Saturday, July 31, 2010

Newt Gingrich: Time for a New Strategy to Defeat Radical Islamists

(NEWSMax).Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says the United States needs a new, bolder strategy to deal with the serious threats facing America from radical Islamists “who want to kill us.”

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Gingrich said America is at risk because “Our secular elites find it very hard to understand the power if religion, and find it very hard to take seriously [any] threats to America. They're always excusing, apologizing and explaining people who are our mortal enemies.

'Radical Islamists are people who want to impose on the rest of us sharia, which is a form of Medieval law, which would fundamentally end America as we know it. And there are fairly disturbing signs that some places, such as a recent court case in New Jersey, you see some judges beginning to succumb to this kind of reasoning. So I think we need a new strategy, a much bolder strategy and a much clearer sense of what we're fighting for and what's at stake.”

According to Gingrich, this new strategy should involve “a combination of political, economic, diplomatic, social, cultural, intellectual and military means. But all of them have to go together. You have to have a complete strategy that enables you to isolate and defeat radicals while empowering and modernizing those who are prepared to live in the modern world.”

Gingrich also said America's failures in national security are nothing less than a national scandal, deserving of an in-depth investigation at the highest levels.

“On the scandal side it starts with the fact that despite all the billions we've spent, all the reorganization, [creating] the director of national intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, we had no warning of the Christmas Day bomber on the airplane over Detroit until his bomb failed to go off and his pants began to smoke,” he said. “We had no warning of the car bomb in Times Square until the bomb failed to go off and a T-shirt vendor reported to the police that the car was smoking. So we should have a serious national inquiry into why, after nine years since 9/11, we're still so unable to identify and isolate people who want to kill us.”

But radical Islamists are not the only threat to America's peace and prosperity, Gingrich said.

“The only other major threat we have is, frankly, is getting our economy back online so we can create jobs and be the most innovative, productive economy in the world, so we can successfully compete with China and India,” he said. “If we're able to isolate and defeat the radical Islamists, and we're able to compete successfully with China and India, we probably have no major national security problem in the next 50 years.”

One of America's national security failures centers on how the battle versus terrorists was framed soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, said Gingrich, who believes that it was a mistake for the Bush administration to call its response a “war on terrorism.”

“I think if we had said early on that we were faced with a long struggle with radical Islamists and that this is a war that involves breaking their capacity to impose sharia on the rest of us, we'd be much better off today, we'd have a much better understanding of the challenges, we would've used different strategy in some places. But we'd also be much more direct and aggressive in trying to defend America from the imposition of this kind of radical dictatorship.”