Allen West: Anti-War Congressmen Should ‘Get Shot at a Few Times’
Allen West says Congressmen who oppose the war in Afghanistan should go over and "get shot at a few times and maybe they'd have a different opinion."
The House yesterday rejected, 204-215, an amendment that would have sped up American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Twenty-six Republicans joined in.
In the debate leading up to the vote, one notable freshman stood out:
Others are remaining steadfast. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., a retired Army lieutenant colonel who trained Afghan officers, called congressional desires to withdraw quickly from Afghanistan nonsense. “Is the Taliban still fighting? I spent 2.5 years in Afghanistan. Just because you kill Osama bin Laden does not mean that the Taliban has stopped fighting,” he said. “Now can we fight a little smarter? Absolutely.” Asked about the efforts to curb U.S. involvement, West said, “I would take these gentlemen over and let them get shot at a few times and maybe they’d have a different opinion.”
Think Progress‘ Alex Seitz-Wald doesn’t think much of this new tone:
With the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) still fresh in Americans’ minds, West’s comments are especially irresponsible. But perhaps this should be expected from West. In January, he criticized Obama for traveling to Afghanistan with a security detail, saying, “[I]f I’m asking my young men and women to go out there and put their lives on the line, I should be willing and able to do the exact same thing.”
I don’t find either of these statements offensive, although they’re a little strange–to say nothing of contradictory. Presumably, the reason that the commander-in-chief should go Afghanistan with no more protection than an enlisted man is that it would heighten his awareness of the danger to which he’s exposing them. So, wouldn’t sending Congressmen to Afghanistan–again, presumably without bodyguards and into the places where the fighting is–make them less likely to support the war?