Just Jihad: October 2007: Archives

October 31, 2007

Does Hughes Resignation Signal A Strike On Iran? genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak

Reading Tea Leaves

Tea leave reading is clearly not an exacting science...but if I were asked to interpret the announced resignation of longtime Bush crony Karen Hughes, I would conclude that it signals the likelihood that stealth president Dick Cheney has succeeded in convincing his presidential placeholder, George W. Bush, to launch a strike on Iran prior to packing up the U-Hauls in January of 2009. I'll explain my rationale following some excerpts from the Associated Press article.

WASHINGTON - Karen Hughes, who led efforts to improve the U.S. image abroad and was one of President Bush's last remaining advisers from the close circle of Texas aides, will leave the government at the end of the year.

Hughes told The Associated Press that she plans to quit her job as undersecretary of state and return to Texas, although improving the world's view of the United States is a "long-term challenge" that will outlast her.

"This will take a number of years," Hughes said in an interview Tuesday.

Bush and Rice had picked Hughes two years ago to retool the way the United States sells its policies, ideals and views overseas. A former television reporter and media adviser, Hughes' focus has been to change the way the United States engages and responds to criticism or misinformation in the Muslim world.

"Negative events never help," Hughes said when asked how events like last month's shooting of Iraqi civilians by private U.S. security guards in Iraq affects the way the world sees the United States.

Polls show no improvement in the world's view of the U.S. since Hughes took over. A Pew Research Center survey earlier said the unpopular Iraq war is a persistent drag on the U.S. image and has helped push favorable opinion of the United States in Muslim Indonesia, for instance, from 75 percent in 2000 to 30 percent last year.

Hughes said the Iraq war was usually the second issue that Muslims and Arabs raised with her, after the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Hughes said she advised Bush and Rice two years ago that U.S. help in ending the six-decade old fight over Israel would probably do more than anything else to improve the U.S. standing worldwide.

Hughes is serving her second stint in the Bush administration...this time assigned a task that she concedes will not be achieved in short order and that will undoubtedly remain a challenge for the President's successor.

More telling is Hughes assessment of the prevailing obstacle to improving the U.S. image...especially in the Middle East region and the Muslim world. As noted in the above excerpt, Hughes has told the administration that the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict serves as the primary impediment to reversing the slipping view of America.

I took note of the fact that Hughes made this remark to the President and his current Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, two years ago. I interpret the statement to suggest there was a meeting of the minds at the time she offered this assessment and agreed to take the job.

Today, I believe her resignation may well indicate a shift in the thinking of the President...one that would make Hughes' task virtually impossible and therefore lead her to conclude it better to leave now rather than later. I suspect the event which would lead Hughes to an abrupt departure is knowledge of the administration's plan to strike Iran.

Let me explain my reasoning. Given the anti-Israeli rhetoric of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a strike upon Iran would be seen as a defense of Israel and a affirmation of the assertions that Israel and the United States have no real intentions of establishing an independent Palestinian state. Such a strike would further fuel the anger at Israel and the United States and make it virtually impossible for Hughes to maintain the credibility necessary to pursue the mending of the American image.

As such, rather than wait for the terse and inevitable repudiations, Hughes has chosen to jump ship prior to a strike which would almost certainly unravel any progress she has been able to achieve. I also don't believe Hughes would have returned to the Bush administration with any intention of leaving prior to the end of the President's second term.

Adding support to my speculation is the fact that Josh Bolton advised White House senior aides that if they were to stay past Labor Day they would be obliged to serve till the end of the President's second term. The fact that Hughes is leaving regardless of that directive must indicate changing circumstances have created an untenable situation. Lastly, the fact that Hughes has long been regarded as one the George Bush's most loyal supporters makes the resignation all the more suspect.

Obviously my hypothesis is little more than anecdotal. Notwithstanding, this resignation raises a red flag which cannot be ignored. I hope I'm wrong but I've learned not to bet against the Bush administration when it comes to cowboy diplomacy. The fact that Hughes is walking away from her hospitality assignment leads me to believe George Bush is once again running around the White House sporting a half-cocked handgun in his spanking new holster...you know...the one Dick Cheney told him to strap on.

