December 27th, 2007
01:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Giuliani: Stability first, then democracy in Pakistan

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Rudy Giuliani said Thursday the main U.S. goal in Pakistan – a country in crisis following the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto – should be stability right now, not democracy.

“America should be there to help Pakistan achieve the following objectives… first of all immediate stability, as best as can happen, and finding the people that did this,” the former New York City mayor told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, adding later that “there are very difficult choices, but the objective has to be stability in Pakistan first, and then right back on track towards democracy as soon as possible.”

Giuliani, who has made the war on terror a central theme of his campaign, declined to express confidence in Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who has come under criticism from presidential candidates for his failure to fully deal with Islamic extremists within his country’s borders.

“Well he said the right words today, but we have to carefully look at this,” he told Blitzer. “Our objective here is no one person, our objective here is a stable Pakistan that will move toward democracy. And the big objective - and I’m speaking from the outside, not the inside, so people on the inside might have a slightly different view of this - you have to establish trust between the civilian leadership and the military, because hopefully they will stand against the efforts of the terrorists to destabilize Pakistan.”

–CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Rafael Richmond Virginia

    Don't count this out yet! Rudy is right we need stability in Pakistan right now before anything else. Then restore the trust in goverment and military to continue the pass to better democracy! This is the guy who will lead America to a victory in the war in terror against the west and USA. Rudy uunderstands that this war was not forced by us but brought to us! We have to fight it, win it, and stay on offense!

    December 27, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Musharaff may be saying the right words. But there is little doubt in the minds of myself and most of the world he is behind the murders, and attempted murders of his competition for the Presidency. His only desire is to hang on to power...and skim as much foreign aid money as he can. He is a corrupt weazel...and so is our President for doing business with him.

    December 27, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. lniarhos

    Stay on offense America! We must win this war on terror or our nation will be destroyed! Mrs. Bhutto was a strong, unafraid leader and I see Rudy as a strong, proven and ready leader to protect America. May God take Mrs. Bhutto to glory and give the strenght to Rudy to protect us in USA.

    December 27, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Lynn

    Giuliani is a joke!! How is it up to or in the power of the United States to stabilize Pakistan?? Isn't that up to the Pakistanis to do that. Haven't we learned by now that our "efforts" to stabilize other countries has most often led to eventual misery for their citizens as well as our own?

    December 27, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. RB, from the bay state

    Hey Ru911dy, how about the US mind it's own business for a change.

    Or would you try to run the world, just as *W* has tried and failed.

    December 27, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. Carlos Herrera

    This is Rudy being Rudy. His fascistic tendencies always surface; just like when in the aftermath of 9/11 he wanted to hold on to the mayoralty in NYC.

    Rudy made the rains run on schedule. Or as Jimmy Breslin said "A small man in search of a balcony"

    December 27, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. Brian

    Lynn you are right, the US "efforts" to stabilize other countries has most often led to misery, the Germans, Japanese, and former Soviet Union were much better off without our "efforts".
    We try and help, but much like everything else in this world you can't help everyone, they have to want the help and be willing to take it. Lets not tear someone down for wanting to help, I am sure you can find something not to like about Giuliani that is worse then him wanting to help, even if no one truely knows how best to help a country that is as divided and unsure of its future as Pakistan is right now.
    In times like this I would wager that a 3rd party that all sides could trust as a moderator would help calm the fire that is boiling the blood of the people. It might not be the US, but we should always offer our aid, even if we know they are going to spit in our faces. Because in the rare chance they take it and we can help, like we have done in the past, more good will come of a free nation then one of military rule.

    December 27, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I would like to ask Giuliani, who and what army can stabilize Pakistan. I wonder what Gen. Patreaus is thinking about some of this dillusional nonsense that's coming from Giuliani and others.

    December 27, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. Ross Rossi

    RUDY RUDY RUDY.......and the BEST part is nobody seems to care what he thinks anymore!

    December 27, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  10. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    They haven't found Osama BinForgotten yet! If the current Pakisatan president is vote out of office (although hasn't he changed their constitution so that can't happen?) who will the US support? Terrorist are allowed to walk the streets in Pakistan: this county is not a true ally on the war on terror ...

    Democracy is earned not granted ... and not worth investing another American life on countries that aren't truly interested in it.

    December 27, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. Tim, Minnesota

    Why are we sending our hard earned tax payer money to a dictator ? Ron Paul is the only one who understands foreign policy. Giulliani will have us all living in a world of ashes. We don't know who killed her. Could be Bi Laden, could be their dictator, Could be CIA, could be Afhganis, etc. etc

    But we should stop giving them money, we need it here. Rudy wants war.

    December 27, 2007 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |

    Brian, leave Lynn alone. If she wants to be an idiot let her.

    It's not her fault she has no concept of what goes on in the real world. It's not her fault she is without knowledge of the facts and tactics that have brought us to this point in time. It's not her fault she is ignorant.

    Or is it?

    December 27, 2007 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  13. Independent in IA

    Giuliafia would just step right in and 'force' democracy on an Islamic nation, just like Bush is trying to do in the rest of the middle east. Looks good on paper, folks, but it just ain't gonna happen.

    December 27, 2007 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  14. Nick

    Mayor Giuliani is making the most constructive comments with the correct tone. What he is saying is not to be rash and certainly do not take measures that could destabilize Pakistan. Like it or not America plays a major role on the world. How can it not? Giuliani understands this. He is also the best person in either party to deal with a crisis situation and he reinforces that strength with his calm approach here.

    December 27, 2007 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  15. Rudy T, Tulsa OK

    Lynn, Giuliani's not a joke. You are.

