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The following talk by Colonel Allen West was delivered at David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend in West Palm Beach, Florida (Nov. 17-20, 2011). Introductory remarks were given by David Horowitz.
David Horowitz: It is my great pleasure to introduce our speaker tonight, Colonel Allen West —
— one of the bravest and most articulate members of Congress, and already, although still only a freshman, one of the leading voices of the Republican Party.
Colonel West is also the number-one congressman that the Democratic National Committee has targeted for defeat. In the coming national election, which promises to be the ugliest in our lifetime, he will be a prime focus of the Democrats’ incoming fire. This is the second national figure of the Republican Party we have had this weekend, the second black Republican whom the Democrats have targeted with vicious attacks.
There is a reason for that. Democrats will tell you that it is because they actually care about blacks. But that just tells you what you already knew — that Democrats are hypocrites and liars.
Democrats control every major inner-city school system in America, from Harlem to Detroit to South Central Los Angeles. They control them 100 percent, and have controlled them 100 percent for more than 50 years. There is no greater oppressor of poor black and Hispanic Americans than those responsible for these failing schools. Democrats run them as a jobs program for adults and a cash cow for their leftwing unions. Every year, the lives of millions of poor black and Hispanic children are destroyed by the Democrats, who run these schools and fail to teach in their classrooms. But Republicans are, in general, too polite to mention it.
Democrats view politics as war conducted by other means, a fact that Allen West is one of the few Republicans to recognize. Democrats view blacks as cannon fodder in their war. They are not ends in themselves, but a means to power. If Democrats lost just 20 percent of the black vote nationally, they would lose virtually every state in the union.
That’s why they hate and fear Colonel Allen West. They hate him because he is black, and they fear him because he will not fold under fire. He is why Democrats are terrified of an articulate black Republican like Allen West, who will not be intimidated by their racist tactics. He will blow their cover and destroy their game.
I loved it when Allen joined the Congressional Black Caucus uninvited.
In effect, he said — you’ve got a race club, and I’m the correct race. So here I am. Until that moment, the Congressional Black Caucus was a group of extremist left-wingers who said to Americans — the Left cares about black people, and the Democrats represent black people, and Republicans don’t. In one gesture, Colonel West blew the lid off this charade and said — well, no. Actually, black people can make up their own minds, just like everyone else. And this black man understands that Democrats are bad news for African Americans, as they are for all Americans.
At an event at Los Angeles, Colonel West pointed out that the head of the Congressional Black Caucus recently said that if Barack Obama wasn’t in the White House, they would be marching on Washington. Why? Because while the nation is suffering from a disgraceful 9 percent unemployment rate, as Colonel West pointed out, 17 percent of black Americans are out of work — 20 percent of black males and 45 percent of black teenagers. Obama and the Democrats have pursued policies that have devastated the black community.
But most Republicans are too proper, too above it all, to mention that black America has suffered more from Democratic policies than any other group. Republicans are good at talking about the economic crisis in terms of numbers and ratios and deficits. But they are very poor at talking about it in terms of the people that Democratic policies hurt. They know that the subprime mortgage crisis was created by Bill Clinton and Barney Frank and Obama’s ACORN criminals. That’s a good beginning.
But what about the victims? Who are the number-one victims of the Democratic housing tsunami? They are poor, largely black and Hispanic Americans who were snookered into buying homes that they couldn’t afford, and then lost them. How traumatic is that?
But even worse is the devastation visited on the black middle class. If you are rising on the economic ladder in America, your chief investment is your home. That’s where your money is. And because of the mortgage crisis created by Clinton, Frank and Obama’s ACORN, home values have dropped 30 percent. In this crisis, middle-class African Americans have lost $100 billion. Democrats don’t want any Republicans, and especially articulate black Republicans, telling black America that.
I’ve introduced many congressmen before, but few who have inspired me or given me such confidence in the American future as Allen West. Colonel West was born into a military family in Atlanta, Georgia, the home of Martin Luther King. Four generations of the West family have served in the United States military.
