These are dangerous times for Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran has already threatened the destruction of an entire nation and its people, and the free world ignores this hate-filled rhetoric at its peril. When a maniacal dictator threatens another Holocaust, it has to be taken seriously and acted against.
Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani clearly understands the nature of the threat that Israel faces, and as President of the United States would respond aggressively to any intimidation by Tehran or its myriad state-sponsored terror groups, from Hamas to Hizbollah. He will not allow the rise of a nuclear-armed Iran that threatens and intimidates its neighbors, and holds the region to ransom.
Giuliani has for decades been one of Israel’s strongest supporters, a powerful opponent of Islamist terrorism, and a leading critic of anti-Semitism on the world stage. He rightly describes Israel as “an oasis of freedom in a desert of authoritarianism and worse, an outpost of democracy where democracy is unique.”
Iran remains a massive threat to global security. As Defense Secretary Robert Gates noted at a Persian Gulf security conference last December, “everywhere you turn, it is the policy of Iran to foment instability and chaos, no matter the strategic value or cost in the blood of innocents.” Gates also warned that “Iran is keeping its options open and could re-start its nuclear weapons program at any time”, a point dramatically reinforced by Tehran’s recent announcement that it had installed 3,000 gas centrifuges at its nuclear plant at Natanz.
Iran, an oil rich country has very limited civilian need for nuclear power, and its continuing drive to enrich uranium can have only one purpose — the creation of a nuclear bomb. Iran has far easier and cheaper ways of generating electrical power than through an expensive nuclear program with a hugely over-built infrastructure.
There are distinct echoes of the heated discussions in Europe and the United States over the intentions of Nazi Germany in the mid to late 1930s in today’s debate over Iran. Then as now, there was a constant barrage of calls from political elites on both sides of the Atlantic for direct talks with a fascist regime and illusory hopes of reaching out to “moderates” within the government, a general downplaying of the threat level, widespread inaction and hand-wringing at the United Nations (then League of Nations), and staggering complacency over levels of defense spending.
There is a real danger in the wake of the recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report that the West will have its own “Munich moment”, and enter into a full-blown policy of appeasement toward Tehran, with the illusory promise of “peace in our time”.
The harsh reality is that within a few years the world could face a nuclear-armed Iran, unless Tehran can be stopped, a highly dangerous scenario considering the extremely aggressive nature of the regime.
Rudy Giuliani passionately believes that the brutal lessons of 20th Century history taught that there can be no negotiation with this sort of brutal dictatorship, and it would be a huge strategic error for the United States to do so. There will be endless debate in international policy circles over Tehran’s nuclear intentions, but the essential fact remains that the free world is faced with a vicious regime with a track record of backing international terrorism, repressing its own people, issuing genocidal threats against its neighbors, and of enabling the killing of American and Coalition forces in Iraq.
In his visit to London last September, where he met with former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Mayor Giuliani advanced the idea of membership for Israel in the NATO alliance. A security guarantee to Israel through NATO is the surest way to send a message to Tehran that it is playing with fire.
As President, Giuliani would push for Israel, which spends 10 percent of its GDP on defense, to be admitted to full membership of the alliance, a move that will benefit both Tel Aviv and NATO. With a first rate army, air force and navy, as well as outstanding intelligence and special forces capability, Israel will be a significant net asset to the organization.
The United States and Israel must stand together in confronting one of the most dangerous regimes of our time, whose aggression is a threat not only to the entire Middle East but to the West as well. Rudy Giuliani offers strong, visionary leadership and a powerful determination to protect America’s friends and stand up to terrorism and tyranny.