Maybe It's Giuliani Who Should Move On

The presidential candidate and former New York mayor ran a full-page ad today in the New York Times defending General David Petraeus and attacking Senator Hillary Clinton for saying that it would require "a willing suspension of disbelief" to take the General's Iraq report at face value. Giuliani added that by questioning our "progress" in the war and pushing Petraeus to be held accountable for his statements, Clinton (along with the New York Times, MoveOn.org and presumably anyone who questions our Iraq strategy) had launched a de facto "character assassination" on the general who has, according to Giuliani, "put his life at risk to protect us."

This is not the first time Giuliani has tried to stifle free speech and the fundamental democratic principle of holding our political leaders accountable. In last Sunday's The New York Times Magazine, Giuliani was asked about his hawkish stance on Iran, to which the former mayor responded as follows: "...after what we went through with the weapons of mass destruction, and particularly if we had a president who needed a high degree of proof, this might be something they [Iran] could assume they can get away with."

So Giuliani paid $65,000 to criticize the fact that Clinton and MoveOn.org criticized Petraeus, and is wary of having a president who will be held to a "high degree of proof." Coupled with his hawkish stance on Iran, this is a deadly mix. One could safely deduce that if elected president, Giuliani would not hesitate to move ahead with an Iran attack based on reliable, but not proven, accurate, but not conclusive evidence. Our impetus for the Iraq war was decided on similarly reliable, but not solidly conclusive evidence regarding the existence of WMDs and we have since paid dearly. Can we then afford to nominate and potentially vote into office another leader who believes that conclusive proof of a "high degree" is not needed before making the decision to invade a third country? The answer is frighteningly clear to me.