NEVER Trust Any Politician – Not Even LTC West

by 1389 on February 4, 2011

in 2010 US Elections, Florida, Gates of Vienna (colleagues), Hizballah, Islam, LTC Allen West, political correctness, Qur'an

Can’t anybody tell the whole truth without backtracking?

Tired grey cat standing on hind paws

I am so tired of politicians pussyfooting around!

Gates of Vienna: Strange New Respect

(Reprinted with permission.)

When a new congressman arrives in Washington D.C., one of the first things he learns is to tone down the florid rhetoric that got him elected in the first place.

The nature of national politics forces compromise on its practitioners. It’s all but inevitable; everyone knows that. A congressman’s principles become more elastic the longer he’s in office.

I had hoped that LTC Allen West (ret.) would be different. In speech after speech he proved that he had read and understood the Koran, the hadith, and the sunna. He was emphatic about the danger that Islam posed.

Nothing about “radical” or “moderate” Islam. Just Islam, unmodified.

That seems to have changed. I just received a tip about this story from a reader in Switzerland. First, from The Palm Beach Post:

Four leaders of Jewish, Christian and interfaith groups signed a letter Wednesday expressing “deep concern” to U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, about his recent criticism of Muslim U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and West’s “tendency to offer intemperate comments about Islam.”

In an interview on The Shalom Show, West (around the 1:50 mark on the video above) referred to Ellison as “someone that really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.”

The letter writers also note that West has called Islam “a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion.”

So far, so good. But Col. West’s response took me aback. According to the The Sun-Sentinel’s Florida Politics Blog:

West immediately replied that he respects Islam, has fought to protect religious freedom and has directed his scorn only at “a radical jihadist movement.”
[…]
In response, West said on Wednesday his comments on Ellison “are not about his Islamic faith but about his continued support of CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations.”

“It is the extremist, radical element that has hijacked Islam that presents a dangerous threat to both our country and our allies throughout the world,” West said in a return letter. “This radical jihadist movement has no place in the United States of America or anywhere on earth.”

“The problem is, these fanatics are often supported by certain groups and organizations that masquerade as more peaceful moderates,” West wrote. “Organizations such as CAIR have long histories of supporting violent anti-American and anti-Israel terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

West told the letter-writers he shares their goal to exercise and safeguard religious tolerance. [emphasis added]

“Radical”? “Hijacked”??

Is this Col. Allen West, or former President George W. Bush?

I wish this story were not true, but it is.

Our Swiss correspondent had this to say about it:

And was it yesterday that I had read a news article at Gates of Vienna, on those very same remarks, which made me think that West sure had principles? And now, after what, not even a month in office or just a little over that, West comes up with this, sounding like Tony Blair, George W. Bush and Buraq Hussein… I don’t even want to think about what he’ll have turned into after 3 MONTHS in Congress. At least I know that Oskar Freysinger, even though I’m not registered to vote in his home canton, will never do anything like this. And Geert Wilders sure hasn’t shown any indication that he’d ever betray those who support his fight against Islamization either.

Et tu, Col. West?


Website: Congressman Allen B. West (R-FL22)

Email Form

Washington DC Office

Florida-22nd, Republican
1708 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515-0922
Phone: (202) 225-3026
Fax: (202) 225-8398

Fort Lauderdale District Office

6300 NE 1st Avenue – Suite 100
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Phone: (954) 202-6211
Fax: (954) 202- 6212

West Palm Beach District Office

3111 South Dixie Highway, Suite 308
West Palm Beach, Florida 33405
Phone: (561)655-1943
Fax: (561) 655-8018


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hesperado February 4, 2011 at 11:28 am

1389,

Thanks for posting that contact info. I just emailed Congressman West to express my deep disappointment.

2 Always On Watch February 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm

One does not have to be in West’s district to contact him.

This “respect Islam” nonsense is the antithesis of what West has been saying for a long time. What’s going on?

3 1389 February 4, 2011 at 9:28 pm

@Always On Watch:

I wish I knew. My guess is that West got caught unprepared by a sudden attack from a bunch of liberal fake-religious jackals seeking to make political hay, and he let his staffers/advisers/peers talk him into responding in this way.

FYI, I also cross-posted this to Blogmocracy [LINK] – where it ignited a wildly acrimonious firestorm of controversy, much of it at my expense. I suggest you read it, so that you know what people are saying about this.

Nobody likes being piled on by a lot of people. I hold my ground when it happens, unless I have substantial reason to think that I actually was in the wrong. It gives me a rather sickening feeling inside, but that’s the price that must be paid for telling the truth as best I can. Eventually, it could be armed and dangerous people showing up at my door to do me some real-life mischief. That could happen to any of us – you, me, LTC West, Geert Wilders, you name it…and we must be prepared. If we backtrack, it will never make our enemies backtrack – it will only encourage them to press harder.

The proper response to the jackals who were confronting LTC West was, IMO, not to dignify their nastiness with any response. “No comment” is perfectly reasonable. He owes no apology and no explanation.

See: The Atlantic: West defends his remark about Ellison

West’s letter to Interfaith Alliance

4 1389 February 4, 2011 at 9:48 pm

@Hesperado:

I’m glad you did. I’m still trying to figure out what is going on here. You might want to read my response to the comment by Always On Watch.

