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Thursday, February 07, 2008

The amphibious assault ship USS Essex and the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos steam together during a refueling at sea, Feb. 6, 2008. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua J. Wahl

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Quote of the Day
"How do you tell a communist?
Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin.
And how do you tell an anti-Communist?
It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."

-- Ronald Reagan

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Iraqi National Police disrupt kidnapping attempt on Sons of Iraq
Two ton explosives cache found in Salah ad Din province
Iraqi Police recruits motivated to serve country (Baghdad)
Sons of Iraq turn in cache (Mushada)
Iraq Unveils Flag Without Saddam's Stars
Iraq works to clean up national police
Top Officer Calls U.S. Forces 'Stressed'
Iraq would seek extended U.N. mandate if necessary
Iraq Jan oil exports highest since US-led invasion
Al Qaeda Recruits Children for Terror Missions - Video
Coalition Disrupts Terrorists in Central, North Areas

Operation Enduring Freedom
NATO Talks Encourage Gates

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
CIA Chief Casts Doubt on Waterboarding Legality
Stabbing, Bomb Threats Ground New Zealand Flight
Force of blast killed Bhutto, not bullet - report
U.S. military loses records for bin Laden's driver
Pakistan makes "important arrests" in Bhutto slaying
U.S. threatens to ban eight Kenyans over violence
US Intel: al-Qaida May Move Outside Iraq

Wounded Warriors
Army Moves to Treat Blast Injuries
Army Partners With University of Kansas for Wounded Warriors

Supporting Our Heroes
Valentines for Troops

Other Military News
Study: New war veterans face job woes

Religion of Peace??
American Woman Jailed in Saudi Arabia for Sitting With Man at Starbucks
Woman Who Was Locked Up Boasted of Saudi Freedom
One-Eyed, Hook-Handed Cleric Heading to U.S.

Worldwide Wackos
Exxon wins freeze on $12 billion of Venezuelan assets
Cuban students openly challenge government
Iran starts up advanced centrifuges

Homegrown Moonbats
Jolie's Baghdad visit goes A-list

Politics / Government
McCain Courts Conservatives
Sen. seeks support after Romney's exit
Romney Ends Bid for White House - VIDEO
Clinton, Obama Each Raise Close to $7M in 2 Days
Obama agrees to two more debates with Clinton
Huckabee to get evangelical leader's nod
Rebates Get Green Light
Gunman Opens Fire at City Council Meeting; Several Reported Dead
Aide to Mass. Governor Charged With Sex Assault on Boy
Senate nears vote on product safety overhaul
Reports: Detroit approved secret deal

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
MOST WANTED: Armored Car Murder Suspect - PHOTOS
Teacher Shot, Stabbed by Husband at Ohio Elementary School; Husband Later Found Dead
Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein Sued Again by Teenage Girl for Sexual Assault
Funerals Begin for Victims of Illinois Strip Mall Shooting
Standoff Ends With Fla. Gunman Holding Hostages
Police: Officer Killed in Los Angeles Shootout With Man Who Claims He Killed 3 Relatives
Disgraced Miss Nevada Katie Rees Arrested in Connection With Police Assault
Report: Top Portuguese Cop Says There Are More Important Things to Do Than Find Madeleine McCann
Heidi Fleiss arrested for drug possession
Mass arrests in anti-Mafia sweep in U.S., Italy - Video
McNamee lawyers show evidence to panel
Man in light shooting hands out bears
Lawsuit alleges ORU funneled $1B a year

Adventures in Political Correctness
Wal-Mart to pay more for "greener" goods

U.N. News
Age of "green economics" is upon us: U.N.

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Former ABC News Reporter John McWethy Dies in Ski Accident
Facebook says hola to Spanish amigos

Science / Medicine and Health / Technology
Atlantis Heads for Space Station - PHOTOS - VIDEO
Girl, 12, Weighs Just 36 Pounds, Suffers From Severe Muscle-Wasting
Moms Pre-Chewing Food Gave HIV to Kids, Scientists Say
Nature tops nurture in childhood obesity: study
WHO finds anti-smoking efforts fall far short
Scientists make unique knee-brace power generator
"Green" robot self-propels through sea
ARM Google phone platform demo due Monday: source
Study: Acupuncture may boost pregnancy

