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Posts Tagged ‘Allen West’

Rep. Allen West recently gave an awesome speech to the Center for Security Policy.

While it seems that our media can only focus on one “crisis” at a time, Allen West never takes his eye off of all the threats to U.S. national security.

No teleprompter, you’ll notice. The man is a walking encyclopedia, and he can communicate.

What Paul Ryan does for budget issues, Allen West does for national security.

Hat Tip: Big Peace

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Wow. This video reminds me once again why so many of us have such high hopes for Allen West. The way his mind works, the way he holds himself, the way he expresses things — all are amazing to behold.

Via Weasel Zippers, a clip from the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the implementation of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:

Out of all the dignitaries in that room, which one exudes the most self-possession and strength? Which one inspires the most confidence?

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I am very distressed by Allen West’s giving even the slightest bit of consideration to Donald Trump as a serious candidate, much less a serious Republican candidate. West recently said that he’d consider being Donald Trump’s running mate if it were offered, and Trump and West shared the stage at a South Florida Tax Day Tea Party rally. This is both puzzling and disturbing.

The Conservative Diva sums up my own feelings about Trump pretty well:

From my friend Stephen Maloney, just learned of Poll Insider’s little refresher on the man who, for reasons not  yet fully known (is he really running for president or is this just a publicity ploy?) has transformed himself from Obama lover to Tea Party advocate. While some conservatives rhapsodize over what feels like an endless media blitz over Obama’s birth certificate, others like Poll Insiderare actually pointing out some inconvenient truths about The Donald.

On Abortion: Donald Trump Then: “I support a woman’s right to choose, but I am uncomfortable with the procedures. When Tim Russert asked me on Meet the Press if I would ban partial-birth abortion, my pro-choice instincts led me to say no. After the show, I consulted two doctors I respect and, upon learning more about this procedure, I have concluded that I would support a ban.” From his 2000 book. “I believe it is a personal decision that should be left to the women and their doctors” – When he last considered running for President in 2009. Donald Trump Now: “As you know, I’m pro-life…  I’m forming an opinion, I’m forming a very strong opinion but I’ll let you know in about three or four weeks if I decided to.” That’s comforting, he will let us know in 3 or 4 weeks what his reformed views on abortion are.

On Healthcare: “I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on health. It is an unacceptable but accurate fact that the number of uninsured Americans has risen to 42 million. Working out detailed plans will take time. But the goal should be clear: Our people are our greatest asset. We must take care of our own. We must have universal healthcare. Our objective [should be] to make reforms for the moment and, longer term, to find an equivalent of the single-payer plan that is affordable, well-administered, and provides freedom of choice. Possible? The good news is, yes. There is already a system in place-the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program-that can act as a guide for all healthcare reform. It operates through a centralized agency that offers considerable range of choice. While this is a government program, it is also very much market-based. It allows 620 private insurance companies to compete for this market. Once a year participants can choose from plans which vary in benefits and costs.”

On Taxation: Forget raising taxes, Trump wanted to tax, at 14.25% the net wealth of “the evil rich.” Money that was already taxed. Of course, he played the “I’m raising taxes on myself” card to prove his selflessness. (Ironic given his inability to settle his own debts…) His 1999 plan:

  • Raise $5.7 trillion to erase the nation’s debt and save $200 billion in annual interest payments
  • Use the savings to save Social Security and slash taxes for the middle class
  • Increase his personal tax bill by at least $725 million.

Political Donations (and no, I don’t accept the “he did it for business reasons” excuse. Has George Soros ever donated to a conservative politician in the interest of business and against his dearly held lefty ideology?):

Charlie Rangel (D-NY): 2006 – $10,000 Yes, he of corruption, tax evasion, and mass liberalism

Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) $12,000 Total, $2,000 in 2006

Re-election Harry Reid: Donated $4,800 in 2010 to Reid to defeat Sharon Angle. $10,400 to Reid overall

Chuck Schumer: Donated $4,000 during 2010 Election Cycle

Kirsten Gillibrand: $5,800 over past 2 cycles

Ted Kennedy: $7,000

John Kerry $5,500 ($2,000 in 2004 Pres race, which he also gave Bush $2,000. How bi-partisan!)

