Former speaker says energy independence is key
Washington â€” Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday the Bush administration is waging a “phony war” on terrorism, warning that the country is losing ground against the kind of Islamic radicals who attacked the country on Sept. 11, 2001.
A more effective approach, said Gingrich, would begin with a national energy strategy aimed at weaning the country from its reliance on imported oil and some of the regimes that petro-dollars support.
“None of you should believe we are winning this war. There is no evidence that we are winning this war,” the ex-Georgian told a group of about 300 students attending a conference for collegiate conservatives.
Gingrich, who led the so-called Republican Revolution that won the GOP control of both houses of Congress in 1994 midterm elections, said more must be done to marshal national resources to combat Islamic militants at home and abroad and to prepare the country for future attack. He was unstinting in his criticism of his fellow Republicans, in the White House and on Capitol Hill.
“We were in charge for six years,” he said, referring to the period between 2001 and early 2007, when the GOP controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. “I don’t think you can look and say that was a great success.”
Thursday’s National Conservative Student Conference was sponsored by the Young America’s Foundation, a Herndon, Va.-based group founded in the 1960s as a political counterpoint to the left-leaning activists who coalesced around the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War.
Gingrich retains strong support among conservatives and ranked fifth among possible Republican nominees behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, with the backing of 7 percent of those queried in a ABC News/Washington Post poll taken last week. The poll surveyed 403 Republicans and Republican-leaning adults nationwide and has a 5 percentage-point margin of error.
“I believe we need to find leaders who are prepared to tell the truth … about the failures of the performance of Republicans … failed bureaucracies … about how dangerous the world is,” he said when asked what kind of Republican he would back for president.
* Sounds better than Giuliani already, what say you?
(CNN) — U.S. Embassies and American interests “at home and abroad” are prime targets for terrorist attacks, American al Qaeda member Adam Yahiye Gadahn said in a newly released al Qaeda-produced video.
“We shall continue to target you at home and abroad just as you target us at home and abroad … ,” Gadahn — also known as Azzam the American — says in the video provided to CNN by www.LauraMansfield.com, a Web site that analyzes terrorism.
Later in the video, which is about an hour long and takes the form of a documentary, the self-proclaimed American jihadist makes explicit threats against the United States and U.S. interests, singling out embassies and consulates.
“These spy dens and military command and control centers — from which you plotted your aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq and which still provide vital moral, military, material and logistical support to the crusade — shall continue to be legitimate targets for brave Muslims … until and unless you heed our demands: Stop the crusade and leave the Muslims alone,” he said.