Republican presidential hopeful and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks at the 2007 South Carolina Fire-Rescue Convention Friday, July 20, 2007, at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Says more action needs to be taken against al-Qaeda
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday that the United States should do more to capture Osama bin Laden and dismantle al-Qaeda operations in Afghanistan and northern Pakistan â€” even at the expense of an ally, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
While he wasn’t explicitly critical of President Bush, the Republican presidential contender outlined in an interview with USA TODAY a more aggressive stance and a different emphasis than the administration has pursued in the region that spawned the terror network.
The United States has been distracted “for a while” by military setbacks and political heat surrounding the Iraq war, Giuliani said, not focusing enough on al-Qaeda’s resurgence in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“This cannot be like a horror movie,” he said. “You know, in the horror movie you kill the monster, and the hand re-emerges. And if you’re not looking, the hand grows back and then the monster’s there again. That cannot be allowed to happen.”
“I said it a long time ago â€¦ America is too consumed with Iraq,” he said. “We’ve got to be patient and committed (in Iraq), but we’ve got to multitask. We’ve got to have conversations beyond Iraq. We’ve got to talk about Iran â€” Iran is more dangerous than Iraq â€” and we have to get the job done in Afghanistan and in Pakistan.”
Giuliani expressed little patience with the Pakistani president, who last fall brokered a cease-fire with tribal leaders in northern Pakistan that let them police their own territories. The White House said this week that the deal helped open the way for al-Qaeda to rebuild its infrastructure.
“Musharraf is important to us to the extent that he helps us remove this existential threat to him and to us,” Giuliani said.
“And to the extent that he recognizes that it’s an existential threat to us and to him, he’s valuable to us. To the extent that he doesn’t, he isn’t,” Giuliani said.
The Mayor understands the “War on Terror” and is striking off into his policy positions – even if they are different from President Bush.
Pakistan must not be allowed to harbor Al Qaeda and allow them to regroup. President Musharref has been warned before and if he cannot deal with the problem then NATO must.
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