Mother Nature
Zoo: Komodo Dragons Hatched Without Fertilization
Baby Found Alive in Field After Tornadoes - PHOTOS
Death toll rises to 57 in U.S. tornadoes - Video
Utah Couple, Dog Rescued After 12 Days Stranded in Heavy Snow
Estimated 17 million U.S. dogs overweight or obese
'Flocke' polar cub toys to hit market
Turtle swims from Indonesia to Oregon

House-Hunting Horror: Body Found During Open House
Sinkhole Shuts Down Major Highway in Denver
"And wait'll you see all the closet space!" - Video
Drunk threatened city with TV remote
Court apologizes for man's twin troubles
Georgia drivers gawk at runaway emu

Fox News
Dozens Injured in Sugar Refinery Blast
FOXBusiness: Home Sales Fall 1.5% in December
NYC-to-Paris Flight Diverted to Boston After Passenger Hits Flight Attendant
Pop Tarts: 'Batman' to Blame for Heath Ledger's Decline?
Britney's Parents: Spears' Life in Danger Outside of Hospital

Chad calls for EU deployment as rebels regroup
Australia ends "Pacific Solution" for refugees
Kirsten Dunst checks into rehab clinic: reports
Britney Spears' parents say her life is "at risk"
Winehouse cancels Grammys but may appear on satellite - Video
Data suggest economy stagnating
Wall Street has less appetite for risky green projects
At least one offer as Getty bid deadline passes: source
Sony BMG, Universal questioned about venture talks: source
Fed's Fisher adds to warnings on inflation
United, Continental in early talks: source
Ex-natgas traders guilty of price manipulation
Nikkei tripped up by weak data, bonds supported
Oil extends gains on U.S. chill as rebound off low
Dollar steadies vs euro and yen ahead of G7 talks
Platinum stable near record as gold solid above $900
Wall Street rises as valuations lure bargain-hunters - Video
Japan stocks fall as Fanuc down on weak order stats
Cisco shares fall on disappointing outlook
Airlines gain on merger talk
Aetna profit meets Street target, but outlook weak
A love-hate relationship
Deals: M&A news, analysis, blogs
The return of refinancing

AP World News
Court has mystery hearing in Spears case
Red Sox, Schilling squabble over surgery
Redskins still mulling coach options

CENTCOM: News Releases

Newsmaker Profile: Director of Joint Training Army Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya - podcast
Joint fires team, Army training center leaps forward with joint integrated training
Learn more about the Joint Fires Integration and Interoperability Team
Joint Deployment Training Center revs up for the future - podcast

Multi-National Force-Iraq
MP Brigade’s Systems Approach Focuses Iraqi Police on Sustainment
Trucks Delivered to Besmaya in Support of Unit Set Fielding
ISF, MND-B Soldiers Deliver School Supplies
Wassit Province Bridge, Healthcare Center Projects Complete
Recruits graduate from Camp Fiji IP Academy (Baghdad)

Secretary Says Pakistan Understands Terror Danger
Mullen to Discuss Security During Pakistan Visit - Video
Senators Seek Analysis of Pakistan

Soldiers Assist With Surgeries
'Extreme Makeover' Films at Dover

Al Qaeda Recruits Children for Terror Missions - Video
Improved Iraqi Police Focus on Sustainment

Fight Will Transform History, Rice Tells Troops
Shortages Lead to Risk Management Approach - Video

Soldier Returns to Army

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Baler Radar Site Catanduanes Radar Site Manila

South Korea
Cheju Upper/Radar Chonju Chunchon Inch'on Kunsan Masan Mokp'o
Osan Pusan Seoul Suwon Taegu Taejon Tonghae Radar Site Ulsan Yosu

