The Reality of Evil and the Men and Women of Munich

The news report came about mid-week. Maybe you saw it.

The Associated Press reported that terrorists in Iraq have passed an unthinkable threshold: They used two children to disguise a car bomb.

The car was waved through a checkpoint by American soldiers who could not imagine that children would be in a car filled with explosives. When the terrorists got to their target, they got out of the car and ran. They left the children behind in the car, and then blew it up.

There is a word for people who put children in a car to be blown up. The word is evil.

It’s Important That We Say It: Our Enemies Are Evil

When I travel around the country speaking to groups of Americans, I often tell the story of a couple arrested last year in Great Britain. They were arrested on the suspicion that they were going to use their eight-month-old baby to smuggle a bomb onto an airplane. They were apparently going to disguise the bomb as baby food. And they were perfectly happy to kill their baby just as long as they killed some Americans in the process.

There is a word for people like this. The word is evil.

It’s important that we say this out loud and that we render this moral judgment. Because if we fail to understand that our enemy is evil, we have failed to understand what we are fighting.

We are not used to adversaries who will kill young children — even their own children — just to get a chance to kill us. But we had better get used to it, because this is the level of seriousness in the threat we face — this is the level of its ferocity.

And yet I wonder if some of us are still not prepared to recognize and confront the evil of our enemies.

Suicidal Inability to Come to Grips With Evil

I grew very worried last week watching America’s elite, who seem to be literally afraid to face the fact that we are at war.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the leading captured terrorist from al Qaeda, offered a startling confession. He was almost certainly embellishing what he had done, but still, he told a chilling tale. He spoke unapologetically of the terrorist acts he had committed and those he had wished to commit.

He took responsibility for killing almost 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001. He said he had cut off a reporter’s head, held it in his hand, and had his picture taken with it. And what was the reaction of two United States senators?

They were worried that we had mistreated Khalid Sheik Mohammed in captivity.

They didn’t walk out of the room and say this is a frightening example of how serious our enemies are. They worried that we were dealing incorrectly with the man who had just finished saying how much he wanted to slaughter us.

This is a suicidal inability to come to grips with evil.

History Repeating Itself

It reminds me of something the great historian William Manchester once said of the elites in the years leading up to World War II.

It was the spring of 1939, after the Munich agreement had failed, after Hitler had absorbed the rest of Czechoslovakia, and after it was obvious that all the deals the democracies had made with Nazi Germany — all the appeasement — had failed. As Europe moved toward war, Winston Churchill tried to create a Ministry of Supply in Great Britain for the terrible war he knew was coming.

The public supported him and even the newspapers supported him. But the people Manchester called “the men of Munich” — the elite, those who could not bring themselves to believe that Hitler was evil, that he meant what he said — blocked Churchill at every turn. They would rather risk defeat than admit that they had been wrong.

Today’s Men and Women of Munich

Today, we have the Men and Women of Munich. Just as before, these are elites who are afraid to face evil, afraid to recognize what our enemies are doing, and afraid to put partisanship aside and put America first so we can join together to defeat those who would destroy us.

The Men and Women of Munich have just scored a victory in Congress. They passed a bill that they have been enthusiastically telling their leftwing allies is designed to end the war in Iraq by crippling the military’s ability to achieve victory.

Think about what that means. They haven’t stood up courageously to vote to cut off funding for the war and take responsibility. No, they have avoided responsibility and sent the President a bill that is designed to fail and leave young Americans in uniform to pay the price.

This Is Not Just America’s Problem

This inability to recognize the evil of our enemy isn’t just in our government. Remember the story I told you, about the terrorists who used two children to disguise a car bomb in Iraq? Do you know how the editors at the Associated Press chose to headline that story? Not “Terrorists Slaughter Children, Save Themselves.” Incredibly, the headline was “U.S. Destroys Bomb Factory in Iraq.”

Talk about burying the lead.

And another news report surfaced this week displaying how Western society is failing to confront the true nature of our enemies because of the insane demands of political correctness.

In Germany, a judge refused to grant a Moroccan-born German woman a divorce on the grounds that the Koran allows husbands to beat their wives.

The woman had filed for divorce because her husband regularly beat her and had threatened to kill her. She had police reports to back her up. But the judge set aside the German constitution in favor of “respecting” religious fanaticism.

As for what it means for the future of Germany — and Western civilization for that matter — one German elected official put it best: “When the Koran takes precedence over basic German law, than I can only say: ‘Goodnight, Germany.'”

Never Underestimate the Determination of Your Fellow Americans

We are living in serious times — a time when all of us need to think of the needs of our country and its future rather than our own personal or party interest.

And despite the somber tone of my message to you today, I’m hopeful about our future.

In the years before World War II, the people of Great Britain and America eventually saw what the elites refused to see. They saw their futures, their families’ futures, and the great civilization they had built threatened. And so they acted to defend them.

Everywhere I travel across this country I am approached by those of you who have this same understanding. You’re not out to score cheap political points. You’re not blinded by political correctness. You’re demanding that your families and your nation be defended. You’re demanding something more serious and more substantive from your leaders.

And if I know you, I have a feeling you’re going to get it.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

P.S. — Speaking of elites who lie to themselves about the dangers of the world, my soon to be released active history novel, Pearl Harbor, will describe the drastic consequences of being unwilling to come to terms with a dangerous reality. To pre-order a limited edition, signed copy of Pearl Harbor, visit Premier Collectibles.

P.P.S. — We all watched with deep admiration and compassion this week as John and Elizabeth Edwards announced that Elizabeth’s cancer has returned. I know that I speak for all the members of the Winning the Future community when I say that the Edwards family will be in our prayers.