Sunday, May 13, 2012

Newt Gingrich's Real Change 8

I finished Newt Gingrich's Real Change.  In my latest reading, Newt talked about what we should have done after September 11, 2001.  Essentially, he said that we should have educated the public about Islamic extremism, which would have convinced even people on the Left that defeating radical Islam coincided with their own value of tolerance.  Newt also says that we should have gained foreign allies and made the U.S. Government more efficient so that it could handle the War on Terror more effectively, and that we also should have built roads in Afghanistan and modernized the country "so farmers could make money without relying on the illicit heroin trade for a living" (page 296).

I'm not sure what I feel about the War on Terror nowadays.  It really hasn't been on my radar lately, to tell you the truth, though I'm sure that it's still on the radar of those who lost loved ones in 9/11, or who lost loved ones in the wars that we fought to prevent another 9/11.  I agree with Newt that our government should be efficient so that it could protect the country.  As far as going into other countries and effecting regime-change goes, however, I'm not sure how reliable of a policy that is, since it breeds resentment, and it takes a lot of money and effort to keep anti-American forces from gaining ground----and, even if we win for a while, the anti-American forces can still come back.

What I appreciated about Newt's commentary was his statement that we should go beyond such platitudes as "stay the course".  I myself blush when I consider that I bought into the "stay the course" platitude.  But I did so because I thought that I had to choose among the options that were presented to me, and one side was saying that we should "stay the course", whereas the other side was saying something different.  But there's nothing wrong with critiquing how we "stay the course", if we choose to do so.  I applaud those who did that, such as Bill Clinton, who criticized the mismanagement of money in the Iraq War.

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