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).
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.