Democratic Senatorial Committee: $116,000 (versus $30K to GOP equivalent)

My question for conservatives — especially those who’ve declared Sarah Palin unelectable: Do we no longer care about a candidate’s past record, associations, donations to lefty candidates and stance on important issues? Or are you so thrilled by his constant drum-beating over Obama’s birth certificate you are willing to overlook everything else? By the way, here’s what he had to say about Obama in 2008:

Update 2: 2008 Trump Blasts Bush, Praises Obama, Says he Can Save the World: “I think he has a chance to go down as a great president. Now, if he’s not a great president, this country is in serious trouble,” said Trump. “I think [Obama’s] going to lead through consensus,” continued Trump. “It’s not going to be just a bull run like Bush did. He just did whatever the hell he wanted. He’d go into a country, attack Iraq, which had nothing to do with the World Trade Center and just do it because he wanted to do it.”

My own issues with President Bush aside, I’m not taking a gamble (so to speak) on Donald Trump. The more I learn, the more I want to recant my statement about voting for him if it comes down to Trump vs. a GOP Establishment type. Let the voter beware. UPDATE: Since one of the comments in the thread accuses me of being unfair in not stating that Trump has also donated to Republicans (he has), here’s an addendum from Open Secrets.org:

In all, Trump has contributed to 96 candidates running for federal political office since the 1990 election cycle, the Center finds. Only 48 of the recipients — exactly half — were Republicans at the time they received their contribution, including ex-Gov. Charlie Crist (I-Fla.) and ex-Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who both of whom received their Trump contributions as Republicans.

Since the 1990 election cycle, the top 10 recipients of Trump’s political contributions number six Democrats and four Republicans. Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), who was censured last year by his U.S. House colleagues, has received the most Trump money, totaling $24,750. The most recent contribution from Trump to Rangel was a $10,000 gift during the 2006 election cycle.

In the most recent election cycle, Trump doled out $22,500 to political candidates, of which $16,200 benefited Democrats.

The top Republican recipient of Trump’s money is Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who has collected $13,600 from the billionaire magnate, the second most of any politician. Trump did not contribute to McCain during the 2010 election cycle, during which the former presidential candidate was facing re-election.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) is the recipient of $12,000 in Trump contributions, including $10,000 for his 2006 re-election campaign.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has received the fourth-largest amount of Trump’s contributions, including $4,800 in the successful 2010 campaign against Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle. In total Trump has contributed $10,400 to Reid.

In 2010, Trump also contributed $4,000 to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who easily won re-election. Schumer has received $8,900 from Trump since the 1996 election cycle. Trump has also been generous to New York’s other Democratic U.S. senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, who’s received $5,850 in Trump money.

After McCain, the Republican with the largest amount of Trump’s contributions is former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who left office in disgrace in 2006 when his online solicitation of male House pages became known. Trump contributed $9,500 to Foley between the 1996 and 2006 election cycles.

Trump has also supported other notable politicians, including:

• $7,000 to former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), the “liberal lion of the Senate”
• $7,500 to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R)
• $5,500 to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) including $2,000 during his 2004 presidential run
• $5,000 to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)
• $4,000 to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.)
• $2,000 to former President George W. Bush (R)
• $1,000 to then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.)

Like most conservatives who happen to be registered Republicans, I know all too well that “Republican” does not equal “Tea Party conservative”. Therefore, I take no comfort in his donations to RINOs like Charlie Crist, whom the NRSC rushed to endorse a year-and-a-half before the primary in their zeal to take out Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio. As for Trump’s support of Harry “This war is lost!” Reid, John “Reporting for Duty” Kerry, Teddy “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy and all of the other progressive Dems on the list…well, that’s just a little too much for this voter to ignore. So yes, I did my homework — and once again, the hyperlinks to my sources are embedded in the post. Everyone is free to support whomever they’d like; I am simply expressing my opinion backed up with facts as to why I will not support Donald Trump.

