Syrian Opposition Speaks

By Adam Kredo, October 27, 2012
Read the article at The Washington Free Beacon 

Failure of U.S. to provide direct aid demoralizing anti-Assad forces, opposition leader says

President Barack Obama’s administration has continued to turn its back on Syrian opposition fighters, refusing to provide not only critical weaponry but also direct humanitarian aid to those fighting a bloody battle against embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to an opposition leader who just returned from the battle’s front lines.

The dearth of direct support has enabled Assad to continue slaughtering citizens and opposition forces, prolonging a civil war that has claimed thousands of lives since it broke out over a year ago.

“I saw no support for the armed rebels by the U.S.,” Mouaz Moustafa, political director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) and United for a Free Syria (UFS), said Friday afternoon during a conference call with reporters.

A lack of sophisticated weaponry has allowed armed terrorist groups, such as Iran-funded Hezbollah, to infiltrate Syria and stir chaos that could spill across the region, said Moustafa, who recently spent time in Syrian cities that have been decimated by Assad’s forces.

“There needs to be more serious arming of the [opposition] efforts,” he concluded. “That would greatly help depose the regime.”

A level of “military intervention to end the blood being spilled” would help rebel forces speed up Assad’s ouster, said Moustafa, who also serves as a board member for the Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS). “That’s something we’ve been very slow to move on.”

“The risks of not doing anything, not bombing … are far outweighed by the risks of letting these [attack on civilians] go on,” he added.

The United States also has failed to take a lead on the humanitarian front, Moustafa explained.

Currently, the U.S. sends aid to Syria via several United Nations bodies and other “middle men,” he said.

“It doesn’t have the stamp of the U.S.,” he said. “There’s middle men.”

It would send a “huge” message to the Syrian people if the U.S. were to take a more direct approach, Moustafa explained.

“We’re hoping to see it as more direct so Uncle Sam gets the credit,” he said. “It’s much needed.”

There are huge risks associated with the Obama administration’s continued passivity on the Syrian front, Moustafa said, including the rampant destruction and violence that continues to devastate towns along the Syria-Turkey border.

That violence could spread further into Turkey, potentially leading Saudi Arabia or even Jordan to get involved in what could become a regional conflict.

Additionally, if Assad falls, a power vacuum could allow militants and Islamic extremists to gain a foothold in the nation, as they have done in other Middle Eastern countries that have experienced tumult.

If the U.S. and other Western nations fail to prepare and organize local governments for the toppling of the Assad government, the situation in Syria could become “ten times more complicated and worse for the U.S.,” Moustafa said.

“We really have to take advantage because if we don’t … then we’ll end up with problems.”

There is growing evidence that Hezbollah and other extremist groups have been waging deadly cross border raids aimed at murdering Assad’s enemies.

Free Syrian Army fighters have recounted tales of being targeted by Hezbollah, according to reports.

Hezbollah has provided arms to pro-Assad forces, which routinely engage in the mass slaughter of innocent Syrian civilians.

Saudi Arabia has also reportedly armed opposition fighters in an effort to counter Iran and Hezbollah in Syria.

“Sectarian divisions driven by the war are sowing political instability outside of Syria, alongside the unstable security situation introduced by the fighting itself,” The Israel Project, a D.C.-based organization, wrote in a recent analysis of the conflict.

Moustafa reported seeing evidence of “spill over” from the conflict during his time in Syria.

“We see it already happening in certain places” such as Lebanon, he said.

Armed fighters have entered the conflict from Iraq, Moustafa said.

“There’s potential to have chaos in the entire region,” which is exactly what Assad is “banking on.”

To protect its borders, Turkey has established a de facto green line replete with artillery and soldiers. Government leaders have hoped to formalize this line, but it has yet to get explicit support from the Obama administration.

“The Turks are very much exposed,” Moustafa said. “There are no talks of formalizing this buffer zone ,though the Turks would like to see it.”

However, “it can only happen if the U.S. is at the table,” he added.

Violence has become so rooted in Syria that even a cease-fire during the Islamic religious holidays was short lived, according to reports.

