Newt Gingrich on Foreign Policy
Former Republican Representative (GA-6) and Speaker of the House
GINGRICH: I was very proud as Speaker to be able to make sure that the Helms-Burton Act passed, and I'm delighted that Rep. Dan Burton is campaigning with me, because it was a very important step towards isolating the Castro regime. We should facilitate the transition from dictatorship to freedom. We want to bring together every non-military asset we have, exactly as Pres. Reagan did in Eastern Europe: he broke up the Soviet empire without a general war by using a wide range of things, one of which is just psychological, saying to the next generation of people in Cuba, the dictatorship is not going to survive. You need to bet on freedom & prosperity in Cuba, and we will help you get to that freedom.
GINGRICH: How would he know the difference? Look, is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes. Are we in a situation where every day, rockets are fired into Israel while the US tries to pressure the Israelis into a peace process? A Palestinian Authority ambassador said, "There is no difference between Fatah and Hamas. We both agree Israel has no right to exist." Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth: These people are terrorists. They teach terrorism in their schools. They have textbooks that say, "If there are 13 Jews and nine Jews are killed, how many Jews are left?" We pay for those textbooks through our aid money. It's time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, "Enough lying about the Middle East."
GINGRICH: I've been a strong supporter of international assistance, but I think there are a couple of good reasons to review the whole program. First of all, I would replace virtually all government to government aid with some kind of investment approach that encouraged American companies to create jobs that made both the US and the other country wealthier. Our bureaucrats giving their bureaucrats money is a guaranteed step towards corruption. Second, I think when you have countries that vote against you in the United Nations consistently you really have to ask yourself why are you giving them anything? We came out of World War II with the generosity that made perfect sense when we had 50 percent of the world economy. And it was a different world. And we need to understand how different it is.
GINGRICH: I think we are at the edge of an enormous crisis in national security. I think that we are greatly underestimating the threat to this country. And I think that the day after we celebrated the 10th anniversary of 9/11 we should be reminded exactly what is at stake if a foreign terrorist gets a nuclear weapon into this country. We have failed for a decade to deal with North Korea. We have failed for a decade to deal with Iran. We need, frankly, to ask for a very serious national dialogue.
I'd like to see Congress holding hearings on three levels of security. What do you do in Mexico where there's a civil war underway next door to us? What do you do in the Middle East where we have totally underestimated the scale of the threat? And what do you do about our national domestic industrial base which is crucial if we're going to be competitive with China? All three of those are a major threat to us.
Since even the most despotic governments are entitled to UN membership, the UN is not limited by elections or the need to keep up democratic appearances. And, lacking America's legal framework for government transparency, the organizatio is more prone to corruption.
The UN's most influential voting block is a group of 130 undeveloped countries called the G-77. Using the UN's one country-one vote system, the G-77 has hijacked the UN to turn it into a mechanism for redistributing wealth from developed to developing countries.
The beneficiaries are not poverty-stricken families suffering under dictatorships. To the contrary, the illicit funds go straight to their oppressors--the privileged bureaucrats that prop up despotic regimes.
GINGRICH: I partially agree with Sen. Dodd. I am not comfortable either with the current situation in Iraq, nor am I comfortable around the world with our extraordinarily limited use of statecraft. The North Koreans are cheating on their agreement on nuclear weapons. We still do not have control of Waziristan in northwest Pakistan, where Bin Laden’s probably hiding. We have been told by the UN that the Iranians are now producing at least 1300 centrifuges, producing nuclear material, and that they almost certainly will have a nuclear weapon within a year. You look around the world, the forces of freedom are on retreat, the forces that are anti-freedom, pro-dictatorship, and, in some cases, purely evil are on offense. We need a dramatically expanded ability to use statecraft.
The risks were considerable, but I had confidence in Mexico's new president, Ernesto Zedillo. Besides, we simply couldn't let Mexico fall without trying to help. In addition to the economic problems it would cause both for us and for the Mexicans, we would be sending a terrible signal of selfishness & shortsightedness throughout Latin America.
I called the congressional leaders to the White House, explained the situation, and asked for their support. All of them pledged it, including Newt Gingrich, who aptly described the Mexico problem as "the first crisis of the 21st century."
Congress would not pass the bill so we ended up providing the money to Mexico out of the Exchange Stabilization Fund.
Although a public poll said that 75% of the American people were opposed to giving Russia more money, and we were already in a hard fight for the economic plan, I felt we had no choice but to press ahead. American had spent trillions of dollars in defense to win the Cold War; we couldn't risk reversal over less than $2 billion and a bad poll. To the surprise of my staff, the congressional leaders, including the Republicans, agreed with me. At a meeting I convened to push the plan, Senator Joe Biden, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, strongly endorsed the aid package.
Newt Gingrich was passionately in favor of helping Russia, saying it was a "great defining moment" for American and we had to do the right thing. Newt was trying to "out-Russia" me, which I was only too happy to have him do.
The Agricultural Revolution-the “First Wave”-occurred when hunting-and-gathering tribes first invented agriculture. Then, a second wave of change occurred in the 18th century with the development of power-driven industry.
Now we are entering a third great era of change, the transformation to the Information Age. There will be enormous advantages for Americans if we lead the world in the transition to the Third Wave Information Age. Just as Britain profited enormously by leading the world into the industrial era, so the US can profit enormously by being the leader in the development of the new goods, services, systems, and standards associated with a technological revolution of this scale.
I think this is at the core of the American idea, at the core of the American sense of who we are. That we are uniquely individuals, and that each person is endowed by their Creator, every man, every woman, every child, is endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. That's a very important concept. They cannot be alienated from you, they're yours, they're bound to you, and therefore, the system has to be built around your rights unless you voluntarily loan some of them to the state.
Notice how different that is from all historic experiences where the government, the king, or the dictator is empowered by God or by history in the Marxist model."
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