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Peace Through Strength, the Giuliani Doctrine

Rudy was emphatic today in his commitment to U.S. military supremacy. (AP).

By Joel Achenbach
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., 5:50 p.m. -- A black marble wall, etched with the names of the fallen, is the candidate's backdrop. After he thanks the local dignitaries and muckety-mucks, he points out that several people in the audience lost loved ones in Iraq. He invites them to the rostrum. What happens next proves immensely more powerful than anything a politician could ever say.

"A sniper killed my child."

She's Carolyn Woods, and her son, Julian Woods, was killed in Fallujah on Nov. 10, 2004. She says she supports the war even as she continues to mourn.

"There's not a day goes by that my heart does not break for my son."

As she speaks, a heckler in the distance, someone who has followed Giuliani for days, shouts something indecipherable.

"They don't get the picture," Woods says, referring to the heckler and his ilk. "They can go home to their sons and daughters and hug and kiss them...and I never got a chance to tell my son how proud I was of him, and that doesn't deter me."

Next comes a father, Dave Seamans, whose son, Timothy Seamans, died in Iraq on Aug. 18, 2005.

"His room is still there, his things are still there."

After a third parent speaks, Giuliani launches into his speech, vowing to keep America strong, defeat the terrorists, expand the military. He calls for 10 new combat brigades for the Army, more Marines, more ships for the Navy, a bigger Coast Guard. He doesn't mention how he will pay for all this and cut taxes, too.

"The best way to win wars is through overwhelming strength, perseverance. And the best way to prevent wars is through overwhelming strength. Peace through strength is the answer, not peace through weakness," he says.

Then he lunges for a local headline: He proposes that the nation's newest aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. George H. W. Bush, "be homeported here, right here." He points out that this will help create jobs as the Navy facilities are upgraded to handle the Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered carrier. The locals give him a big hand.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 15, 2008; 6:40 PM ET
Categories:  Joel's Florida Diary , Rudy Giuliani  
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For those of you who have an agenda involving a candidate other than Rudy, well, it's your right to post what you want. I AM getting a little tired, however, of reading the same tired anti-Giuliani talking points over and over again.

My personal favorite is this refrain:

Crime goes down in NYC? nope, Giuliani had nothing to do with it

Economy improves dramatically in NYC? again, NOT Giuliani - no how, no way

9/11? Oh yeah, that was so TOTALLY Giuliani's fault!

Get real folks (or at least get consistent.)

For those here who maybe, just maybe are possibly open to hearing some facts about Rudy, here are some responses to these tired talking points:

Anti-Guiliani talking point #1: Rudy left NYC with a deficit.

Not sure where this one came from, but here's a good headline to look at: "Mayor Giuliani Inherited $2.3 Billion Budget Deficit And Turned It Into Multi-Billion Dollar Surplus." (Steven Lee Myers, "A Deficit Revisited," The New York Times, 7/31/94.) Yeah, that's right - the New York Times!

Anti-Giuliani talking point #2: Bernie Kerik might be a bad guy.

One of the best qualities I think any person can have is loyalty. The flip side of loyalty is that sometimes, it can really bite you in the ass. 'nuff said.

Anti-Giuliani talking point #3: Well, crime was going down throughout the U.S., so it's not like Rudy really accomplished anything.

NYC's crime reduction was THREE TO SIX TIMES THE NATIONAL AVERAGE! NYC became (and remains) the safest big city in America!

Anti-Giuliani talking point #4: Rudy's been married three times.

Who cares? Honestly, I don't care at all how many times a candidate has been married, as long as I know he can get the job done. Rudy can get the job done. We're not looking for a boy scout troop leader - we're looking for a president, the best man for the job.

Anti-Giuliani talking point #5: Giuliani is a fascist. Can anyone say "Anti-Italian-American slur"?

And #6: "all he ever talks about is 9/11." Shame on anyone who says "all" Rudy ever talks about is 9/11 - that's making light of an event that killed over 3,000 people. Rudy's performance that day is, by itself, enough to give him my vote.

