Since when did ex-New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani become an expert on the Middle East? Admittedly, he was the mayor of a city attacked on 9/11 but that hardly makes him an expert on Israel and Iran any more than getting caught in a horrific snowstorm makes me an expert on weather. As Brendan Nyhan noted in 2007, Giuliani didn’t know the difference between Sunni and Shiite even though he was ready to declare Iran as possibly “more dangerous than Iraq.” His current work is in security and law in the private sector. But Fox News’ Sean Hannity presented him last night to the “we report, you decide” network’s viewers as some kind of sage about what's going on and what the U.S. should do in the Middle East. Giuliani’s chief credentials seem to be a willingness to attack Obama and Iran. It’s hard to know which Hannity considers the bigger enemy.
It was clear that Hannity’s real interest in the problems in the Middle East was all about Obama. No sooner had Hannity finished his rundown of the rising tensions in the region when he introduced Giuliani as “the former New York City mayor” and said, “You know, the president said this was a democracy movement. Now we have radical Islamists who’ve come to power (in Egypt). (The Obama administration) talking about speeding up aid to the Muslim Brotherhood in the new Islamic government and now we’ve got a hostage situation – well, as far as I’m concerned – and they’re gonna put these Americans on trial.”
Giuliani joined in. “The president has no clue as to what’s going on there. I think he’s living in a fairly naïve world,” newly minted Middle East expert Giuliani opined. “Unfortunately, I mean, those of us who, I think have a little more knowledge of the Middle East realize that… you’re unleashing some really dangerous forces here.” As he spoke, a large graphic blared the suggestion, “HOSTAGE CRISIS?”
Sure enough, Giuliani said, “We should be making it very, very clear that we are prepared, not in this reluctant way but we’re prepared to use military action if we have to use it and that we’re not shrinking back from it. It isn’t going to be really difficult for us to do it.”
Commander Giuliani wasn’t sure. But he knew enough to go back to denigrating Obama as being weak – and then complaining that the Iranians don’t respect him enough.
As veteran reporter Walter Rodgers wrote last month in the Christian Science Monitor – hardly a liberal rag - about the tensions with Iran:
It sounds like war drums. Tehran says it will execute an alleged US spy and threatens to block the Strait of Hormuz. GOP presidential candidates talk of regime change and military strikes, and Obama is not cowed by Iran. But wars do not often turn out as envisioned.
…Opportunities for miscalculation in an Iranian conflict are huge, including the risk that the US or Israel might fail to erase a nuclear program because it’s so well hidden. Sabotage, cyber war, and conflict could easily spread from Iran to the region and to US and Israeli installations around the world.
Unlike Hannity or Giuliani, Rodgers has worked extensively in the Middle East and even embedded with the U.S. Army’s Cavalry during the Iraq War. That’s a lot more conflict than either Hannity or Giuliani are ever likely to witness.
a paid for talking clown on fox on the topic of the day.