November 28th, 2010
Here’s a guy for whom all red-blooded Americans should be truly grateful. Allen West might just be the black president to save the US in 2012 from the ruins created by the previous one.
Allen who? The only reason I’ve heard of West – a former US army Lt Col, now US Representative elect for Florida’s 22nd congressional district – is that I keep being forwarded YouTube videos of his speeches and interviews by enthusiastic American friends. Even more so than Marco Rubio, he strikes me as the dream candidate for the GOP ticket in 2012. Obviously his skin colour is going to do him no harm, given what we saw of minority voting patterns in the last US presidential election. Nor is the fact that he has been endorsed by kingmaker Sarah Palin. But even without either of those advantages, he’d still be a mightily strong contender – as I think you’ll gather when you watch the video.
What I like about West is that he tells it like it is. He doesn’t wriggle or squirm or duck – he’s a man of clear principles. And they’re the right principles, too. Though he believes in low taxes and small government, for example, he’s not prepared to pussyfoot around as regards US security.
In the above video, his interviewer David Gregory fails to trip him up with a question about passenger profiling at airports. (“I don’t call it profiling. I call it trend analysis” he says.) And again fails to trip him up with one of those “OK. So which area of desperately needed, much appreciated government spending would you cut?” elephant traps that the more lily-livered variety of Me-Too Conservative dreads. “I think everything needs to be on the table” says West, without batting an eyelid.
Even the only “dirt” on West so far turns out to be good dirt. He retired from the army after almost 22 years service because of an incident in Iraq when he interrogated at an Iraqi police officer who he believed had information about a planned ambush. Since the detainee wouldn’t speak, West fired a pistol next to his head into a barrel, so frightening him that he spilled the beans. This landed West with $5,000 fine for having violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice. At the hearing West was asked by his defence attorney if he’d do it again: “If it’s about the lives of my men and their safety I’d go through hell with a gasoline can.”
(to read more, click here)
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