I used to think of former New York mayor and presidential
hopeful Rudy Giuliani as a capable, benign Mr. Nice Guy; a fairly ordinary man
who faced an extraordinary calling on 9/11 to put his shattered city to rights.
I now know I was wrong.
Giuliani�s open countenance and wide grin belie a ruthlessly
ambitious individual unashamedly using that fateful day as the headline on his
presidential resume. He has even shown himself willing to forge a marriage of
convenience with one of America�s best-known anti-Islamic bigots, the Rev. Pat
Robertson, to garner the sizable evangelical vote.
Scarily, Giuliani�s �go after the terrorists� strategy
appears to be working even at a time when many candidates avoid the �war on
terror� like the plague, concentrating instead on how to win hearts and minds
and improve America�s worldwide standing.
Giuliani is currently leading the Republican race and is
neck-and-neck with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. If he manages to
take the White House he�ll be akin to Bush on steroids, remarked Democratic
runner John Edwards. It may have been said tongue in cheek but Edwards is
right. People in our part of the world may even be pleading: �Come back Bush,
all is forgiven."
From the perspective of this region a Giuliani-Robertson
union will be one manufactured in hell in the event the former mayor gets the
top job and for sure the hands on the Doomsday Clock will be moved even closer
In many respects they�re a veritable odd couple. Certainly
they hold very different views on gun control, abortion and gay rights. But
Robertson has decided to forgive Giuliani�s propensity to swap wives for
girlfriends as well as some of his more liberal stances. �To me, the overriding
issue before the American people is the defense of our population from the
bloodlust of Islamic terrorists,� said Robertson.
Secondly, both men are passionately pro-Israel, albeit for
different reasons. Both do not support a Palestinian state; Giuliani because
such a state would �support terrorism� and threaten US security, and Robertson
because his messianic beliefs support the ushering in of Armageddon as a
prerequisite to the �Second Coming."
In 2006, Robertson suggested Ariel Sharon�s illness was a
punishment for his policy of �dividing God�s land� -- a remark that no doubt
referred to the Israeli pullout from Gaza prompted by the former Israeli prime
When the Israeli daily Ha�aretz assembled a panel of eight
US election pundits Giuliani was pronounced the best presidential candidate for
Earlier this year, Robertson announced with certainty that
Iran had nuclear weapons and quoted religious texts to back up his belief there
would be a war where �states in that region� would join �to move against
Israel. �It�s amazing that Iran has come to the fore as it has with a president
who says Israel should be wiped off the map� and �who now has atomic weapons,�
he said, warning that Israel is entering �the most dangerous time of its
Giuliani has admitted he wouldn�t hesitate to use military
force against Iran�s nuclear program, while his senior foreign policy adviser
Norman Podhoretz said, �None of the alternatives to military action --
negotiations, sanctions, provoking an internal insurrection -- can possibly
The fact that Giuliani would hire the author of �World War
IV: The Long Struggle against Islamofascism� as an adviser is eyebrow raising
of itself but there�s worse.
Another member of his advisory team is the director of the
pro-Israel neoconservative think tank Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes, who has
backed the profiling of Muslims and their scrutiny as members of law
enforcement, the diplomatic corps and the military.
Daniel Pipes is also the founder of Campus Watch, an
organization that monitors US academia so as to stifle any criticism of Israel.
The fact that Giuliani wholeheartedly welcomed the Robertson
anointment is particularly worrying. The latter is known for controversial and
bigoted comments as well as calling for the assassination of Venezuelan leader
Robertson also fancies himself as a man of prophecies and
regularly appears on Fox News making dire warnings, such as major US cities are
destined to suffer mass terrorist attacks post-September 2007 that would end
the lives of millions of Americans.
But Robertson reserves his most hate-laced comments for
Islam and its followers.
He says the �goal of Islam� is �world domination� and has
characterized Muslims as �crazed fanatics," while labeling the religion as
�satanic� and �motivated by demonic power."
His new best friend Giuliani recently castigated those
Democratic nominees who avoided using the term �Islamic terrorism� during four
public debates, which Giuliani says is taking political correctness to
However, there is a chink of light. Whereas Giuliani will
certainly reap a proportion of the evangelical vote now that he�s hugged Pat
Robertson such a partnership isn�t likely to go down well with secular
conservatives, many of whom view Robertson as a nut job.
We used to plead �anyone but Bush.� Given Giuliani�s stance
on this region and the horrible company he keeps, I would sincerely say to the
American voters �Please . . . please . . . anyone but Rudy."
S. Heard is a British specialist writer on Middle East affairs. She welcomes
feedback and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.