If ever there was an archetypal anti-libertarian, a politician whose views exemplify all the very worst aspects of the authoritarian personality, then that man is Rudy Giuliani, who infamously intoned:
"We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don't see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."
This quote just about sums up his almost cartoonish ability to embody the values and rhetorical style of what Lew Rockwell has trenchantly described as "red-state fascism": state-worship, the cult of the leader, and, most of all – the bedrock upon which the entire rotten edifice rests – an aggressive foreign policy that virtually guarantees perpetual war.
This last is the keynote of Rudy's run for the White House, and it is reflected not only in his public pronouncements – he doesn't rule out nuking Iran – but in his team of foreign policy advisers, who represent, more than any other campaign, the core leaders of the neoconservative hardliners who whooped it up for war with Iraq. They now want to push us into war with Iran, as one of Giuliani's top consiglieres, Norman Podhoretz, has been "praying" will happen. (Since praying to God for war seems, uh, counterintuitive, to say the least, one has to wonder: Who, in this instance, does Poddy pray to? Himself? Ares? Maybe this guy.)
Poddy's latest book-length rant, aptly titled World War IV, is a compendium of every mythological bugaboo and grandiose exercise in "national greatness" in the neocon canon, from the "they hate us because we're free" canard to the vicious labeling of anyone who dissents from his Israel First agenda as anti-American, pro-fascist, and anti-Semitic, to the all-too-familiar neocon hubris that conjures up a 50-year project of "reordering" the Middle East in order to make the region safe for Israel (and, supposedly, the U.S., although one fails to see how).
Aside from openly declaring that he is lobbying the president to attack Iran, Poddy envisions a grand project of secularizing and "democratizing" the Middle East that would require us to invade and indefinitely occupy Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, and Egypt, with Pakistan and the states of Central Asia also in our sights. (Turkey presumably gets a pass, unless, of course, they stop cooperating with the U.S. and Israel). How many American lives will this social engineering crusade require? The invasion of Iraq is costing us $2 trillion – multiply that times at least 10, and you get the bill for Poddy's regime-change shopping spree.
Will President Giuliani take up the call to start World War IV? If Poddy were the lone neocon on the campaign's foreign policy team, then I'd say it was chiefly for decorative purposes: after all, neocons are advising other candidates – including Hillary Clinton – and most of what we have gotten so far from Giuliani is a lot of generalities about a war on "Islamofascism," but no real specifics on how, exactly, he proposes to fight it. Last night he came out openly for using the U.S. military to launch a preemptive attack on Iran, establishing Poddy's frenetic warmongering as the leitmotif of his campaign. An even scarier picture of what a Giuliani foreign policy might look like comes into sharper focus as we look at Team Giuliani's foreign-policy shop.
Newsweek cites the candidate's chief foreign policy adviser, Yale scholar – and unindicted co-conspirator in the Iran-Contra scandal – Charles Hill, as claiming "I don't really know much about neoconservatives"! Well, then, can we assume he's not acquainted with his fellows on the Giuliani foreign policy team? Because it looks to me like an all-neocon lineup:
# Daniel Pipes, who believes all Muslims, including in America, are out to establish a World Caliphate that will impose Sharia law. He believes the goal of Muslim organizations, like the moderate Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), is to establish a theocracy in America. How does he know this? Well, you see, he just kind of intuits it:
"Now, they don't say that in black and white in their writings. I can't prove that to you. I can tell you that there are all sorts of intimations of it. I can tell you I can sense it. I can make this case, but I can't make it specifically for CAIR. But you asked me, do I think that's what they want? Yes." (MORE)