Tagged as: Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Holy War, Iran, Israel, Josh Bolton, Karen Hughes, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Middle East, Muslim, Palestine

Daniel DiRito | October 31, 2007 | 10:44 AM | link | Comments (2)
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October 20, 2007

The Last Puzzle Pieces Of A Dysfunctional Presidency? genre: Hip-Gnosis & Just Jihad & Polispeak

An interesting pattern is developing which may provide incontrovertible evidence that the Bush administration's foreign policy is an unmitigated failure. In reviewing the evidence, this failure may result from the propensity of George Bush to form opinions of foreign leaders based upon unfounded, instantaneous, and impulsive impressions.

Recent developments in our relationships with Russia and Pakistan highlight these concerns and raise doubts as to the President's ability to size-up Vladimir Putin and Pervez Musharraf. While these situations seem to have garnered less attention than the war in Iraq and the tensions with Iran and North Korea; they may soon provide the proof that George Bush's judgment is fully insufficient and fatally flawed.

Few can forget the President's glowing assessment of Vladimir Putin immediately following his first meeting with the Russian leader and former KGB agent. The President's characterization of his bonding with "Vladimir" sounded more like the musings of a smitten schoolboy than the measured and deliberate views of a world leader. Reason Magazine offered the following insight into the mechanics of this quickly blossoming bond.

This beginning of a beautiful friendship was reportedly aided by Putin's touching story of a cross which he received from his mother and which miraculously survived a fire at his summer cottage. (As one of Russia's surviving liberal commentators, Yulia Latynina, has noted, if Bush had belonged to a different faith Putin would no doubt have shared an equally touching tale about "a piece of advice given by a wise rabbi.")

Note that the basis of this kinship has its roots in a testimony of faith...and mirrors the perception that George Bush approaches most interactions with an emphasis upon religious ideology and a willingness to promote those he perceives to be like minded and loyal. Recall that the Bush administration has hired 150 individuals who graduated from of Pat Robertson's Regent University...a "fourth-tier" law school according to U.S. News & World Report.

Take a look at some of the other quotes from George Bush which support the argument that he relies upon instinct and intuition when making important and far reaching judgments.

From InCharacter:

After meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin, Mr. Bush had him sized up: “I looked the man in the eye. I was able to get a sense of his soul."

Explaining to journalist Bob Woodward his decision to launch the Iraq War, he said, “I’m a gut player. I rely on my instincts."

The purpose of the president’s 2006 fly-in to Baghdad was, he explained to American troops, “to look Prime Minister Maliki in the eyes — to determine whether or not he is as dedicated to a free Iraq as you are." The president’s snap assessment: “I believe he is."

When interviewed on TV by Larry King, Bush confidently said, “If you make decisions based upon what you believe in your heart of hearts, you stay resolved."

Expanding on the probability that Bush miscalculated with regards to Putin, take a look at the following exchange between Garry Kasparov (who is a candidate trying to unseat Putin) and Bill Maher during last evenings edition of Real Time on HBO.

Kasparov offers a thoughtful and insightful view of Putin which seems to have eluded George Bush throughout his involvement with the increasingly authoritarian Russian leader. Recent events seem to support Kasparov's convincing argument that Putin masterfully manipulated George Bush. No doubt that should leave the American public all the more concerned and even more anxious for the President's second term to end.

Should anyone doubt the extent to which George Bush may have miscalculated with regards to Putin and his ambitions, the Washington Times aptly fills in the blanks.

From The Washington Times:

Russian President Vladimir Putin's invitation to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit to Moscow is just the latest sign that, more than 16 years after the collapse of Soviet Communism, Moscow is gravitating towards Cold War behavior. The old Soviet obsession — fighting American "imperialism" — remains undiluted. "Keeping the relationship with Washington on the verge of a crisis and inventing an imaginary 'American enemy' is creating much-needed legitimacy for the current Russsian leadership, which now has only Mr. Putin's personal popularity as its political base," observes Heritage Foundation scholar Ariel Cohen.

