For those of us who think that it will all work out, that rational,
reasonable minds will prevail, take a look at this. Gingrich is
certainly neither stupid nor uninformed, but his biased, racist,
hate-filled rant is frightening – or it should be if you consider
that he represents a sizeable segment of the population.. And some
of them are much farther out on the boundaries of lunacy than he is.
I find it frightening, even allowing for my relative fixation on the
Middle East and the Muslim world. The approach that he is
underwriting can create a catastrophe of galactic proportions.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich delivered the following
remarks to a Jewish National Fund meeting Nov. 15 at the Selig
share with you where I think we are.
I think it is very stark. I don't think it is yet desperate, but
it is very stark. And if I had a title for today's talk, it
would be sleepwalking into a nightmare. 'Cause that's what I
think we're doing.
I gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute Sept. 10 at
which I gave an alternative history of the last six years,
because the more I thought about how mich we're failing, the
more I concluded you couldn't just nitpick individual places and
talk about individual changes because it didn't capture the
scale of the disaster. And I had been particularly impressed by
a new book that came out called Troublesome Young Men, which is
a study of the younger Conservatives who opposed appeasement in
the 1930s and who took on Chamberlain. It's a very revealing
book and a very powerful book because we tend to look backwards
and we tend to overstate Churchill's role in that period. And we
tend to understate what a serious and conscientious and
thoughful effort appeasement was and that it was the direct and
deliberate policy of very powerful and very willful people. We
tend to think of it as a psychological weakness as though
Chamberlain was somehow craven. He wasn't craven. Chamberlain
had a very clear vision of the world, and he was very ruthless
domestically. And they believed so deeply in avoiding war with
Germany that as late as the spring of 1940, when they are six
months or seven months into they war, they are dropping leaflets
instead of bombs on the Rohr, and they are urging the British
news media not to publish anti-German stories because they don't
want to offend the German people. And you read this book, and it
makes you want to weep because, interestingly, the younger
Tories who were most opposed to appeasement were the combat
veterans of World War I, who had lost all of their friends in
the war but who understood that the failure of appeasement would
result in a worse war and that the longer you lied about
reality, the greater the disaster.
And they were severly punished and isolated by Chamberlain and
the Conservative machine, and as I read that, I realized that
that's really where we are today. Our current problem is tragic.
You have an administration whose policy is inadequate being
opposed by a political left whose policy is worse, and you have
nobody prepared to talk about the policy we need. Because we are
told if you are for a strong America, you should back the Bush
policy even if it's inadequate, and so you end up making an
argument in favor of something that can't work. So your choice
is to defend something which isn't working or to oppose it by
being for an even weaker policy. So this is a catastrophe for
this country and a catastrophe for freedom around the world.
Because we have refused to be honest about the scale of the problem.
Let me work back. I'm going to get to Iran since that's the
topic, but I'm going to get to it eventually.
Let me work back from Pakistan. The dictatorship in Pakistan has
never had control over Wiziristan. Not for a day. So we've now
spent six years since 9/11 with a sanctuary for Al-Qaida and a
sanctuary for the Taliban, and every time we pick up people in
Great Britain who are terrorists, they were trained in Pakistan.
And our answer is to praise Musharraf because at least he's not
as bad as the others. But the truth is Musharraf has not gotten
control of terrorism in Pakistan. Musharraf doesn't have full
control over his own government. The odds are even money we're
going to drift into a disastrous dictatorship at some point in
Pakistan. And while we worry about the Iranians acquiring a
nuclear weapon, the Pakistanis already have 'em, So why would
you feel secure in a world where you could presently have an
Islamist dictatorship in Pakistan with a hundred-plus nuclear
weapons? What's our grand strategy for that?
