Rudy Giuliani is reportedly a top candidate for Secretary of State. There are also reports that Giuliani’s business dealings may prevent him from being nominated to the post, and I hope those are true, because Giuliani would be in some ways even worse than Bolton.
Bolton is a hard-liner and an ideologue, and he would be a disastrous Secretary of State, but Giuliani shares the same flaws but has absolutely no relevant experience. If Bolton has been a sometime MEK booster, Giuliani has been even more avid in his support. He has endorsed regime change in Iran, and in a speech he gave to an MEK conference last year he said “the Ayatollah must go” and “destruction to the Ayatollah.” One would think that we had already had quite enough of hard-liners allied with discredited exiles to pursue regime change in another country, but if Giuliani is nominated for Secretary of State we run a very real risk of repeating the same mistakes of the Bush administration.
Giuliani’s stated foreign policy VIEWS have long been as hawkish as Bolton’s, and he combines those with his authoritarian instincts. He was the preferred presidential candidate of many neoconservatives in 2008 because he toed their line on foreign policy, and he probably did that because it was the easiest way to establish his credentials with the party’s hawks despite his complete lack of any relevant experience:
Still, what’s left of the neocon movement does seem to be converging around the Giuliani campaign, to some degree, because he embraces their common themes: a willingness to use military power, a tendency to group all radical Islamist groups together as a common enemy, strong support for Israel and an aggressive posture toward Iran. “He’s positioning himself as the neo-neocon,” jokes Richard Holbrooke, a TOP foreign-policy adviser to Hillary Clinton.
Giuliani has had nothing but contempt for diplomatic engagement over the last fifteen years, and it would be a disaster waiting to happen if he were put in a position to head the department responsible for U.S. foreign relations. Neither Bolton nor Giuliani should be allowed anywhere near that position, but it seems likely that we will soon be facing the nomination of one or the other.