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American Jingo In London

The WSJ story on Giuliani’s London visit included this

“This is no time for defeatism and appeasement,” Mr. Giuliani said of Islamist terrorism, using Churchillian language of 1930s Europe. Shifting forward five decades, he added: “As Margaret Thatcher would have put it, this isn’t a time to go wobbly!”

He can really string those cliches together, can’t he?  (Of course, the word appeasement became a dirty word because it was used by Chamberlain and had less than optimal results as a policy.)  I wonder if Giuliani will ever be able to say anything about foreign policy without falling back on tired slogans, bluster and invoking the names of Churchill, Reagan and Thatcher.  Hang on, that sounds like someone else we know…

This bit from the story was remarkable:

“I don’t think of Sept. 11 as being my defining experience,” Mr. Giuliani told reporters before the speech. 

No, he just wants everyone else to think of it as his defining experience, and he just happens to mention it at every possible opportunity. 

Mr. Giuliani argues his foreign-policy experience is extensive, though perhaps easily overlooked because it is less traditional. 

“Less traditional” here means “non-existent.”  Romney has similarly grand foreign policy “experience”–he refused to give Khatami state police protection at Harvard–but even Romney has visited Iraq.  It’s amusing that Giuliani somehow thinks that going to London and making a speech constitute an example of gaining foreign policy experience.  He and Thompson really are more alike than either would like to admit. 

Giuliani also made sure to remind us that he is a crazy person:

Mr. Giuliani used his speech to call for expanding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, mentioning for the first time that he’d like to bring Israel into the alliance, which now includes European countries, Canada and the U.S. He also mentioned Japan, India, Singapore and Australia as potential candidates.

Bringing in Israel doesn’t strike me as a feasible option, but then I don’t think NATO should still exist.  But Singapore?  India?  Japan?  Does that mean if Pakistan and India get into a shooting war, NATO attacks Pakistan?  Giuliani does know where the Atlantic Ocean is, doesn’t he?  He was giving the Atlantic Bridge lecture, after all.  Why this doesn’t make him a laughingstock, I’ll never understand.

It is interesting to note in passing how much more Republicans love Margaret Thatcher than do many members of her own party.  The Tories are in the perpetual electoral bind that they’re in for many reasons, but one of the reasons is that they are about as competitive in the North as Michael Dukakis was in Utah.  The way Thatcher privatised industry in those areas is a large part of the reason why those regions are lost to Conservatives.

Update: James makes the right points about this NATO expansion nonsense.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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