Moustafa speculated that Assad has no reason to observe a temporary cease-fire and even less motivation to enact a long-term plan.

“I don’t think it could hold,” he said. If Assad ends the violence, “he will fall.”

Moustafa outlined the horrors the war has brought to areas of Syria such as Khirbet al-Joz, a Syrian border town that was razed by pro-Assad forces.

“The conditions of everyone in the village were horrendous,” Moustafa said, recalling “the smell of burning.”

Moutafa interviewed several pro-Assad prisoners of war who were being held captive by opposition forces in several warehouse-like structures in the town.

Some of them explained the reasons they were aiding the regime.

“Many of them are young men,” Moustafa recalled, “and they are stuck in this game being played by Assad.”

American Islamic Forum for Democracy extends a Blessed Eid al-Adha (Holiday of the Sacrifice) to Muslims Around the World





American Islamic Forum for Democracy extends a Blessed Eid al-Adha (Holiday of the Sacrifice) to Muslims Around the World

PHOENIX (October 25, 2012) – The American Islamic Forum for Democracy released the following statement to mark Eid al-Adha:

“To all of our Muslim friends, members, and supporters we at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) wish you a most Blessed Eid al-Adha.

 May the commemoration of this holiday remind us of all of God’s blessings which we enjoy every day and may it also remind us of the responsibility which comes with them.”

Muslims will be commemorating the Islamic holiday of Eid Al-Adha (Holiday of the Sacrifice) on Friday, October 26, 2012. Eid Al-Adha, the “biggest holiday” for Muslims, occurs on the 10th Day of the month of Dhul-Hijja, the 12th month of the Islamic (Hijri) lunar calendar — 12/10/1433 (Islamic Lunar calendar) and 10/26/2012 (Gregorian calendar). Eid al-Adha marks the end of the annual pilgrimage (Hajj) of Muslims to Mecca.

Over 2.5 million Muslims participate annually in the Hajj (pilgrimage) which commemorates the Muslim understanding of the challenges placed upon the Prophet Abraham by God in demonstration of his monotheistic belief.

Annually, in addition to those who participate in the pilgrimage to Mecca, Muslims take this holiday to remember God, family, and country and thank God for health, happiness, and prosperity.

About the American Islamic Forum for Democracy

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. AIFD’s mission advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. For more information on AIFD, please visit our website at


MEDIA CONTACTS:        Gregg Edgar

Gordon C. James Public Relations



Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria

By , The New York Times, 10/14/12

Click here to read the story on the NY Times website

WASHINGTON — Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.

That conclusion, of which President Obama and other senior officials are aware from classified assessments of the Syrian conflict that has now claimed more than 25,000 lives, casts into doubt whether the White House’s strategy of minimal and indirect intervention in the Syrian conflict is accomplishing its intended purpose of helping a democratic-minded opposition topple an oppressive government, or is instead sowing the seeds of future insurgencies hostile to the United States.

“The opposition groups that are receiving the most of the lethal aid are exactly the ones we don’t want to have it,” said one American official familiar with the outlines of those findings, commenting on an operation that in American eyes has increasingly gone awry.

The United States is not sending arms directly to the Syrian opposition. Instead, it is providing intelligence and other support for shipments of secondhand light weapons like rifles and grenades into Syria, mainly orchestrated from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The reports indicate that the shipments organized from Qatar, in particular, are largely going to hard-line Islamists.

The assessment of the arms flows comes at a crucial time for Mr. Obama, in the closing weeks of the election campaign with two debates looming that will focus on his foreign policy record. But it also calls into question the Syria strategy laid out by Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger.

In a speech at the Virginia Military Institute last Monday, Mr. Romney said he would ensure that rebel groups “who share our values” would “obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters and fighter jets.” That suggests he would approve the transfer of weapons like antiaircraft and antitank systems that are much more potent than any the United States has been willing to put into rebel hands so far, precisely because American officials cannot be certain who will ultimately be using them.

