Giuliani: Obama’s Middle East policy is “feckless, naïve, almost childish”
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who knows a thing or two about dealing with terrorism, was asked during a CNBC interview on Friday what he thought of Mitt Romney’s supposedly controversial critique of the Obama Administration’s conduct during the crises in Egypt and Libya.
“If it were me, I would have been way more over the top than he was,” said Giuliani. “I’d have been outraged even more. I think the President of the United States’ feckless policy in the Middle East is naïve, almost childish, support of these movements without any real regard for what’s going to come after.”
“This is essentially what Jimmy Carter did to us in Iran, right?” Giuliani continued, comparing Obama’s swap of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak for the Muslim Brotherhood to Carter’s trade of the Iranian shah (a “really, really bad guy” in Giuliani’s frank estimation) for the Ayatollah. Giuliani also made a point lost in the Obama campaign’s revisionism of the “Arab Spring,” namely that far from displaying any sort of leadership during the fall of Mubarak, Obama dithered for days until he was pretty sure how the winds over Tahrir Square were blowing, and was finally prodded into action.
Giuliani also wondered if deposing the “neutered bad guy” who used to run Libya for the “maybe not so bad, but feeble” government locked in a power struggle against a “growing” al-Qaeda was such a hot idea, in light of recent events.
“Politics is part of our world,” he warned. “You get it wrong, and people die.” He later noted that “wars happen because of confusion” over the objectives and capabilities of a great power like America, and that appeasement only provokes further aggression.
Giuliani made a point of mentioning the desire of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohammed Morsi, to get the blind sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman extradited from U.S. custody – which some observers believe is the true motivation behind the unrest in Egypt. “Do you know how outraged I am about that?” asked Giuliani. “I’m the former mayor of New York. This man wanted to bomb my city, and the head of Egypt wants him released. And we’re giving them, what, $2 billion dollars a year? Are we out of our minds?” He would rather put Egypt’s foreign aid “in jeopardy, until they can show us they can act like a decent government.”
Giuliani sees what may turn out to be Obama’s worst blunder as “fiddling while Iran is becoming a nuclear power.” He accused Obama of being “afraid to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu” because the Israeli prime minister would ask Obama to “set a red line” against Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
He anticipated “a different response” from the world’s bad actors when they have to deal with a President Romney. He cited the linkage between America’s economic strength and national security, noting that Reagan’s revival of Jimmy Carter’s moribund economy was a necessary prelude to his successful strategy against the Soviet Union.