Indeed, at virtually every turn, Mr. Putin and the Russian leadership appear to be doing their best in ways large and small to marginalize and embarrass the United States and undercut U.S. foreign policy interests. [...]

The Russian strongman has threatened to retarget Russia's missiles at Europe if missile defenses are deployed there. Mr. Putin has also threatened to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and President Reagan (the INF treaty eliminated Soviet-era SS-20 missiles and U.S. Pershing II missiles deployed in Europe.) And he has also threatened to pull out of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty limiting force levels between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea.

[...] Although Moscow has supported earlier sanctions against Iran (after lobbying to water sanctions down), Mr. Putin invited Mr. Ahmadinejad to the Russian capital in an effort to undercut U.S. efforts to isolate Tehran in response to its nuclear weapons program and its role as a state sponsor of terrorism. On Tuesday, speaking at a conference in Tehran involving nations that border the Caspian Sea, the Russian leader warned the United States against a military strike against Iran's illicit nuclear facilities, And along with the leaders of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, Mr. Putin backed the right of Iran to develop so-called peaceful nuclear energy — in essence, adopting Tehran's false assertions that it isn't attempting to obtain nuclear weapons.

But for the most part, Mr. Putin is working to damage U.S. interests, and his "anti-imperialist" policies are reminiscent of Soviet-era behavior.

Clearly Putin's recent actions aren't indicative of a sudden change of heart; rather he has merely found this moment to be the opportune time to unveil his real intentions and put the screws to his less than nimble American "friend"...the one who looked into his clever eyes and thought he saw the soul of a sincere "crony".

The fact that our President chose to characterize the potential for Iran to become a nuclear nation as the predecessor event to World War III simply gives Putin the pivotal power he seeks in order to reestablish Russia as a major player in world affairs and himself as the agent to execute that role. Putin has essentially positioned himself as a key player in any effort to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities which may well mean any peaceful resolution will have to include negotiating with Russia. Hence Putin has the leveraged position he may have been seeking from the outset.

Moving onto the President's relationship with Pakistan's Pervez Musharaff, a man George Bush called "his buddy", we see indications of the same behavior.

From India Daily:

Only time can say if the US made another mistake in Pakistan by supporting the dictatorship in Pakistan. ''Musharraf is a strong ally in the war against these extremists. I like him and I appreciate him,'' Bush said.

Bush also called Musharraf a partner in the promotion of democracy. "I''m of course, constantly working with him to make sure that democracy continues to advance in Pakistan. He's been a valuable ally in rejecting extremists. And that's important, to cultivate those allies," he said.

As one looks at the increasingly dicey situation in Pakistan, one is forced to wonder if our blind allegiance to Musharraf has precluded our maneuverability. Despite all of the gratuitous rhetoric about democracy, the people of Pakistan increasingly resent the fact that the United States has hitched its wagon to a leader who took power through a military coup and has thwarted efforts to conduct a legitimately democratic election.

History tells us that Pakistan has the makings of previous U.S. foreign policy disasters whereby we have propped up dictators who we feel we can manage...all the while doing so at the expense of wholesale unrest amongst the inhabitants of those nations. Iran is the first to come to mind and we all know that dangerous story is still unfolding. The fact that Pakistan is a nuclear nation only exacerbates the concerns. Take a look at some excerpts from a recent article in The New York Times.

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 — The scenes of carnage in Pakistan this week conjured what one senior administration official on Friday called “the nightmare scenario" for President Bush’s last 15 months in office: Political meltdown in the one country where Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and nuclear weapons are all in play.

White House officials insisted in interviews that they had confidence that their longtime ally, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, would maintain enough control to keep the country stable as he edged toward a power-sharing agreement with his main rival, Benazir Bhutto.

