America is losing the war against radical Islam, and it will be for Congress and the next president to take up the charge since President Barack Obama has refused to acknowledge the true nature of threat, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told me.
“This is a worldwide global war and the United States is not winning. We have been at it since 1979 when the Iranian dictatorship took over the American embassy illegally and it’s still there.”
Gingrich said that for America to defeat global terrorism, we first need to recognize who the enemy is, but we have a president who has roundly failed to do that.
I was first struck by the truth of what Gingrich said when I reflected on the words of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls in the aftermath of the attacks on Paris.
“It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity,” Valls said during a speech
in Évry, south of Paris.
Even in the aftermath of the beheading of American journalists and the killing of the Jordanian pilot by ISIS, we have yet to hear anything as concrete or resolute from our president.
Obama has refused to even acknowledge the words “radical Islam.” He has also refused to recognize that the attack on the kosher deli in Paris by Muslim extremists was anti-Semitic.
Indeed, the White House found itself in hot water last week after press secretary Josh Earnest appeared to defend
Obama’s description of the siege as one in which terrorists "randomly shot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris."
Meanwhile, the White House also insists that the Taliban is not a terrorist organization
Gingrich pointed out that the first challenge is being honest about the nature of the war, noting that we are at a distinct disadvantage given the president is in total denial about the reality of the threat.
But it seems the campaign by radical Islamists goes beyond the immediate threat of violence against Western targets, and is a full-fledged assault on Western Civilization.
Gingrich acknowledged that point when I asked him if he thought we were witnessing a clash of civilizations. “In a very real sense it is. You have people who want to return to the Middle Ages and impose on us a version of Islam which is totally unacceptable to modern people. And they clearly are representing an alternative civilization that would be a radically different future for the human race,” he said.
In absence of leadership from the current president, Gingrich said Congress needs to take the lead to explore solutions, holding a series of hearings with the nation’s top military and intelligence officials.
He set out a detailed seven-step plan in a recent opinion piece
in The Wall Street Journal.
The conversation that takes place among lawmakers, he said, will set the stage for a debate during the 2016 campaign. The hope, he added, is that the next president will be in touch with “the real world” to effectively tackle global terrorism.
Republicans have been very vocal in saying the president doesn’t have a suitable strategy to tackle ISIS and the threat of global terrorism. Gingrich appears to be the first person to set out a concrete plan for developing that strategy, and is the key figure leading the way in developing practical solutions.
Gingrich does not believe Obama will adequately confront the threat of global terrorism during his time in office. If his predictions are correct, I remain concerned about just how bad the threat will have become if we’re forced to idly wait for the next president to take up the crusade.
My hope is that the strengthening resolve of our allies will tide us over until we have in place a president who chooses to lead.
You can listen to my interview with Gingrich on The Podium
radio show. Also, check out Gingrich’s weekly podcasts at GingrichProductions.com.
Melanie Batley is a political journalist and host of "The Podium" on WAARadio. She also is a Huffington Post blogger. Previously she worked as a political operative on Republican campaigns and also as a political adviser to the Conservative Party in the UK. She earned her master's degree at the London School of Economics.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.