By Hugo J. Byrne

We have reasons to be grateful to departing New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and those reasons certainly transcend his heroic actions in the wake of September 11. His unbending resolve to rally the population of Lower Manhattan in the face of bloody terrorist attacks served as an inspiration not only to his fellow New Yorkers, but also to all Americans as well as many people all over the World. In his determination to save lives and restore normalcy to his City, Giuliani, oblivious of personal safety, barely escaped violent death. There is no question that at the present time only President Bush's national popularity matches that of the Mayor. Perhaps!

To be sure, there are many other profound reasons to be grateful to Mayor Giuliani. Does anybody remember the painful situation of New York City when Rudy was elected to serve his first period as Mayor? According to the most reliable pollsters, six out of every ten New Yorkers wanted to leave "the Big Apple." The legacy of "traditional active liberalism" under the twisted leadership of politicians like Denkings, Koch, Cuomo and Lindsay left a community overwhelmed by crime, deficit spending and economic stagnation. With a population lower than in 1946, New York had one hundred and fifty times more violent crime in 1992. The welfare rolls had swelled from a few thousands to over 1.5 million. The subway transportation system, identified by the rest of the world as the one with the most concentrated and obscene graffiti, was only a very dangerous necessity for commuters. The atmosphere in the City was one of doom and despair.

Teased by the media as a lightweight and derided by his opponents in the political left, a dauntless Giuliani got busy with the task or rebuilding the city of his birth.

His achievements are nothing less than outstanding. During his two terms as Mayor Giuliani reduced the welfare rolls by more than 695,000. Crime in general, and most specially incidents of violent crime were cut by 65%. New Yorkers felt safer strolling the streets than ever before, and a subway system free of graffiti, provided them with a secure and efficient mode of transportation. Delighted tourists swarmed New York in record numbers.

Individual rights were duly respected in a community at one time rife with racism and notorious in the recent past for not paying due attention to those rights. Those abusing the constitutional rights of others while holding positions of authority were tried and convicted in short order, under the firm leadership of the former brilliant prosecutor. Everybody applauded that action. Everybody that is, except professional demagogues, the likes of Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson.

From a deficit of $2,300,000,000 at the time of Giuliani's inauguration as Mayor, New York is now enjoying a surplus of over $1,000,000,000. The City under Mayor Giuliani achieved this while cutting taxes by more than $2,400,000,000. A basic element of Giuliani's formula for success was the continuous partnership of the City with the private sector.

There is another reason to thank Giuliani, which endeared the Mayor to every decent Cuban-American, including yours truly. When Cuba's dictator Fidel Castro requested and promptly obtained from the Clinton administration a U.S. visa to address the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1995, the Mayor prohibited his access to any City owned facility: "I have known from first hand the suffering of the Cuban people under that tyrant, for many Cuban Americans are my friends and constituents", Rudy said, and added: "As long as I am Mayor, that communist shall not step on City property."

In spite of the acrid criticism from the Clinton administration for this action, Giuliani courageously held his ground. The universal condemnation by the liberal press, which hosted the bloody dictator with a gala dinner at the palatial residence of one of its moguls, did not deter New York's Mayor moral stand either. "Giuliani is playing politics," they claimed, pretending to ignore that the Cuban-American New York minority is way too small to count as a political force. They contended, "foreign policy is not the City's domain." Perhaps they think it's theirs?

An anti-American rally was held at a Harlem church to render abject tribute to the old and smelly terrorist sponsor from Havana. At the revolting gathering, abuse was reined on Giuliani to the enthusiastic applause of the notorious Cuban-American bashers and pro-Castro legislators Charles Rangel and José Serrano. After September 11 these two New York Congressmen claimed unbending opposition to terrorism. Do they know the meaning of the word shame?

For his humanity, courage, love of freedom and decency, Giuliani is one of the very few good arguments for the use of human cloning. We are in great need of ten million Americans like him.

All liberty loving people are in your debt, Mr. Mayor.


Hugo Byrne

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