Today in History
0590 - Pelagius II ends his reign as Catholic Pope
1301 - Edward of Caernarion (later Edward II) becomes 1st prince of Wales
1522 - Treaty of Brussels Habsburgers split into Spanish/Austrian Branches
1550 - Giovanni Maria del Monte elected Pope Julius III
1569 - King Philip II forms inquistion in South America
1613 - Michail Romanov (16) becomes czar of Russia
1653 - Nicolas Fouquet appointed superintendent of Finance of France
1668 - Dutch Prince William III dances in premiere of "Ballet of Peace"
1792 - Austria & Prussia sign anti-French covenant
1795 - 11th Amendment to US Constitution ratified, affirms power of states; Dutch Prince William V accepts British occupation of Dutch Indies
1812 8.2 earthquake shakes New Madrid MO; this is the last of Midwest quakes (see 12/16)
1812 - Lord Byron makes his maiden speech in House of Lords
1831 - Belgium adopts its Constitution
1862 - Federal fleet attack on Roanoke Island, NC
1864 - Federal troops occupy Jacksonville, FL
1881 - Battle at Ingogo, Transvaal Boers beat superior British forces
1883 - Lieutenant-Colonel Borgnis-Desbordes founds Fort Bamako Niger
1891 - Great Blizzard of 1891 begins
1900 - Labour Party forms in England; British troops vacate Vaal Krantz, Natal
1904 - Baltimore catches fire (1500 buildings destroyed in 80 blocks)
1905 - Dominican Republic signs treaty turning over customs collection to US; Oklahoma admitted to statehood
1915 - 2nd Battle of Masurian Lakes German armies surrounded a Russian army
1924 - Mussolini government exchanges diplomats with USSR
1928 - 1st solo England to Australia flight takes off (Bert Hinkler)
1933 - Colonial troops in Suriname kill 2 demonstrators; Social-Democrat meeting in Berlin "As thousands cheer" Marxism is dead
1935 - Monopoly invented by Charles Darrow symbol Rich Uncle Pennybags
1936 - A flag is authorized for the Vice President
1940 - British railroads nationalized; Walt Disney's 2nd feature-length movie, "Pinocchio", premieres (New York NY)
1943 - Shoe rationing begins in US (may purchase up to 3 more pairs in 1942)
1944 - Germans launch counter-offensive at Anzio, Italy
1945 - General Douglas MacArthur returns to Manila; President Truman appoints Irwin C. Mollison judge of US Customs Court; US 76th/5th Infantry divisions begin crossing Sauer
1946 - Filibuster in US Senate kills FEPC bill
1947 - Arabs & Jews reject British proposal to split Palestine
1948 - Omar Bradley succeeds Dwight Eisenhower as Army Chief of Staff
1950 - Georges Bidault forms French government; Senator Joe McCarthy finds "communists" in US Ministry of Foreign Affairs; US & Great-Britain recognize Bao Dai Vietnamese regime
1958 - Dutch auto-transmission car DAF 600 introduced
1959 - Cessna lands in Las Vegas after 65 d without landing (refuels in air); Castro proclaims new Cuban constitution
1960 - Old handwriting found in at Qumran, near the Dead Sea
1962 - Gas explosion in Luisanthal coal mine Voelklingen Germany kills 298; President Kennedy begins blockade of Cuba
1964 - The Beatles land at New York's JFK airport, for their 1st US tour; Cassius Clay becomes a Muslim & adopts the name Muhammad Ali
1965 - US begins regular bombing & strafing of North Vietnam; Operations begin at Grupo Folklorico Antiyano on Curaçao
1969 - Al-Fatah-leader Yasser Arafat becomes president of PLO
1971 - Women win the right to vote in Switzerland
1973 - Senate creates Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities
1974 - Grenada gains independence from Britain (National Day); Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles" opens in movie theaters (I love that movie)
1976 - World's largest telescope (600 cm) begins operation (USSR)
1977 - Soyuz 24 launches with 2 cosmonauts
1978 - Ethiopian offensive in Ogaden desert
1979 - Neptune becomes farthest planet from the sun in our solar system (will remain that way for 20 years); Colonel Benjedid Chadli succeeds President Boumédienne in Algeria
1982 - Luis A. Monge elected President of Costa Rica
1983 - 1st female secretary of transportation sworn-in (Elizabeth Dole)
1984 - Bruce McCandless makes 1st untethered space walk (US)
1985 - "New York, New York" becomes the official anthem of New York, NY
1986 - Haiti's President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier flees to France - Henri Namphy becomes leader of Haiti; Philippine Corazon Aquino defeats incumbent dictator Ferdinand Marcos but fraudulent returns gave the election to Marcos
1990 - Karachi police kill 22 anti-nationalistic demonstrators
1990 - USSR Communist party agrees to allow opposition political parties
1991 - Jean-Bertrand Aristide sworn in as Haiti's 1st elected president
1998 - 18th Winter Olympics games open at Nagano Japan

