Florida Times Union December 18 2006
Newt Gingrich this week spoke boldly on Iraq, which is the same way he spoke on just about everything when he was speaker of the House in the 1990s.
He sees the emergence of aggressive, defiant regimes, coupled with an ungovernable spread of terrorism, as dual threats that make for a holistic threat against world peace and stability.
Gingrich believes President Bush must use his likely upcoming address on Iraq's future to link America's effort there to interrelated threats.
How would Gingrich act now? He says he would pitch a sort of hybrid of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and Harry Truman's Marshall Plan. It would provide economic resources in Iraq to create jobs and rebuild infrastructure. Gingrich proposes giving "every able-bodied person" a job to do and a wage to receive.
Money and personal security, he says, bring stability. For all the talk of religious strife, Iraqis want food to eat and safety on their streets as much as anyone.
Gingrich says the region should then be flooded with goods that would first be given to and later, ultimately, bought by Iraqis, with money from their new paychecks.
This perspective is a historical one. No surprise there. Gingrich has a vast knowledge of history.
Part of that history is the disdain many conservatives had - or still have - for FDR's New Deal, with its many public-works programs designed less to accomplish public tasks than to put money in people's pockets. But he believes a similar plan in Iraq would be a critical adjunct to purely military efforts.
Gingrich became a critic of the handling of the war in 2003, when his basic message was that act one of the military venture, the invasion of Iraq, had gone swimmingly, but that act two had never been written, much less staged.
This Sunday, the former speaker will return to the same television venue where he voiced those concerns three years ago, NBC's Meet The Press. He'll likely revisit those previous comments with host Tim Russert.
Nobody's saying Gingrich's ideas are flawless. Certainly not me, and not even him. Yet it's becoming abundantly clear that Bush intends to stay in Iraq. Further, he may authorize a significant number of additional troops to go there.
If so, the Gingrich Plan could become not only possible, but unavoidable. After all, the fiercest criticism of Bush among endless criticism has been the lack of "a plan." Gingrich offers one - beyond just bombs and bullets.
If Bush's promised change of direction isolates Iraq as the only world danger, and if he offers only more of the same in fighting that conflict, then Gingrich believes America might as well pull out its troops and quit.
If it comes to that, he says, our nation's weakened "establishment" will have lost its resolve to address the bigger, uglier picture.
That would be the one that could threaten our existence in the years to come.
This was taken off "Winning the Future"
I really hope he runs for President! I feel he is the only person that understands the situation we face in the middle east and our War on Terror.
Just as important, he has a true understanding and respect for how our country came into existence, our struggles and the core values that made us the Greatest country in the world!