But Mr. Romney stopped short of saying that he would have the United States provide those arms directly, and his aides said he would instead rely on Arab allies to do it. That would leave him, like Mr. Obama, with little direct control over the distribution of the arms.

American officials have been trying to understand why hard-line Islamists have received the lion’s share of the arms shipped to the Syrian opposition through the shadowy pipeline with roots in Qatar, and, to a lesser degree, Saudi Arabia. The officials, voicing frustration, say there is no central clearinghouse for the shipments, and no effective way of vetting the groups that ultimately receive them.

Those problems were central concerns for the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, David H. Petraeus, when he traveled secretly to Turkey last month, officials said.

The C.I.A. has not commented on Mr. Petraeus’s trip, made to a region he knows well from his days as the Army general in charge of Central Command, which is responsible for all American military operations in the Middle East. Officials of countries in the region say that Mr. Petraeus has been deeply involved in trying to steer the supply effort, though American officials dispute that assertion.

One Middle Eastern diplomat who has dealt extensively with the C.I.A. on the issue said that Mr. Petraeus’s goal was to oversee the process of “vetting, and then shaping, an opposition that the U.S. thinks it can work with.” According to American and Arab officials, the C.I.A. has sent officers to Turkey to help direct the aid, but the agency has been hampered by a lack of good intelligence about many rebel figures and factions.

Another Middle Eastern diplomat whose government has supported the Syrian rebels said his country’s political leadership was discouraged by the lack of organization and the ineffectiveness of the disjointed Syrian opposition movement, and had raised its concerns with American officials. The diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was discussing delicate intelligence issues, said the various rebel groups had failed to assemble a clear military plan, lacked a coherent blueprint for governing Syria afterward if the Assad government fell, and quarreled too often among themselves, undercutting their military and political effectiveness.

“We haven’t seen anyone step up to take a leadership role for what happens after Assad,” the diplomat said. “There’s not much of anything that’s encouraging. We should have lowered our expectations.”

The disorganization is strengthening the hand of Islamic extremist groups in Syria, some with ties or affiliations with Al Qaeda, he said: “The longer this goes on, the more likely those groups will gain strength.”

American officials worry that, should Mr. Assad be ousted, Syria could erupt afterward into a new conflict over control of the country, in which the more hard-line Islamic groups would be the best armed. That depends on what happens in the arms bazaar that has been feeding the rebel groups. In several towns along the Turkey-Syria border, rebel commanders can be found seeking weapons and meeting with shadowy intermediaries, in a chaotic atmosphere where the true identities and affiliations of any party can be extremely difficult to ascertain.

Late last month in the Turkish border town of Antakya, at least two men who had recently been in Syria said they had seen Islamist rebels buying weapons in large quantities and then burying them in caches, to be used after the collapse of the Assad government. But it was impossible to verify these accounts, and other rebels derided the reports as wildly implausible.

Moreover, the rebels often adapt their language and appearance in ways they hope will appeal to those distributing weapons. For instance, many rebels have grown the long, scraggly beards favored by hard-line Salafi Muslims after hearing that Qatar was more inclined to give weapons to Islamists.

The Saudis and Qataris are themselves relying on intermediaries — some of them Lebanese — who have struggled to make sense of the complex affiliations of the rebels they deal with.

“We’re trying to improve the process,” said one Arab official involved in the effort to provide small arms to the rebels. “It is a very complex situation in Syria, but we are learning.”

Insight: Brazen Islamic militants showed strength before Benghazi attack

By Mark Hosenball and Matt Spetalnick, Reuters

WASHINGTON | Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:19pm EDT

Read the article at

(Reuters) – In the months before the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, U.S. and allied intelligence agencies warned the White House and State Department repeatedly that the region was becoming an increasingly dangerous vortex for jihadist groups loosely linked or sympathetic to al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials.

Despite those warnings, and bold public displays by Islamist militants around Benghazi, embassies in the region were advised to project a sense of calm and normalcy in the run-up to the anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States.

So brazen was the Islamist presence in the Benghazi area that militants convened what they billed as the “First Annual Conference of Supporters of Shariah (Islamic law)” in the city in early June, promoting the event on Islamist websites.

