Obviously, Giuliani’s foreign policy team is not just the worst of any candidate, but perhaps the worst any candidate could possibly assemble. Daniel Pipes and Norman Podhoretz make Donald Rumsfeld look like Ramsey Clark, and the possibility of either of them as National Security Adviser is terrifying. But at a certain level I had assumed that Giuliani wouldn’t actually follow their advice when in office. I mean, he can’t be that crazy, can he? Apparently, yes:
Norman Podhoretz believes that America needs to go to war soon with Iran. As far as he knows, Rudy Giuliani thinks the same thing.
“I was asked to come in and give him a briefing on the war, World War IV,” said Mr. Podhoretz, a founding father of neoconservatism and leading foreign policy adviser to Mr. Giuliani. “As far as I can tell there is very little difference in how he sees the war and how I see it.”
Oh, it gets worse:
America should be working to overthrow governments in Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt and “every one of the despotic regimes in that region, by force if necessary and by nonmilitary means if possible,” [Podhoretz] said. “They are fronts of the war. You can’t do everything at once. And to have toppled two of those regimes in five years or six years is I think a major achievement. And maybe George Bush won’t be able to carry it further, but I think he will. It may have just been given to him to start act one of the five-act play.”
Now, it’s entirely possible that Podhoretz is saying this to boost his own image; painting himself as Kissinger to Giuliani’s Nixon makes him look more influential in the public eye. But I, like TPM, think it’s very relevant that Giuliani’s campaign asked Podhoretz to talk about WWIV. That Giuliani is so much as considering a proposal that would, as Podhoretz explains it, involve bombing Iran and toppling the leadership of more or less every Middle Eastern country, renders him dangerous in ways no previous presidential candidate has been. I’m with Kevin Drum: you can argue all day over whether Mitt Romney is the least bad Republican candidate, but Rudy is orders of magnitude worse than any other candidate from any party.