Friday, August 17, 2007

It's Piling On Now

America's self-appointed mayor Rudy Giuliani has written a policy stance in Foreign Affairs. I'm assuming that all of you can figure out what form of policy he is discussing. Anyway, for most candidates, this would be a good opportunity to gain a lot of valuable voices in the policy and political wonk world as Foreign Affairs is one of those classy, highbrow Washington-type magazines. While this was a good opportunity, it was an opportunity squandered by Giuliani who continues to show that he knows absolutely nothing about American foreign policy or foreign policy in general.

I can't begin to break down all of the internal problems with this document because I didn't get a degree in politics. The only thing that I can say is fundamentally wrong with Giuliani's approach is the fact that he tries to make this into a battle of civilizations, which is fundamentally flawed in a war of ideologies as it truly stands. Additionally, diplomacy is not the imposition of one country's will over the other. Instead, diplomacy is driven by the concept of give and take.

Driving from this point, a note to Rudy: brinksmanship doesn't work anymore. Additionally, Rudy: New York City is not a nation of 300+ million people with local, state, and federal government structures or a system that allows for a unitary figure to make executive decisions without oversight. Just because you did something in a city of 7 million people does not mean that it will work over a country of 300+ million with state governments who can disregard your actions and implement their own plans. Napoleon and Democracy don't get along, Rudy.

From an area that I do know something about (thanks, Evanston Public Library!), Giuliani made a specious connection between the war in Vietnam and our current struggle against that slippery bitch Terrorism. I'll put his problem this way: Giuliani is giving the South Vietnamese far too much credit. FAR too much credit. Their state when America left was on the verge of falling to the North Vietnamese anyway, the group that everyone except for America and France wanted to run the country because they were nasty communists (wasn't the cold war a beautiful thing?).

When not conflating ideas or presenting wrongly intentioned theoretical arguments, Giuliani even has time to make strangely disturbing comments with regards to diplomacy. As he himself states:

To achieve a realistic peace, U.S. diplomacy must be tightly linked to our other strengths: military, economic, and moral.
I didn't think that we were a moral "powerhouse" nor did I think that morality is an appropriate basis for political diplomacy. Giuliani has to know that the implications of morality on other states will lead to situations that breed groups like Al-Qaeda. Giuliani's gang of advisors had to of told him some of this stuff. But, this is secondary.

The gem of this essay is right here (with my own emphasis):

Another step in rebuilding a strong diplomacy will be to make changes in the State Department and the Foreign Service. The time has come to refine the diplomats' mission down to their core purpose: presenting U.S. policy to the rest of the world. Reforming the State Department is a matter not of changing its organizational chart -- although simplification is needed -- but of changing the way we practice diplomacy and the way we measure results. Our ambassadors must clearly understand and clearly advocate for U.S. policies and be judged on the results. Too many people denounce our country or our policies simply because they are confident that they will not hear any serious refutation from our representatives. The American ideals of freedom and democracy deserve stronger advocacy. And the era of cost-free anti-Americanism must end.

This statement made me laugh out loud. I literally don't know what he is talking about. Has he been looking at the current butchery that the Bush administration has done with regards to diplomacy? Additionally, has Rudy even interacted with a diplomat. His statement says that diplomats don't know how to do their jobs of speaking the American interest with foreign parties. This statement really leaves me to wonder how he even thinks he is qualified to run for the presidency. Awful, just bloody awful this lot.

You can read it for yourself. You have to read it for yourself. I've never seen such a poorly structured, unsubstantiated policy paper before in my life. After you finishing reading the document or don't want to and just want the gist, I point you to Slate and Outside The Beltway.