September 7th, 2007
02:41 PM ET
15 years ago

Giuliani defines the war on terror

Giuliani wants to redefine the war on terror, he said Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that the current “War on Terror” should be called the “Islamic Terrorist War on Us” at an event Friday in Florida commemorating victims killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“I don’t think we should call it the ‘War on Terror,’’ Giuliani told the audience. “I think we should call it the ‘Terrorist War on Us’ or if we want the ‘Islamic Terrorist War on Us,’ because that’s what it is. Whether we like it or not, whether it’s politically correct or not to say that.”

Giuliani went on to say that the country has had problems recognizing threats.

“America has had more problems underestimating the dangers that we face,” Giuliani said, “We’ve never really overestimated.”

Related video: CNN's Bill Schneider looks at the politics of the war on terror.

Related: Edwards calls Bush terror policy a 'failure'

– CNN Political Ticker Producer Xuan Thai

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Raymond, El Paso TX

    Josue Romano, Buena Park, CA
    I'm a Democrat AND a Christian but your thought process scares me! BTW, before somebody tells me that you can't be a Democrat and a Christian, that's why I vote according to my conscience and it just so happens that I am more aligned with the fundamental Democratic party principles than the Republican's. If somebody wants to believe in Allah, Buddha or whatever God they want, even if it's no God at all, that is a personal decision and a personal choice. That is something they must live with but I DO NOT have the right to impose my will on anyone. Which leads me to my next point.

    Cara, Harrisonburg VA
    This is America and our country is based on laws and the Constitution! This is also what gives everyone the right to voice their opinion and question our own government.

    But PLEASE do not tell me that because I don't believe in the Iraq war that I am unpatriotic or not supporting our troops. Of course everyone supports our troops! You would have to be a fool to not know they put their life on the line for this country, no matter what we as individuals think think. In fact, if Democrats completely take over in the next election, guess what, that same Constitution also gives you the right to question our government.

    I think you also need to do some research. Iraq wasn't the one that attacked us. If Bush had only gone into Afghanistan and punished those who did kill our people, I don't think we would be in the mess we're in.

    In fact, we had the support of the entire world! But NOOOOO! In our so-called leader's infinite wisdom, we chose to ignore the facts, underestimate the Iraqis, overextend our troops, and wound up getting almost the entire Islamic world to unite against us. Do you honestly believe they didn't see, given our history, that there were ulterior motives to that country's invasion?

    Do you really not think it's time for a change, discontinue our "death to anyone that doesn't agree with us" mentality and show the world that as a nation, we're not really as evil and greedy as we've demonstrated?

    September 7, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Izzy, Queens New York

    This is a man that obviously lacks common sense. His pandering is unbelieveable. 9/11 happened because of the sloppiness of the republican government in place at that point in time. BUSH HAD BEEN IN OFFICE FOR 11 MONTHS. Mayor Juliani had been in office for a long period of time, so what the heck is he on about. If anything, he should be culpable for slow response and trying to shamelessly capitalize on the deaths of 3,000 people to win a nomination.

    And by the way why the heck was he smiling so strangely during the debate, revealing painfully yellow teeth and a disturbingly wrinked face? His teeth looked as if they were gonna fly into my living room.

    September 7, 2007 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. MS Johnson City, TN

    As Reagan used to say, "Here we go again..."

    Mr. Giuliani thinks that by spreading fear and spewing out hatred he would win the nomination. He has lot of competition with that approach. This leaves the path to nomination wide open for Ron Paul, who not only has figured out the problem, but also has a logical and simple solution. And the solution is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”


    September 7, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. Ron Nebraska

    The 'War on Terror' Is an extremely simplistic notion that when looked at rationally is seen to be no more than a manipulative tool used by intellectually dishonest power brokers. A 'War on Terror' has absolutely no chance for success because terror is a TACTIC employed by an enemy. To win that sort of war you'd have to kill every member of the group that uses that tactic while not making more members willing to also use terror as a means of war. We are not doing that because our shortsighted and criminally insane leaders need that constant manipulation available to them. Once we elect rational sane people who will recognize the problem of mideast terror requires more than a military solution the sooner we can be on the road to success.

    September 7, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. Izzy, Queens New York

    These republican candidates are living on an imaginary cloud if they are under the pitifully despicable illusion that attempting to spread fear by way of blowing out of proportion or over-emphasizing terrorist threats would help them win the up-coming elections. Mayor Julieani, you better lace your boots properly and begin to campaign on tangbile issues, better begin to articulate your positions properly and expressing them concisely and succintly to the public because al these baseless fear-mongering is not going to get you elected.

    And that goes for all the other clowns wasting their time. Fred Thompson doesn;t stand a chance, America hasn;t elected a bald President in recent past.

    The only sensible republican is Huckabee. He is the least fascist.

    September 7, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. Ron Nebraska

    Hey, and what's with those Germans treating the threat of terrorism like a criminal action? Don't they know that is a ridiculous way to approach this struggle? Shouldn't they have gone a few blocks over and blown up a Flipino community? Amateurs!!!!

