The declaration of World War III by the former House Speaker and West Georgia College History professor and possible future presidential candidate has lit up the blogosphere. ("Will Dick Cheney’s deferments finally falter in WW3?" asked Nick Gillespie on Wonkette.com.) And he wasn't backing down a bit when TIME.com caught up with him on Monday.
"It all sort of came together for me" as he looked across the map over the past week, Gingrich said: not just the conflagration in the Middle East, but terrorism in India, and plots foiled recently in Canada, Britain and Miami. Nations should stop treating it as a diplomatic situation, Gingrich said.
"The anti-war left has to answer the question, if 50 missiles were hitting Miami and South Florida today, what would their argument be about Cuba? I think this is a core problem," Gingrich said. "The second thing is, for everybody else, once you understand it is a World War, you understand that appeasing North Korea and appeasing Iran is not a possibility. We didn't appease Nazi Germany and imperial Japan and fascist Italy. We beat them."
"I think the clarity of the term 'Third World War' is enormously helpful," he added. "And a number of people who have called me or e-mailed me and said, 'This is exactly right.'"
Has he heard anything from the Bush Administration? "Nothing I want to tell you," he said. "Let me just say that I am cheerful and happy and believe that I am helping communicate accurately what you are living through."