Rudy Giuliani and “The man on whom nothing was lost”

Rudy Giuliani has put together an extraordinary team of foreign policy/national security advisers. The team includes at least two regular Power Line readers: the legendary Norman Podhoretz and the outstanding scholar, Peter Berkowitz.
It also includes one of Scott’s heroes, Yale professor Charles Hill. Professor Hill assisted both Henry Kissinger and George Shultz in foreign policy matters, and is the subject of a biography by Molly Worthen called The Man on Whom Nothing Was Lost: The Grand Strategy of Charles Hill.
Phil Klein of the American Spectator interviewed Professor Hill recently and has written this report. Klein finds that Hill’s affiliation with the Giuliani campaign is based on a powerful affinity of views, particularly when it comes to fighting terrorism:

From the broader questions posed by the terrorist threat, to specific challenges such as Iran, their way of looking at the world is eerily similar. Hill said the campaign reached out to him earlier this year, and in discussions with Giuliani, he noticed that their views were very compatible. . . .
When I listened to Hill describe how Americans are just beginning to comprehend the terrorist threat that has been with us since at least the 1970s, I was reminded of Giuliani’s speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention. “Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001,” Giuliani said at the time. “It had been festering for many years. And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed. The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972.”

With respect to the issue of promoting democracy, Hill says that Giuliani’s approach will be rooted in realism and focused on measuring tangible results. “America stands for democracy, and it always will,” Hill told Klein. “It has to stand for democracy. We can’t turn away from that, but we have to do it in a way that’s realistic and Rudy Giuliani has talked about the realistic piece.” Hill speaks not in terms of seeking to establish “full blown” democracy suddenly, but in terms of helping to initiate a process of democratization.
In my view, this view is not unlike President Bush’s approach. Though Klein joins many liberal critics in describing Bush’s policy as Wilsonian, the administration has largely been content to help promote a gradual process of democratization, as opposed to imposing it in anything like a full blown form. Iraq is the exception, but in that instance the option of nudging an existing regime in the direction of democracy did not exist. The core options were to create democratic institutions, to re-establish (passively or actively) an authoritarian regime, or to allow the country to come apart, which would likely have produced multiple authoritarian regimes.
Nonetheless, the image of Bush as Wilsonian is fixed, and team Giuliani takes the right in approach in distancing itself from that image by distinguishing between realistically helping the democratic process along and idealistically imposing democracy willy-nilly.
To comment on this post, go here.

Responses

Books to read from Power Line