Why I support Rudy Giuliani as Secretary of State

(despite the partisan pandering he’s done lately)

My focus for the past decade, foreign policy-wise, has been on our sick and sad relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Anyone who reads the news knew that Saudi Arabia was responsible for the act of war that was 9/11. Now we have proof. We also know that our politicians, Democrats and Republicans, openly take bribes from them.

The Saudi government stones children. They crucify them. They let little girls burn to death for the crime of not being properly ‘covered’. They give women fewer rights than dogs and yet the UN allows them to be on their Human Rights Council.

Why have our institutions decayed to this point? For the same reason Guatemala has been taken over by gangs: the government is allied with the supporters of the gangs/terrorists they’re supposed to be fighting because it benefits them personally. Supporters of our alliance with Saudi will tell us that it keeps our economy going, but that’s not true. Saudi spending on ‘defense’ mostly benefits the 1 percent (and the KSA’s ‘defense’ is very offensive, mostly targeting noncombatants in Yemen.)

They’ll tell you it’s about the oil, but we don’t rely on the KSA for our oil. OPEC has lost most of its power. With current oil prices, Saudi is looking at the possibility of going bankrupt.

As the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Giuliani did what no other did before him — he weakened Mafia influence in NYC. He knows how the government/gang/terrorist infrastructure works, and he doesn’t like it.

Rudy Giuliani showing Prince bin Talal the damage from 9/11 (photo thanks to the LA Times)

That was evident in the speech he gave to the Saudi-enablers in the United Nations shortly after 9/11.

Now is the time in the words of your charter, the United Nations Charter, “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security.”‘ This is not a time for further study or vague directives. The evidence of terrorism’s brutality and inhumanity, of its contempt for life and the concept of peace is lying beneath the rubble of the World Trade Center, less than two miles from where we meet today. Look at that destruction, that massive, senseless, cruel loss of human life, and then I ask you to look in your hearts and recognize that there is no room for neutrality on the issue of terrorism: You’re either with civilization or with terrorists.
On one side is democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human life; on the other, it’s tyranny, arbitrary executions, and mass murder. We’re right and they’re wrong. It’s as simple as that. And by that I mean that America and its allies are right about democracy, about religious, political, and economic freedom. And the terrorists are wrong and, in fact, evil in their mass destruction of human life in the name of addressing alleged injustices.
Let those who say that we must understand the reasons for terrorism, come with me to the thousands of funerals we’re having in New York City — thousands — and explain those insane maniacal reasons to the children who will grow up without fathers and mothers and to the parents who have had their children ripped from them for no reason at all. Instead, I ask each of you to allow me to say at those funerals that your nation stands with America in making a solemn promise and pledge that we will achieve unconditional victory over terrorism and terrorists.

He’s also the only politician in our living history who has turned down money from a Saudi prince.

NEW YORK (CNN) — Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday the city would not accept a $10 million donation for disaster relief from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East contributed to the September 11 attacks.
“I entirely reject that statement,” Giuliani said. “There is no moral equivalent for this [terrorist] act. There is no justification for it. The people who did it lost any right to ask for justification for it when they slaughtered 4,000 or 5,000 innocent people.”

I don’t know if he knew then about the Saudi tradition of paying blood money (diyya) to escape punishment for a crime, but at that moment, he became the only politician worldwide with a sense of moral courage.

That may have changed. He’s not a perfect person by any means, but his immediate reaction to 9/11 was brave. Standing up to the local Mafia was brave. That kind of courage is unique in our political world. We desperately need it in our foreign policy.

[This post also appeared on my blog, Foreign Correspondence]