Pictures from the conference posted on various Internet forums featured convoys flying al Qaeda banners, said Josh Lefkowitz of, a firm that monitors militant websites. Video clips showed vehicles with mounted artillery pieces, he added.

A research report prepared for a Pentagon counter-terrorism unit in August said the Benghazi conference brought together representatives of at least 15 Islamist militias. Among the paper’s conclusions: these groups “probably make up the bulk of al Qaeda’s network in Libya.”

Drawing on multiple public sources, the Library of Congress researchers who drafted the paper also concluded that al Qaeda had used the “lack of security” in Libya to establish training camps there. It also reported that “hundreds of Islamic militants are in and around Derna,” where special camps provided recruits with “weapons and physical training.”

President Barack Obama’s administration has repeatedly said it had no specific advance warning of an attack like the one that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi on the night of September 11.

But the reports of militants’ growing clout in eastern Libya, and attempts by violent jihadists to take advantage of fragile new governments across northern Africa following the Arab Spring, appear to raise new questions about whether U.S. embassies took proper security precautions, and if not, why not.


Washington has not definitively placed responsibility for the Benghazi attack on specific individuals or groups among the jihadist factions believed to be operating in or near Libya.

But U.S. officials have said that within hours of the Benghazi attacks, information from communications intercepts and U.S. informants indicated members of at least two groups may have been involved.

One is an al Qaeda offshoot, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or AQIM, which was founded in Algeria and has region-wide ambitions. The other is a local militant faction called Ansar al-Sharia, which apparently has arms both in Benghazi and in Derna, long a hotbed of radicalism.

Like other militants seeking to take advantage of democratic openings and fragile governments created in last year’s Arab Spring, the two groups are apparently seeking to exploit instability in Libya after the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The links between these groups, other jihadist organizations and the original core al Qaeda militant group founded by the late Osama bin Laden are murky at best, U.S. officials and private analysts say.

“There is a complex mosaic of extremist groups in North Africa,” a U.S. counterterrorism official said. “Given AQIM’s interest in expanding its reach, it’s not surprising that the group is trying to gain a foothold in Libya.”

While hardly sweeping the continent, violent extremist groups appear to have found ungoverned safe havens across north Africa, from Mali in the west to Egypt’s Sinai in the east.

In the last month, U.S. embassies in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen have also witnessed violent attacks.

Questions have been raised about security precautions at diplomatic facilities in those countries as well.


Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring, was the scene of some of the worst recent anti-American violence. Hardline Islamists there have been accused of inciting the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis a few days after the Benghazi attacks. Four protesters were killed, cars were burned and the U.S. flag was torn down and replaced with a black Jihadist banner.

“The recent violence at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis highlights the unfortunate fact that extremists are increasingly active in Tunisia,” the U.S. counterterrorism official said. “It’s not prime AQIM territory, but there are veteran hard-line extremists in the country with nefarious intentions.”

The U.S. Embassy in Yemen – home of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP, one of the group’s most dangerous offshoots – was also hard hit, and Washington sent Marines to bolster security there.

Nevertheless, last week in Sanaa, attackers shot and killed a senior Yemeni member of the embassy’s security force on his way to work. Yemeni officials said the attack bore the hallmarks of AQAP.

Obama moved after the eruption of violence last month to beef up protection of U.S. diplomatic installations in the Arab world, sending in Marine contingents to several embassies and temporarily reducing the number of U.S. personnel at some posts.

The president also vowed to bring to justice those responsible for the Benghazi attack.

But the administration may have a hard time deciding whom to target. The increasingly diffuse nature of al Qaeda, its allies and sympathizers complicates the job of identifying precisely which individuals and groups were behind the attacks.


Despite signs of growing militancy in Libya, and a string of attacks on international facilities in Benghazi over the spring and summer, two compounds housing U.S. personnel remained open in the city.

State Department messages and testimony at a recent congressional hearing showed the State Department responded slowly, if at all, to requests for beefed-up security in Libya, and sometimes turned such requests down.

