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Rudy Giuliani on Foreign Policy

Former Mayor of New York City; Republican Candidate for 2000 Senate (NY)


No one told Obama that Russia has a veto power at the UN

When Russia rolled over Georgia, Obama’s first instinct was to create a moral equivalency, suggesting that both sides were equally responsible, the same moral equivalency that he’s displayed in discussing the Palestinian Authority and the state of Israel Later, after discussing this with his 300 foreign policy advisers he changed his position and he suggested the United Nations Security Council could find a solution. None told him that Russia has a veto power in the United Nations Security Council.
Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention , Sep 3, 2008

Stand against Chavez’s & Castro’s form of dictatorship

Q: [to Paul]: How would you deal with Venezuela’s Chavez?

PAUL: He’s not the easiest person to deal with, but we should deal with everybody around the world the same way: with friendship & opportunity to talk & try to trade with people.

GIULIANI: I actually agree with the way King Juan Carlos spoke to Chavez [telling him to “shut up.”] That would be the way I would do it. Far better than what Congressman Paul wants to do. But the reality is that Chavez is acting like a dictator. And he should be treated that way. There’s a counter-movement going on in Latin America. [The people] don’t want to go in the direction that Castro wanted to take Latin America. They don’t want to go toward socialism and communism. They want to go to free markets, they want to go to freedom. I think it’s the essential nature of the people of Latin America, and I think Chavez is going in actually the opposite direction, kind of a repeat of what Castro tried to do, and it’s a disgrace, and we should stand against it.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision , Dec 9, 2007

Democracy is a long-term goal, after building bedrock

Q: Pres. Bush said in his second inaugural address, “It is the policy of the US to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture.” With elections spreading, has Pres. Bush’s policy been a success?

A: I think the way you’re defining it is incorrect. Democracy is not necessarily immediately going to elections.

Q: Well, that was the way Pres. Bush defined it.

A: The way I look at it, democracy also requires the rule of law. It requires stability. It requires people not being afraid they’re going to be killed every day when they go out on the street. Democracy’s only a theory if you’re living in an unstable situation. So sometimes, democracy is the long-term goal, but in order to get there, you have to first build a rule of law, you have to first build respect for human rights.A: Maybe the thing to do is to first make sure that you’ve developed the bedrock for democracy.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate , Aug 5, 2007

Iran is dangerous; not 10 years from nuclear weapons

Q [to Richardson]: Rudy Giuliani said, “The problem the Democrats make is, they’re in denial. That’s why you hear things like ‘Iran really isn’t dangerous; it’s 10 years away from nuclear weapons.’ Iran is not 10 years away from nuclear weapons.” How far would you go? Would you use tactical nuclear weapons if necessary to prevent Iran from having a nuclear bomb?

RICHARDSON: The Republicans are stuck in the status quo on immigration, they want to expand torture, they want to keep these flawed policies in the Middle East and Iraq going. This is how I would deal with Iran. I would talk to them, but I would build an international coalition that would promote and push economic sanctions on them. Sanctions would work on Iran. What I would promote would be a tough negotiation with Iran. But the reality is that if we bring Iran and Syria, we could possibly lessen the instability in Iraq, and make some progress on the Middle East situation, on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer , Jun 10, 2007

Bring peace by sharing gift of freedom with Middle East

Q: What is our most pressing moral issue?

A: We have great gifts in this country that come to us from God. We have a country in which we have freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom for the individual, the right to elect our own officials. The reality is that in much of the world, that doesn’t exist.

The challenge for our generation is going to be, are we able to share those gifts in an appropriate way with the rest of the world? If we can bring along the Middle East, if we can bring along those countries that are presently our enemies & get them to see the values of these ideals, if we have the moral strength to be able to explain it to them in the way Reagan was able to do with Communism, then we can end up having the peace that we want.