I would only add to Conservative Diva’s comments my own fears that Trump is doing and is likely to do three things:

1.  Expose Republicans to ridicule by pounding away on the birth certificate issue.

2.  Distract attention from serious, legitimate Republican candidates; and maybe fracture the party.

3.  Lose the GOP nomination, run as an Independent, and draw away enough GOP votes to hand the election to Obama. (Which may be the real agenda all along.)

Maybe Allen West knows something we don’t know — but at this point in time, it looks to me like poor judgment on West’s part. I think the number one quality a chief executive needs — other than the obvious ones such as integrity, intelligence and a good work ethic — is the ability to pick good people. No executive can do his or her job without advisers and department heads, so good judgment of character is absolutely crucial. Let’s just say I have my doubts.

Rather than President, I’m leaning toward West as VP, Secretary of Defense or National Security Adviser. I think he’d be magnificent in any of these positions — for someone other than Trump!

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From Michael A. Walsh, at the New York Post:

Lost in the reaction to Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap for America’s Future” budget resolution — which seeks to reform “entitlements,” abolish ObamaCare, retire the national debt and put the country again on a sound financial footing — is the plan’s moral underpinning. Simply put, Ryan is asking Americans to grow up, stop whining and take back control of their destinies from the nanny state.

Finally, somebody has started an adult conversation in Washington.

“Our debt problem is not just a fiscal challenge involving dollars and cents,” the Wisconsin congressman said in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, as he was formulating his plan. “It’s a moral challenge involving questions of principle and purpose . . . A government that would solve problems without limit must necessarily have power without limit to do it.”

Democrats have been quick to grasp the moral — and mortal — challenge Ryan’s “roadmap” poses to their New Deal/Great Society conception of government. On cue came a circus parade of sound-bite donkeys, led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, each braying that Ryan’s proposals are “extreme” and the cuts “draconian” and that, naturally, the GOP wants to kill the elderly, children, women and minorities.

Restructuring the tax code, fixing Medicare and Medicaid to ensure their solvency, cutting corporate welfare, jettisoning the “green jobs” bedtime story — all these reforms strike at the heart of the cozy Washington establishment protected for decades by a national media obsessed with the chimera of “bipartisanship.”

This largely imaginary concept, which posits that no differences between the political parties are too big to be papered over, has fueled much of our national discontent over the last two decades. It has resulted in one half-measure (minuscule cuts in “discretionary spending”) or half-baked notion (Bush’s No Child Left Behind act, prescription drugs for seniors) after another being forced upon the body politic. And it has put us where we are today.

Some commentators on the left have gotten the message.

“If the GOP gets behind his proposals in a serious way, it will become for the first time in modern memory an intellectually serious party — one with a coherent vision to match its rhetoric of limited government,” wrote Jacob Weisberg in Slate. “Democrats are within their rights to point out the negative effects of Ryan’s proposed cuts on future retirees, working families and the poor . . . but the ball is now in their court.”

Which brings us back to the moral issues. What, if anything, do we owe “future retirees” that those retirees ought not to have provided for themselves? What, if anything, does society owe “working families” in a functioning capitalist system? What, if anything, does society owe “the poor” that charity cannot provide and that, in any case, ought to be voluntarily offered instead of coerced?

And what does any of this have to do with a federal government of limited enumerated powers?

These things can and should be vigorously debated; they aren’t issues that were permanently settled in 1936 or 1965. If we can no longer afford a vast welfare state (and the evidence is that we can’t), then what is the “moral” response — not to real or imagined needs but to lack of means?

The answer won’t be pleasant for some. “Morality” doesn’t simply dictate that the nation’s productive taxpayers allow themselves to be bled dry in the name of some vague notion of “fairness” or, worse, “economic justice.”

