The following paragraph was plucked directly from Rudy Giuliani's essay in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs:
Another step in rebuilding a strong diplomacy will be to make changes in the State Department and the Foreign Service. The time has come to refine the diplomats' mission down to their core purpose: presenting U.S. policy to the rest of the world. Reforming the State Department is a matter not of changing its organizational chart -- although simplification is needed -- but of changing the way we practice diplomacy and the way we measure results. Our ambassadors must clearly understand and clearly advocate for U.S. policies and be judged on the results. Too many people denounce our country or our policies simply because they are confident that they will not hear any serious refutation from our representatives. The American ideals of freedom and democracy deserve stronger advocacy. And the era of cost-free anti-Americanism must end.
That statement makes the inconsistencies in Mitt Romney's piece from the last issue look relatively minor.
Does Giuliani know what the Foreign Service does on a day-to-day basis? Most spend their time issuing visas, helping U.S. citizens abroad, conducting intergovernmental business and most importantly, maintaining an understanding of the countries they are working in. We are in the second decade of the Information Age and the Hypertext Markup Language is more than 15 years old. The president can present U.S. policy to the world in a thirty minute press conference. He doesn't need drones to mindlessly repeat U.S. policy ad nauseam.
This brings us to the fact that Rudy Giuliani's approach to foreign policy demonstrates the savvy and depth of in a high school boy who goes to debate club meetings to cruising for girls with low self-esteem issues. Members of the international community don't disagree with us simply because we haven't explained our position well enough. They disagree because they don't like some (or all) aspects of U.S. policy.
Despite what a neoconservative will tell you, there is no such thing as objective moral high-ground in international relations. The U.S. can't just state its foreign policy to the international community and assume that anyone (short of the British and Australians) will blindly follow suit. Leadership is not just stating policy, but instead, its haggling and cajoling allies, friendly and even hostile countries needed to get everyone on board with a policy.
Giuliani's approach feels like it will be all talk, but no action. I mean, how exactly does he propose raising of the cost of anti-Americanism abroad? Imposing sanctions? Ending diplomatic relations? Punitive military action? Get real...
One last thing: Does anyone else remember the News Hour interview with Condi Rice from late 2002 where she almost says 'leadership breeds followership'? It was such a classic demonstration of the Ameri-centric worldview that is becoming popular among baby-boom generation politicians and foreign policy elites.