Newt’s describing the typical attitude of academics: that we Westerners can change people who do not want to change.
We were successful in helping Germany, Italy, and Japan in their recoveries post-WW2. These nations had all been modern states before becoming dictatorships.
Afghanistan had never been a modern state. To think we could nation build there was arrogant. Bush was poorly advised and it has cost us dearly.
The Middle East is known by historians as the “Graveyard of Empires”. We would be wise to heed that warning.
If the people of that region want change, they will have to initiate it themselves. It cannot and should not be imposed upon them by us.
This is something I disagree with Newt Gringrich completely.
I would suspect that Rand Paul as well as myself agree with you. Newt as an historian should know the USA became an exceptional Nation because the Nation was setup intentionally to be different. Now to try and invert the nations left behind and still with their old penchants for government is not and should not be the task for USA citizens. If this is an example of Newt’s approach to world involvement and considering his indicated intent for leadership I will back off from him unless I’m sure such a program will be put to and come from the people of the USA. I really suspect that Newt is taking Paul lightly.
The Middle East needs change but it must come from within the Islamic culture and not be imposed from without—a Turkish or Egyptian force might impose a peace but not an America or China. Many reforms are needed but they must come from within. I thought Newt was smarter than that.