Then you look at Afghanistan. Here's a country that's small,
poor, isolated, and in six years we have not been able to build
roads, create economic opportunity, wean people off of growing
drugs. A third of the GDP is from drugs. We haven't been able to
end the sanctuary for the Taliban in Pakistan. And I know of no
case historically where you defeat a guerrilla movement if it
has a sanctuary. So the people who rely on the West are
outbribed by the criminals, outgunned by the criminals, and
faced with a militant force across the border which practiced
earlier defeating the Soviet empire and which has a time horizon
of three or four generations. NATO has a time horizon of each
quarter or at best a year, facing an opponent whose time horizon
is literally three or four generations. It's a total mismatch.
Then you come to the direct threat to the United States, which
is Al-Qaida. Which, by the way, we just published polls. One of
the sites I commend to you is AmericanSolutions.com. Last
Wednesday we posted six national surveys, $428,000 worth of
data. We gave it away. I found myself in the unique position of
calling Howard Dean to tell him I was giving him $400,000 worth
of polling. We have given it away to both Democrats and
Republicans. It is fundamentally different from the national
news media. When asked the question "Do we have an obligation to
defend the United States and her allies?" the answer is 85
percent yes. When asked a further question "Should we defeat our
enemies?" - it's very strong language - the answer is 75 percent
yes, 75 to 16.
The complaint about Iraq is a performance complaint, not a
When asked whether or not Al-Qaida is a threat, 89 percent of
the country says yes. And they think you have to defeat it, you
can't negotiate with it. So now let's look at Al-Qaida and the
rise of Islamist terrorism.
And let's be honest: What's the primary source of money for
Al-Qaida? It's you, recirculated through Saudi Arabia. Because
we have no national energy strategy, when clearly if you really
cared about liberating the United States from the Middle East
and if you really cared about the survival of Israel, one of
your highest goals would be to move to a hydrogen economy and to
eliminate petroleum as a primary source of energy.
Now that's what a serious national strategy would look like, but
that would require real change.
So then you look at Saudi Arabia. The fact that we tolerate a
country saying no Christian and no Jew can go to Mecca, and we
start with the presumption that that's true while they attack
Israel for being a religious state is a sign of our timidity,
our confusion, our cowardice that is stunning.
It's not complicated. We're inviting Saudi Arabia to come to
Annapolis to talk about rights for Palestinians when nobody is
saying, "Let's talk about rights for Christians and Jews in
Saudi Arabia. Let's talk about rights for women in Saudi Arabia."
So we accept this totally one-sided definition of the world in
which our enemies can cheerfully lie on television every day,
and we don't even have the nerve to insist on the truth. We
pretend their lies are reasonable. This is a very fundamental
problem. And if you look at who some of the largest owners of
some of our largest banks are today, they're Saudis.
You keep pumping billions of dollars a year into countries like
Venezuela, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Russia, and you are
presently going to have created people who oppose you who have
lots of money. And they're then going to come back to your own
country and finance, for example, Arab study institutes whose
only requirement is that they never tell the truth. So you have
all sorts of Ph.D.s who now show up quite cheerfully prepared to
say whatever it is that makes their funders happy - in the name,
of course, of academic freedom. So why wouldn't Columbia host a
genocidal madman? It's just part of political correctness. I
mean, Ahmadinejad may say terrible things, he may lock up
students, he may kill journalists, he may say, "We should wipe
out Israel," he may say, "We should defeat the United States,"
but after all, what has he done that's inappropriate? What has
he done that wouldn't be repeated at a Hollywood cocktail party
or a nice gathering in Europe?
And nobody says this is totally, utterly, absolutely
unacceptable. Why is it that the No. 1 threat in intelligence
movies is the CIA?
I happened the other night to be watching an old movie, To Live
and Die in L.A., which is about counterfeiting. But the movie
starts with a Secret Service agent who is defending Ronald
Reagan in 1985, and the person he is defending Ronald Reagan
from is a suicide bomber who is actually, overtly a Muslim
fanatic. Now, six years after 9/11, you could not get that scene
made in Hollywood today.