The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Giulani as the neo-con candidate

Rudy Giuliani apparently wants to be known as the neo-con candidate in the US presidential race. I was aghast enough that he chose pro-Israel agitator Martin Kramer as his Middle East advisor, but now he's gone one step further and taken on grand-daddy of all neo-cons Norman Podhoretz as his foreign policy advisor:

WASHINGTON, July 23 (UPI) -- Republican candidate for the presidency Rudy Giuliani, the leading hawk among presidential hopefuls, has appointed Norman Podhoretz senior adviser for foreign policy.

A founding member of the neo-con movement, Podhoretz, in the June issue of Commentary magazine, called for an immediate attack on Iran. Either we bomb Iran now, or "we could wake up one morning to find that Iran is holding Berlin, Paris or London hostage to whatever its demands are then." The geopolitical label for the process is the "Islamization" of Europe, which neo-cons say is a rerun of Hitler's conquest of Europe in the 1930s and 40s.

Giuliani's eight-member foreign policy team also includes Martin Kramer, an Israeli-American expert on Shia Islam at Harvard and a fellow with both the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Jerusalem-based Shalem Center ("for the development of Zionist thought"). Kramer once said the tendency by American Middle Eastern academics to neglect radical Islam as an issue was partly to blame for the failure to anticipate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Well, at least we'll know clearly where he stands. It's rather alarming, though, considering that Giulani (despite being a well-known nutter) has the potential to appeal beyond the Republican mainstream and cross-over to some Democrats and swing voters because of his more liberal social views, has taken foreign policy advisors that only care about Israel. If he's elected, we're not likely to see the same drift on US foreign policy outside the Middle East that we saw during the Bush administration. With these people (and with neo-conservatives more generally) it's Israel, Israel, Israel.

And here's Podhoretz foaming-at-the-mouth piece in favor of bombing Iran, which is an interesting example of the paranoid delusional mindframe.