But other current and former officials cautioned that the administration had invested so much in General Musharraf’s success that its leverage was now limited. Similarly, they and Pakistan experts said that a series of policy miscalculations had left the administration with few good options.

They contended that the administration was surprised by how quickly domestic support for General Musharraf eroded, and that it was slow to act on warnings dating to 2004 that the administration had built too much of its policy around a single Pakistani leader. That over-reliance meant that a more coherent policy was never fully fashioned.

Some officials fear that a year of unrest, violence and political intrigue in Pakistan could undercut President Bush’s last chance to root out Osama bin Laden from the lawless territory where Al Qaeda has regrouped, and could cripple a renewed administration effort to turn around Afghanistan.

Today, despite the administration’s heavy reliance on General Musharraf, the tribal areas are a base for a revitalized Qaeda, which has created a new command structure and is again planning international attacks, according to a National Intelligence Estimate issued in July, parts of which the administration published in an unclassified form.

So the stakes in Pakistan reach well beyond its own borders. Not only is it possible that a relatively moderate nation may be in the process of a radical transformation towards Islamic extremism, our support for an unpopular leader may be facilitating that shift and laying the groundwork for Pakistan to become a reconstituted Afghanistan under the prevailing influences of both the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Efforts to include former leader Benazir Bhutto in a newly formed government may be too little too late as anything remotely endorsed by Musharraf may be viewed to be too closely directed by the United States. Since Bhutto is popular with Pakistan's moderates and arguably viewed as a strong proponent for democracy, were her role in a shared leadership to be seen as capitulation to a plan guided by the United States, it may precipitate the wholesale embracing of those extremists who renounce the perceived meddling of the West in the region.

I contend that those who have relied on the relatively moderate temperament of the Pakistani population as grounds for continued support of Musharraf and the gradual move towards democratization may fail to realize that all of the ingredients for radicalization are present in this increasingly unstable nation. Should the circumstances continue to fuel the fire, the recipe will not only take shape, but the finished product will turn out to be a culinary catastrophe we can't swallow.

Frankly, the situations with Putin and Musharraf are reminiscent of many other instances of stubborn bravado and blind loyalty that have typified the Bush administration. When persistent intransigence is accompanied by the isolation it naturally engenders, the path to rational and reasoned objectivity is often erased. Worse yet, it frequently happens unconsciously.

In the end, its as if the President all too often confronts issues by first defining his own intuited reality and then proceeds to operate as if it is the equivalent of the proverbial "gospel truth". As such, adjustments are grudgingly made only when the prevailing facts become completely incontrovertible and the circumstance are utterly untenable. By that time, the damage has been done and the costs have been incurred.

With approximately fifteen months to go, we can only hope that George Bush won't have the opportunity or the inclination to further exercise his suspect abilities to discern friend from foe.

Tagged as: Afghanistan, al Qaeda, Bill Maher, Foreign Policy, Garry Kasparov, George W. Bush, Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, Russia, Taliban

Daniel DiRito | October 20, 2007 | 12:16 PM | link | Comments (1)
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October 15, 2007

Bravenewfilms Releases Video: The Real Rudy: Radios genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Video-Philes

Many Republicans view Rudy Giuliani as the front runner for the GOP nomination and they do so based upon his handling of 9/11. If Bravenewfilms is successful in getting their message out to the public, voters may reconsider their assessment of Giuliani's tenure as the mayor of New York City. The group has recently released another short film which questions the leadership and decision making of Giuliani.

The following video is titled, The Real Rudy: Radios, and it explains the situation surrounding the failure of the New York Fire Department's radios on September 11th. The radios were the same ones used during the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center...the same ones which also failed to function properly during that prior event.

Even worse, in early 2001, the city awarded a lucrative 14 million dollar contract to Motorola for the replacement of the radio system. The radios were put into service without adequate testing and, after a week, the new system was scrapped and the Fire Department returned to the old radios.

