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O'Reilly, Gingrich: Iraq is "a mess"

Reported by Chrish - April 18, 2006

Bill O'Reilly had Newt Gingrich on the O'Reilly Factor last night 4/17/06 to hear Gingrich's views on Iraq, Iran, and immigration. Gingrich spoke with candor and is clearly not happy with the world situation and the Bush administration's handling of same.

Gingrich agrees with O'Reilly that Iran cannot be allowed to get nuclear weapons, but diplomacy is not going to solve this. China has just signed a $100 billion deal to buy oil from Iran and Iran has been invited to join the "Shanghai Co-operative Group", which includes Russia and China. Note: I'm pretty sure he meant the Shanghai Co-operative Organization, whose listing at cia.gov describes

"established - 15 June 1901 -
AIM - to combat terrorism, extremism, and separatism; to safeguard regional security through mutual trust, disarmament, and cooperative security; and to increase cooperation in political, trade, economic, scientific and technological, cultural, and educational fields
MEMBERS - (6) China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
OBSERVER- (4) India, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan

Gingrich doesn't think the Europeans will face down Iran, (they will not have the courage) leaving the US at an historic crossroads: are we prepared to run the risk of an Iranian dictatorship that openly says he wants to annihilate Israel and defeat us, or are we going to decide that is an unacceptable government? Ahmadnejad thinks the West is cowardly, all talk, no action.

O'Reilly states that there is a percentage of American citizens and members of the media who would allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, and asks Gingrich what he would put that percentage at, and, is the Democratic party in that description? Gingrich, who is the very picture of tact and non-partisanship compared to his spin-meister host, replies that the Democraic party is split on the issue and cites Senators Bayh, Clinton, and Lieberman as examples of Democrats speaking out strongly on Iran.

Gingrich proceeds to give a laundry list of Iran's transgressions through the years: the 1979 seizure of our embassy, they've killed Americans in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, they've killed other people around the world, they're the primary supporters of Hezbollah, major backers of Hamas, and they're openly saying they want to get missiles that can hit Europe and America and they want to develop nuclear weapons. (Comment: Ahmadnejad has been saying all along that he does NOT want weapons, only nuclear energy. I'm not saying he's not lying; I'm saying Gingrich is misrepresenting on this BIG issue.) Once "the argument is done" (i.e., drilled and echoed repeatedly and everyone is sufficiently terrified)) Gingrich thinks 75-80% of American will approve of the US taking military action to prevent Iran from getting nukes.

Comment: Polls don't matter, remember? Poll Congress and see what they say about declaring war on another country while we're still engaged in two others. Looks good on paper to the PNACers, but in reality, not so much. Wikipedia shows how the administration built support for the Iraq invasion over time. When Bush's big solemn speech appears, prepare for the worst. Fool me once....

Gingrich says that since December 2003 he has said publicly that the US mistake in Iraq was not turning the government over to Iraqis immediately, but now we should stay as long as we have to to get the rapists, murderers and terrorists who are trying to stop the Iraqi government formation. We clearly have the military might to go into Iran but that should be a last resort.

Gingrich wants the US to instigate an very aggressive program to help students create radio and television free Iran, to support trade unions, to support all the different dissident elements...

(Comment: All the things they're trying to destroy in America, in an effort to turn our democracy into a dictatorship - as long as Bush is the dictator, right?)

O'Reilly interrupts to say aren't we already doing that? and is surprised when Gingrich says No.
Senator Santorum has a bill in the Senate that would lead towards a free Iran but he accuses that it's been bottled up by the Democrats. The administration has been very weak in this area, and O'Reilly interrupts again to say he's surprised, they've been telling us for years that they've been trying to sow he seeds of discontent. Gingrich, shaking his head, again says No. They've done almost nothing. In the last Iranian election, he says, the Iranian dictatorship kicked 1300 candidates off the ballots - those are 1300 people we should be supporting. Our current ability to have an effective operation in Iran right now is virtually zero.

Comment: And whose fault is that? Read the whole article at RawStory:

According to current and former intelligence officials, Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran.

Speaking under strict confidentiality, intelligence officials revealed heretofore unreported elements of Plame's work. Their accounts suggest that Plame's outing was more serious than has previously been reported and carries grave implications for U.S. national security and its ability to monitor Iran's burgeoning nuclear program. ...

Intelligence sources would not identify the specifics of Plame's work. They did, however, tell RAW STORY that her outing resulted in "severe" damage to her team and significantly hampered the CIA's ability to monitor nuclear proliferation.

Gingrich is warmed up now and says regardless of all the talk since 9/11, we have not rebuilt our intelligence capabilities, we cannot run effective operations inside Iran, we do not have an effective propaganda, and it's all very sad. O'Reilly says, it doesn't speak very well of the Bush administration, does it? And Gingrich says yet again, No. It doesn't. But it's a fact - I'm describing reality. I'm not here as a partisan, I'm here as an American. O'Reilly states his surprise again, saying he had thought the Bush administration had made some inroads into "bottling up" Iraan from the inside. Comment: After Gingrich's emphatic comments O'Reilly had to inject some doubt. They eat their own.

O'Reilly had one last question: if "we" act unilaterally against Iran, will the world rally around them? Gingrich says we should not act against Iran unless we are prepared to replace the government. Bombing the nuclear facilities is adead loser: they will rebuild them, and the world will rally around them; only go in intending to replace the government. O'Reilly says but then we have another Iraq, terrorists running around, suicide bombers, and Gingrich says no, we don't put in an American government, we put in an Iranian government.

O'Reilly looks down for a moment and then says "What a mess, huh?" Gingrich agrees, "It is a mess."

Someone get me some smelling salts. It was great, because O'Reilly respects Gingrich and if Ted Kennedy or Hillary Clinton or Harry Reid was saying those things he'd be dismissive and sneering. Coming from a fellow Republican (yeah, yeah, Independent - pffffft) it was very sobering for O'Reilly and he looked as concerned and worried as a growing number of us have been feeling for years now.

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