A Conference With Newt Gingrich
Today, I was fortunate enough to get in on a Human Events / Heritage Foundation listen-in on a conference with Newt Gingrich. Newt, who came across very well, mainly focused on the war on terror, which he did again refer to as World War 3. He had a lot of interesting things to say and I found it to be noteworthy that he took several pokes at the Bush Administration, from the right, on terrorism related issues.
Here are some notes I took while I listened to Newt. Do keep in mind what you’re going to read below reflects my scribbling down the gist of what Newt said, not actual quotations from Newt, except where it’s specifically indicated.
— People in our country just don’t understand how dangerous nuclear or biological weapons are and, therefore, they don’t understand quite how important it is to stop them from being used against us.
— Hezbollah intends to destroy Israel, they openly tell people that, and they shouldn’t be believed if they say anything contrary to that. The FBI says we caught a Hezbollah team trying to cross the border into the US.
— He said that what Kim Jung-Il was saying by firing those missiles is that, (the US is) “cowardly, weak, and timid and we can do whatever we want.” He doesn’t think the administration understands the level of contempt we are held in by these little tinpot dictators. The Chinese are lying to us about trying to deal with the Norks. They could cut the power off in North Korea in an hour if they wanted to and force them to comply.
— “The correct answer to Hezbollah is to destroy it.” Anything less than destroying Hezbollah is a defeat for Israel at this point. They should be in the business of defeating Hezbollah, not accommodating them.
— Even though Reagan won the Cold War, he didn’t do it with military power. He was very careful about the application of military power. However, he actively supported nascent democratic movements all across the world, which is something the Bush Administration is not doing well enough.
— Newt suggested blockading Syria and perhaps sending our special forces in with the Lebanese army and kill Hezbollah. He also said, contrary to what you might hear, we’re not bogged down in Iraq. We’re the most powerful nation on the planet and we’re capable of doing more if need be.
— The degree to which we undermine our own power with our politics is greatly underestimated by Americans. Leaders of countries like Lebanon are reluctant to trust America because of the things said by people like John Murtha and Howard Dean.
— We should send 6 B2’s over Syria in broad daylight to kind of say, “Hi, here we are.” Do you really want to cross us? We treat Syria and Iran like they’re equals, but they’re not our equals and they’re not that strong. He would not allow the Iranians to stay in South Lebanon and he wouldn’t allow Syria to interfere with what the Israelis are doing.
— Bush says there is an Axis of Evil, but he was one country short. He should have added Syria. But, what has he done about the Axis? We’re better off without Saddam in power. But, Iran is closer to a nuke. North Korea is still probably making a couple of nukes. Hezbollah probably has more missiles.
— The Europeans get away without having to be accountable for their passivity. Reagan favored accomplishments over process. Europeans tend to favor process over achievements.
— All the people who tell you all the intelligence is wrong, now tell you we have all the intelligence about Iran’s nukes? When we found out about it, we were shocked at how far along Iraq was on nuclear weapons before Israel bombed Osirak.
— Just because the Norks have the fissile material for 8-12 bombs doesn’t necessarily mean they have to put them in a missile. What if they put that in a ship and send it to a US port and, say, pull out of South Korea or we set it off? What are these pacifist Democrats going to do then? We’re up against vicious, intelligent enemies, who are going to do everything they can to kill us and they don’t understand that.
— We don’t have competent intelligence in Iran and we need to do more in that area. We also need to be more open about telling the people of Syria, Iran, and North Korea that we support them and want them to run their own countries.
— When you talk to people who served in Iraq, they’re disgusted with the American press. It’s a scandal how far the American press has gone to denigrate our country and soldiers.
For more from Newt, also see,