And you know what? Let's put all of this stuff aside, because we have bigger fish to fry. For anyone just tuning in, the next 4 to 8 years are going to be a bumpy ride in the U.S. The biggest problem we're going to face? The terrorists' war against us (they're just getting warmed up, folks - seriously!) In 1995, NYC hosted a big event at Lincoln Center for various foreign dignitaries. Guess who crashed the party? None other than Yasser Arafat. Rudy's response? HE THREW HIS TERRORIST ASS OUT THE DOOR! When the city's liberal elite cried foul, Giuliani replied, "I would not invite Yasser Arafat to anything, anywhere, anytime, anyplace. I don't forget."

Neither will we, Rudy. No matter what happens over the next few weeks, we will NEVER forget.

Posted by: josephsans | January 16, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Actually, "Bob Moses" makes me encouraged. I keep looking for a neonazi-con who can make intelligent arguments in support of the genocidal policies of the Cheney Administration. Or even honest ones, like "We have to kill lots of brown-skinned people so we can keep driving our SUVs and protect our head-chopping buddies in palaces in Riyadh from our head-chopping enemies in caves in Waziristan." But if all that they come come up with on the reich wing is the third-grade repartee of "Bob Moses," my viewpoint is not challenged.

Posted by: Bukkonen | January 16, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Amen mek5050!

Listen we need a leader of the 'free' world to have a strategy to win the war against Islamofascism in the Middle East and beyond. Do you think Rudy is up to the task?

What about home land security. While I commend all American's who responded during 9-11 and Katrina the emergency planning could and should have been better. We should demand it! If Katrina's local, state, and federal emergency response is any indication we are in sad shape when not if, the next natural disaster or terrorist attack occurs.

The nation's infrastructer is in disrepair to say the least. More should be spent on our nation's resilency in a pro-active approach. Too Sir Thomas Moore? The money is there or can be made available. I repeat, do you think Rudy can be a leader to stand up to big business, corporate welfare and the like? NO!

Posted by: snl0405 | January 15, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Rudy, another Republican draft dodger, wraps himself in the flag and uses parents of dead soldiers to further his political ambitions.
How cynical.

Posted by: lambert_h | January 15, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

They won't vote for Rudy because they realize the only way the Republican party can make it's way in this world is through gay-bashing.

Posted by: fzdybel | January 15, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I live within spitting distance of Jacksonville and my wife is on a tour of duty in Iraq. She accepted this with no complaint, knowing full well something like this was always a possibility.
I'll make this short and to the point.
I am scared to death for her every minute of every day and I despise the fact that our warmongering administration put our spouses and children and parents in this position in the first place. The only entities profiting from this little foreign exercise are the American corporations linked to the Bush/Cheney petroleum regime.
If Rudy had asked me to serve as a plant at his event today, my reply to him would not have contained the slightest hint of kindness or support.

Posted by: sweetwtrbay | January 15, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Me bobmoses, me lik dicktator, me lik war.
Me didn't study in skool so i kant underknow wat contituzion iz. or bill of writes.

Poor Bob Moses (great name by the way) - He can't think of a thing logical or descriptive to say about those who oppose this administration's policies. It must be nice to be in that powerful group that makes up the 30% that supports Bushie.

Posted by: comingawakening | January 15, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse


Get a life and a brain. Learn how to make a reasoned argument instead of grunting.

Posted by: jlta | January 15, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

When wrapping yourself in the flag won't hack it anymore, there's always wrapping yourself in bereaved parents.

Posted by: fzdybel | January 15, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Rudy thinks that America still buy the current administrations policy of "Big Oil Profits through American Deaths" or is it "Control through Fear and Lies" or is it "9/11 through 9/11"

Rudy, give up. You are a liar, who cheated on his wife and used public funds to protect the woman he was cheated with. He also married his on cousin. What else, let's see, when he needed votes in NY, he said he was pro-Gay. No he is wannabe Conservative. When he needed votes in NY, he was pro-abortion. Now he is friends with Pat Robertson.