Many believe that the high numbers of firefighters killed in the towers resulted from the fact that they were unable to hear the calls to evacuate the building. Evidence suggests that police officers received the communications and many were therefore able to move to safety.

Bravenewfilms has released two other videos detailing Rudy Giuliani's service as "America's Mayor" which can be found here and here.

Those wishing to sign a petition to launch a new investigation can do so here.

Tagged as: 2008 Presidential Election, 9/11, Fire Department, GOP, Motorola, New York City, Rudy Giuliani, World Trade Center

Daniel DiRito | October 15, 2007 | 10:54 AM | link | Comments (1)
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October 2, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Continuing The Impotence Equation? genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Rudy Giuliani

I have a new theory...one that crystallized after reading Glen Greenwald's latest offering at Salon.com. My hypothesis is that the election of Rudy Giuliani as the next president would simply be a continuance of a phenomenon which I have chosen to call "The Impotence Equation". Before detailing the substance of my argument, a review of the Greenwald article is warranted.

Greenwald's piece discusses the attacks he has endured in the aftermath of his thoughts about the growing anti-Muslim sentiment which seems to have emerged in the aftermath of 9/11. Greenwald refers his readers to the constant chatter by right wing bloggers about the evils of Islam and the threat they perceive is posed by this seemingly diabolical belief system.

As Greenwald aptly points out, any effort to refute the polemic beliefs of those consumed by their hatred of all things Islam is met with unbridled and unabashed attacks. These assaults are launched with a certainty...a belief that they embody every aspect of right versus wrong, good versus evil. Shades of gray do not exist and those who suggests otherwise are often assailed as unpatriotic, treasonous cowards who lack the good sense to identify the clear and present danger.

In fact, many of the individuals who are preoccupied with their dislike of Islam exhibit an indignation reminiscent of an older sibling...one who believes he or she is being forced to protect their younger, more naive family members from threats which they may not yet recognize...leaving them vulnerable to victimization and in need of oversight.

Greenwald then pivots; attempting to provide the reader with an understanding of this mind set...a set of beliefs that seem to be the connecting point for these individuals who exhibit a hypersensitivity to the evils of Islam. Greenwald posits that these traits represent the hallmark of neoconservatism. He points to a recent article by Jamie Kirchick of The New Republic, the blogging of Michelle Malkin and Charles Johnson, and the past writings of Norman Podhoretz (perhaps the founding father of neoconservatism and currently an advisor to Rudy Giuliani) to support his contention. The following excerpts form the basis of his argument.

Bombing and killing Muslims is the only path for avoiding the humiliating scenarios which our nation's war cheerleaders carry around obsessively in their heads, and which are currently filling my inbox. They're not going to be the ones on their knees, begging. They're not going to be the "faggots." Instead, they are going to send others off to fight and bomb and occupy and kill and thereby show who is strong and tough and feel protected.

In his excellent and well-documented book "The Wimp Factor," Psychology Professor Stephen Ducat reviews clinical studies which demonstrate that many men "are more likely to experience a vicarious boost in their own sense of power and potency when American military forces attack, and especially when they defeat, an enemy." Neoconservative war tracts almost invariably are suffuse with explicit warnings about submission and humiliation.

There will never be enough bombings and sending others off to start new wars that will erase those feelings. But Podhoretz and his bloodthirsty followers -- including his combat-avoiding protegee Rudy Giuliani -- will never stop trying.

Now onto my own thoughts. First, an important caveat. While I have a background in psychology, I am not offering my opinion as a psychological thesis; rather my comments are the observations of an individual who has long been fascinated with human behavior and has sought to identify the traits that come to define certain personality types and the motivations that underlie them. Such efforts possess the natural flaws of generalization...yet they often serve to instruct and inform.

As I've watched Rudy Giuliani, I'm convinced that a number of defining traits have emerged...traits that place him in the neoconservative arena and which begin to paint a picture of a man who fits the profile put forth by Greenwald.