Rather, morality must apply universally, not just to so-called protected classes. Indeed, the notion of “protected classes” is something that should be seen for what it is — fundamentally un-American — and dispensed with. Either we are all in this together or we really have become “two Americas” — the givers and the takers.

President Obama’s infinite budgetary horizon of trillion-dollar deficits needs to be called what it is — electoral bribery — and stopped. There’s nothing humane about a system whose unspoken purpose is to keep people dependent, resentful and impoverished.

Is Ryan’s plan perfect? Of course not. But the perfect should never be the enemy of the good, especially when the system is failing the country so signally. Ryan’s plan is groundbreaking not for its number-crunching but for changing the subject from process to principles, which is where the next election needs to be fought.

If the Republicans are to have any chance against the billion-dollar Obama campaign gearing up to crush them next year, they’d better wise up — fast.

Paul Ryan and Allen West have had very different careers — but it sure sounds to me like they’re on the same wavelength. Both of them are all about restoring limited, Constitutional government; and both of them are genuine, principled leaders who believe in being honest with the American people about the challenges we face.

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Oh, wait. We already are.

From Jihad Watch:

Algeria is concerned by a noticeably increased Al-Qaeda presence in neighboring Libya and worried militant groups could lay their hands on weapons circulating in the country, a senior official said on Tuesday.Abdelkader Messahel, Algerian Deputy Foreign Minister said he was worried “particularly through the increasingly noticeable presence of AQIM (Al-Qaeda’s north African wing) in Libya and the increasingly noticeable circulation of weapons which can be exploited by terrorist groups.”

Addressing a news conference after meeting Britain’s Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt, Messahel said a prolonged conflict in Libya risked destabilizing the Sahel region.

“Everybody has noticed, and we are not the only ones, that there are a lot of weapons circulating in Libya and this situation, if it persists, will aggravate the situation in the Sahel,” he said.

Messahel stressed Algeria’s opposition to foreign military intervention in Libya, which it has said goes beyond the United Nations resolution allowing foreign states to intervene to protect civilians.

Messahel isn’t the only one fearful. Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, said that American intelligence had picked up “flickers” of terrorist activity among the rebel groups.  From London’s Telegraph via Vlad Tepes Blog:

…[T]he emerging plan being discussed for the political future of Libya [is being] undermined by the growing military doubts over the make-up of the rebel groups.“We are examining very closely the content, composition, the personalities, who are the leaders of these opposition forces,” Admiral Stavridis said in testimony [last week] to the US Senate.

Oh, so now we’re examining who those rebel leaders are. Nice to know we’re staying on top of things.

But even aside from our intelligence findings, we’ve got word straight from the horse’s mouth. The East Austin Voice relays this report which also comes from the Telegraph (say, why do we have to rely on the British press to get these stories, anyway?):

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

…al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against “the foreign invasion” in Afghanistan, before being “captured in 2002 in Peshwar, in Pakistan”. He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008.

US and British government sources said Mr al-Hasidi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG, which killed dozens of Libyan troops in guerrilla attacks around Derna and Benghazi in 1995 and 1996.

Even though the LIFG is not part of the al-Qaeda organisation, the United States military’s West Point academy has said the two share an “increasingly co-operative relationship”. In 2007, documents captured by allied forces from the town of Sinjar, showed LIFG members made up the second-largest cohort of foreign fighters in Iraq, after Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this month, al-Qaeda issued a call for supporters to back the Libyan rebellion, which it said would lead to the imposition of “the stage of Islam” in the country.

But it gets worse. Regardless of how much or how little “official” overlap there may be between the two organizations, al-Qaeda is taking full advantage, as it always does, of the chaos. Uncoverage has this story which, I must warn you in advance, may make sleep difficult tonight:

Last week, the President  Deby Itno  of nearby Chad was sounding the alarm that Al Qaeda operatives were  taking advantage of the chaos caused by the NATO bombings. They are buying Muammar Gaddafi’s chemical weapons. They are reportedly being sold by the Libyan rebels who were able to pillage the nerve gas shells and other containers after the storage areas were bombed by the coalition.