He and Mitt are liars and Americans will see through them.

Posted by: comingawakening | January 15, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

On September 11, 2001, the US was spending more money on its military than the next ten countries in the world combined. It had double the nuclear stockpile of the rest of the world, and had forces generations beyond the rest of the world technologically. Overwhelming strength is the best defense? Yeah, this guy sure owns the national security issue....

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 15, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Any GOP president might build up our military without violating his Republican ideals, simply by instituting a slave draft to call up, for no pay , not just fodder for IEDs, but thinkers and doers to be chained to their Pentagon desks literally.

Posted by: jhbyer | January 15, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Me liberal. Me hate Bush. Neocon!!!! Me read bumper sticker. Neocon!!!! HALLIBURTON!! Me smart.

Posted by: bobmoses | January 15, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I think Joel Achenbach should look into how these 3 parents came to be in the crowd and how Mr. Guiliani came to call them up to the rostrum.

I am uncomfortable with parents being placed into a position of affirming that, yes, their children's deaths had meaning.

I think that most parents would prefer to think that that is the case.

However, I would think that there are many other parents who lost children in Iraq who, if called up to the rostrum, would express the view that their children's lives were lost for no good reason.

Mr. Guiliani's campaign is one of smoke and mirrors, with 9/11 as its fearsome centerpiece. He could not have been elected dog catcher in NYC on 9/10. His NYC administration failed to see to it that the police and firefighters in NYC were adequately equipped to deal with the 9/11 attack. Once the attack had occurred, he did the job that any other mayor of NYC would have been expected to do. After that, instead of remaining in some form of public service to help the country respond to the effects of 9/11, he used his 9/11 experience to make as much money as he could.

His claim that 9/11 somehow gave him unique qualities to be President is as specious as most of the other claims that he has made about his record.

Posted by: mek5050 | January 15, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

All the Republicans including Juliana are living in a fantasy land out of touch with the rest of the world. If we want to be bypassed fast by other countries then keep electing 911 Republicans and we will go extinct from our ignorance. Lets face it, the world is not parochial school, and we need leaders who can interact with everyone without sounding like they live under a rock.

Posted by: paulnolan97 | January 15, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

10 more brigades, a larger Navy, I guess he's planning to take over the world, good luck with that. Peace through strength is a good principal, but peace through intimidation is highly questionable. He should make "might makes right," his campaign slogan, either that or "Boo!"

Posted by: luvisia777 | January 15, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I had a scary thought in that it sounds like Giuliani is posing for another "pearl harbor type event" (reference: Project for a New American Century)...

Posted by: robertwhitlock | January 15, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

of course every death is a tragedy, whether it be a marine, soldier, 12 yr old child raped and murdered in Iraq, murder at Abu Graib, Guantanamo, or the deaths of all those unconvicted/charged/indicted people who suffered extraordinary rendition, which is just illegal state sponsored/paid for kidnapping.

but to use these people like pawns in a game, and that's all politics is, a game, shows how despicable pols are, they have no decency, no shame, and most of them are draft or war dodgers, Giuliani belongs back in the 18century, perhaps in the days of Gangs of NY, probably as mayor, probably as endemically corrupt and rotten, but there's no place for this grandstanding incompetent fool in the 21st century.

Other than that I have no strong feelings either way

Posted by: totallyclips | January 15, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

"I served in the Navy and can't believe the Navy named an aircraft carrier after GWB. Tell me its not so......"

Thank God, it isn't so. The new aircraft carrier will be the George H. W. Bush--the current Bush's father.

Posted by: rgathercoal | January 15, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

His message is simple. Please, no more simpletons for president.

Posted by: jryan758 | January 15, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

response to: (rebeccajm | January 15, 2008 10:24 PM)

Chickenhawk indeed. Most Repugs in Congress who were old enough to serve in Vietnam, were also rich enough not to. The GOP and PNAC talk a good game, but that's where it ends.