Life is an interesting process...and in that process we're all running away from some things and we're also running towards others. Understanding those motivations is essential to understanding ourselves as well as those we encounter. This basic concept can be easily applied to Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani's background isn't dissimilar from that of many Italian's who found themselves living in the United States in the middle of the prior century. Life was a struggle for his family and his father's checkered past likely served as the backdrop for Giuliani's drive and determination...leading to a desire to separate himself from his father's indiscretions as well as to make amends for them.

In that construct, Giuliani's primary understanding of fear was undoubtedly defined...and it likely had at it's origin a need to avoid humiliating scenarios which had the potential to damage one's ego. Giuliani's assertive and abrasive style may well be traceable to his fundamental years...that period of time which likely included his awareness of how his father and other family members may have been perceived in the community.

His flirting with the priesthood and his subsequent immersion into law school and a career as a prosecutor support the argument that his actions were evidence of what he ran from and what he ran towards...in order to expunge the fears that accompanied his early years.

On the one hand, the humility and contrition of the priesthood seemed appealing and a means to atone...and on the other hand, a career as a prosecutor and a man of law and order offered the means to rise above...to not only distance oneself from the unacceptable past but to confront and defeat it. I contend that the former would have left Giuliani burdened with guilt and the need for forgiveness, while the latter would allow him to place blame and punish...a far more fulfilling elixir for fundamental fears.

Unfortunately, our primordial fears are the most persistent and they may well cast a shadow over the remainder of our lives. As we follow Rudy's life, the evidence of their ongoing influence seems to emerge. Giuliani, like many Italians of his era, chose to embrace the safety of familiarity...going so far as to marry his second cousin...a woman who no doubt shared in the family history which created his fears and therefore spared him the risk of exposure which may have accompanied more distant associations and involvements.

Predictably, as Giuliani's career advanced, his need for safety and the security provided by ethnic and familial kinship began to wane. With the acceptance of a position in the Attorney Generals office in Washington DC, Giuliani began to sever these ties...leading to the end of his first marriage as well as the beginning of his second relationship...with a woman far removed from his roots, Donna Hanover.

Notwithstanding, Giuliani sought an annulment of his first marriage; arguing that the couple had erred in assuming they were third cousins. Since they were in fact second cousins...a status allowed but frowned upon at the time...the church granted the request. In so doing, Rudy was able to wash away the nagging fears presented by a failed marriage...fears that lessened the distance between that which he had been and that which he sought to be.

Still plagued by the need to manipulate perceptions, Giuliani subsequently married his second wife...in the Catholic Church...a move that preserved his identity as a man of faith in the good graces of his chosen religion.

As Giuliani's career progressed, so too did his willingness to venture beyond the prison of his fears. In fact, during his tenure as mayor of New York, Giuliani became so bold as to conduct extramarital affairs...making little effort to conceal their existence. As it played out, Giuliani and his second wife held separate press conferences to announce the end of their marriage. Giuliani's revelation came after it was already widely known that he no longer lived with his wife in the Gracie Mansion and that he was involved with Judith Nathan, the woman who would eventually become his third wife.

In perhaps the ultimate of ironies, during the divorce proceedings with his second wife, Giuliani's attorneys made note of his impotence...a condition precipitated by his battle with prostate cancer. Strangely, the filing sought to detail the fact that Giuliani and Nathan hadn't engaged in sex for over a year...a move viewed by many as an effort to define a significant relationship between Nathan and Giuliani...one that was more than a conventional affair.

I argue that the move is further evidence of the fears that continued to nag Giuliani as well as his need to create a favorable public persona...one that could no longer be tied to that which he sought to deny.

While it is a widely held belief that Giuliani withdrew from the New York Senate race as a result of his prostate cancer, I remain unconvinced. Clearly I cannot prove otherwise, but if my theory is correct, the fears surrounding his messy divorce and what may have been revealed by his angry second wife and those familiar with the details played a larger role. I contend he withdrew in response to the fears that plague him...fears that would not allow him to accept the negative attributions that would most probably result.

