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Newt Gingrich Declares World War III
Newt Gingrich, one of America's most influential neo-conservative strategists, was a guest yesterday on NBC's Meet the Press. He referred to the current conflicts in the middle east as World War III:
We're in the early stages of what I would describe as the third World War and, frankly, our bureaucracy’s not responding fast enough and we don’t have the right attitude. And this is the 58th year of the war to destroy Israel...
It is likely that other neo-conseratives will take Newt's cue and begin referring to the middle east in these terms. Watch for it.
Gingrich, who looks to the past for much of his strategy, has been seeking strategic inspiration by studying how Lincoln talked to America during the civil war. The civil war, like the "war on terror", lasted much longer and cost more lives than was initially expected.
He sees the fall elections as a danger to Republican dominance and wants to see the Bush administration frame middle eastern involvement in more extreme terms. Gringrich hopes that this reframing will reinvigorate wartime fears and nationalism and inspire a rally around the status quo.
"OK, if we're in the third world war, which side do you think should win?" is the question Gingrich would like to see put forth to America.
Gingrich criticized some Bush administration officials who have urged restraint from Israel in its attacks on Lebanon, declaring the officials wrong "because they haven't crossed the bridge of realizing this is a war." He has expressed interest in running for president in 2008:
"If there's a wide open field in the fall of next year, I probably will be a candidate. The country is ready for real change."
Sources: Think Progress, Seattle Times, Daily News
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