Today's Blogs

Rudy’s Foreign Affairs

Bloggers assess Rudy Giuliani’s article in Foreign Affairs magazine, respond to the Jose Padilla verdict, and mark the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death.

Rudy’s foreign affairs: GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani outlined his foreign-policy agenda in a piece for Foreign Affairs. He compares the current war on terror to the “beginning of the Cold War” and calls for an expanded military, continuing the missile-defense program, and improved intelligence capabilities. Bloggers break down Giuliani’s opus.

Liberal Matthew Yglesiasfirst reaction is that Giuliani is “batshit insane.” Later, he argues that Giuliani’s vision of peace through strength will result in an “endless series of wars:” “[S]ignaling an American desire to invade lots of countries only makes other countries more eager to get nuclear bombs. What’s needed, then, is a credible threat to fight a whole series of wars. … We want to signal that we’re ready and willing to do this again and again and again until all countries submit to our will.” Conservative James Joyner at Outside the Beltway also skewers Giuliani’s aggressive  stance: “Essentially, he wants to massively increase a defense budget that already spends more than the rest of the countries on the planet combined so as to buy more submarines and anti-missile systems to protect us against a land-based guerrilla movement.”

Over at the conservative National Review’s Corner, Noah Pollak lauds Giuliani’s assertion that, at least for now, the United States should not assist in the creation of a Palestinian state: “Events in the Middle East during the election year are almost certain to vindicate Giuliani; it’s hard to imagine Bush having any more success in jump-starting a Palestinian state in his final year in office than did Clinton in the last year of his administration. And the failure of the latest push might already be taking shape.”

Other bloggers think Giuliani’s essay is just plain ridiculous. Daniel Drezner, an international politics professor and a libertarian Republican, says it’s not only “badly written” but also “unbelievably unserious” and argues that the essay fails “to comprehend different foreign policy doctrines.” Liberal Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly’s Political Animal is similarly dismissive: “I’m afraid that a substantive review of Rudy Giuliani’s latest attempt to pretend he has a foreign policy is beyond me at the moment. … Was this written by a nine-year-old?”

Read more about Giuliani’s article in Foreign Affairs. In Slate, Fred Kaplan is about as impressed with Giuliani as Drezner and Drum are.

Guilty on all counts: After three months of testimony and only a day and a half of deliberation, jurors found Jose Padilla guilty of supporting extremists and conspiring to kill people overseas. Padilla was originally suspected of plotting to set off a “dirty bomb” but was never indicted on such charges.

Some bloggers are surprised by the outcome. Law professor Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy predicted acquittals, as did righty AllahPundit on Hot Air.

Conservative Andrew Sullivan, long a critic of the administration’s views on torture, harangues the government for its handling of the whole case: “The question of Padilla’s innocence or guilt on a much lesser charge is therefore less salient than the way in which he was treated by the government. That remains a travesty; and the government should be relieved its clumsy handling of the case did not lead to his acquittal.” Liberal John Cole of Balloon Juice concurs: “Regardless the outcome, there is no excuse for his treatment, no useful information has been gained from his treatment, and he is irreparably damaged.”

“Prosecutors got their conviction, and the jury was persuaded by what they heard,” writes a glum Steve Benen at the Carpetbagger Report. “But in this case, no one won and everyone lost.”

Conservative Michelle Malkin offers this early assesement—”We’ll see if any of the jurors are willing to talk, but it seems clear to me that the judge’s decision to allow FBI wiretap evidence was critical–as well as the decision to bar the defense team’s ‘defensive jihad’ propaganda”—and provides a link to Padilla’s application to join al-Qaida.

Read more about the Jose Padilla verdict.

The King is dead: Elvis Presley died at Graceland 30 years ago today at the age of 42. Bloggers remember the singer-songwriter.

At Power Line, Scott Johnson remembers the King fondly: “Elvis found the heart of America – the place where country, blues, and gospel meet – many times over in his music. Indeed, after his artistic decline in the ‘60s, he willed himself to a second period of creative genius and genuine accomplishment at the end of the ‘60s and early ‘70s. Am I wrong in thinking that listening closely to the music all by itself can make you love our country more?”

Rick Moran at Right Wing Nuthouse focuses on Elvis’ musical innovation: “The recording industry had never seen anything like him. Americans had never experienced the kind of music he played either. The influence of black R & B and blues performers was obvious. And while it was fairly common for white musicians to take songs written by black performers and record them, Elvis was the first to actually keep the raw rhythms of the blues performer, grafting it on to other forms of white music.”

ElvisSightingBulletinBoard is awash with posts from fans who insist the king isn’t dead. Marilyn from Maryville, Tenn., says she didn’t believe Elvis was alive until July 2005: “me my mother and my grandson were in burger king in kalamazoo for dinner I saw elvis and I know it was him, he was alive and doing fine … I don’t care what anyone else says about this situation. I KNOW FOR A FACT ELVIS PRESLY IS NOT DEAD.”

Read more about the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death.