Republican front-runner Rudy Giuliani announced his foreign-policy advisory team Tuesday, and it looks from the membership as if he’s bidding for the Likud vote (for which he will no doubt receive tough competition from John McCain, Fred Thompson, and, eventually perhaps, Newt Gingrich).
Heading the team is Charles Hill, a retired career foreign service officer who worked as former Secretary of State George Shultz’s executive officer during the Reagan administration and is currently a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. Hill’s paper trail is confined almost exclusively to the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal where, among other things, he hailed the creation in 2004 of the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), proposed the replacement of the UN by a new organisation of nations “committed to democracy,” criticized the 9/11 Commission for failing to sufficiently emphasize “the nature of the enemy” – “Islamist terrorism; Saddamist-style hijacked states; and regimes fearful of subversion, such as Saudi Arabia, whose policies have inflamed the situation and increased the danger to itself,” and decried the Commission’s suggestion that U.S. policies in the region might have something to do with anti-American sentiment there.
A big fan of Bernard Lewis’ theories about what ails the Arab Middle East, Hill was a signer of the Sep 20, 2001, letter from Bill Kristol’s Project for the New American Century (PNAC) that urged Bush to be sure to include Saddam Hussein, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and the Yassir Arafat, as well as al Qaeda and the Taliban, in his war on terror.
Of the seven other members of Giuliani’s “Senior Foreign Policy Advisory Board,” several have also been associated with PNAC and the CPD, most spectacularly, the legendary former editor of Commentary magazine, Norman “World War IV” Podhoretz, whose most recent contribution to Western-Islamic understanding was his article, “The Case for Bombing Iran” (an eight-minute “must-see” video version of which is available on YouTube. A founding father of neo-conservatism, Podhoretz is also, of course, the father-in-law of Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams whose own work in frustrating serious peace efforts between Israel and its Arab neighbors has been second only to Dick Cheney’s. Apparently relying on inside information, Podhoretz still believes that Saddam Hussein secreted his weapons of mass destruction to Syria for safe-keeping
Also noteworthy on the advisory board is Martin Kramer, a long-time Lewis disciple, who is also closely associated with Daniel Pipes and particularly his Campus Watch program which many in the Middle East studies field have denounced as McCarthyite. Kramer, a frequent contributor to The National Review Online, is a senior fellow at the Jerusalem-based Shalem Center, which in turn is closely linked to former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Similarly, Peter Berkowitz, another Hoover fellow, has served on the policy advisory board of the neo-conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center (which, along with the Hudson Institute, served as Abrams’ primary institutional home for a number of years after his service in the Reagan administration) and director of the Israel Program on Constitutional Government, a program that brings prominent U.S. academics and opinion-shapers to Tel Aviv University each year. Participants in the program over the last few years have included former CIA director James Woolsey; former Asia specialist on Vice President Dick Cheney’s staff, Aaron Friedberg; Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies Professor Ruth Wedgwood, Bill Kristol, Victor Davis Hanson, Jeremy Rabkin, and Eliot Cohen.
Rounding out the group are former Wisconsin Sen. Bob Kasten, who, along with Minnesotan Rudy Boschwitz, was among the most pro-Likud members of the Senate during his service there between 1981 and 1993; Enders Wimbush, a senior fellow at the neo-conservative Hudson Institute, protege of the late Albert Wohlstetter and long-standing disciple of the Pentagon’s Net Assessment guru, Andrew Marshall; Steve Rosen, a Harvard professor who contributed to PNAC’s 2000 report, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses;” and Kim Holmes, a fixture at the Heritage Foundation’s foreign policy unit since 1985, who served during Bush’s first term as assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs.