Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tells Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM what he expects from President Obama’s announced visit to Hiroshima.
“I think he’s going to tell us we should all be against nuclear weapons,” Gingrich warned host Stephen K. Bannon. Gingrich agreed “we should certainly be against the use of nuclear weapons,” but doubted the non-proliferation agenda would make the world safer, even in the highly unlikely event that major powers decided to dismantle their nuclear arsenals.
“We’ve had a period here where we and the Soviet Union- and to a much lesser extent the British, and the French, and the Chinese – had a ‘balance of terror’ that actually has prevented a major war for a very long time,” he explained. “If you look at most of human history, to go for literally 70 years without a major war is remarkable – and there’s a chance we’ll go further.”
Gingrich said this era of relative peace – the Pax Americana, as Bannon called it – was built on the notion that nuclear weapons rendered major-power global conflict unthinkable. “Great powers could not afford to stumble into a war with each other, because it was too dangerous,” he said.
He recalled how Abraham Lincoln foresaw the balance of terror, long before humanity had the faintest idea nuclear weapons were possible, by proposing that a duel be fought with shotguns at point-blank range. “That’s not a duel, that’s murder,” his would-be challenger declared, and then withdrew his challenge.
Although President Obama is fond of quoting Abraham Lincoln and claiming him as an inspiration, he is unlikely to present that particular anecdote during his visit to Hiroshima. Instead, Gingrich thought he would “have some kind of mindless anti-American apology.”
“Everybody has to remember, Hiroshima and Nagasaki occurred because Harry Truman believed we would lose up to a million Americans, trying to conquer Japan by conventional means,” he said. “We’d had a terrible experience at Iwo Jima. We’d had a terrible experience at Okinawa. We knew the Japanese were preparing for suicidal defensive methods, and it was going to be a very, very long, painful fight.”
“I once had the privilege of having dinner with a famous movie star, who said that he was an 18-year-old paratrooper, and he was going to be in the first wave landing in Japan, and he never for a second regretted Truman’s decision, because he thought the odds against his survival were pretty high,” Gingrich recalled. “So you start down that road, and you have to think about it, and you start to realize that those weapons we used, in a context – it was designed to save American lives.”
He said this understanding “goes to the heart of what Trump has done so brilliantly,” by putting a very simple question at the heart of national security and trade policy: “Is it good for America?”
“If it’s not good for America, he doesn’t want to do it,” Gingrich elaborated. “Well, the Obamas and the Clintons are surrounded by people – and to some extent, frankly, the Republican establishment are surrounded by people – who always explain to us why we have to give up our advantages, in order to placate somebody, or please somebody, or hold together the U.N., or meet some agreement in Paris, all of it to our disadvantage.”
“And I think what Trump is saying is, wait a second, those policies may have once made sense, when we were 50% of the world’s economy. They were recovering from World War II, and we had an enormous surplus of power and resources. They don’t make any sense now,” he declared.
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