    September 7, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  7. Cara, Harrisonburg VA

    First of all, no where in this article does it state that ANYONE believes that "all muslims are terrorists". Secondly, congratulations to those of you in the "Democratic Death Wish" party (cheers to whoever coined that phrase) who are privy to some sort of classified information that the rest of us are not...Oh that's right, you get all of your information from DNN. Check the records of some of your folks in office. They also at one point seemed to believe there was reason for us to be in Iraq other than the "greed and personal vendetta" claims that you all are constantly spewing. Remember the murdering tyrant that we removed from office? Can you say Democracy? If we are not there to fight terrorists, we sure seem to have stumbled upon a heck of a large pocket of them. Anyone listening to the rhetoric from Iran these days? These people hate us! They are bent on destroying us and our way of life (even our right to disagree on the political ticker). This won't stop once we leave the middle east, nor would it have been any different had we never gone. To the individual who stated "cut the crap with the patriotic nonsense", you are welcome to relocate.

    September 7, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  8. RB

    Rudy, you've milked 9/11 for all it's worth. You're a one-trick pony.

    What else do you have to offer?

    September 7, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  9. Andrew, Washington DC

    I've only read one intelligent comment on this so far. This is a war against Western Civilation. Not just the U.S. That is why Israel is a target, that is why London, Spain, Bali, Scotland and India have been targets. You want just one, salient example of how this is a war on Western ideals? The Dutch Muhammad (sp?) cartoons. For the inexcusable crime of freely expressing a opinion, which is a crime to hardline Muslims (go figure), they riot in the streets and burn embassies and businesses. There was even a PBS special (something you CNN viewers probably ignored because it negates what you want to believe) that pinpoints the father of modern Islamic terrorism, a guy who was so offended by a church dance in Greeley, Colorado, where men and women danced together and made merry. Your ignorance is clearly chosen, not innocent.

    Oh, PS, Saddam had terrorist leaders in his freaking Parliament. Give it a rest

    September 7, 2007 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  10. xtina chicago IL

    Most candidates say they'll be tough on Islamic radicals plotting to destroy America, but Mayor Giuliani has experience that shows he's effective in crime-fighting.

    Mayor Giuliani reduced gun crime in New York City by 75 per cent during his time as Mayor.

    September 7, 2007 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  11. Cary - Lowell, IN

    MS in Tennessee,

    actually the right phrase is " There you go again.", said by Ronald Reagan to Jimmy Carter in an Oct. 80 debate, in which the latter falsely accused Reagan of opposing Medicare.

    September 7, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  12. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Giuliani's only credential for this campaign is the Great image he perceives himself to be. The truth is he is so full of himself he couldn't possibly think of anyone else let alone serve a Nation. His I Am A Hero deserving recognition line is what dreams are made of.

    September 7, 2007 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  13. Stephen, Charlottesville, VA

    It's interesting that he spends so much effort to try to call it "the terrorists' war against us" which would suggest we're playing defense, yet at the same time, he's so determined to tell everyone we should go on offense. Even semantically his positions don't make sense.

    September 7, 2007 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  14. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    I'm trying to find out how SECULAR IRAQ became a central front on the "Islamic Terrorist War on US".

    September 8, 2007 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  15. susan

    Rudy's going to be in trouble with conservatives for what he said on Glenn Beck:

    September 8, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. KHYYAMM, Waterbury, Conn.

    "The Giuliani plan did not have any effect. It was money in the trash, really," said a police officer patrolling the central square here earlier this month, Nicocio Acosto Leon. "Better to buy arms, uniforms, to fix our vehicles because we have to do that ourselves."
    Yeah, Giuliani tried to woo the Mexican gov.. A big fanfare for nothing! Read the full story:
    If this is any indication about his affectivness, Forget it!

    September 8, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. Greg Bartlett, IL

    Unfortunately, Republican leaders have always proven themselves to be basically and intellectually incompetant to govern this country, especially in it's foreign policy. What we need is to start respecting leaders that are educated, knowlegable, and have proven themselves to be above the 1800s mentality of the conservative Republican that cloaks it's immorality in religion and patriotism, both of which they have very little of... The world will respect us more when we have proved ourselves to be not just a loose cannon force controlled by barbarians from another century, but a country to be reckoned with because of it's intelligence, power, and sense of justice. When will we learn that rolling your eyes toward the sky and intoning about how religious you are is no substitute for rational thought, decency, and leadership capibility?

    September 8, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  18. eric, Atlanta GA

    People who vote for Giuliani are just voting to burn the constitution.

    September 9, 2007 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  19. Linda Carpenter, Phoenix, Arizona

    Rudy is a war profiteer who rented the 23rd floor of the Trade Center for a command center from a crony! He did not protect firefighters with decent technology nor did he protect their health . He is a liar and a fascist, not even his own children respect.
    Now what kind of president would that be? Even worse than the one we have now. He made millions of dollars off of his so called' securiity ' contracts. He brings nothing positive to America.

    September 9, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Kudos Linda Carpenter, Phoenix, Arizona

    I agree. And there isn't a Candidate more unqualified for holding the office of President than Giuliani. Errr well unless by some possible eroneous Constitutional Veto, George gets to run again!

    September 9, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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