Friday, March 02, 2007

Guiliani Lays out Counterterrorism Plan: More "War"

Speaking at the C-PAC get-together in D.C. today (3/2), Rudy Guiliani laid out his vision for counterterrorism. In short, more "war" and keep on the "offense".

"War" means that he most likely is not going to view counterterrorism as a multi-dimensional effort to dispassionately bring justice to criminals and marginalize their political messages. In fact, "justice", longtime staple of anti-terrorism doctrine, was never on his lips even in lip-service, just "prosecution". Few, if any, of America's allies that I know of think of war-footing as appropriate to counterterrorism cooperation and execution, and, if they do, not as conceptually foundational in the way that the GOP is embracing it.

According to Rudy, the USA will continue to "use our military" and hope for the time when "down the road" Americans and others are friends again.

Being on the "offense" includes always responding to terrorism (he finds fault in inactions like an absence of response to the USS Cole bombing, he says). "Offense" also includes the PATRIOT act and "interrogation".

He skips over whether Operation Iraqi Freedom is/was relevant or not as a "response", a silence that will surely catch up to him, along with the fact that the response to Cole and the African Embassy bombings was to improve intelligence and an Executive finding for the CIA (as best I recall without looking it up), rather than just 'blow shit up', although that was tried too, when Clinton blew up what turned out to be a fertilizer factory.

At a time when Spain and Britain have brought criminal trials for post-9/11 acts and the US Administration's actions may have greatly complicated the same, his legal approach seems like an blind endorsement of all things Bush, including indefinite detention at the behest of the CIC and what seems to amount to a largely procedural justice doled out by the ninth-circuit, who handle the few appeals available related the combat-tribunals set-up in political haste before the mid-term elections by the last Congress.

Nothing - nada - on the long war or the long, twilight struggle. Nothing - nada - on how to confront extremism and the growing threats from rampant antiamericanism. Nothing - nada - on energy independence. Nothing - nada - on paying for "war". Nothing - nada - on readiness at home. Nothing on nation building. Nothing on the problems with the military and the inter-agency process that Newt, a former insider with some knowledge of Washington and not just a former mayor with a speech in hand, has been on about (see prior postings on Newt).

In other words, his speech amounted to George Bush, not even George Bush lite, in which we placate ourselves by "talking tough" about and to terrorists. I guess these feel-good speeches are what play to the crowds at C-PAC.

Still, it is political mastery to know your crowd well enough that you can simultaneously call the Congress cowards for ducking hard decisions with their no-confidence vote, while delivering a speech that avoids many of the hard questions about National Security!

No comments: