Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Newt Gingrich on War & Peace

GINGRICH [to Dodd]: The Baker-Hamilton Commission suggested that we engage Iran & Syria, who are our enemies in the region. The fact is the Iranians want us defeated. The Iranians are providing weapons, training and money to defeat us. This would be like saying, “Why don’t we turn to Nazi Germany to help us manage fascist Italy?”

DODD: The idea we don’t talk to the Syrians & Iranians in a moment like this, I think, is terribly naive and dangerous for the country, in my view.
GINGRICH: I’m perfectly happy to talk to Syrians and the Iranians. We’ve had a number of secretaries of state who’ve gone to Damascus, several of whom have been snubbed. Our secretary of state was snubbed the other day by the Iranians. I just want us to understand who we’re talking about. Reagan had no doubt that the Soviet Union was an evil empire. He had a clear vision of the Cold War. He said, “We win, they lose.” And he did what you’re calling for. They unraveled the Soviet empire, largely without firing a shot.
Meet the Press: 2007 "Meet the Candidates" series - May 20, 2007

No one in the initial war planning expected the US would try to run Iraq after defeating Saddam. There was a general belief that portions of the Iraqi army could be converted in to a policing force.

It was vital from day one that the US be seen as a liberator and not as an occupier. For some reason the lesson learned in Afghanistan--of liberating and not occupying--did not get across. Like most bureaucracies, this one looked after itself. It created a green zone of protection and comfort to shield the bureaucrats. By creating a green zone, it acknowledged that the entire rest of the country was a red zone, a danger zone. Worst of all, the decision to have an explicitly American administrator of Iraq guaranteed that America's role would change from liberator to occupier.
By Dec. 2003, things were so bad that I went public and declared that we had "gone off a cliff" in the June decisions, and that until they were reversed things were just going to get worse
Real Change, by Newt Gingrich, p. 110-111 - Dec 18, 2007

Beyond the Petraeus Report, we need a report on the larger war with the Irreconcilable Wing of Islam. This enemy is irreconcilable with the modern civilized world because its values would block any woman from being in this room, having a job, voting, being education. It is irreconcilable because it cannot tolerate other religions or other lifestyles. It represents what some have called an Islamofascist approach to imposing its views on others and as such it is a moral threat to our way of life, to freedom, and to the rule of law.

The Irreconcilable Wing of Islam has emerged as an extremist movement against not only non-Muslims but also against moderate Muslims who wish both to preserve their faith and to be a part of the modern world.
Real Change, by Newt Gingrich, p. 292 - Dec 18, 2007

Q: As Pres. Obama was deciding what to do in Libya, you recommended, "exercise a no-fly zone this evening, communicate to the Libyan military that Gadhafi was gone, and that sooner they switched sides the more likely they were to survive." After Obama launched military action a few days later you said, "I would not have intervened. I think there were other ways to affect Gadhafi." Which is it?

GINGRICH: Let me suggest this is a good example of a "gotcha" question. Two weeks earlier, I said we should go in covertly, use Egyptian and other allies not use American forces.
Q: But Mr. Speaker, you said these two things.
GINGRICH: That's right. I said [the first] after the president announced gloriously that Gadhafi has to go. And I said if the president is serious about Gadhafi going, this is what we should do. The [second] came after the same president said, well, I really meant maybe we should have a humanitarian intervention. I was commenting about a president who changes his opinion every other day.
Iowa Straw Poll, 2011 GOP debate in Ames, Iowa - Aug 11, 2011

GINGRICH: We ought to have a massive all-sources energy program , designed to literally replace the Iranian oil. Now that's how we won World War II. We all get sucked into these tactical discussions. We need a strategy of defeating and replacing the current Iranian regime with minimum use of force. But if we were serious, we could break the Iranian regime, I think, within a year, starting candidly with cutting off the gasoline supply to Iran, and then, frankly, sabotaging the only refinery they have.

Q: But sanctions on the Iranian Central Bank now, is that a good idea or a bad idea?
GINGRICH: I think it's a good idea if you're serious about stopping them. I think replacing the regime before they get a nuclear weapon without a war beats replacing the regime with war, which beats allowing them to have a nuclear weapon. Those are your three choices.
2011 CNN National Security GP primary debate - Nov 22, 2011


Can't say I really disagree with what he has said, other than dealing with Gadhafi. Yes he was a brutal dictator, but he complied with inspectors and stopped his nuclear program. He also wasn't responsible for attacks against us after the Lockerby incident. Unlike Iran and Saudi Arabia that both support various terrorist groups, though at least the Saudi support is from various members of the "royal" family and not the government itself. If we're going to attack anyone we should hit the ones we know are responsible, just like we did with Afghanistan.

I'm all for doing whatever we can to stop Iran without using force, the idea of stopping the importing of gasoline to them appeals to me, especially if we offset it by massively increasing our own output with more drilling and building additional pipelines and refineries. At the same time, Newt doesn't lock himself into looking like a fool when the world finally wakes up and realizes that Iran really was working toward a nuke, right about the time they detonate one in a test zone to show everyone (or drop it on Israel).


No comments:

Post a Comment