By Jeff Huber
|Newt circa 1465.|
President Newt Gingrich (shudder) is likely to have a foreign policy as draconian as his domestic policies were during his reign of terror as House Speaker. Newt’s cockamamie “Contract with America” that, if successful, would have impaled the nation’s middle and poor working classes ala Vlad Tepes, the real life model for Bram Stokers Dracula, long before young Messrs. Bush and Obama ever got a chance to. While Newt’s domestic agenda channels Marie Antoinette’s infamous “Let the eat cake” decree, his attitude toward the rest of the planet can be best summarized as “Let them eat shrapnel”—the “them” in that statement being people who are Muslim and living anywhere within a B-2 bomber’s combat range of Jerusalem or American Israel Public Affair Committee (AIPAC) headquarters on H Street in Washington D.C., which pretty much includes all people who are Muslim.
At the top of Newt’s wrong-color, wrong-creed, wrong-color target list are the Palestinians, who Newt claims are an “invented people.”
When criticized by his fellow GOP presidential hopefuls for his remark, Newt responded that what he said was “historically true” and “factually correct.” That’s only the case if we view the term “true” in the context of Steven Colbert’s “truthiness” rubric, and if by “factually correct” we’re referring to the kinds of fabricated facts that conform to the sort of political correctness that resonates with Newt’s prospective rabid right voter base whose “conservative values” are rooted in cherished traditions like cross burnings and lynchings. (I'm in persistent wonderment at how American bigots who once hated Jews became I-Stand-with-Israelites once they were programmed to hate Muslims instead.)
The “invented people” meme was invented by AIPAC bull feather merchants to refute Palestinian claims of a right to a homeland. AIPAC’s tank thinkers haven’t bothered to clarify who exactly they think invented the Palestinian people. I’m guessing it wasn’t Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein or Mel Brooks’ either.
It doesn’t take a historian, either a real one or a fake one like Newt, to realize that the people who invented the Palestinian people were other Palestinian people, and that Palestinian people have been making replicas of themselves since before the days of old testament references to Palestine. If ever there were an invented people, it would be Americans like Newt whose ancestors, at the time that Old Testament Palestinians were making babies in Palestine, were making babies somewhere other than in America.
|Speaker Newt seduces an intern.|
But that kind of clear thinking doesn’t interest a phony intellectual like Newt, who dedicates his acumen not to the acquisition of truth but to the acquisition of power. And one of the best ways for Newt to acquire the kind of power he’s running for now is to align himself with whatever malignant purposes Israel would have him pursue, and to appeal to a fearful and hateful voter base.
In that light, Newt’s stance toward Iran is hardly surprising. Newt says we face a protracted ideological struggle with the Muslim world that will resemble he Cold War, and he casts Iran in the role of the old Soviet Union.
Just shuck my jive, will you Newt? Newt reminds me of a hard drinking retired Vietnam era Army veteran of my acquaintance who we’ll call Johnny Shiloh. About seven Budweisers into lunch not long ago, the subject of refusing to hold diplomatic talks with Iran came up, and well, Johnny came to life and said the best story he ever heard on that there situation was about the hunter who ran into a bear in the woods.
The bear says, hey, don’t shoot, now. All I want is a full stomach and all you want is a bear coat. So why don’t you put that gun down and we’ll talk, and I’m sure we can come up with a solution that will give us both what we want.
So sure enough, Johnny said, the hunter put his gun down and the bear got a full belly and the hunter got a bear coat. Johnny slapped his knee, and said, “Yep, best story on that subject I ever heard,” several times.
I said, “Johnny, in your story, the hunter is the United States and the bear is Iran, right?”
Johnny, taking a slug of Bud, shook his head hesitantly, figuring I was maybe about to shoot his allegory full of large caliber holes. “Now Iran’s military budget is less than one percent the size of ours," I continued. "In fact, our total defense related expenditures exceed Iran’s entire Gross Domestic Product. Iran can’t project conventional power more than a stone’s throw from its borders and regardless of what Israel and its UN Stoogette Susan Rice bullied the International Atomic Energy Agency into saying in its latest report, Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapons program.
So if Iran is the bear in this story, I told, Johnny, it’s not even a teddy bear. It’s more of a gummy bear. And how on earth, I asked Johnny to explain, did the hunter manage to get himself swallowed by a gummy bear?
Johnny took another slurp of Bud suds and said, “Best story I heard yet on the subject.”
By comparing Iran to the Soviet Bear, Newt is crafting a comparison every bit as asinine as Johnny Shiloh’s metaphor. Yet people throughout the country are taking Newt seriously.
It may be that America is finally ready for the Full Newt Monty. He brings out the very worst in the very worst element of the American body politic.
So there’s an excellent chance he’ll win the GOP nomination.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.