to bomb Iran has already come, Giuliani said: “From the information I do have available, which is all public source material, I would say that that is not correct; we are not at that stage at this point. Can we get to that stage? Yes. And is that stage closer than some of the Democrats believe? I believe it is.” Like the neoconservatives, who played a major role in developing the Bush administration’s rationale for invading Iraq, Giuliani is a strong supporter of Israel who has expressed skepticism about how far the United States should go to back the creation of a Palestinian state.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Rudy Giuliani’s approach to foreign policy shares with other Republican presidential candidates an aggressive posture toward terrorism, a commitment to strengthening the military and disdain for the United Nations. But in developing his views, Giuliani is consulting with, among others, a particularly hawkish group of advisers and neoconservative thinkers. Their positions have been criticized by Democrats as irresponsible and applauded by some conservatives as appropriately tough, while raising questions about how closely aligned Giuliani’s thinking is with theirs. Giuliani’s team includes Norman Podhoretz, a prominent neoconservative who advocates bombing Iran “as soon as it is logistically possible”; Daniel Pipes, the director of the Middle East Forum, who has called for profiling Muslims at airports and scrutinizing American Muslims in law enforcement, the military and the diplomatic corps; and Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who has written in favor of revoking the U.S. ban on assassination. The campaign says the foreign policy team, which also includes scholars and experts with different policy approaches, is meant to give Giuliani a variety of perspectives. last_img