This week, President Idress Deby Itno tells the weekly Jeune Afrique that Al Qaeda of the Islamic Magreb has also obtained surface-to-air missiles.

“The Islamists of al-Qaeda took advantage of the pillaging of arsenals in the rebel zone to acquire arms, including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries in Tenere,” a desert region of the Sahara that stretches from northeast Niger to western Chad, Deby said in the interview.

“This is very serious. AQIM is becoming a genuine army, the best equipped in the region,” he said.

His claim was echoed by officials in other countries in the region who said that they were worried that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) might have acquired “heavy weapons”, thanks to the insurrection.

“We have sure information. We are very worried for the sub-region,” a Malian security source who did not want to be named said.

AQIM originated as an armed Islamist resistance movement to the secular Algerian government.

It now operates mainly in Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Niger, where it has attacked military targets and taken civilian hostages, particularly Europeans, some of whom it has killed.

“We have the same information,” about heavy weapons, including SAM 7 missiles, a military source from Niger said.

“It is very worrying. This overarming is a real danger for the whole zone,” he added.”

The U.K. Telegraph also has sources confirming weapons going to Al Qaeda from Libya.

“Eight Toyota pickup trucks crossed into Chad, across Niger and into northern Mali from desert armouries in eastern Libya. Algeria warned that al-Qaeda’s North African wing, al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM), had seized shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles in Libya.

Intelligence reports said Russian-made anti-tank rocket-propelled grenades, Kalashnikov heavy machine guns, Kalashnikov rifles, explosives and ammunition were stacked on the pickups.

“A convoy of eight Toyotas full of weapons travelled a few days ago through Chad and Niger and reached northern Mali,” the official said.

“We know that this is not the first convoy and that it is still ongoing. Several military barracks have been pillaged in this region [eastern Libya] with their arsenals and weapons stores and the elements of AQIM who were present could not have failed to profit from this opportunity.”

Of course, Allen West foresaw this kind of thing.

West [cited] three recent operations similar in nature to Libya: Lebanon, Bosnia, and Somalia. In all of these operations, West maintains, the military objectives were not clear and American forces were under different command entities, chosen for political reasons not tactical purposes. Oh yeah, another thing they had in common, West reminds us, was that none of them ended well.

West asks several questions… regarding our operations in Libya:

1)    Who are the rebels?

2)    Where did the rebels get their weapons from?

3)    What is the rebels’ command structure?

4)    Why was the attack launched while Congress was on a week-long recess?

… and launched while our “president” was jetting off to Rio.  You’d think that in wartime — with not one, not two, but now, three “kinetic military actions” going on — that maybe, just maybe the “commander in chief” could be bothered to spend some time in the War Room.

I just hope our country can hang on until we have as Commander in Chief the man who knows the enemy’s global battle plan better than anyone else — and will go through hell with a gasoline can to save us from it.

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On his Washington Post blog, Chris Cillizza raves about Allen West’s speech to the annual banquet of the local Republican Party of the District of Columbia:

D.C. Republicans may have made a surprising choice in having the very conservative, tea party Rep. Allen West (R) keynote their Lincoln-Douglass Dinner [last] Thursday night. But West proved an adept politician, tailoring his speech almost perfectly for the audience.

In contrast to the bombastic speeches he’s given at other events, West delivered a measured, historically rooted case for black involvement in the Republican Party, with a focus on urban issues. He got a standing ovation for his support of school vouchers in D.C., which passed the U.S. House on Thursday, and he showed familiarity with many local Republican candidates and issues.

“Republicans are making progress in the black community in the city of D.C.,” he declared. He said that many black voters would privately express their frustration with Obama but were afraid to say it out loud: “It’s time for the whispering to stop.”

“He laid out a classic black conservative argument,” said Richard Ivory, founder of the blog HipHopRepublican.com. Ivory said that, in crafting such a D.C..-centered message, the Iraq veteran West proved himself to be a true military strategist.

