The Capitol

Aug 10

Game over: McCain crushes Hayworth

With just one of 15 counties reporting, Maverick already has more than twice as many votes as J.D. […] Read the rest »

Hot Air » Top Picks

Aug 10

CNN Projection: McCain tops Hayworth in Arizona

(CNN) – Sen. John McCain has won the Arizona GOP Senate nomination over challenger J.D. Hayworth, CNN projects.

CNN Political Ticker

Aug 10

U.S. Ends War it Couldn’t Win; Leaves Behind Ruined Nation: El Pais, Spain

Continuing with our global coverage of America’s withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq, this editorial from Spain’s El Pais asserts that Iraq should be a lesson on ‘how easily democratically-elected leaders can unleash a futile tragedy, putting the world on the brink of catastrophe – particularly when inspired by a lethal mix of messianic megalomania and ideological fantasy.’

The editorial from El Pais says in part:

The United States has put an end to a war that never should have begun. And it has done so under conditions that won’t permit a declaration of victory or a concession of defeat, because the alleged reasons for invading Iraq were false, the strategy on the ground was misguided, and the objectives were vague and intangible. Since the weapons of mass destruction that served as an excuse for this war proved to be a deliberate manipulation, its advocates came to justify it as an attempt to bring democracy to Iraq. In other words, they tried to hide their vile methods behind a noble cause.

This war’s toll of dead and wounded will forever serve as an indictment of those who unleashed it, spurning the law and international institutions in the name of values that they betrayed while at the same time invoking them.

Their country was the victim of a grave act of violence not even the presence of a tyrant like Saddam Hussein could justify. Whether that act of violence keeps them from handing victory to those who, after seven years of fighting Americans, won’t hesitate to turn their weapons on Iraqis to subjugate them again, is now in their hands.

READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, your most trusted translator and aggregator of foreign news and views about our nation.

The Moderate Voice

Aug 10

Actually, money is kind of helpful

From the wire:

MIAMI (AP) – Businessman Rick Scott wins Republican nomination for governor in Florida.

So much for a week of conventional wisdom, and for the Mason-Dixon polling.

This is going to be a wild fall in Florida.

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Ben Smith’s Blog

Aug 10

OTB Latenight – Stevie Wonder

Outside the Beltway

Aug 10

Quotes of the day

Just as we fought communism by showing the world the power of free markets and free elections, so must we fight terrorism by showing the world the power of religious freedom and cultural tolerance. […] Read the rest »

Hot Air » Top Picks

Aug 10

Thoughts on Afghanistan

We started out as warbloggers, largely, and over the years we’ve no doubt written more about the war against Islamic terrorism than anything else. So it’s a little disorienting to see the war in Iraq winding down, and the war in Afghanistan ramping up, without having a great deal to say about either conflict.

Will the war in Iraq be judged a success? Ask me in 20 years. While Doug Feith tells us the Department of Defense was never focused on bringing democracy to the Arab world, I’m pretty sure that was a big part of President Bush’s motivation, as it was of mine. I base this on the fact that Bush said so, repeatedly, in his speeches. Liberals either paid attention or didn’t, depending on how they evaluated their tactical interests at the moment.

As for Afghanistan, this is the kind of story that makes us want to take to the battlements: “Taliban take comfort in US withdrawal plans: general.”

Taliban insurgents have been given hope they can prevail in the war as a result of President Barack Obama’s July 2011 deadline to start withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan , the top US Marine said. …

“In some ways, we think right now it’s probably giving our enemy sustenance,” Conway said of the July 2011 target date.

“We think that he may be saying to himself — in fact we’ve intercepted communications that say, ‘Hey, you know, we only have to hold out for so long.’”

That’s red meat for us conservatives. Still, we have been in Afghanistan since, what-the end of 2001? It is understandable that most Americans want some sort of a resolution. I fully support our current “surge” efforts in Afghanistan, and I think it is a good thing whenever a Taliban fighter is killed. At the same time, it seems obvious that the primitiveness of Afghan society and the Afghan economy limit, rather severely, the results we can achieve there. On no account do we want the success of our policy to be held hostage to the sheer perversity of Afghan culture. Our soldiers are great at shooting bad people and blowing up their infrastructure, but bringing Islamic fundamentalists into the 10th century is beyond their ken. Or anyone’s.

At the American Interest, Peter Berger has a perceptive analysis of the options open to us in Afghanistan, titled “American National Interest and the Stoning of Women.” None of our options, he argues, is good.

