Taking a quick look at the transcript
of Newt's major speech this morning.
Most of the speech is cast in the form of alternative history: how America would have handled this war if a competent and non-brain-damaged President had been in office at 9/11. I don't see anything dramatically new there ... pretty much the same things that Polistra and other historically minded bloggers have been saying for years. FDR gave us the model; all we had to do was use it.
Toward the end is a list of more realistic proposals, given the fact that we have spent 6 years with an incompetent and brain-damaged President. This list can be read as the platform for a Newt presidency, I suspect.
Highlights of the Newt platform:While there is much to learn from the past we are faced with the decisions of the present and the possibilities of the future.
We are engaged in a larger war, Podhoretz’s World War Four, against a determined set of opponents who have survived six years of fragmented American and allied effort.
We will never win this larger war with limited efforts in one or two countries in isolation.
We must reject legislating American surrender and defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan but we must also reject 'stay the course' as an answer.
We need a new course.
We need an honest national dialogue and a determination to be candid about our opponents, honest about the problems, and passionately committed to the survival of America as a free country in which its citizens can be safe.
We need to make changes today to have our 21st century national security structures ready for the challenges of the 21st century.
We need a blueprint for reform and success. It is not acceptable that we have more impediments to action than enablers for action.
[More impediments than enablers: EXCELLENT POINT.]We need a strategy—not a campaign—to rationalize ends and means to achieve our objectives in this long war against our way of life.
The American people are fully capable of understanding the scale of the threat, the dangers to our lives, the threats to our very survival.
The American people showed enormous patience through the great agony of the Civil War.
The American people sustained the Cold War for 44 years until the Soviet Union disappeared.
The problem is not with the American people.
The problem is with our politicians, our news media and our bureaucratic elites.
They are afraid to tell the American people the truth.
They are afraid to explain the scale of the threat and the inevitable scale of the needed response.
Let them trust in Americans.
Yes, but are you going to force them to do that? I don't see a proposal for taking over the media, which FDR did very effectively. Presumably, and hopefully, Newt will follow up this opening salvo with more details.