Just hours before he died, a State Department cable showed, Stevens met with members of the Benghazi local council, who insisted security in the city was “improving” and the U.S. government should “pressure” American companies to invest.

Later that day, it said, Stevens was scheduled to launch a project called “American Space Benghazi,” a public outreach center containing a “small library, computer lab and open space for programming.”

(Editing by Warren Strobel and Todd Eastham)

A blessed Eid al-Adha and a Reminder of the Importance of Service

Eid al-Adha, or “the festival of the sacrifice,” is an Islamic holiday which commemorates the Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael as a sign of his devotion to God. It also marks the conclusion of the hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.

Each Eid al-Adha, Muslims make a special effort to provide relief to those in need. In many parts of the world, this has included the distribution of meat (from a sacrificed animal, like a lamb) to the hungry.

We at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy want to take this opportunity to wish our Muslim members and supporters a blessed Eid al-Adha, and to reaffirm our commitment to serve our country and our fellow Americans in every aspect of our work.

Muslim Liberty Project youth

Our Muslim Liberty Project works with youth ages 15-30 to develop the next generation of leaders focused on advocating individual liberty through the development of a healthy American Muslim identity. Having recognized that with freedom comes the responsibility to serve others, our youth have committed themselves specifically to community service and interfaith efforts. Recently, Arizona-area members of our Muslim Liberty Project joined a group of Christians to serve 200 healthy meals to those in need. Following their day of service, volunteers engaged in meaningful conversation about scripture, prayer and fellowship across faith traditions. To see photos of this event, please click here.

AIFD joins Christians in serving meals to those in need

This Eid al-Adha weekend, our Muslim Liberty Project youth have decided to participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, aiming to raise awareness about breast cancer and engage both Muslims and non-Muslims about the importance of women’s health and safety. MLP’s last planning meeting brought in fifteen new Muslim members excited about joining the cause!

We hope to share photos of this weekend’s events with you as soon as we have them. To see more of our Muslim Liberty Project’s activities, see these albums:

Muslim Liberty Project retreat, 2011

Muslim Liberty Project retreat, 2012.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to sharing more of our youth’s accomplishments soon!

Syrian Arms issue proves need for better U.S. engagement




Syrian Arms issue proves need for better U.S. engagement

Presidential debate should focus on necessity of a coherent U.S. Middle East Strategy


PHOENIX (October 16, 2012) – Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim and author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith” issued the following statement on behalf of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy on the Syrian rebel arms scandal and the presidential debate:

“On October 15, the New York Times reported that arms shipped by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Syrian rebel groups are largely being funneled to the worst factions– hard-line Islamic jihadists’.  While this news is alarming, it is hardly surprising since the U.S. has essentially outsourced its leadership role in the region since the start of the “Arab Spring” to countries like the Kingdom and Qatar who have no qualms over working with Islamists.

Make no mistake, this development is a direct result of the lack of U.S. leadership in the Middle East and an inability of the Obama administration to understand and articulate the importance of the Islamist ideological roots of extremism in the region.  How can we expect the “right people” to get these weapons when the vetting of these rebel groups is being done by the very countries that have propagated and supported Islamist ideologies around the world?

This news is also bolstering the isolationist narrative that would rather see the U.S. entirely leave the region to its own devices. But at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, we see this news as a clarion call for the U.S. to assume the mantle of leadership not with troops but by empowering the emerging forces of freedom in the region.  If we do nothing Islamists will win and the people in the streets will see the U.S. fleeing in the face of hard choices as they see their nations overtaken by new and even more dangerous fascists with a theocratic twist.  If we take a stand for real liberty we may certainly still fail in the short term, but one thing is certain without any American input, the trajectory of the “Muslim World” will go from bad to worse and certainly not towards freedom.  The only sure way for Islamists to dominate the future of the Middle East is for America to remain on the sidelines.

At tonight’s presidential debate it is imperative that we begin to see these candidates outline a vision for American leadership in Middle East policy not from behind but from the front.  We can no longer wait for Russia and China on Syria. We can not sit idly by while Iran begins to dominate the region.  We can no longer ask the Saudis, Turkey, or Qatar to tell us who our friends are in the region.  We must also push back against the elected Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia by developing the liberty minded leaders in these countries in their emerging civil societies as we did in Eastern Europe after the Cold War.