Posted by: con_crusher | January 15, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Poor ole Rudy. He can't beat the margin of error (or Ron Paul). He's good for 2 votes ( Sean Hannity and Rush Limgaaugh)LMAO

Posted by: alvin12 | January 15, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

My little brother served in Iraq. If he had died while he was there, I don't think Giuliani would have enjoyed hearing what I would have said to his face at this "meeting." Of course, since it was just a farce, they probably wouldn't have allowed me within 1 mile of the place!

These neo-cons want everyone to pay the price except themselves and their cronies. They make me sick.

This is from an article from the about Giuliani and how he avoided the draft in Vietnam:

"Giuliani, who once said of the Vietnam war, "I disagreed with it," obtained an occupational deferment in 1969, when he was a law clerk. Although critics say such deferments were rare, the Giuliani campaign disagrees.

"He wanted an occupational deferment, which was very common at the time, because he wanted to be a lawyer," the Giuliani adviser said."

Giuliani is just another hypocritical Chickenhawk.


Posted by: rebeccajm | January 15, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Giuliani:

The country doesn't need a President of 9/11.
I too see the dismal numbers you have posted in caucuss and prinmary states so far. Is the strategy to ignore the many and concentrate on a few that could technically catapult you to your goal?
I sure don't see you representing Iowans or Michigonians or New Hampshirians.

Posted by: jfern03 | January 15, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

George Bush the Lesser has sent many American sons to die in the dust, like the ones these grieving parents have spoken of. Their blood is on Bush's hands, as much as it is on the hands of the men who killed them. The insurgents believe they are defending their homeland from foreign invaders; while Bush is just invading to support President Cheney's imperi-oil delusions. And now Giuliani wants to get the blood of more American boys on his hands.

How about this, Rudy -- invite the parents of soldiers who are now living onto your stage. Let them talk about how much they love their sons, while they are still alive. Then turn to them and tell them "I'm going to send your boy to die a bloody, screaming death in some heat-blasted hellhole. It will help my political career." That oughta win you some votes, Rude-boy.

Posted by: Bukkonen | January 15, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Juked, you're playing my song. How soon can we retire the fear-based dinosaurs from politics altogether?

Posted by: vaporland | January 15, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I served in the Navy and can't believe the Navy named an aircraft carrier after GWB. Tell me its not so......

Posted by: sek1026 | January 15, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

He's no leader. Ask the NYFD and emergency personnel who responded post 9-11. Rudy is going to continue the Bush Doctrine on foreign policy because that's in his best interest NOT this great country.

A true leader is John McCain who was 'swift boated' in '99 and should have been our Commander-in-chief. Sen. McCain has a proven track record who has a strategy to win this godforsaken Iraq war that has perpetuated the Islamofascist movement and the US dwindling respect in the world.

For the last 20 years he has continued to provide a powerful voice against all the pork in Washington.

Exit Strategy '08, OUT with the NeoCONS! THANK GOD!

Posted by: snl0405 | January 15, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I have two young sons and the best way I can think to support them is to have a goverment of transperancy. To have a president that can speak english. To have an intelligent debate on the merits of the particular action. To have a media free to criticize our goverment and ask the tough questions unfettered by their corporate masters. Then do it again ten more times prior to sending our sons and daughters to die in a foreign land.

Posted by: Juked | January 15, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Single digits in Iowa. Single digits in New Hampshire. 3% in Michigan. Too bad for Rudy he's not running for president of New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Connecticut.

Posted by: csen | January 15, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Imperial overstretch. I think we need to dust off some of our old books.

Posted by: raroberto | January 15, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Simple. Fair. Strong.

This is the campaign that American wants.


No strings or special privileges.


Go full bore on anything.


Obvious goals.

Rudy '08

Posted by: jabailo | January 15, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

neo-con doctrine, Guiliani doctrine

tomato, tomahto.

Posted by: millionea7 | January 15, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

'He proposes that the nation's newest aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. George H. W. Bush, "be homeported here, right here."'

I propose homeporting it in Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Bud0 | January 15, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

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