Warnings from Gaza

By Newt Gingrich, Washington Times

The Hamas victory in Gaza is a warning that World War IV (as Norman Podhoretz has called it) is going to be long and hard. It is also a warning that the West is currently losing that war.

These defeats are not a function of the courage and will of the American people. In a June poll sponsored by American Solutions, 85 percent of the American people said it was important to defend America and its allies. Only 10 percent were opposed. On an even stronger question, 75 percent said it was important to defeat America’s enemies. Only 16 percent disagreed. [..]

The tragedy of the current debate in Washington is that while the inarticulateness and the failing performance of the Bush administration have led the American people to desire a new direction, the politics of the left insists that the new direction be less than President Bush. Yet the lessons of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, New Jersey, the JFK plot, the Algerian bombings, the Iranian nuclear program, the conflict in Lebanon and now the defeat in Gaza all point to the need for a war policy that is substantially bigger and more robust than Mr. Bush.

As the forces of modernity are being ground up by terrorism, our political process is not producing a Churchill or Roosevelt to rally the democracies but instead embracing advocates of surrender withdrawal and defeat. As women are being oppressed, we remain silent. Faced with the weakness, vacillation and inarticulateness of the leaders of Israel and America, the people see the violence as senseless, the bloodshed as repugnant and the current strategies as too flawed to continue to invest in them. CONTINUE

June 26, 2007 | 4 Comments »

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4 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. The reason America is losing is that their war aims did not meet the min. standards of reality. Iraq like many post colonial, and post WW2 nations which were artificial creations based on either big power division of spoils and victors dividing the world according their perceived interests at the time of division. Iraq is no more a country than than the PA. Just ask any kurd or Shia. It was always kept together by Ruthless dictatorships and arab reactionary monarchies with the support of some big power. With the defeat of Saddam which was the easy part, the post war goals and how to achieve them made Alice in Wonderland like Like Reality today. Iraq should have been divided up according to it historic and ethnic borders. We might have lost the southern Shia portion to Iran or not but we already have an ally in the Kurds and the Saudis could have helped with the Sunni minority mostly in the center of Iraq. The whole concept of Democracy without tradition and not institutions is proof that the Americans have no Idea of what they are doing. The Americans want to see visible signs of winning and these signs are simply not there to see; so Americans most of whom couldn`t show you Iraq on a world map don`t want to support losers especially in a conflict they have little or no understanding of.
    Winning is everything to Americans and Quick sense of victory is essential in keeping support. Clear war aims showing what are the National interests is also essential. Americans from the President down don`t have a clue as to what needs to be done at this stage as their initial lack of understanding of the region and Arabs in general have dug themselves a hole with no bottom. Their political objectives are so vague that the military has an impossible mission.
    The major problem for Gingrich is that in order for there to be a real counterinsurgency to Radical Islamic threats America and I mean only America will have to change the conceptual disk and become the world policeman. It will mean the setting aside of many preconceived ideas of right and wrong, political correctness in all its facets, the loss of some political and civil rights by American citizens and the willingness to attack and destroy any organization or nation that supports these groups ,which might lead to confrontation between nuclear powers like Russia and China. My guess is that it wouldn`t come to that if America shows its determination in achieving these goals.

  2. The Hamas victory in Gaza is a warning that World War IV (as Norman Podhoretz has called it) is going to be long and hard. It is also a warning that the West is currently losing that war.

    While this may be so, Gingrich doesn’t even seem to know which war we are fighting. This is nor World War IV, it is World War I, and it has been going on for almost 1400 years. Until our leaders realize that, we will continue to retreat towards the beaches under poor leadership, regardless of which party has gotten their straws into the treasury.

  3. Gingrich may be right about what America needs to do as regards Islamic radicalism. He is also probably right in saying that America desperately needs a leaders culled from the likes of a Churchill or Roosevelt and that like those leaders, America must be led to engage America’s enemies full force and on every battle front, both within and without America, that the enemy engages America.

    Gingrich however is wrong in saying that:

    “The source of failure is not to be found in the American people but in the inarticulate and unimaginative leaders all across government who now preside instead of lead.”

    In his citing of statistics showing 85% of Americans want their leaders to defend America and her Allies and 75% of Americans want America to defeat her enemies, Gingrich has failed to address the mood of America which is that while they may want their leaders to do those things, they do not want to do it through making war in Iraq or for that matter getting further involved in a war in the Middle East.

    Gingrich has failed to reconcile that inherent contradiction between what the Americans want and what they do not want their leaders to do in order to achieve what they want.

    There are of course other stumbling blocks to American’s turning up the heat on radical Islamists both at home and abroad, which needn’t be addressed for these purposes.

    Essentially however the contradiction in the American psyche at the moment is that while Americans do want what Gingrich lays out as reflected in opinion polls, they do not want to pay the price in more lost and shattered lives and lost American blood that would be the cost of war to America.

    The Democrats have capitalized on this contradiction as well as the Bush administration’s repeated and hugely costly mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those blunders have brought America no closer to meeting her objectives and most Americans only see more cost with uncertain benefit being in the cards if the Bush administration stays the course of even its limited military engagement in the Muslim Middle East.

    The Bush administration and I expect the Democrats as well are probably as much aware of what America needs to do, no doubt much along the lines of what Gingrich counsels, but both are just as much aware of the contradictory mood of the American public that is all for America winning, but against America’s current military engagement and expanded military engagement that it would take to heed Gingrich’s counsel.

    The Bush administration is in the result left in a totally befuddled quandry as the Democrats disingenuously beat the Bush administration over the head with the anti-war mood of the American public.

    On this most crucial issue, both the Bush administration and the Democrats know that the path to America’s salvation is along the lines Gingrich has laid out. At a time when partisan politics should be put aside and the American people told the truth of what is needed and that a cost will have to be borne, the Bush administration does not have the courage for it sees that the Republicans will lose votes faster then ever and the Democrats have no courage to tell the truth for that would mean they have lost their anti-war club to beat Bush over the head with to the cheers of an anti-War America.

    Gingrich is right about one thing however. America, just like Israel for that matter needs leadership such as Churchill and Roosevelt provided their respective nations at a time of extreme crisis.

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