    December 28, 2007 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  16. bobr

    That's a mighty big leap Carlos. An offer of help is a fascist tendency? Next you'll tell us that unicorns exist because you saw a picture of one.

    I'll agree with you that Rudy was ham-handed, confrontational, dismissive and polarizing while Mayor but given the circumstances and players in NY (think Randi Weingarten, the SCA, Mark Green, corrupt agencies and Al Sharpton to name a few) those qualities were necessary to some degree.

    December 28, 2007 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
  17. Chris W.

    What I would like is a politically/religiously agnostic opinion by a few different Pakistanis about what has really happened here. Is this a case of the religious extremists striking at a vulnerable target or is it a more classic case of an incumbent dealing with a politically viable threat? I could see either being a possibility, but am not sure whether or not Musharraf would do such a thing. The larger question is when peaceful means of settling conflict will ever come to this region or will it period.

    December 28, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  18. Chris W.

    As a former New Yorker during Giuliani's tenures, I can say that he absolutely did clean up Times Square, which was dangerous as hell at night when I moved there in the mid 90's, but he also put up a fence around City Hall, which the State Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional. He might be a very capable individual, but has a VERY mottled record on human rights type issues. All the NY City Police scandals including the Dialu shooting happened on his watch. Think about those types of issues on a grander scale. We ALL need to worry about the Constitutional rights we actually have left guys, its not just about one guy or one Presidency. Our rights absolutely have eroded since the early nineties. Do you guys remember 'the Good Faith Clause' in '92 that basically null and voided any protection from improper search and seizure? Just wait, this will get better, now on New Year's, you can count on having a NY State trooper poke his head in your car (that IS a violation of your right to privacy from being searched without probable cause) as you drive over the boarder from NY to CT or NJ. When I was a kid, we never had 'random' seatbelt checks where a cop can stop you for no reason other than to check if you are a good little boy or girl. Be afraid, be very afraid. During our lifetimes, we are absolutely less free than we used to be. Your Grandfathers and their Grandfathers fought for our freedoms, don't give them up without a fight. This is NOT just about terrorism or 9-11 and it is not going away. It WILL get worse. Wake the hell up those of you who are asleep, this is a non-partisan issue for everyone. Additional food for thought: Why is our government (Police Unions, Dems, etc.) so into gun control when according to FBI statistics less than 1% of LEGAL GUN OWNERS WILL EVER USE THEIR GUNS TO COMMIT CRIME? Because they realize their taxes (money they illegally seize due to an impromperly ratified income tax ammendment) are unjust as is our corrupt congress and our own President, who constantly abridges Constitutional process to spy on us and other crimes. They realize what Mao said, 'True political self determination comes from the barrel of a gun.' You can agree or disagree with me as much as you want, but it will get worse here with regard to the freedoms the Constitution was supposed to guarantee us and our elected officials were supposed to protect. I promise. Wake up people. We are engaged in a battle with corporate interests who bought Congress and run everything. Its the haves vs. the have nots now more than ever. Wake up. All you rednecks who love Bush so much, realize he does not support you or your interests. He doesn't even want to pay the medical bills for your kids when they come home with their legs blown off fighting his Daddy's war. He's hiding behind a flag, but his true agenda is made evident by his actions and intiatives. Giuliani is not as much a joke as our Congress is. You are not as free as a lot of you think.

    December 28, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Stability in Pakistan is definately needed, but there must be moves to democracy during that time. Maintaining the election date can and should be one of them. The investigation as to who did this cowardly and hateful attack should continue as well. It should go where the evidence leads it; it could be to Musharaff or to some violent Islamist group that had sole reason to oppose Bhutto because she was a woman. I don't know but these investigators should go unhindered to find the killers that planned this.

    December 28, 2007 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. Fred Greenwich, CT

    Rudy Giuliani should first try to find stability in his own adulterous life. Who wants a president and first lady who have six marriages between them?

    December 28, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. Tim T.

    Like stability in Iran with the Shah? US imperialist policy stresses "stability" vis-a-vis
    non-democratic dictators. Giuliani seems cozy with such folks. Wonder why?

    December 28, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. Chris W.

    I agree with you. I don't think anything close to democracy exists in the Mideast. Those that prefer draconian theocracies would ruin it for those who would envision it. Many will not even let women be educated. That part of the world has further to go to catch up to those states in the modern world. The only Muslim state that is even close to tolerating Western life is Maylasia that I have seen with my eyes (maybe Turkey, but I've not been there). Pakistan might change for the better, but there are those with power who will use violence to subvert those who oppose their philosophies.

    December 28, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Nick

    Giuliani has been the most statesman – like in his responses to this tragedy. He has shown sensitivity in a very delicate situation as well as being very clear in his response.

    December 29, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  24. Henrik

    Tim T. has hit the nail on the head. The USA often finds that, in the longterm, rejection of its own ideals of freedom and democracy for short term "stability" and pursuing our national interests is, in fact, detrimental to future national security and interests. The examples, including the Iranian Shah, the previous sponsoring of Islam against communism, the initial support of the French in Vietnam, are numerous beyond belief.

    December 31, 2007 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  25. Chris W.

    Nick, you can't be serious. Ask around Manhattan if Giuliani is sensitive to issues. I think you will find many including his wife and his own children, who would say otherwise. He ran a gestapo like police force. He jumped on the 9-11 bandwagon like a LOT of other policticians and rode it up for popularity/power. I do agree debacles like Katrina would not have happened to the degree they did because he is less of an idiot than George is, but that is not saying much and its hardly original. I think he is vying for power just as Hillary is, which is why I fear neither would be in our long term interest as President. Hillary would say what she would not do (the status quo of Congress will not change) and Giuliani will just do the wrong things once elected. Neither is the right choice.

    December 31, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |