The United States is in a precarious situation in the Middle East and must make a powerful attempt to battle extremists there, said former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) in an impassioned speech on Wednesday night in the Reiss Science Building.

Addressing a crowd of about 50 people with an informal tone, Santorum began by saying that since 2006, he has been “very nervous that we were headed in the direction of not confronting an evil.”

“The greatest threat to this country,” Santorum said, is “Islamofascism” or “radical jihadism.”

He focused the first part of his speech, which was sponsored by the Georgetown University College Republicans, on the war in Iraq, or what he referred to as the “battle of ideas and ideologies.”

According to the former senator, people are mistaken when they think that the war is just about “soldiers firing bullets at these jihadists.”

Santorum expressed his opinion that President George W. Bush has received poor advice on the war and has “failed to step up to the plate.”

“We have not had a very good discussion in this country about what that battle is and what it means to the world,” he said. “In a war of ideas, it’s important to see what both sides bring to the table.”

Santorum repeatedly referred to the Western world as the world of the “Christian model,” once correcting himself and calling it the world of the “Judeo-Christian model.” He added that “the church is the vehicle God used to establish Christendom-Western civilization” and that he hopes this is “clearly understood by the students here and it is taught what our role is as a church in the development of the West.”

Santorum continued by expressing his beliefs on the origin of radical Islam.

“We must be honest about its roots . which are in Islam,” Santorum said. “Radical Islamists do not come from outer space. They come from a belief system within the Muslim faith.”

Although Santorum criticized the values of the American left, including homosexual rights, feminism, separation of church and state, abortion and civil rights, he said that the American left has dismissed the enemy and is “more interested in ending the war than winning the war.”

“Civil rights do not exist in the Islamic world,” he said. “The left is absolutely 180 degrees from where the radical jihadists are.”

Santorum repeatedly equated the war in Iraq with a struggle to root out Islamism, making no mention of the belief that weapons of mass destruction were present in Iraq, precipitating the U.S. invasion.

“How can we be in a war against terror?” he asked the audience. “Terror is a tactic.”

He said that declaring a war on terror would be akin to former President Franklin D. Roosevelt declaring a war on “sneak attacks” after the Pearl Harbor attacks.

“Our president refuses to define the enemy. He won’t use the word,” he said.

Santorum went on to urge the audience to consider the differences between the “Muslim world [and the] Christian world. Look at the Prophet versus Jesus,” he said. “Did Jesus every kill anybody? The Prophet led armies, gained territory and killed people,” he added.

Santorum concluded his speech with a set of zealous remarks about the future of U.S. involvement in the Middle East.

“We are in this battle and are basically alone in this battle,” he said. “If we get out, we will send a very clear message to the rest of the world to get out too. . We will send a message to those who want to destroy us that we are not up for this battle.”

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