Former House Speaker and 2012 presidential contender Newt Gingrich said it’s time to listen to Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz on the need to reevaluate the failed U.S. interventionist policy in the Middle East.
In an interview with the Washington Times, Gingrich “said he has increasingly doubted the strategy of attempting to export democracy by force to countries where the religion and culture are not hospitable to Western value,” and specifically cited Egypt and Syria.
“The fear of many in the United States and Israel is that the Arab Spring is bringing not Western-style democracy but simply replacing secular authoritarians with militantly Islamic religious governments that are hostile to Israel and the U.S.,” the Times reported Gingrich said.
In a reversal of his prior stance, Gingrich noted, it’s time that Republicans, particularly neoconservatives like himself, should “heed the anti-interventionist ideas offered by the libertarian-minded” Paul and Cruz on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, the article said.
According to the Times:
Mr. Gingrich said the U.S. “should begin to focus narrowly on American interests” rather than on attempting to change systems of governance abroad to our liking.
“I think we really need a discussion on what is an effective policy against radical Islam, since it’s hard to argue that our policies of the last 12 years have effective,” he said.
Reiterating comments about Paul and Cruz he previously made on Laura Ingraham’s radio show, the article said, Gingrich explained: “I consistently have been on the side of having the courage that Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have, and I think it’s sad to watch the establishment grow hysterical, but, frankly, they’re hysterical because they have no answers.”
Referring to the recent rhetoric over Gov. Chris Christie’s criticism of the libertarian-minded ideas of Paul and others on national security and foreign policy, Gingrich told Ingraham:
The establishment will grow more and more hysterical the more powerful Rand Paul and Ted Cruz become. They will gain strength as it’s obvious that they are among the few people willing to raise the right questions.