Allen West “Ten years ago this week, I was honored to lead a Battalion of Soldiers in Operation Iraqi Freedom”


by Allen West via Facebook

Ten years ago this week, I was honored to lead a Battalion of Soldiers in Operation Iraqi Freedom. There were only two men in that unit who had previously served in combat, my Command Sergeants Major and I, and we knew the magnitude of that which we had been called to execute. There are those who still disparage America’s involvement in Iraq. There are those who still disparage my own service on that battlefield. To the critics I say, read Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘Man in the Arena’ quote and know that those of us who have fought and lost our brothers and sisters in arms shall never cower to cold, timid souls who have never known victory, nor defeat. Today, we remember and celebrate those who were willing to, and did, give the last  full measure of devotion.

Congressman Allen West – Weekly Wrap Up 10/24/11

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and Americans all across the country.

It has been a very decisive week for international events from across the Maghreb to the Middle East.

There is a quote I would like to share with all of you from Roger Sherman, one of the original signers of the Declaration of the Independence.  Sherman said, “Sad will be the day when the American people forget their traditions and their history, and no longer remember that the country they love, the institutions they cherish, and the freedom they hope to preserve, were born from the throes of armed resistance to tyranny, and nursed in the rugged arms of fearless men.”

Years ago as a young Captain in the United States Army, I transited across the span of the globe landing in Saudi Arabia. There I fought in a combat operation called Operation Desert Shield/Storm. I was serving in the venerable and historic Army’s 1st Infantry Division.  With our superior open desert warfare weaponry and tactics we, along with our fellow Combat Divisions, routed Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Army.

However, as we sat there after cessation of combat activity, we pondered when we would have to return to this desert in our careers. We knew we had not completed the mission and allowed two major Republican Guard Divisions to flee north, as we were told to cease fire and consolidate.

Consequently, 12 years later as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 4th Infantry Division, another of the Army’s historic Divisions, I then led a Battalion across the span of the globe to the Kuwait we liberated- to again combat Saddam Hussein.

I want to take just a moment to reflect and offer my heartfelt gratitude and condolences to the “rugged arms of fearless men and women” who gave some, and to the families and loved ones of those who gave all. I shall never forget those with whom I served, or any of those who served.

These men and women answered a call, and let us not debate the call itself because that is not what fearless men and women do. They fought a new style of warfare.

They initially triumphed, suffered defeats, and then adjusted to again bring about tactical victory for the United States.

However, it is not the tactical victory which concerns me- it is strategic shortsightedness that does.  There are only two ways to end a war, a conflict or an engagement, even an “overseas contingency operation”-  you either win or lose.

President Barack Obama stated that he has kept his campaign promise, he has declared success. What we saw this week was a Campaigner-in-Chief – not a Commander-in-Chief.

What we saw was another American President who does not comprehend strategic security vision, and this goes all the way back to President Jimmy Carter.

Just weeks after uncovering an Iranian-backed assassination plot on American soil, we have given a green light to Iran to expand their regional hegemonic dominance.

This desire to project their power could extend from Iran to Iraq to Syria to Lebanon to the Gaza Strip. We have once again abandoned the world’s largest ethnic group without a homeland, the Kurds, to fend for themselves, trapped between Iran and Turkey.

We have left a clear pathway for the envelopment and potential demise of the modern day State of Israel.

We have once again made a politically expedient shortsighted decision in the Middle East, not one which assesses future security ramifications. These decisions always result in being seen by our enemies in that region as a sign of weakness, not strength.

How is it that the United States of America has lost such respect and standing that we could not even secure a Status of Forces agreement to protect our fearless men and women in uniform?

Truly, it is not just a budget deficit which threatens our Republic, it is even worse – it is a leadership deficit.

Yes, the death of Libyan dictator Moammar Ghaddafi is reason for freedom-loving people to celebrate, but what or who will fill the void?

We can ill afford another Egypt; just as we saw what happened after the Shah of Iran was deposed.

Furthermore, where are those 30,000 shoulder fired missiles?  I fear they will end-up proliferated throughout the region, especially in Gaza Strip and possibly in Iraq. Heaven help us if they find their way to Mexican drug cartels and into America.

As a final point involving our nation’s domestic policy — this week we found out the “misery index” in America has gone up to a 13 rating. On inauguration day the index was 7.8, meaning the latest rating represents a 65%  increase.

However,  we saw Vice President Joe Biden attempting to use the most despicable fear-mongering tactics in order to advocate for more federal government “stimulus” spending.

I have a simple question for the Vice President, what happened to the $1 trillion in stimulus spending targeted to teachers and first responders?

It seems this is just another union driven payback, especially when one remembers it was Richard Trumka sitting in the First Lady’s box during the Joint Session of Congress speech, where a desperate President demanded 18 times, “Pass this Bill, now.”

The laughable hypocrisy is that the President’s American Jobs Act has not one Democrat co-sponsor in the House of Representatives, still, to my knowledge.

It is truly a leadership deficit which threatens the America “born from the throes of armed resistance to tyranny, and nursed in the rugged arms of fearless American men and women.”

In closing, remember the words of John Stuart Mill, “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war is much worse.”

And Plato reminds us, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

God bless and keep our fallen heroes and wounded warriors who have served in Iraq and all across the 21st Century Battlefield, as well as their families and loved ones, who stand and ensure the failures and poor strategic decisions of elected officials never allow the destruction of our beloved Constitutional Republic.

Steadfast and Loyal,