'Crossfire's' Newt Gingrich: 'Great religions rise in vacuums of spirituality'

Zap2it: You've been a politician -- including becoming speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999 -- and political commentator, but you're also an author of nonfiction books, novels, and books about the Civil War, Pacific War and Revolutionary War. What's your historical take on all the tension and violence in the Middle East, including in Iran and Syria?Newt Gingrich: The Iranians are 51 percent Persian. Historically, one of the roles of Iraq was to defend the Arab world against the Persians. What America doesn't understand is that this goes back at least a thousand, 1,100 years. When you get to Syria, you have traditional Christians; you have Druze, which is an offshoot of (Islam); you have Alawites, which is what (Syrian President Bashar) al-Assad is, who represent an offshoot of the Shia world.You have the Sunnis and the Kurds -- all these folks are swirling around in a mixture we don't understand, and with...



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