(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Monday that the unrest the United States was seeing in Afghanistan was just “the tip of the iceberg.”
“We’re not going to fix Afghanistan. It’s not possible. These are people who have spent several thousand years hating foreigners,” Gingrich said. “And what we’ve done by staying is become the new foreigners. And this is a real problem.”
Gingrich said that in his judgment, the problems the U.S. face in the Middle East are too big and complicated for military solutions.
“There’s some problems where what you have to do is say, ‘You know, you’re going to have to figure out how to live your own miserable life because I’m not here — you clearly don’t want to hear from me how to be unmiserable,’” Gingrich said.
Gingrich was critical of President Obama last week for apologizing to Afghanistan after the burning of copies of the Koran sparked mass protests. Gingrich said the president should not have apologized since two Americans were killed.
On Monday, Gingrich also took a swipe at Afghan president Hamid Zarzai. “My prediction is, the Karzai government is playing us for fools,” Gingrich said. “So my view is that we need to be, we need to have a president who is prepared to tell the truth about who is trying to kill us.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Reed Alexander and James Griffiths, CNN
Kareem Khadder, CNN
Karla Pequenino, CNN