Skip to comments.Gingrich says war on terror "phony"
Posted on 08/03/2007 12:48:30 PM PDT by AfterManyASummer
Gingrich says war on terror 'phony' Former speaker says energy independence is key
By BOB DEANS The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 08/03/07
Washington Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday the Bush administration is waging a "phony war" on terrorism, warning that the country is losing ground against the kind of Islamic radicals who attacked the country on Sept. 11, 2001.
A more effective approach, said Gingrich, would begin with a national energy strategy aimed at weaning the country from its reliance on imported oil and some of the regimes that petro-dollars support. More Nation/World news
"None of you should believe we are winning this war. There is no evidence that we are winning this war," the ex-Georgian told a group of about 300 students attending a conference for collegiate conservatives.
Gingrich, who led the so-called Republican Revolution that won the GOP control of both houses of Congress in 1994 midterm elections, said more must be done to marshal national resources to combat Islamic militants at home and abroad and to prepare the country for future attack. He was unstinting in his criticism of his fellow Republicans, in the White House and on Capitol Hill.
"We were in charge for six years," he said, referring to the period between 2001 and early 2007, when the GOP controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. "I don't think you can look and say that was a great success."
Thursday's National Conservative Student Conference was sponsored by the Young America's Foundation, a Herndon, Va.-based group founded in the 1960s as a political counterpoint to the left-leaning activists who coalesced around the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War.
Gingrich retains strong support among conservatives and ranked fifth among possible Republican nominees behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, with the backing of 7 percent of those queried in a ABC News/Washington Post poll taken last week. The poll surveyed 403 Republicans and Republican-leaning adults nationwide and has a 5 percentage-point margin of error.
"I believe we need to find leaders who are prepared to tell the truth ... about the failures of the performance of Republicans ... failed bureaucracies ... about how dangerous the world is," he said when asked what kind of Republican he would back for president.
Gingrich has been promoting a weekly political newsletter he calls "Winning the Future." It's available free to those who leave their e-mail addresses at
.net, one of several Web sites he is connected with or operating. Gingrich began writing the newsletter in April 2006, and it now goes out to 311,000 readers each week, said Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler.
At another Web site www.americansolutions
.com Gingrich is running a virtual political salon, with video clips, organizational information and contacts revolving around his conservative vision for the country's future. It asks supporters to join in an Internet "Solutions Day" on Sept. 27, the anniversary of Gingrich's so-called Contract With America, a slate of conservative policies he led through Congress as speaker of the House a decade and a half ago.
"What I'm trying to start is a new dialogue that is evidence-based," Gingrich said Thursday. "It doesn't start from the right wing, it doesn't start from the left wing," he said, but is an effort to get politicians and voters to "look honestly at the evidence of what isn't working and tell us how to change it."
Gingrich was interrupted with applause once, when he called for an end to the biting partisanship critics say has polarized national politics and paralyzed the workings of government.
"We have got to get past this partisan baloney, where I'm not allowed to say anything good about Hillary Clinton because 'I'm not a loyal Republican,' and she's not allowed to say anything good about me, or she's not a 'loyal' Democrat. What a stupid way to run a country."
He reserved his most pointed criticism for the administration's handling of the global campaign against terrorist groups.
"We've been engaged in a phony war," said Gingrich. "The only people who have been taking this seriously are the combat military."
His remarks seemed to reflect, in part, the findings of a National Intelligence Estimate made public last month.
In the estimate, the U.S. intelligence community concluded that six years of U.S. efforts to degrade the al-Qaida terrorist group had left the organization constrained but still potent, having "protected or regenerated" the capability to attack the United States in ways that have left the country "in a heightened threat environment."
"We have to take this seriously," said Gingrich.
"We used to be a serious country. When we got attacked at Pearl Harbor, we took on Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany," he said, referring to World War II.
"We beat all three in less than four years. We're about to enter the seventh year of this phony war against ... [terrorist groups], and we're losing."
