Let The Debate Continue

Rudy Giuliani argued in Tuesday's debate that any notion that U.S. involvement in the Middle East has contributed to anti-American feeling there and therefore helps foment Islamist terror is "absurd." But the 9/11 Commission explored just that dynamic. Has he read the report? I am not an isolationist. But I do believe that assessing the consequences of our foreign policy with respect to the power of Islamist sentiment in the Middle East is a legitimate inquiry. To give a simple example: the decision to bomb Iran for its nuclear activity may be wise or unwise. But we surely have to factor into our decision the blowback across the Muslim world that bombing a Muslim country would create. We have to assess whether it would so inflame Iranian public opinion that it would do more harm than good. This isn't leftism or anti-Americanism. It's common sense and prudence. There is something about the current debate about the war on the right that is deeply unhealthy. Ron Paul, for all his faults, is fresh air. We need more of it. To stir things up some more, here's a direct challenge to Rudy Giuliani. Quit the bullying and start debating, Mr Mayor. And get off that white horse. You're not our dictator yet.