1478 - Sir Thomas More, lawyer/lord chancellor of England/saint (Utopia)
1556 - Maria van Nassau, Dutch countess of Buren
1688 - Maria Louise van Hessen-Kassel [Marijke Meu], princess of Orange
1693 - Anna Ivanova Romanova, empress of Russia (1730-40)
1740 - Adam-Philippe Custine, French earl/General/MP
1812 - Charles Dickens, novelist (Oliver Twist, Tale of 2 Cities)
1817 - Frederick Douglass, 1st high ranking Black in US government; Leroy Pope Walker US lawyer/Confederate minister of War (1861)
1834 - Dmitri I. Mendelejev, Russian chemist (devised Periodic Table)
1837 - Sir James Augustus Henry Murray, created Oxford Dictionary
1839 - Nicolaas G. Pierson, Dutch banker/Suriname premier (1897-1901)
1842 - Alexandre Ribit, premier (France)
1867 - Laura Ingalls Wilder, children's book author (Little House on Prairie)
1872 - Nikolaos "Sokrates" Politis, Greek lawyer/diplomat/foreign minister
1877 - Julius Curtius, German minister of Foreign affairs
1896 - Harold Hoffman, (Governor-New Jersey)
1899 - Arvid Pelshe, Latvian Communist leader, CPSU Politburo member
1906 - Henry P'u-i, last emperor of China, puppet emperor of Manchukuo
1921 - Bryan Woods, soldier/clerk
1924 - Cathy Long (Representative-LA, 1985-86)
1926 - Konstantin Petrovich Feokistov, cosmonaut (Voskhod I)
1932 - Alfred M. Worden, Colonel USAF/astronaut (Apollo 15)
1935 - Herb Kohl (Senator-Wisconsin)
1942 - Ton [ACHM] de Kok, Dutch MP (CDA)
1944 - Berend baron van Voorst tot Voorst, Dutch foreign state secretary (CDA); Berry [AH] Esselink Dutch MP (CDA)
1944 - Michael A. Andrews (Representative-TX)
1963 - Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper, Lieutenant Commander USN/astronaut

0590 - Pelagius II, Gothic Pope (579-90), dies from plague
1609 - Ferdinand I, cardinal/ruler of Toscane
1857 - Félix PBOG Earl of Merode, Belgian minister of War, dies at 65
1865 - John Henry Winder, US Confederate Brigadier-General/provost marshal, dies at 64
1878 - Pius IX "Pio Nono", [Giovanni Ferretti], Pope (1846-78), dies at 85
1920 - Alexander Koltsjak Admiral/leader Russian counter-revolutionary, executed
1933 - Albert György Earl Apponyi Hung minister of Education, dies at 86
1937 - Elihu Root, US Minister of War/Foreign affairs (Nobel 1912), dies at 91
1959 - Daniel F. Malan, premier of South Africa (1948-54), dies at 84
1960 - Igor V. Kurtshatov, Russian nuclear physicist, dies at 57
1961 - Louis-Ferdinand Céline, French physician/author/anti-Semite, dies at 67
1967 - Henry Morgenthau, US minister of Finance (devaluated dollar), dies at 74
1979 - Josef Mengele, concentration camp doctor, drowns
1994 - Maarten Vrolijk, Dutch Social-Democrat minister (CRM 1965-66), dies at 74; Richard Bissell, US under director of CIA, dies at 84

Reported Missing in Action
Dickson, Edward A., USNR (PA); A4E shot down, KIA, body not recovered

Crayton, Render, USN (GA); A4E shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 (injured) - retired as a Captain - alive and well as of 1998

The following US Army SF personnel reported MIA when NVA forces assaulted the Lang Vei camp:
Brande, Harve G. (CA); released by PRG March, 1973 - alive as of 1998

Hanna, Kenneth (CS)

Holt, James W. (AR)

Lindewald, Charles W., Jr. (IN)

McMurry, William G. (AZ); released by PRG March, 1973 - retired as a Master Sergeant - alive as of 1998

Moreland, James L. (CA)

Phillips, Daniel R. (PA)

Thompson, Dennis L. (OR); released by PRG March, 1973 - alive as of 1998

Also reported MIA this day in 1968:
Smith, Maynard Lee, USN (KS); drowned, remains recovered August, 1974

Deleidi, Richard A., USMC (CA); F4J shot down, KIA, body not recovered

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And Then There Were Two....