We hope the candidates understand the opportunity and the threat that sits before them in the Middle East and North Africa.  Any discussion on foreign policy, like tonight’s debate, should be focused on the need for a coherent and consistent strategy for a new emboldened Liberty Doctrine in the Middle East and North Africa and squarely against the ideology of Islamism.

Failure to confront these issues head on will lock the U.S. and the Middle East in confrontation for generations to come.”


About the American Islamic Forum for Democracy

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. AIFD’s mission advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. For more information on AIFD, please visit our website at


MEDIA CONTACTS:        Gregg Edgar

Gordon C. James Public Relations


Opinion: A leader for these times

Arizona Republic


Read at

Impending “fiscal cliffs.” Unprecedented national debt. Trillion-dollar annual deficits.

These are the great issues of our day, like it or not. We cannot wish them away. About their resolution, the nation has two choices: We can do nothing (or too little) and let the consequences roll over us as they are now in Greece and Spain. Or, we can act.

As a member of Congress, Jeff Flake has demonstrated a remarkable willingness to face down wild-eyed federal spending and deficits. A relentless scourge of the practice of “earmarking” local spending projects in federal budgets, Flake is widely acknowledged as the lawmaker who drove the earmarking money-changers from the Capitol temple.

And he often did it to his detriment, as his many conflicts with Republican House leaders over the years have made clear.

With the exception of Rep. Paul Ryan, perhaps no candidate for federal office in this election cycle is more committed to forcing sanity back into the nation’s finances.

This is Jeff Flake’s moment. The Arizona Republic recommends voters support Flake for the U.S. Senate, replacing retiring Sen. Jon Kyl.

In another election year, in another era, Flake’s Democratic opponent, Richard Carmona, could be an ideal Senate candidate from Arizona.

He is independent-minded on many fronts, a characteristic that has endeared him to Republicans and Democrats alike. He freely acknowledges he changed his party affiliation from independent to Democrat scarcely a year ago.

He is assertive and firm in his judgments, and he makes himself well-versed on issues. When he says he talks to all sides, believe him.

Indeed, he is a candidate reminiscent of another time. His no-nonsense demeanor recalls former U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini, a Democrat that Arizona conservatives respected as much as liberals did. And there is more than a touch of Rudy Giuliani in this pretension-free New York native, the war hero and medical doctor with the resume from Central Casting.

But recession-weary Arizonans scarcely need reminding that these are not the economically full-throttle days of Reagan or Clinton.

On issues pertaining to federal deficit spending and over-regulation, Carmona can be elusive. He is committed to “working with” people to arrive transparently at mutually agreeable conclusions. But as to what that means in the harder numbers of taxes and spending cuts, Carmona can be difficult to pin down.

Flake, on the other hand, is philosophically committed to smaller and more efficient government. On fiscal matters, everyone knows where he stands.

But there is something more about Flake. The candidate always has been affable, approachable and informed. But in the course of this campaign, especially, he seems to have grown.

In a recent interview with The Republic’s editorial board, Flake shined. These are subtle intangibles, but in arguing his positions, Flake seemed to demonstrate something very much like leadership. It was his best performance as a lawmaker and leader that we have seen.

The Republican candidate is far from perfect.

We remain disappointed that Flake no longer is the champion for comprehensive border reform that he once was.

Further, the scourge of budgetary earmarking has yet to demonstrate an appreciation for the difference between pork-laden spending projects and legitimate economic development that benefits his home state.

We hope he comes to see the distinction.

If the government is going to spend it, there is nothing wrong with arguing it should be spent in Arizona.

Likewise, it hardly seems a violation of principles of limited government to support job-creating economic development in your home state.

But as a bulwark against the nation’s greatest pending threat — its fracturing finances — there is no one better for the job.

The Republic recommends Jeff Flake for the U.S. Senate from Arizona.