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SEOUL — Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, making a Pacific tour, was a bit late arriving for his guest speaker slot here at the USO’s 33rd annual Six Star Salute honoring those in military service.

But once he took the Hyatt Hotel podium, the man who adeptly dealt with the worst terrorist act on American soil wasted no time before criticizing Europe’s past handling of terrorism.

Actions such as Italy’s release of Achille Lauro terrorists in 1985, and Germany’s leniency after the 1972 Munich Olympics hostage crisis, were meant to soothe domestic tensions. But, he said, they merely empowered the terrorists.

Those countries feared harsher treatment of the terrorists would ignite domestic problems, Giuliani said. “Just think of how unrealistic that viewpoint was,” he said.

Giuliani, a former U.S. attorney, spoke in Tokyo Wednesday about how his zero-tolerance policy helped shrink New York City crime rates, and how despite that city’s vigorous attempts to ready itself to deal with terrorism, nothing could have prepared it for the horror and demands of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Republican also threw his firm support behind U.S. actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, praising the “Bush doctrine” of confronting terrorism rather than negotiating.

“I believe the world is safer now because America and those nations that agree with us are confronting the reality of the evil that exists,” Giuliani said, “and are taking steps to reduce its capacity to harm us, hurt us or affect us in the future.”

The former mayor was widely praised for his unstinting efforts to lead his city through the aftermath of the devastating attacks.

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