From our friends at News Hounds, Mr. "A Noun, A Verb and 9-11" is at it again, joining his fellow chickenhawk Sean Hannity and beating the drums for war with Iran -- Fox News Pretends Rudy Giuliani Is An Expert On Israel And Iran:
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?”
Full transcript below the fold.
HANNITY: Joining me now in the studio with reaction to this volatile situation, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Mayor, how are you?
FMR. MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK CITY: How are you?
HANNITY: You know, the President said this was a democracy movement that we have radical Islamists have come to power. They were just last week talking about speeding up aid to the Muslim brotherhood in the new Islamic government and now we got a hostage situation as far as I'm concerned. And they are going put these Americans on trial.
GIULIANI: Yes. I mean, this is the risk that everybody was worried about and warned about with pushing over Mubarak so quickly and not having any plan, not having any real sense of who's taking over. And there is no question that right now, they are acting like I mean, it feels -- similar to what was going on Iran in 1979, `78, `79.
HANNITY: Yes. All right. We got Egyptian government kidnapping two American women. Last week, it was Egypt announced, they were going put these guys on trial as I said, but we're talking about giving any aid. Why would we give the new radical Islamic government aid?
GIULIANI: Yes. I have no idea. And I don't understand why we haven't reacted more strongly to the fact that they've held these people illegally. They are going to put them on trial illegally. This is clearly some kind of an insane Islamic extremist act that is going on. And we are reacting sort of nonchalantly to it without the appropriate I think pressure that we could bring on the Egyptian government. And some of the other Arab governments to pressure them.
HANNITY: How is it possible that the President would tell the American people this democracy movement is a great thing? How is it they didn't know -- and I would say at the time, I hope they are right. Public opinion in Egypt show that most Egyptians, 75 percent wanted the theocracy, wanted Sharia law.
GIULIANI: The President has no clue as to what's going on there. I think he's living a failing naive world. I mean, in fact, that's -- his whole, even whole situation with Libya which he gets a lot of credit for, in Libya, he led by following. Which means not leading. I don't have a sense of what is going on, so I'm just going to go kind of go with the wind takes me. And that one, unfortunately, I mean, those of us who I think have a little more knowledge of the Middle East realized that you are unleashing some really dangerous forces here. I mean, I think Hillary Clinton's first reaction was to stick with Mubarak, and then she got pushed aside. Not because she likes Mubarak. Nobody liked Mubarak. He's a bad dictator.
He is a bad dictator that had a good relationship with Israel and good relationship with the United States. Didn't pose a threat to us and what.
HANNITY: What do we do with Iran? Pursuing nuclear weapons, threatening the world's oil supply. Telling our battle ships to get out of the Straits of Hormuz, planning assassinations of foreign dictators, foreign ambassadors on American soil. And, you know, threatening the world at every point and funding terror and killing Americans?
GIULIANI: I think the President has a lot of work do with Iran. Because I think he has created a lot of this problem with all that silliness about wanting to negotiate with them and begging to negotiate with them and not supporting.
HANNITY: He said, it was a tiny country, Iran. They're not a threat. Those are the words he said. Iran is a tiny country. They're not a threat.
GIULIANI: Yes. I mean, go tell that to the military in Iraq who being killed by Iranians, you know three or four, five years ago. That was another naive statement. That I don't know where that came from. Iran is been a threat now since 1978, 1979. It is specifically participated in killing Americans and it is by far the biggest sponsor of terrorism, state sponsored terrorism in the world. So, to say they are not a threat is actually mind-blowing. I mean, it means you are living in some other universe that isn't the one that we're living in. But we should be making it very, very clear that we are prepared, not in a reluctant way, but we are prepared to use military action if we have to use it. And not we're not shrinking back. It can be really difficult for us to do it. And we should not be relying on Israel and threatening over the possibility of Israel doing it. Look, we have the largest military force on earth. Military force that we have is gigantic compared to Iran. And we should be prepared to use it to stop them from becoming a nuclear power.
HANNITY: Shouldn't we be at the point now where we've got to take out their nuclear sites? Are we pretty much there.
GIULIANI: I can't tell you if we are there or not. Because I don't have the details about how far along they are. Here is where we're not. We're not in their minds, meaning they don't believe we're going to do it. They have seen a weak president. They have seen a president that they can ridicule. He can ask for talks and they can -- we don't want to talk to you.
GIULIANI: A president that one, they had the green movement, any other American president would have supported that movement in the second. Here we have dissidents. We've got this whole situation with Camp Ashraf where we have these people who oppose the regime in Iran who being killed by Maliki in Iraq and administration doing nothing about it.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this. As you look at the presidential race, a lot of times we may talk about the economy up until Election Day but the next president, his biggest challenge may be national security. You never know. Where are you on the race? You endorsed Newt Gingrich, you're supporting.
GIULIANI: Oh, no. I haven't endorsed anybody. I've said some very nice things about Newt. I've said some nice things about Romney. I indicated that I think Newt has a bolder, stronger plan on taxes, on the economy.
HANNITY: Can he come back?
GIULIANI: I don't know. I don't know the answer to that. He has before. I mean, he has defied the odds before. So, there is a chance he can come back and I think there is still room for a race here. Because so few delegates have been won. I think it's looking very good for Governor Romney right now but I don't think it's over. And I think a lot can be accomplished by a good race if they discuss issues, if they talk about the things that they would do definitely than Obama than attacking each other so much. We now know the differences between them. The attacks that offended me the most was when Romney became a democrat to attack Newt and when Newt became a democrat to attack Romney. I think attacking Romney over Bain stupid, damn, and you sound like a democrat. And attacking Newt over what went on in Congress which was a democratic plot to get back at him, because of what he did to Write (ph). Like the action of the democrat. What the heck are we doing that for?
HANNITY: It's good advice. All right. I assume at some point, there will be peace made. Maybe, you'll have to broke her.
GIULIANI: Well, I hope so because the objective here is to defeat Barack Obama, and I think National Security is much bigger issue and may still become a much bigger issue than people realize.
HANNITY: I think you're right. No doubt. Mr. Mayor, good to see you. Thank you so much for being with us.
GIULIANI: Thank you. Go Giants.
HANNITY: I'll pick them by three, they won by four.
HANNITY: We'll show that prediction.
GIULIANI: The game, it was fabulous.