This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," July 19, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: We are in World War III, that from former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. It's a statement that has everyone all fired up.
Joining us live here in Washington, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, also the author of "Winning the Future," now out in paperback.
Mr. Speaker, were you speaking loosely, or are we in World War III, in your mind?
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: No, I think that we're in the early stages of World War III.
And if you take a map and you go from North Korea with its missile firing on July 4, to Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, where there've been terrorist operations, to India, where there were seven bombs set off last week in Mumbai, to the war in Afghanistan, with the sanctuary in Pakistan, to what we just watched on TV, which is an Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas terrorist alliance, which is both operating in Iraq against the Iraqi people and the Americans, and it's operating in Lebanon and in Gaza.
Then you go to Britain, where the British home secretary said there are 20 terrorist groups with some 1,200 members, cross the Atlantic to Canada, where they arrested 18 terrorists who had gathered twice as much explosive power as was used in Oklahoma City and who apparently planned to kidnap the prime minister and then behead him.
And finally, you come to the U.S., where we've videotaped seven people in Miami pledging allegiance to Al Qaeda to overthrow the U.S. government, and what we're told in New York, there are people from three different countries trying to plan how to blow up the tunnels of New York.
So just paint the picture across the world, this is clearly a world war.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so what does the United States — what should President Bush do, short run? And by short run, I mean the next three or four days.
GINGRICH: The next three of four days, the president should reach out to the Lebanese government, which is a democratically elected government, and should offer to help the Lebanese army defeat Hezbollah because we badly need to have the Lebanese patrolling southern Lebanon.
And by defeat Hezbollah, I mean kick out all the Iranians who are there — there are about 400 of them — and take over all the 10,000 or 12,000 missiles that are left. And I think anything short of that is a failure.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, suppose the president does do that in the next three or four days, and the Lebanese say no.
GINGRICH: Then I think we have to actively support Israel in wiping out Hezbollah. But I think the world will be much better off if the country of Lebanon reclaims its own territory and the country of Lebanon enforces the rule of law, not an outside force.
VAN SUSTEREN: But that's sort of — if everyone seems to say that Syria is up to their eyeballs in this, that Iran is up to their eyeballs in this, handling Lebanon alone or getting rid of Hezbollah alone still leaves those two. What do we do to bring those countries inside the tent?
GINGRICH: Well, I think our strategy in the long run should be very clearly to replace the dictatorships of Syria, Iran and North Korea, and ideally to do it using the kind of strategies that Ronald Reagan used, which did replace dictatorships in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and across all of Eastern Europe.
So you don't have to have a military voice necessarily. But you have to have a goal. Our goal should be to replace these three dictatorships with democracies, not to find a way to negotiate and coddle and support and sustain these dictatorships.
And we should say very clearly to Syria and Iran, we're not going to tolerate any involvement in Lebanon, and we're fully prepared to enforce that.
VAN SUSTEREN: In Iran, trying to get democracy — a few years ago, some students tried an uprising there. It was quickly put down. I mean, what in the world could we do to try to provoke a democracy there?
GINGRICH: Well, I think, first of all, we should announce that anyone who is killing innocent people in Iran will be held accountable in war crime trials after they get a new government.
Second, we should be actively subsidizing and supporting the students. They've had several weeks of riots in the last two months down at Teheran University.
There are a lot of people in Iran who do not like the dictatorship. There were 1,200 reformers who were kicked off the ballot because they were too moderate.
If we had an active, effective intelligence force, the first thing you do is get that list of 1,200, and you'd have an entire network of active people who want to get to a moderate reformist government and were unacceptable to the dictatorship.
So I think there's a lot of tension inside Iran. Remember, Iran is a country, which is only 51 percent Persian. The other 49 percent are Azerbaijanis and Kurds and Arabs and Baluchs sharing the region with Pakistan.
There are a lot of different ethnic groups in Iran, and it's a country, which is potentially capable of forming a new government very different from the current dictatorship.
VAN SUSTEREN: In hindsight, how do you grade the Bush administration foreign policy in handling all these issues?
GINGRICH: I think that we don't — part of the reason I talked about a third World War is I think the administration hasn't come to grips yet with the fact that this is a real war. And the goal in a real war is to win, not to get to ceasefire, not to temporarily wait.
The Israelis abandoned all of southern Lebanon, as Shepherd was just saying. They pulled out in 2000. It wasn't seen as a gesture for peace. It was seen by the terrorists as a defeat and a victory for terrorism.
The result is Iran, Syria and Hezbollah spent six years building 13,000 missiles as an arsenal to destroy Israel. Now, we know they're not going to negotiate. We know the most they'll do is lie in order to get to a ceasefire to rebuild their capability for the next fight.
VAN SUSTEREN: Start over. All right. I hate to be so simplistic, but give me a grade on this, on how this administration's been doing.
GINGRICH: I can't do that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Can't? All right.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you're a former professor.
GINGRICH: Yes, but that was my former job.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Anyway, Speaker Gingrich, thank you very much.
GINGRICH: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you, sir.
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