Posted by: spacewritinguy | December 16, 2007

Sleepwalking Into a Nightmare?

This speech by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich merits attention:

Here’s a quotation from the speech that bears repeating: “We don’t have to be stupid. The choice is not cowardice or total war.”

The War on Islamist terrorism could be boiled down to a few simple precepts:

  • Defeat the enemy on the field, wherever that battlefield might be.
  • Deprive the enemy of financial aid, safe havens, and military hardware.
  • Punish nations proven to support terrorists, but otherwise leave their internal succession issues to the locals.
  • Secure our borders to restrict the flow of individuals sneaking into the nation. Along with this, use professionals (from Israel, DoD, whoever) to investigate and reform our security procedures.
  • Establish energy independence in the United States to reduce dependence upon (and money going to) Islamist-supporting nations in the Middle East.

Nothing on that list requires remaking the Middle East in our own image. All of it is well within our capabilities, especially energy independence, through a combination of opening up additional oil fields and nuclear plants while providing regulatory relief and serious investments for any promising alternative energy technology. And note also that none of that requires that Americans stop living well or without their beloved toys.

Why are all of the presidential candidates tone-deaf on this stuff?? The Bush Doctrine is not holy writ, but dammit, there are much better and much worse ideas out there, and we need an honest national conversation about them. However, I doubt the media will allow such a thing. The liberal networks want Bush and everything to do with him destroyed. The conservatives have been bitten by the neocon bug (political transformation in the Middle East, open borders, free trade at any cost).

Help! We’ve fallen into political stupidity, and we can’t get out!


  1. I would probably invert the Gingritch principles and rearrange them a bit Energy Independence first. Stop feeding terrorism and it will die of starvation.

  2. Well, that’s one theory. I think an integrated strategy of striving for energy independence at home and strength (in the form of retaliation, not political transformation) abroad would work just fine. Such policies would tend to strengthen the nation, first in the form of increasing fear of our military; second through demonstrating to allies and enemies alike that we’re serious about American security, and third by keeping the U.S. above the fray by weaning the nation off of petroleum, domestic or foreign.

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