Last week, during the first cattle call of GOP candidates for President were paraded on stage in Des Moines one man, not a candidate nor a potential (as far as I know) candidate gave what was probably the most important speech of the weekend.
Newt Gingrich talked about, warned about, radical Islam.
Because Newt is not a candidate his speech was not well covered. In one cut-away shot back to the stand where the seven video cameras were located only one - probably the C-SPAN camera, had someone behind it.
Newt was never in the military, but he was an Army Brat. His dad was a career infantryman having served for 27 years.
In his typical way, Newt began by saying his remarks were not political in the normal sense; they were about "American survival."
He said that nearly 14 years after 9/11 "America is losing the war with Radical Islamists."
"There is one constant across the planet," he said. "Radical Islamists who hate our civilization are prepared to cut off our heads and are determined to impose their religion on us by force."
He, of course, went after President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, but also said "we have an elite in both parties unwilling to tell the truth."
Gingrich made the distinction between radical Islamists and "Muslims who are willing to live in peace with your neighbors and accept diversity " like "being willing to have not just a Mosque, but a Church, a Synagogue, and a Temple."
"But," he said serving up the red meat, "if you want to impose sharia by cutting off my head, I have a desire to kill you before you can do that."
Newt referred to President George W. Bush's speech (which he called "magnificent") to the joint session of Congress shortly after 9/11 when President Bush named Iran, Iraq and North Korea as the "axis of evil" and said to the rest of the world, "you're either for us, or against us."
Later he compared this period of "the elites" versus the rest of us with the pre-World War II era when Winston Churchill was warning "the elites" about Adolph Hitler, but was a lonely voice until Hitler proved him correct.
Newt told the crowd that they should be prepared to ask every candidate that comes through Iowa between now and the caucuses what they are prepared to do to help defeat radical Islamists "so America and its allies can go into the future in freedom and in safety."
In typical Newt fashion he promised that by the "sixth of seventh visit they'll have a pretty good answer because they'll be afraid to come back."
The speech is about 17:30 and well worth your time.
But, it wasn't just Newt raising the warning flag. Two days later the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, according to Kimberly Dozier's reporting in the Daily Beast:
"called for the U.S. to lead the charge in a sweeping, decades-long campaign against the Islamic State group, al Qaeda, and its ilk-a fight like the one against the former Soviet Union-against a new enemy he said is 'committed to the destruction of freedom and the American way of life.'"
Like Speaker Gingrich, Lt. Gen. Flynn (also retired) said that the Obama administration refuses to "to use the term 'Islamic militants' in its description of ISIS and al Qaeda. 'You cannot defeat an enemy you do not admit exists.'"
Newt's version was "You're not going to win this war if you can't admit it's a war."
"Retreat, retrenchment, and disarmament are historically a recipe for disaster," Flynn said. He reminded his audience of President Ronald Reagan who waged, as Dozier wrote,
"all-out war against the Soviet Union, not only outfighting them in proxy wars, but outspending them and outthinking them in terms of fighting their ideology."
I'm not certain Gen. Flynn and Speaker Gingrich have ever met; but their warnings were so similar it was as if they had written a joint op-ed.
We'll hear a great deal from the President, Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other officials about the important work they will be doing over the next two years.
But, for all the words that will come out of Washington, we must not ignore the drumbeat of violence that is growing in volume day after day from radical Islamists around the world.