It is said that polite conversation avoids two conversation topics: religion and politics. But fools rush in…
There is no one nastier in politics than Newt Gingrich.
Well okay, Kim Jong-Il was nastier, but he died.
Maybe Putin is nastier too.
Okay, there’s no one in American politics nastier than Newt Gingrich. (In the late 1970s he instructed the GOP that they needed to learn to be nastier. Now he’s angry that they listened to his advice.) And that has made his determination to run a “positive” campaign in Iowa all the more ironic.
Well his concession speech last night certainly was angry. Indeed it was seething. I don’t think he even mentioned the name “Mitt Romney”.
But that’s all beside the point. What really caught me in his speech was the following critique of Ron Paul’s famously non-interventionist foreign policy:
The fact is, his views on foreign policy are stunningly dangerous for the survival of the United States. And I think it’s a very simple question which I would be glad at the next debate to ask Congressman Paul: If you have a terrorist who is prepared to put on a bomb and wear it as a vest and walk into a grocery store or a mall or a bus and blow themselves up as long as they can kill you, why would you think that if they can get access to a nuclear weapon they wouldn’t use it? An Iranian nuclear weapon is one of the most frightning things we have to confront for the future of every young person up here and every young person out there.
What blows me up about this whole thing is that Gingrich never stops to ask what it is that leads people to become so angry and desperate that they are willing to put on a bomb and blow themselves up in a grocery store, or a mall, or a bus. He acts as if individuals (and states) that do these heinous things do it without reason, like they’re wholly irrational sociopaths. (Watch the film Paradise Now to get another perspective.)
Sadly, Newt the war monger is merely the most brash of the GOP contenders who has stated explicitly his willingness to go to war with Iran. The drum beat for war is intensifying: I just read an article by pundit John Yoo in Foreign Policy laying out a terrifying case for a pre-emptive military strike on Iran. Erk. Sound familiar?
And look at the timing. Is it any coincidence that even as the troops pull out of Iraq (save the thousands of troops stationed at permanent military bases and the thousands of mercenary soldiers who are remaining behind) a new military target is placed within the gun sites? A war gets the attention of people off the economy and provides a needed economic stimulus. Everybody wins!
I think it’s time to watch again Eisenhower’s prophetic warning against the military industrial complex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY