Freshman legislators are in Afghanistan, including Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Marco Rubio (R-FL):
Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, like Marco Rubio, comes away from his trip to Afghanistan with a stronger commitment to victory in that war. “We’ve sacrificed so many lives and so many dollars in this effort and it’s such an important effort in terms of our national security, we have to see this thing through. And I honestly believe if we see this thing through, I believe we can do it,” Johnson told reporters today.
He said he's "far more hopeful" about the situation in Afghanistan following the trip than he was before. “In all honesty I’ve just come away far more hopeful," said Johnson. "I think we’ve made more progress than people are aware of in the States.”
More here. What's at stake? Well, Canadian jihadists may be training in North Waziristan and planning to come back to hit major cities with bombs made of everyday materials, like sugar and basic chemicals. More:
"We believe the next major attack will be carried out by someone carrying a Western passport," a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal in September 2008 while explaining why the US is ramping up the Predator campaign against al Qaeda's external operations network in Pakistan's tribal areas. "It is imperative we stop the next [Sept. 11] attack. This is what we are trying to do."And we need a two-way street on religious freedom: The OIC’s Double Standard. Muslim leaders decry “defamation of religion,” they have only one religion in mind.
We're fighting a determined supremacist ideology. A liberal approach like banning sugar isn't the answer, is it.
More. The latest from al Qaeda's English language Inspire magazine. Big Peace. New strategies on bombing Western buildings. Lovely.
...Oh and they want to appropriate our wealth. Written with an eye to current politics.
...A cautionary tale in Tunisia:
P.S. Bring Hillary back to Chicago:
The demonstrations were sparked in December when an educated but typically jobless young man killed himself after authorities confiscated fruits and vegetables he was selling without a permit. As one witness told Reuters, however, “It is not just about unemployment any more. It’s about freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, all the freedoms.”
Freedoms have not fared well in the Arab world in recent years, despite America’s relative success in setting up a workable democracy in post-Saddam Iraq.
This week, the nonprofit group Freedom House reported that the Middle East and North Africa continued their “multiyear decline from an already low democratic baseline.” Exhibit A: Egypt, the most populous Arab country, carried out sham parliamentary elections last fall.
Tunisians, though, are not alone in their protests. People have taken to the streets in Arab countries such as Algeria, Jordan, and, yes, Egypt. Circumstances of the protests differ, but common conditions in these countries include rising food and fuel prices and joblessness. The region has a burgeoning youth population with limited prospects for jobs, and people are chafing against corruption-blocked avenues for political participation.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke bluntly about the need for more extensive change on a trip to the Middle East this week, saying that “people have grown tired of corrupt institutions and a stagnant political order.”P.P.S.
Much of the corrupt family’s £3.5billion fortune is thought to be banked in France, the former colonial power in Tunisia.