Oh, yeah.

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Shameful.

At least 858 U.S. soldiers have died in the Afghanistan war since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. That equals 60.13 percent of the 1,427 American soldier fatalities so far in the ongoing 10-year war in that country. For the 858 U.S. deaths since Obama’s inauguration, 791 have been combat-related. This means that for the 1,241 combat-related deaths that occurred since the Afghanistan war began in October 2001, about 64 percent happened in the two years since Obama took office.

Last year was the deadliest for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, with 497 combat and non-combat fatalities. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), or homemade bombs, continue to be the number one killer of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, which border Pakistan and have been the central focus of U.S. military operations in recent years, continue to be the deadliest regions for American soldiers.

You think the increase in American fatalities might have anything to do with our increasingly wacko rules of engagement (ROEs)?

[ROEs concern] things like how far out cones must be placed to demarcate where firing can begin for vehicles that are suspected being threats, whether troops in contact can return fire, when they can return fire, under what conditions specific combined arms weapons systems can be employed (mortars, CAS, etc.), and so on and so forth.  A JAG [Judge Advocate General, or military lawyer] typically accompanies at least Battalion level deployments and certainly regimental deployments in order to create and help enforce all of those localized rules.  Welcome to the enlisted man’s life.

[A]s for how the overarching rules have come to bear on the enlisted man’s life in Afghanistan… [an] example comes from Washington Examiner.

To the U.S. Army soldiers and Marines serving here, some things seem so obviously true that they are beyond debate. Among those perceived truths: The restrictive rules of engagement that they have to fight under have made serving in combat far more dangerous for them, while allowing the Taliban to return to a position of strength.

“If they use rockets to hit the [forward operating base] we can’t shoot back because they were within 500 meters of the village. If they shoot at us and drop their weapon in the process we can’t shoot back,” said Spc. Charles Brooks, 26, a U.S. Army medic with 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, in Zabul province.

Word had come down the morning Brooks spoke to this reporter that watch towers surrounding the base were going to be dismantled because Afghan village elders, some sympathetic to the Taliban, complained they were invading their village privacy. “We have to take down our towers because it offends them and now the Taliban can set up mortars and we can’t see them,” Brooks added, with disgust.

Here are some comments Allen West made on the subject in an interview with Frank Gaffney on Gaffney’s Secure Freedom Radio broadcast of September 11, 2009. West said:

“Recently… we lost four U.S. Marines who were working as advisers with the Afghan military — something I used to be doing — and one of the critical things is that, when you go in and get contact with the enemy, normally the reaction time for you to get any kind of [air] support [is] a minute to two minutes. But, see, now… the people that are engaged on the ground have to go through wicket after wicket after wicket, up the chain of command, to get approval for this support. So what just happened… they were pinned down by Taliban who were intermixed with civilians, and even the reporter said the women and children were carrying, resupplying, ammunition to the Taliban. Not-so-innocent civilians.

“So, when we say these things, the enemy is listening, too. They listen to CNN, NPR, what have you. So they know these rules of engagement. We have created a gap that they can exploit. So now they know that they can pin our troops down because there is an elongated response time…

“The Taliban knows that if they don’t have weapons [on them], they can drive up, they can get intelligence, take surveillance on our checkpoints, they can be outside our gates and count numbers of vehicles on convoys, and what have you, because they know that as long as they don’t “show hostile intent,” [they] can stand up there with binoculars and call in mortar fire on a base….

“You have to go through a lawyer — the lawyer’s on the battlefield — anytime there’s an engagement, the report has to go through some type of legal review… We have brought this sense of law enforcement onto a very fluid, modern battlefield, where you have a non-state, non-uniformed belligerent. All these restrictions — when you apply them, you lose lives.”

West had much more to say on the subject, and on his ideas for better ways to prosecute the war — indeed, ways that offer perhaps the only hope of winning the war — in a brilliant speech at the Center for Security Policy. It’s one of his most important speeches. I urge you to click on the link and take the time to listen to it.

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