I listened to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich give a speech today at the national Press Club. It was the first “no B.S.” and “no political correctness” speech I’ve heard given to an American audience in years. Below is a piece of that speech and we are striving to get the entire text.
John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 7, 2007
Defeating America’s Enemies
“It is the eternal struggle between two principles,
right and wrong, throughout the world.”
President Abraham Lincoln
Debate at Alton, Illinois, October 15, 1858
Imagine the morning after an attack even more devastating than 9/11. It could happen. The threats are real and could literally destroy our country.
There are weapons of mass destruction, weapons of mass murder, and weapons of mass disruption—nuclear is first, biological and chemical is second, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is third. All are real, and we are lulled into complacency by the fact that none is currently being used. But if any of them were used, the effect could be catastrophic.
Despite spending billions of dollars on our national security, we are still unprepared. Our intelligence capabilities are—at most—one-third the size we need. Consider that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has hundreds of thousands of hours of terrorist intercepts that have not been heard, much less analyzed, because there are not enough translators. Our intelligence community has been studying North Korea for nearly fifty years, yet we know almost nothing about the country.
America’s lack of preparation, however, should not discourage us or even surprise us. Americans have had to rethink and reorganize for every major national security challenge in our history. We must recognize that we have three objectives to achieve.
OpponentsFirst, we have two immediate opponents, the Irreconcilable Wing of Islam and the rogue dictatorships that empower the radical Islamists. The Irreconcilable Wing of Islam believes in a strikingly different world then the one we believe. It is an uncivilized and barbaric world. This wing of Islam, and its adherents and recruits, are irreconcilable because they cannot peacefully coexist with the civilized world. Their views on the role of women, on the application of medieval religious law (the Sha’ria) and religious intolerance (prosecuting Christians) make them irreconcilable with civilization in the modern age.
This ideological wing of Islam is irreconcilable because it does not accept freedom of conscience. It does not accept freedom of speech. It does not accept that women are equal in dignity and equal under the law, but instead accords them an inferior status in the life of society. It does not accept the existence of the United States, with the adherents of the Irreconcilable Wing of Islam constantly fomenting a cheering chorus calling the United States the “Great Satan” and calling for its destruction. Their constantly declared goal is to either destroy or dominate the United States.
It does not accept Israel as a legal state.
It does not accept the inherent dignity of every human life. Instead, it supports the taking of innocent lives — in the name of its ideology — of anyone or any group that disagrees with its world view.
Because this war is at its core an ideological war, it is most accurate to think of and identify this war against the Irreconcilable Wing of Islam as the “Long War”.
It is stunningly hard to win a war of ideology where the enemy is religiously motivated to kill us.
To put this into perspective, if the people of the United States were to suddenly decide that a particular concept was inherently wrong in our educational system, it could easily take 20 to 30 years to change that concept, rewrite all the text books, and retrain all the educators. That example is one completely within our culture. If one includes intercultural communication difficulties, the problem grows exponentially harder. If we use every tool at the disposal of the American people in support of a coherent theory of victory, the Long War might only last 50 – 70 years. Yet, it will probably last much longer.
The sobering reality is that terrorist leaders are determined to kill Americans and destroy our government and culture.
Consider the religious fatwa titled “A Treatise on the Legal Status of Using Weapons of Mass Destruction Against Infidels” that Osama bin Laden secured from Shaykh Nasir bin Hamd al-Fahd, a young and prominent Saudi cleric justifying the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against Americans, in May 2003:
Anyone who considers America’s aggressions against Muslims and their lands during the past decades will conclude that striking her is permissible on the basis of the rule of treating one as one has been treated. No other argument need be mentioned. Some brothers have totaled the number of Muslims killed directly or indirectly by their weapons and come up with a figure of nearly ten million….If a bomb that killed ten million of them and burned as much of their land as they have burned Muslim land was dropped on them, it would be permissible, with no need to mention any other argument. We might need other arguments if we wanted to annihilate more than this number of them.
Other al Qaeda leaders are equally explicit about killing many Americans. This statement is from Ayman Al-Zawahir: “We have not reached parity with them. We have the right to kill four million Americans—two million of them children—and to exile twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of thousands. Furthermore, it is our right to fight them with chemical and biological weapons, so as to afflict them with the fatal maladies that have afflicted the Muslims because of the [Americans’] chemical and biological weapons.”
In the 9/11 Commission Report, the commissioners concluded: “Bin Laden and Islamist terrorists mean exactly what they say: To them America is the font of all evil, the “head of the snake, and it must be converted or destroyed.”
