Giuliani: U.S. can’t afford to rule out war with Iran

Giuliani: U.S. can’t afford to rule out war with Iran

Concord Monitor
November 6, 2007

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said yesterday that the U.S. needs its nuclear arsenal to strengthen its position in negotiating with Iran. If Americans want to leverage a better result from talks with Iran, they must be willing to go to war, he said.

“I wouldn’t ever unilaterally disarm the United States,” he said in response to a question at Saint Anselm College in Manchester yesterday. “And I think I certainly wouldn’t do it right now in the face of the Islamic terrorists’ war against us, in the face of an Iran that wants to be nuclear.”

Giuliani’s aggressive stance on Iran has worried some, especially Democrats who say the Bush administration’s tough talk on Iran resembles the preparation for war against Iraq in 2002 and 2003. But Giuliani’s message resonated with many who attended the town hall meeting yesterday.

“He makes me feel safe,” said Jeanne Zelensky of Goffstown.

Betty Larson of Amherst said, “He’s a mean son of a bitch, and that’s exactly what we need.”
None of the leading Republican and Democratic presidential candidates has ruled out a military option in Iran. Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton voted in the Senate last month to label Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, a decision her opponents called confrontational.

But Giuliani compared Iran’s advancement of its uranium-enriching program to the Cold War and said that following President Reagan’s tough negotiation tactics – a mix of military display and diplomacy – is the best way to negotiate with Iran.

Giuliani aims to emulate Ronald Reagan’s optimism in his campaign, even when he talks about war and nuclear weapons.

“Of the major Republican candidates, Giuliani tends to sound the most optimistically aggressive,” said Dante Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire. “John McCain often speaks of the war on terror as the great battle of our time, but . . . McCain has emphasized the sacrifice . . . whereas Giuliani tends to talk about the war on terror as something that we’re winning.”

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who leads the Republican polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, has stressed tougher sanctions and diplomatic isolation of Iran.

Yesterday, Giuliani said his stance on Iran is realistic, not provocative.

“I’m not overestimating the threat,” he said. “I’m

just taking them at their word, and my conclusion is that it would be too irresponsible and too dangerous to allow Iran to become nuclear.”

He said the U.S. government shouldn’t read too much into what Iran’s leaders say.

“We have to take Iran’ s leadership at its word,” he said. “We have to take Iran at its word when they say that they’re going to attack Israel . . . and when they say they want to destroy us. There’s something behind that.”

He added, “I think America has acted at its peril when it has discounted terrorist tyrants and dictators. And America has never been wrong when it takes them seriously.”

Giuliani said military force would not be his first option in dealing with Iran, but sanctions and negotiations will only work if America appears poised for battle. He recalled Reagan’s tactics with the Soviet Union, calling the nation an evil empire and sending missiles to Europe.

“There were a lot of things he did in advance to change the leverage,” Giuliani said. “Of course we can negotiate, but we’ve got to have someone to negotiate who’s tough and a realist.”

Scala said Giuliani’s rhetoric on Iran is red meat for Republicans who may be less enthused about a candidate who supports rights to abortion and gay marriage. And Giulaini’s blend of social moderate and national defense hawk may be just right for New Hampshire Republicans.

“In the context of winning the Republican primary, it does not hurt him,” he said.

Giuliani leads the Republicans in most national polls and is running close behind Romney in New Hampshire. With the New Hampshire primary expected to take place in early January, Giuliani has stepped up his pace in the state.

He’s visited five times since he filed two weeks ago to put his name on the ballot.

Yesterday Giuliani made a brief campaign stop with Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta, a Republican running for re-election. The two split a slice at Caesario’s Pizza on Elm Street in Manchester. Giuliani and his wife, Judith, nuzzled a baby, shook hands and posed for some pictures before heading out the door.

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War with Iran = Democrats’ Defeat?: Frank Rich

Lecture by Naomi Wolf – ‘End of America’…-wolf-end-of-america/

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