October 9, 2007


Neocons Converge Around Giuliani Campaign (Michael Hirsh, 10/15/07, Newsweek)

Neocons can't help but slink around Washington, D.C. The Iraq War has given the neoconservatives—who favor the assertive use of American power abroad to spread American values—something of a bad name, and several of the Republican candidates seem less than eager to hire them as advisers. But Rudy Giuliani apparently never got that memo. One of the top foreign-policy consultants to the leading GOP candidate is Norman Podhoretz, a founding father of the neocon movement.

Podhoretz is in favor of bombing Iran because of the country's unwillingness to suspend its uranium-enrichment program. He also believes America is engaged in a "world war" with "Islamofascism" and that Giuliani is the only man who can win it. "I decided to join Giuliani's team because his view of the war—what I call World War IV—is very close to my own," Podhoretz tells NEWSWEEK. (World War III, in his view, was the cold war.) "And also because he has the qualities of a wartime leader, including a fighting spirit and a determination to win."

Giuliani clearly hopes this image, born of his heroic performance on 9/11, can carry him to the GOP nomination and to the White House. But is he really the candidate who will "keep Americans safer" if his primary tactic is to go "on offense" in the "long war," as he often puts it in his campaign stump speech? Critics will say that the neocons already tried that—in Iraq. Still, what's left of the neocon movement does seem to be converging around the Giuliani campaign, to some degree, because he embraces their common themes: a willingness to use military power, a tendency to group all radical Islamist groups together as a common enemy, strong support for Israel and an aggressive posture toward Iran. "He's positioning himself as the neo-neocon," jokes Richard Holbrooke, a top foreign-policy adviser to Hillary Clinton.

The Beltway obsession with neocon plots to run the world misses the point that they feel comfortable with the Mayor because he's so far out of the conservative mainstream on social issues. As with John McCain last time, their support is a sign of his weakness.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 9, 2007 7:02 PM

Off in the Southeast corner of my suburban county is an old-fashioned river town, once a site of summer cottages for folks from the city, but now well known for its criminal population. We used to joke in the county D.A.'s office that half the tombstones in the C****** cemetary bore the deceaseds' last words, "You don't have the b*lls to shoot."

These last words came up again and again. Dirtball is confronting some road-rage adversary, or a merchant, or another dirtball, and the words come out, "You don't have the b*lls to shoot."--then, BLAM!

Now not every war may be traced to this sort of misunderstanding--World War I, for example. Many are however, including World War II and Gulf War II.

What Il Duce has going for him is the perception that he is a ruthless gangster type, making offers not to be refused.

It may or may not be an act: that matters not. What matters is, as Don Vito Corleone would say, "respect."

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 9, 2007 8:51 PM

No one takes him seriously enough to think he's tough. He's too gay.

Posted by: oj at October 9, 2007 11:13 PM

Perhaps, to fey, would be a better choice of words.

Posted by: Genecis at October 10, 2007 4:46 PM


Posted by: oj at October 10, 2007 6:12 PM