5 Hesperado February 5, 2011 at 12:01 am

1389,

I tend to agree with you. As I noted on GOV, Allen West is the most likely person to explain his PC spasm as being due to fear of the PC MC majority. I.e., he’s genuinely anti-Islam, but feels the pressure of PC MC and feels he has to dilute his message now.

Most other people in the limelight (whether politicians or not) who frame the Islam issue in similarly weaselly ways (“tiny minority of extremists”, “Islam hijacked”) really do believe that. But Allen West’s previous statements indicate he doesn’t; therefore, he has felt pressured. That’s the only logical conclusion.

Unlike many others, I don’t think a politician like West should succumb to pressure: he should stick to his guns — and I can see you agree with me.

I’ll go now to that other discussion you linked.

6 1389 February 5, 2011 at 1:08 am

You left a good reply on that Blogmocracy thread. If you care to join us, I’m going to the Friday/Saturday overnight thread [here]. There’s a rule about not carrying on angry arguments from one thread to the next, so I won’t bring up that discussion on the overnight thread.

7 Always On Watch February 5, 2011 at 9:42 am

1389,
Thanks for your response. I’ll now go reading at the link you recommended.

8 Always On Watch February 5, 2011 at 9:43 am

1389,
Quick question: Has Pamela Geller commented on this statement from West?

9 1389 February 5, 2011 at 11:37 am

@Always On Watch,

You’re welcome!

I scrolled through Pamela Geller’s recent posts and I didn’t see anything on this. They’re all about Egypt, Robert Spencer/Glenn Beck, and local New York activities such as the Ground Zero Mosque protests that she has been helping to organize.

In general, 1389 Blog takes a harder line than Geller or Spencer do, so I’d be a bit surprised if she said anything about this.

10 Hesperado February 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm

1389,

What is the “overnight thread”? (I might be too late for it now…)

Also, I noticed that Blogmocracy thread had (as of yesterday) nearly 250 comments. Is that common for that blog? Even Jihad Watch rarely gets a thread beyond 50 or 60 comments, and 200 is very rare there.

11 Hesperado February 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm

1389,

My impression is that Geller early on was one of the first to notice and praise Allen West; then I noticed that Spencer for a long while was curiously avoiding mention of West.

I also found it curious that at the big 911 event hosted by Spencer & Geller and numerous other luminaries (including Wilders), Allen West seemed absent. Was he there? If not, isn’t that odd? At the time, I conjectured that he was tactically avoiding being associated with such blatant shows of “Islamophobia”.

12 Hesperado February 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm

1389,

I like this one phrase you wrote on that Blogmocracy thread:

“The main purpose of my blog posts, both here and elsewhere, is to expand the scope of respectable political dialogue…”

That’s how I see one main purpose of my blogging too on this issue. As I have said before, paradigm shifts in society don’t just happen automatically — they require actual people to change their minds over time, and to communicate to others so the circle widens.

I myself used to be rather soft on Islam, and used to believe more or less in the “minority of extremists” trope. But I changed my mind, and others can too.

13 1389 February 6, 2011 at 1:33 am

@Hesperado,

Allen West has just now began serving as a US Representative from Florida. His district is in the Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach area, and he has duties both there and in Washington, DC. I don’t fault him for not appearing at an event in NYC, especially during a time of notably inclement weather.

There is only so much a blogger can do, and it is impossible for any one blogger (or even one team of bloggers) to cover everything having to do with the counterjihad. For a blog to be useful, it must focus on specific “news beats.” For instance, as you know, Spencer’s specialty is covering breaking news regarding terrorist violence, and on uncovering the network of associations between terrorists. The Jawa Report focuses on the cyberjihad and on the use of YouTube and other social media by jihadis. Geller seems to specialize in covering activism in the NYC area and on the Jewish community at home and abroad. Just because somebody does not mention one particular person or topic for quite some time should not, in my opinion, be construed as disapproval.

Now for Blogmocracy. At any given time, the thread at the top of the home page at http://www.theblogmocracy.com is considered to be the active thread. You can still post comments on previous threads, but most people won’t be there to see them. The admins put up a new thread every few hours during the day, and one open thread to last through the night. There is a new open thread for each night. It becomes active at roughly 11:00 PM EST, sometimes a bit earlier. It stays active until the next morning’s first thread comes up at roughly 8:30 AM EST. Bunk X creates and manages the overnight threads.

A typical daytime thread on Blogmocracy gets roughly 100 comments or more. Part of it depends on how long the thread stays active at the top of the home page before a new active thread takes its place. A controversial thread, or one that involves breaking news, may attract many hundreds of comments. The admins usually put “serious” threads up in the daytime, and “lighter” threads in the evening.

If a thread exceeds 500 comments or thereabouts, or if people start to complain about lag, the admins will start a new thread, because otherwise the servers bog down and the threads take too long to refresh.

14 Hesperado February 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Thanks for that explanation. I never knew about Blogmocracy before. It sounds like it has good potential to foster a thriving community of discussion on this issue. I’ll try to check into it more often.

On Spencer, while you’re right that different blogs have different emphases, this doesn’t let Spencer off the hook for his complete absence of coverage of EDL this month and the month of January (and probably going back further) — because he has often covered European anti-jihad figures (Wilders, for example, or the Danish cartoonist, etc.).

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