Saturday, February 11, 2006

Newt Gingrich: U.S. Must Stop Iran

Facing a potential nuclear holocaust at the hands of Iran, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says the United States must do everything in its power to bring about regime change there, even if it means invading that nation.

Saying that he hopes President Bush, "will focus first of all on telling the American people the truth about how dangerous the world has become," he warned that if we don't have a very serious systematic program to replace the government of Iran, we're going to live in an unbelievably dangerous world."

Speaking to Human Events magazine, Gingrich, a noted historian, compared the president's handling of the Iran problem to the way British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin handled Nazi Germany in the mid-1930s, when Baldwin refused to rearm or recognize the threat Adolf Hitler posed to Britain and Europe. He contrasted Baldwin's polcies with those of another prime minister, Winston Churchill, who adopted a hard-line stance against the Nazi dictator's ambitions. READ MORE

"This is 1935 and [Iranian president] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is as close to Adolf Hitler as we've seen. We now know who they are -- the question is who we are. Are we Baldwin or Churchill? " Gingrich said, noting that Churchill recognized the danger from Nazi Germany and urged that Britain prepare to meet it.

Asked what Churchill would do about Ahmadinejad, Gingrich said he had just read the opening passages of Churchill's book, "The Gathering Storm," the first volume of his World War II memoir. In the book Churchill recalled that President Franklin D. Roosevelt once asked him "What should they call the war?." Churchill's reply: "We should call it "The Unnecessary War," noting that "had we done simple, practical things in 1935, 1936, we would have saved 100 million lives."

Gingrich laid out his strategy for dealing with the Iranian threat:
  • Recognize the reality of the threat. He said the United States must understand thoroughly who the current Iranian dictatorship is -- a dictatorship that has been at war with the us since 1979. Ahmadinejad, he recalls, has said openly and publicly that Iran must "defeat the Anglo-Saxons and eliminate Israel from the face of the Earth."
  • Come to the aid of the oppressed Iranian people the majority of who are pro-American, by starting "with all-out help to the forces of independence in the country," given covertly. He cited such groups as student and trade union organizations, suggesting that we make every effort to supply them with the resources needed to bring about regime change while making it clear that we are going to do everything in our power to make that a reality. And, he adds, we should tell the Europeans that there is no imaginable diplomatic solution that can solve the Iranian problem.
  • Put our money where our mouth is. "I would actively right now be funneling money into Iran," firstly by actively supporting a Radio Free Iran, helping the trade unionists in the oil fields to have money for strike funds. And if there is no choice other than to invade Iran we need to avoid the mistake we made in Iraq by making sure that if we have to invade "we want to make sure there is a network of Iranians prepared to run their own country."
Asked if such aid would need congressional approval, he said "absolutely," noting that a bill by Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., that "shamefully had a part taken out by Democrats just before Christmas. He had a bill for getting to a free Iran. And Rick Santorum has done yeoman's work on this."

When asked if the administration is working with Iranian exiles, he told Human Events that he asked White House spokesman Scott McClellan at a briefing if they were in touch with the exile community from Iran. The answer was no.

Said Gingrich: "The current behavior of the bureaucracy is perfectly compatible with Stanley Baldwin and totally incompatible with Winston Churchill." He added that he hopes the president "will impose his will." Short of that, he said, "It is inconceivable that the current system would be prepared to take on the Iranian government."

If all else fails, Gingrich said, the United States will have to invade.

"Look, I think that winning the long war -- and that's the only way you can think of this, this is a 50- to 70-year campaign if we're lucky -- is going to be a long, difficult process. But I think there are certain ground rules we have to set very early. One of them has to be: We are not going to accept dictatorships with weapons capable of destroying the United States."