As to the United States, it is certainly in its national interest to separate the Taliban from al-Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates-after all, this is why the American invasion of Afghanistan took place to begin with. It is doubtful whether the national interest means preventing executions by stoning or other traditional Islamic penalties-or for that matter the whole panoply of women’s rights as understood in Western democracies. …

It seems to me that the American national interest is unclear on the question of whether to stay in Afghanistan or to look for an exit as quickly as possible. There are reasonable arguments on both sides. On the one hand, an American exit which will be widely seen as a defeat would have potentially catastrophic consequences, not only on the international position of the United States, but in the wider Middle East and beyond-destabilizing Pakistan, encouraging radical Islamism everywhere, enhancing the power of Iran (more so, of course, if it develops atomic weapons)-and encouraging adversaries beyond the region, such as North Korea and Venezuela. On the other hand, Bob Herbert might be right that the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable, and that it will require years, maybe decades, of a useless expenditure of lives and resources, which will serve to destabilize American society itself.

A realistic assessment of the costs and benefits of policy alternatives is one thing, a moral assessment quite another. …

Both critics and supporters of the war in Afghanistan bring up the Vietnam analogy-the critics by seeing Afghanistan as a comparable “quagmire,” the supporters by saying that the anti-war movement at home was the major cause of the American defeat. …

However, in a moral perspective, there is a disturbing similarity, brought out by the horror described in the opening section of this post: the departure of the United States from Vietnam in 1975 was probably in its national interest. It had some terrible consequences in the region-the brutal re-education camps in South Vietnam after its occupation by the North, the many deaths on the sea of the “boat people,” and, most terrible of all, the “auto-genocide” by the victorious Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. When all is said and done, are we once more going to abandon to their enemies those who trusted in us?

A very old insight has to be relearned many times-that one cannot act politically without getting one’s hands dirty, often enough with blood.

This put me in mind of probably the most searing post we’ve ever done here, by Scott, which tells the sad story of Sirik Matak, former Prime Minister of Cambodia, who made the mistake of trusting the United States government:

Dear Excellency and Friend:

I thank you very sincerely for your letter and for your offer to transport me towards freedom. I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion. As for you, and in particular for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty. You have refused us your protection, and we can do nothing about it.

You leave, and my wish is that you and your country will find happiness under this sky. But, mark it well, that if I shall die here on the spot and in my country that I love, it is no matter, because we are all born and must die. I have only committed this mistake of believing in you [the Americans].

Prime Minister Matak was shot and left to die by Communists. A worse fate awaits a great many Afghan women, and no small number of Afghan men, if we decide that we are tired of dealing with such a backward culture.

Power Line

Aug 10

CNN Projection: Rick Scott wins GOP gubernatorial nomination

(CNN) – Rick Scott is the winner of the GOP nomination for Governor in Florida, CNN projects.

CNN Political Ticker

Aug 10

Iran: 30+ years of bipartisan appeasement

I RAN 30+ Years of Bipartisan Appeasement 4 JW.jpg

Our great friend the ace illustrator Bosch Fawstin explains here.

Jihad Watch

Aug 10

FL GOV: In Shocker, Scott Wins GOP Nod

The exceedingly expensive, extremely negative GOP primary came to a surprising end Tuesday as businessman Rick Scott (R) edged out FL AG Bill McCollum (R) to take the nod in the Florida governor’s race. Self-funder Scott will now face surging FL CFO Alex Sink (D) in what is sure to be a fiercely-fought general election.

The AP has called the race 92% of precincts reporting and Scott leading McCollum 47%-43%.

McCollum refused the concede, however. “This is going to go to the wee hours of the morning,” McCollum said. “We’ll see you in the morning.”

Despite trailing by nearly 40,000 votes, McCollum refused to concede the race to Scott in an appearance at his campaign headquarters — an appearance just minutes before the AP called the race for his challenger.


Scott’s camp hoped for a record high turnout, but apparently didn’t need one, as his Tea Party voters turned out in greater numbers than McCollum’s loyal establishment base. Scott also benefited from $ 50M of his own money he invested in the race.

The negativism of the GOP race has boosted Sink’s chances for the general election. Dems will no doubt use many of McCollum’s attacks on Scott, especially those linking him to to Columbia/HCA’s Medicare fraud and other business dealings. Sink, who is still largely unknown to the vast FL audience, has benefited by keeping her focus on the oil spill fallout and job creation, but she will need to define herself to the FL public before Scott links her to big banks and the unpopular Democratic Party.

In mid-summer, McCollum looked like a goner against Scott’s barrage of advertising, and he never quite recovered. Scott broke FL campaign finance records as he surged ahead in the polls. McCollum looked like he was heading toward a come-from-behind victory in the last week, but early voting ultimately doomed the occasionally-robotic AG.

Scott gained a foothold in the race by taking a hard line on immigration, quickly embracing AZ’s immigration law and calling for a FL version. McCollum, who initially questioned the law, was accused of flip-flopping when he eventually came out in support of it. This pattern was repeated several times, as Scott drove McCollum farther to the right as the race progressed. McCollum bet on the establishment in the last days of the campaign, as outside groups spent more than $ 10M hitting the fraud scandal. Ex-AR Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) and ex-Gov. Jeb Bush (R) all stumped for McCollum, and the FL GOP chipped in over $ 3M towards McCollum campaign materials.

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