And we should never become pessimistic about this. When we believe in the essential ideals that we have, they’re not just American ideals, they come from God. It’s our moral obligation to find the right way to share that with the rest of the world.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

1980s: Denied asylum to Haitian refugees

The mayor bungled the response to a Haitian-American security guard’s death, though many Haitian immigrants were never going to be persuaded by anything he had to say. Many were still upset with him because as an attorney in Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department: He was involved in driving refugees on the Florida coast back into the arms of the murderous Haitian dictator “Papa Doc” Duvalier on the grounds that they were “economic refugees,” and not entitled to U.S. asylum.
Source: America‘s Mayor, America‘s President?, p. xxxii , May 2, 2007

As mayor, asked Yasir Arafat to leave concert both attended

In 1995, the United Nations held a gala concert at Lincoln Center in NYC. Observing Yasir Arafat entering the hall, the mayor ordered that the PLO leader be told to leave.

A UN spokesperson called Giuliani’s action “an embarrassment to everyone connected with diplomacy.” The mayor, accused of overstepping his role by pursuing his own foreign policy, retorted, “I would not invite Yasir Arafat to anything, anywhere, anytime. I don’t forget,” referring to the PLO’s 1986 murder of Leon Klinghoffer.

Source: Flawed or Flawless, by Deborah & Gerald Strober, p.163 , Jan 16, 2007

Foreign experience as mayor, at Justice Dept., & in 91 trips

Q: You did a great job of running New York after 9/11, but that it has very little to do with national security. And you still have never visited Iraq.

A: My being of mayor of New York City encompassed a lot more than just September 11, 2001. For 8 years, I had the safety and security of millions of people on my shoulders that I had to deal with. I am the only one here who actually has had to face an Islamic terrorist attack. With regard to foreign policy, I’ve negotiated with governments when I was in the Justice Department. I worked on a task force on terrorism in the 1970s. I have also traveled 91 trips in the last six years, to 35 different countries. And I knew how to take a stand for my country. I kept Arafat & Castro out of the UN 50th celebration. And as the mayor of New York I have been involved in one way or another in just about every single foreign policy issue because it just happens to be part of the DNA of New York, that you’re involved with the policy with the UN there.

Source: 2008 Fox News NH Republican primary debate , Jan 6, 2006

The Patriot Act, Afghanistan and Iraq wars: all very good

Q: Would you run on the president’s foreign policy record or away from it? A: You run on your foreign policy ideas, theories and policies, which I’ve laid out in articles. Bush got the big decision of his presidency right: the big decision that he made o September 20th, 2001, when he put us on offense against Islamic terrorism. I give him great credit for that. Because we had been dealing with Islamic terrorism incorrectly up until then. We had been on defense. We had been responding. Bush set a whole different mindset. It was: Let’s anticipate, let’s see if we can prevent another attack. That led to Afghanistan, it led to Iraq, it’s led to the Patriot Act, it’s led to electronic surveillance, it’s led to changing our intelligence services. All that is very, very good. Mistakes have also been made. Mistakes were made particularly in the period of time after the capture of Saddam Hussein and, now, a year ago, when we got to the surge policy.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate , Jan 5, 2006

Countries must all stand together in fight against terrorism

Opening remarks to the UN General Assembly Special Session on Terrorism, NYC, Oct. 1, 2001: "This is not a time for further study or vague directives. We are right and they are wrong. It is as simple as that."

In this speech at the UN, when the disaster was fresh in everyone's minds, Giuliani passionately urged the General Assembly to face down any country that supported terrorism. Giuliani's delivery was forceful and emotive. He was angry: "This was the deadliest terrorist attack in history. It claimed more lives than Pearl Harbor or D-Day. This was not just an attack on the City of New York or on the United States of America. It was an attack on the very idea of a free, inclusive, and civil society." His main thesis was that if countries didn't stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against terrorism--whatever that might mean in the future--then terrorists would succeed in destroying freedom, democracy and the underlying principles on which the United Nations had been built.

Source: The 100 Greatest Speeches, by Kourdi & Maier, p.122-124 , Oct 1, 2001

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Page last updated: Feb 23, 2012