Huckabee Talks Foreign Policy With CBS News

CBS News' Joy Lin reports:
(AP)
In a foreign policy speech last week, Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee launched into his main point of disagreement with the Bush administration's handling of Middle East politics after Sept. 11. "This administration's bunker mentality has been counter-productive both at home and abroad," said Huckabee. "They have done as poor a job of communicating and consulting with other countries as they have with the American people."

Huckabee elaborated on those comments in an interview yesterday with CBS News.

"The greatest challenge we face in this country is understanding the war that we are in from the perspective of the enemy, not from our own Westernized perspective, and that gives me great concern because I think a lot of Americans want to Westernize the mindset of Islamic jihadists," said Huckabee. The former Arkansas governor and ordained Baptist minister told CBS News that the war is with an enemy that is "theological in his nature" and "unlike wars that we've ever fought."


to listen to the interview.
In his speech last week, Huckabee reiterated his support for General Petraeus and the surge in Iraq. But he argued that the Bush Administration failed to utilize all its diplomatic tools in combating the threat of Islamic extremism and made poor strategic decisions based on faulty intelligence. Huckabee also said the current administration had failed to engage in a discussion with the American public about the nature of the enemy. He differentiated between Al Qaeda, which he said must be destroyed "as a movement" because its leaders would never engage in rational dialogue, and Iran, which Huckabee believes can be "contained as a nation."

"We have to realize that there is something driving the views that are being built upon by Al Qaeda," Huckabee told CBS News. "And it really goes back to the teachings of Sayyid Qutb and if we don't understand how he helped to shape this concept of taking the entire Islam faith back to a 7th century mindset, and what that would mean in terms of domination and really control of the world, we won't understand just how ferverently committed the members of Al Qaeda really are."

When told that the depth of the conversation he was proposing to have with the American public might be too complex for politics, Huckabee responded, "but it's the kind of conversation that a person who is running for president needs to be able to have."

"I think it's time for all of us, whether we're Democrat or Republican, to start seeking to speak truth, rather than just to talk politics," said Huckabee, who stated that he has more domestic policy experience than any other presidential candidate. "There's much more at stake than the next election. The future of our grandchildren and generations to come is literally at stake, and we can't afford just political talk anymore."