As obtuse and offensive as this may sound, 9/11 was a stroke of good fortune for Giuliani. The mayor who had reconciled himself to serve out the remainder of his term and retreat to a life with his new wife was suddenly thrust into the limelight and he performed admirably in handling the situation and the attention.

Suddenly, his then current regressive period...one that could be compared with the time he spent weighing the merits of the priesthood versus a career in law...provided a moment of renewal and the opportunity to replicate the feelings that accompanied his days as a prosecutor...days that allowed him to focus on those guilty of egregious acts while relegating his own fears and doubts to a position of obscurity.

Further, the magnitude of 9/11 was far more significant for the nation and for the Mayor. Frankly, one would be hard pressed to identify an event that could create more distance between Giuliani and whatever valid or perceived fears he still held. In that regard, perhaps nothing better offsets fears which manifest in the ego than an opportunity to play the role of a hero...and Giuliani must be given credit for his fine performance.

The events of 9/11 may have changed the dynamic surrounding the Mayor and his professional circumstances, but there is no reason to believe that it significantly altered the core identity of Rudy Giuliani. Yes, the man that was able to augment his own persistent doubts years ago by choosing to attend law school and become a prosecutor is the same man who took the reigns following 9/11. Notwithstanding, the man who followed his career as a prosecutor with episodes of ego induced impotence is the same man who emerged from the events of 9/11. To assume otherwise is to ignore the wisdom of history.

Even worse, the psychological parallels which can be drawn between the life of George Bush and Rudy Giuliani are frightening. I contend that both men are prone to compensation...a process whereby their own innate fears and impotence are masked by making choices they believe...consciously or sub-consciously...may augment each man's chronically challenged self-concept.

Rudy may be better spoken and better educated than George Bush...but with men so similarly susceptible...such attributes may only amplify the opportunities for him to draw America into activities which serve his neediness...all the while eroding what remains of the respect we have commanded by electing leaders who possess the capacity to not only see past their individual needs...but embody the empathy essential to enable and enact actions that serve the greater good of the entire world community.

Further, I fear that Rudy Giuliani exhibits even more of the bravado which has become the Bush administration's foreign policy concept of "Cowboy Diplomacy"...a propensity to paint the problems which plaque us with a broad and arbitrary brush...one that is couched in certainty despite a deficit of details...one that removes repressed feelings of emasculation and which engenders feelings of empowerment.

Sadly, 9/11 has unlocked an analogous mechanism for many Americans with which to address their feelings of inadequacy...feelings that feed upon those opportunities that allow us to focus our frustrations upon the failings of others while fully ignoring or acknowledging our own flaws. America's answers and our own individual aspirations will not be achieved through the arbitrary assassination of all things alien. America must not only defend and protect itself from outside threats; it must commit itself to addressing our own internal, individual, and often implacable ailments.

America can ill-afford another president plagued by a history of reacting to deep seated and persistent fears...fears which have a fragile and frequently impotent ego at their core. Just as George Bush embraced 9/11 as an opportunity to mask his own recurring feelings of inadequacy...feelings that are best suppressed when one is able to point to and punish others believed to be far worse...so too will Rudy Giuliani. Balance is not the mainstay of these men. They are prone to compensations which address their own feelings of impotence while ignoring other more obvious and objective realities.

Any presidential candidate who cannot see the error in taking phone calls from his wife while in the middle of a speech is not a man who should have his finger on any trigger. The pathology which leads a man to view his taking of a phone call from his wife in such circumstances as evidence of his virility and proof of his potency is a man caught in the throws of an insufficient ego and the talons of a woman who has mastered the art of playing him like a fiddling fool. Americans must not place our fate in the hands of another human who is hamstrung by his insatiable search for hero status.

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Cowboy Diplomacy, Fear, George W. Bush, Glen Greenwald, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Jamie Kirchick, Michelle Malkin, Norm Podhoretz, Psychology, Rudy Giuliani

Daniel DiRito | October 2, 2007 | 10:35 AM | link | Comments (1)
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