Colonel West joined the army after graduating from the University of Tennessee. He also has a master’s degree in political science from Kansas State. In the army, he was a member and training officer in the 325th Airborne Battalion Combat Team, and then assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, where he was a commanding officer in the 6th Field Artillery Regiment. During this service he was promoted to captain and was then deployed to Iraq during the Gulf War, where he participated in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
He returned to the United States to participate in the Reserve Officers Training Program and was named ROTC Instructor of the Year in 1993. He was then assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division and promoted to major. He was then made the executive officer of the 377th Field Artillery Regiment. In 2002, he was promoted to colonel and made a battalion commander in the 4th Infantry Division. He was then deployed to Iraq for the final battle against Saddam Hussein and his monster regime.
While in Iraq, Colonel West was nearly court-martialled for attempting to pry information out of an Iraqi police officer who was suspected by an intelligence specialist of participating in a plot to ambush West and his men. Colonel West’s crime was using rough methods to get information which might save the lives of his men. This included the charge that he fired his weapon next to the man’s head and threatened to kill him, a method which immediately produced the information.
Colonel West was eventually fined $5,000 for the incident and retired after 22 years of service. At his hearing, Colonel West was asked if he would act differently if the same circumstances came up again. He said — if it’s the lives of my soldiers at stake, I would go through hell with a gasoline can.
The most important characteristic of a political leader is his moral fiber. If our leaders can’t stand up under fire, if they won’t protect us and our country, we are lost. Allen West was nearly court-martialled during a Republican administration, which is already folding under the attacks from the Left. After voting for the war, the Democratic Party turned against it and conducted a five-year scorched-earth sabotage campaign against our men and women in arms. They portrayed their own country as an aggressor without principle and their Commander in Chief as evil, as a man who launched a war for no reason and lied to get hundreds of thousands of men and women killed.
The Democrats accused their country of wantonly murdering Iraqi civilians and of deceiving the American people to lure them into a war against an adversary who was no threat. And no Republicans fought back. The Commander in Chief remained silent and never defended himself. The Democratic saboteurs who conducted a psychological warfare campaign against their own military, in their own country — who called their commander a traitor and their military personnel torturers and killers — got away with it.
With leaders on the one side who will attack our country and on the other who will not defend it, we are lost. We have a long way to go and a lot to make up to get back to an America that we can be proud of, to an America that is proud of itself. If there are men and women who can lead us back and restore our nation, Colonel Allen West is certainly one of them, and is a model to others and to all of us — Colonel West.
Allen West: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much, David.
And it’s amazing when the introduction is actually longer than the amount of time allotted to you that you’re supposed to speak.
So we’ll see what we can do with that.
But first of all, David, thanks so much for having me here. And once again, I’d like to introduce everyone — if you have not met my wife, Dr. Angela West; and my youngest daughter, Austen West.
And I know that we have a couple of my colleagues here — Congressman Royce from California and Congressman Turner from New York. So thank you.
And there are many dear friends that are here.
I just want to take maybe 10 to 15 minutes to talk to you about what I think the challenges are for us going forward. We are truly in a battle for the future and the legacy of the United States of America. And that battle is going to happen in less than one year. And I’m really honored that David Horowitz and his Freedom Center continues to be on the frontline to talk about those issues that we all need to be educated on, and we all need to make sure that other people are educated on. And we cannot back down from this. Because what will we say to our children and grandchildren if we fail in this mission?
You know, I want to welcome each and every one of you to the district that I represent — United States Congressional District 22, right here, in Florida.
Now, I want to ask you a simple question, and I think it’s the question that is really the seminal question that we need to understand as we go forward for the next year — what is American exceptionalism? Because I will tell you what American exceptionalism is to me — the fact that 50 years ago, when I was born, in 1961, in the inner city of Atlanta, Georgia, there would be no way possible that I would be standing here speaking in The Breakers. The fact that now I can stand here as the representative for this great Palm Beach Island — a place that, I guarantee you, I would not have been able to come to 50 years ago — is a testimony to what makes America the greatest nation that the world has ever known. And that is what we cannot forget.
However, the ideological chasm that exists in America today, with people that believe that there are such things as class or caste — they don’t understand that sense of American exceptionalism. They don’t understand the fact that where you are born in America, or where you come from, has nothing to do with where you end up, or your station later on in life. That is what we must fight for in our country.
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