Americans cannot negotiate with al Qaeda. We have no common ground with terrorists. Al Qaeda and its affiliates can only be destroyed. We are in a war of survival—and we could lose that war. Our vulnerability is neither exaggerated nor a paranoid fantasy.
If these terrorists acquired nuclear weapons, they would use them against our cities. If they acquired biological weapons, they could kill millions. And if the terrorists had chemical weapons, they could kill thousands.
There are conventional threats too. Terrorists could launch a campaign of bombings and sniper attacks in the United States. The next time you watch a bombing in Israel, an attack in Russia, or violence in Iraq, know that it could happen here.
Thomas H. Kean, the chairman of the 9/11 Commission, said shortly after releasing the report: “Time is not on our side.” Every day, terrorists try to acquire weapons of mass destruction and weapons of mass murder. Iran and North Korea continue to develop their nuclear and other weapons programs. There is constant danger of a coup by radical Islamists in nuclear-armed Pakistan.
And the greatest danger for us in meeting this threat is the weakness of our intelligence services. We do not have any significant intelligence on the enemy’s plans, networks, and troop strength.
Second, we must contain powers that could threaten us, including China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and Pakistan—all of which have weapons of mass destruction.
The greatest threat of rogue dictatorships, like Iran or North Korea, is that they will sell weapons of mass destruction. While North Korea—with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons—is a big threat to South Korea and Japan, it is a very distant threat to the United States. But an Iran or a North Korea willing to sell nuclear and biological weapons to terrorists is very dangerous to America.
Before we toppled Saddam Hussein, Iraq presented a similar threat. We had every reason to believe Saddam Hussein would give or sell weapons of mass murder to a variety of terrorist groups. As has been well documented, Saddam Hussein was closely tied to terrorists and had an interest in aiding them to attack the United States.
Another danger is that Pakistan might suffer an Islamist military coup and that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons could be given to—or taken by—terrorists. The new Pakistani dictatorship could even announce that a weapon had been “stolen” and argue that it wasn’t to blame if a bomb went off in the United States, Israel, India, or Europe.
But the most dangerous country of all is Iran. Iran is the world’s most aggressive terrorist sponsor.
Not since the failure of the League of Nations in the 1930s to confront the aggression of the dictatorships in Japan, Italy, and Germany have we seen such a willful challenge to the security of the world by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
There are lessons to be learned from the 1930s and those lessons apply directly to the current government of Iran.
Indeed, the new Iranian President does not even require us to read a book like Mein Kampf to understand how serious he is. He enthusiastically makes speeches proclaiming to the world his commitment to the genocidal annihilation of another country.
The combination of two elements – the virulence of the ideology of Iran’s current regime and advanced military capabilities it is working energetically to acquire – when added to Iran’s inherent endowment – its strategic location, natural resources, population, and proximity to the vital resources of other nations in the region and the seaways through which these sources reach the rest of the world – poses a threat of such scope and magnitude which leave the United States with no choice but to take the Iranian threat with the utmost seriousness. We must prepare and take actions of the same intensity and seriousness as the threat.
Third, we must create a broad alliance of countries willing to defend peace and freedom.
Because we are involved in a civil war within Islam, we must work to turn the Islamic world against the Irreconcilables. Just as the Cold War was fought in part as a propaganda war pitting the appeal of democracy against communism, so too we need the Peace Corps and other government agencies to sponsor pro-Western secular schools and charities throughout the Islamic world. Most important, we need big broadcast networks that communicate to the Islamic world Western ideas about the rule of law, private property, and freedom. We need to broadcast our civic culture so that the Arab world gets a different view of the West than what it gets from Al Jazeera and Michael Moore.
Simultaneously leading the world, defeating the Irreconcilable Islamists, forcing rogue dictatorships into acceptable behavior (or replacing them), building up our intelligence and military capabilities to cope with China and Russia and other threats, making the necessary transformations in our foreign policy bureaucracy, and securing our homeland will be an enormous undertaking.
President Bush told us the truth: It will be a hard campaign, a long war, and we will suffer setbacks on occasion. “This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion….Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen.”
Transformational wars always take time, and always mean overcoming setbacks: It took George Washington from 1776 to 1783 to win the Revolutionary War. It took Abraham Lincoln four years (1861 to 1864) to finally hit on a winning strategy to win the Civil War in 1865. And the Cold War lasted more than forty years until the Soviet Empire collapsed.
We have risen to the challenge before and we can do so again. As Ronald Reagan won the Cold War, so too can we win this war.