Gingrich said he would lay out in a Sept. 10 speech what a successful U.S. approach to this threat would have looked like over the past six years.
"First of all, we have to have a national energy strategy, which basically says to the Saudis, 'We're not going to rely on you,' " he said.
The United States imports about 14 million barrels of oil a day, making up two-thirds of its total consumption.
He's on a par with Harry Reid.
Shut up, idiot Newt!
“We’re about to enter the seventh year of this phony war against ... [terrorist groups], and we’re losing.”
Very, VERY dumb thing to say. I don’t care if it’s taken out of context or if it’s not what he meant, Newt should know better.
Odd - I thought Newt, like millions of Americans, have noticed that Emperor Jorge has no clothes on, err border fence. How can you fight a war on terror when the borders are left open with Bush wanting to offer amnesty to all illegals - unless it is phony?
Bush’s plan to invade the world and invite their pissed off muslim and hispanic relatives here for taxpayer freebies is lame.
And the rest of your post is spot on, too.
every time I hear this guy open his mouth its more BS from that guy. I was not into politics in the 90’s but this guy should just STFU already. His time has come and gone.
Wouldn't call it a phony war, but its definitely not a total war. I think thats been our problem since US troops finished their successful invasion effort and take down of Saddam's brutal regime. Fighting a PC war with our troops as cops on the beat, obviously hasn't been the right approach
>>>>> "None of you should believe we are winning this war. There is no evidence that we are winning this war,"
True. Lets hope the surge is successful.
The man is absolutely dead on correct. If we were serious, we wouldn’t be continuing to pay those who would see us dead, money for their oil.
There is no drive behind the war
Not one Leader in this country has ever come out to win public support.
There has not been ANY attempt by the government to get the civilian workforce rallied behind a war effort.
There are NO smoking ruins of arabic cities anywhere in the world even tho the first thing our president said was “You’re either with us or with the terrorists”.
I know our boys are fighting and dying and getting wounded overseas fighting these people. But this is not a serious war.
It never has been.
I understand your point. MY point is that it is very irresponsible to say the words "we are losing" right now, with the way the press twists and takes things out of context to serve their own agenda.
Sounds like he’s about ready to jump on the global warming bandwagon.I agree that we need to become more energy independent. We have plenty of resources, take oil shale for example, but the cost of getting it is high. Perhaps incentives to corporations or privately owned companies who invest in new technologies with tax credits, etc to motivate them?
Every time this guy opens his mouth, my mind shuts a little more on him.
If Hillary is nominated (and she will be) those same morons will put aside any personal feelings about how nasty and fake she is and will dutifully pull the lever for her. As will the dead, illegal and felon constituencies.
You know, I normally don’t read auras, but rank egotism simply oozes from Newt Gingrich
Good, this should keep him out of the race as a serious contender. Go Fred go!
What he isn't saying, presumably knows, and is himself cynically ducking, is that no real constituency exists for a serious policy in the matter. Instead he pretends the problem is partisanship in some equal sense and can be avoided by just having a group hug and agreeing to be more grown-up. Sorry, that's juvenile itself. He is right in the diagnosis but unwilling to call the left what it is. Everybody is afraid of an utterly irresponsible left and the public support it commands.
And as a result, no one including Newt is living up to the height of the times, or telling the whole truth to the American people.
PS: Hillary Clinton will lose the women vote despite all the stupid conventional wisdom, and of course she will badly lose the men vote.
I agree with you. Look who’s STILL funding the war with money and troops, the Saudis.....and of course they embolden Iran.....who now recruit in eastern Europe.
Back at home...we’re supposed to believe there’s a WOT when that pussy Chertoff whines “it’s too hhaaaarrrddddd to secure our borders”
Right. Go sell stupid somewhere else Chertoff while 7000+ “unknowns” stroll across our borders each and every week.
I don’t think so.
I suppose Newt thought Pearl Harbor and WWII was all about oil, too. Some historian.
Get in or shut-up.
Newt is in a generalissimo batttle with Obama.