...well, sort of, anyway. Not sure either Huckabee or McCain qualifies as a Republican. Who the flippin' heck do I vote for now?

February 7, 2008: Mitt Romney’s Address to the Conservative Political Action Committee

I want to begin by saying thank you. Its great to be with you again. And I look forward to joining with you many more times in the future.

Last year, CPAC gave me the sendoff I needed. I was in single digits in the polls and I was facing household Republican names.

As of today, more than 4 million people have given me their vote for president, less than Senator McCain’s 4.7 million, but quite a statement nonetheless. 11 states have given me their nod, compared to his 13. Of course, because size does matter, he’s doing quite a bit better with his number of delegates.

To all of you, thank you for caring enough about the future of America to show up, stand up and speak up for conservative principles.

As I said to you last year, conservative principles are needed now more than ever. We face a new generation of challenges, challenges which threaten our prosperity, our security and our future.

I am convinced that unless America changes course, we will become the France of the 21st century-still a great nation, but no longer the leader of the world, no longer the superpower. And to me, that is unthinkable.

Simon Peres, in a visit to Boston, was asked what he thought about the war in Iraq. First, he said, I must put something in context. America is unique in the history of the world. In the history of the world, whenever there has been conflict, the nation that wins takes land from the nation that loses.

One nation in history, and this during the last century, laid down hundreds of thousands of lives and took no land. No land from Germany, no land from Japan, no land from Korea. America is unique in the sacrifice it has made for liberty, for itself and for freedom loving people around the world. The best ally peace has ever known, and will ever know, is a strong America! And that is why we must rise to the occasion, as we have always done before, to confront the challenges ahead.

Perhaps the most fundamental of these is the attack on the American culture. Over the years, my business has taken me to many countries. I have been struck by the enormous differences in the wealth and well-being of people of different nations.

I have read a number of scholarly explanations for the disparities. I found the most convincing was that written by David Landes, a professor emeritus from Harvard University. I presume he’s a liberal–I guess that’s redundant. His work traces the coming and going of great civilizations throughout history.

After hundreds of pages of analysis, he concludes with this: If we learn anything from the history of economic development, it is that culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference.

What is it about American culture that has led us to become the most powerful nation in the history of the world? We believe in hard work and education. We love opportunity: almost all of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants who came here for opportunity-opportunity is in our DNA.

Americans love God, and those who don’t have faith, typically believe in something greater than themselves-a Purpose Driven Life. And we sacrifice everything we have, even our lives, for our families, our freedoms and our country. The values and beliefs of the free American people are the source of our nations strength and they always will be!

The threat to our culture comes from within. The 1960’s welfare programs created a culture of poverty. Some think we won that battle when we reformed welfare, but the liberals haven’t given up.

At every turn, they try to substitute government largesse for individual responsibility. They fight to strip work requirements from welfare, to put more people on Medicaid, and to remove more and more people from having to pay any income tax whatsoever. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is a culture-killing drug-we have got to fight it like the poison it is!

The attack on faith and religion is no less relentless. And tolerance for pornography-even celebration of it-and sexual promiscuity, combined with the twisted incentives of government welfare programs have led to today’s grim realities: 68% of African American children are born out-of-wedlock, 45% of Hispanic children, and 25% of White children.

How much harder it is for these children to succeed in school-and in life. A nation built on the principles of the founding fathers cannot long stand when its children are raised without fathers in the home.

The development of a child is enhanced by having a mother and father. Such a family is the ideal for the future of the child and for the strength of a nation. I wonder how it is that unelected judges, like some in my state of Massachusetts, are so unaware of this reality, so oblivious to the millennia of recorded history. It is time for the people of America to fortify marriage through constitutional amendment, so that liberal judges cannot continue to attack it!

Europe is facing a demographic disaster. That is the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life and eroded morality. Some reason that culture is merely an accessory to Americas vitality; we know that it is the source of our strength. And we are not dissuaded by the snickers and knowing glances when we stand up for family values, and morality, and culture. We will always be honored to stand on principle and to stand for principle.

