It has been nearly 10 years since what former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani calls the worst day of his life, but with the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the horizon, Giuliani cautioned today that the danger of another terrorist attack has not passed.
“The people who attacked us under that banner of distorted Islam still want to attack us under the banner of distorted Islam and they are planning to do it as we memorialize the 10th anniversary, arguably with more force,” Giuliani said today at a National Press Club luncheon.
Giuliani, who is mulling a presidential run, compared the 9/11 attacks to the attacks on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II and the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy. Americans who lived through those three events will always remember where they were when they heard the news, he said.
“It’s had tremendous implications for us and it’s had some implications that we still don’t quite understand,” Giuliani said.
“We cannot use this as an opportunity to say, ‘Oh, let’s put this behind us,’ because if we do that, we will repeat the same mistake that we made before Sept. 11, which is not evaluating correctly the scope and the danger of Islamic extremist terrorism,” he said.
Giuliani emphasized that America should not shy away from the term “Islamic extremist terrorism” in the name of political correctness, a stance he has maintained since the attacks.
“If you can’t honestly describe your enemy, there are distortions in your policy decisions as a result of it,” he said.
Giuliani was criticized in 2010 for speaking out against a proposal to build a mosque near Ground Zero, which at the time he said was a “desecration.”
“There is nothing insulting to decent good members of the Muslim religion when I say ‘Islamic extremist terrorism,’ any more than there is to the Italian-American community when prosecutors say the word ‘mafia’ or that would be insulting to decent Germans when people say the word ‘Nazi,’” Giuliani said today.
Giuliani said the primary reason the United States has not been attacked again is because “we went on the offensive” by going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, wars that the former mayor said should be waged “until that part of the world stops making plans to come over here and kill us.”
“We cannot fight a war with timetables. It is the dumbest thing and the most dangerous thing you could possibly do,” Giuliani said. “You can’t win a war that way and you give your enemies a blaring headline that we are not serious. You demoralize your troops and put them in greater danger.
“You fight a war for an objective. Objectives don’t have timetables,” he said.