The attack on our culture is not our sole challenge. We face economic competition unlike anything we have ever known before.

China and Asia are emerging from centuries of poverty. Their people are plentiful, innovative, and ambitious. If we do not change course, Asia or China will pass us by as the economic superpower, just as we passed England and France during the last century. The prosperity and security of our children and grandchildren depend on us.

Our prosperity and security also depend on finally acting to become energy secure. Oil producing states like Russia and Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran are siphoning over $400 billion per year from our economy–that’s almost what we spend annually for defense.

It is past time for us to invest in energy technology, nuclear power, clean coal, liquid coal, renewable sources and energy efficiency. America must never be held hostage by the likes of Putin, Chavez, and Ahmendinejad.

And our economy is also burdened by the inexorable ramping of government spending. Don’t focus on the pork alone-even though it is indeed irritating and shameful. Look at the entitlements.

They make up 60% of federal spending today. By the end of the next Presidents second term, they will total 70%. Any conservative plan for the future has to include entitlement reform that solves the problem, not just acknowledges it.

Most politicians don’t seem to understand the connection between our ability to compete and our national wealth, and the wealth of our families. They act as if money just happens–that it’s just there. But every dollar represents a good or service produced in the private sector. Depress the private sector and you depress the well-being of Americans.

That’s exactly what happens with high taxes, over-regulation, tort windfalls, mandates, and overfed, over-spending government. Did you see that today, government workers make more money than people who work in the private sector. Can you imagine what happens to an economy where the best opportunities are for bureaucrats?

It is high time to lower taxes, including corporate taxes, to take a weed-whacker to government regulations, to reform entitlements, and to stand up to the increasingly voracious appetite of the unions in our government!

And finally, let’s consider the greatest challenge facing America–and facing the entire civilized world: the threat of violent, radical Jihad.

In one wing of the world of Islam, there is a conviction that all governments should be destroyed and replaced by a religious caliphate. These Jihadists will battle any form of democracy–to them, democracy is blasphemous for it says that citizens, not God shape the law. They find the idea of human equality to be offensive. They hate everything we believe about freedom just as we hate everything they believe about radical Jihad.

To battle this threat, we have sent the most courageous and brave soldiers in the world. But their numbers have been depleted by the Clinton years when troops were reduced by 500,000, when 80 ships were retired from the Navy, and when our human intelligence was slashed by 25%.

We were told that we were getting a peace dividend. We got the dividend, but we didn’t get the peace. In the face of evil in radical Jihad and given the inevitable military ambitions of China, we must act to rebuild our military might. Raise military spending to 4% of our GDP, purchase the most modern armament, re-shape our fighting forces for the asymmetric demands we now face, and give the veterans the care they deserve!

Soon, the face of liberalism in America will have a new name. Whether it is Barack or Hillary, the result would be the same if they were to win the Presidency. The opponents of American culture would push the throttle, devising new justifications for judges to depart from the constitution.

Economic neophytes would layer heavier and heavier burdens on employers and families, slowing our economy and opening the way for foreign competition to further erode our lead.

Even though we face an uphill fight, I know that many in this room are fully behind my campaign. You are with me all the way to the convention. Fight on, just like Ronald Reagan did in 1976. But there is an important difference from 1976: today… we are a nation at war.

And Barack and Hillary have made their intentions clear regarding Iraq and the war on terror. They would retreat and declare defeat. And the consequence of that would be devastating. It would mean attacks on America, launched from safe havens that make Afghanistan under the Taliban look like childs’ play. About this, I have no doubt.

I disagree with Senator McCain on a number of issues, as you know. But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Usama bin Laden, and on eliminating Al Qaeda and terror. If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.

This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters… many of you right here in this room… have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming President. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.

I will continue to stand for conservative principles; I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of those things is that we cannot allow the next President of the United States to retreat in the face evil extremism!!

It is the common task of each generation-and the burden of liberty-to preserve this country, expand its freedoms and renew its spirit so that its noble past is prologue to its glorious future.

To this task… accepting this burden… we are all dedicated, and I firmly believe, by the providence of the Almighty, that we will succeed beyond our fondest hope. America must remain, as it has always been, the hope of the earth.

Thank you, and God bless America.

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