@AllenWest Weekly Wrap Up | via @Next_GenTV | Sept. 20, 2013

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The Irony Of Post-9/11 Security – The more the government adds, the less secure our military is

Last Saturday I was the keynote speaker at the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Mo. It was a nice gathering, and the best part was that my young nephew, Capt. Herman Bernard West II, and his family, wife Serena and children Jordan Rose and Ethan Bernard, attended.Bernie, as we affectionately call him, recently changed stations from Germany to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to join next year’s class of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC). After the event, I headed back to Leavenworth with Bernie and family to reminisce about the days when I attended school there.My first school assignment to Fort Leavenworth was after Operation Desert Shield/Storm when I attended the Combined Arms Services Staff School (CAS3), which is no more. The six-week course prepared qualified captains for advanced staff officer positions. I spent last Saturday night at Hoge Barracks, the former CAS3 captain’s quarters but now the post’s Army Hotel – and much nicer.I returned to Fort Leavenworth in 1996 to attend CGSC and earned my diploma and second master’s degree. The new CGSC facility is impeccable and worthy for training the next generation of American military, and international, officers. My last time at Fort Leavenworth in uniform was for the pre-Battalion Command course that lasted for two-and-a-half weeks.Upon returning last week, I arose on Sunday morning and had a nice six-mile run down memory lane. I saw the Buffalo Soldier Monument and remembered being there for the dedication. I ran past what once was the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks. (The prison is now part of the federal penitentiary.)

The biggest change was that Fort Leavenworth was an open Army post in the “old days.” As we entered the post this time, we had to show identification at an entrance with several security lanes. Despite those measures, Bernie and I mused about the lax nature of the security, and we chatted about the Fort Hood, Texas, mass shooting incident in 2009, where Maj. Nidal Hasan entered the post basically because of his vehicle decal and ID card, no further checks.

Little did we know that less than 24 hours later, another shooter would repeat the horror of Fort Hood at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

The way it was – and is now

A military installation is supposed to be one of the safest places in the country. I remember being stationed at Fort Hood and how our daughters, Aubrey and Austen, would just ride their bikes with their friends for hours. They often rode over to the post movie theater for a Saturday matinee or to the swimming pool. We never felt nervous about them being out and about.It is incredible how the security situation has changed in this post-9/11 world, but we seemingly have taken only cursory measures for our military installations.Four years ago we were shocked by the news of the carnage wrought upon our last duty posting. Our family knew what it meant to be on “lockdown” and could not fathom that happening at Fort Hood. Thousands of military and civilian personnel operated on the largest U.S. military installation in the world and never thought they would be attacked. (Yes, it was a terrorist attack.)New security protocols seem to be in place now, but as we know, security has to be perfect every time. An attacker just needs to be perfect one time.And so it happened again Monday. Military and civilian personnel at the Navy Yard believed they worked at a place that was the safest among the safe. My own dear friend, retired Marine Lt. Col. Neal Puckett, works there. How was it that a heavily armed individual penetrated the security perimeter and engaged unarmed personnel?

Back after the Fort Hood shooting, Michael Savage asked me on his radio show how soldiers could be defenseless and shot on a military installation. We learned then that an executive order from the early 1990s did something inconceivable – turned our military installations into gun-free kill zones. Under that executive order, only select individuals can be armed on a military installation, military police and civilian contract police.

Unarmed forts are unacceptable policy

It is unconscionable that our uniformed servicemen and civilians are defenseless and unarmed at places called “forts.” If an attacker breaches the perimeter security of a base, he is then in a free-fire area. At both Fort Hood and the Navy Yard, civilian police were the ones who took down the assailant.And consider this, it took 10 minutes and 7 minutes respectively for armed response at those facilities. Just imagine what an armed assailant with multiple weapons and unlimited ammunition could do to unarmed military personnel and Defense Department civilians in that span of time.The breaching of perimeter security on military installations is not just happening here in the continental United States. It also has occurred in a combat zone, namely Afghanistan. The attack at the Navy Yard came one year and one day after an attack at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province.Some 15 Taliban attackers got past Tongan guards, not U.S. military, and attacked the AV-8B Harrier II aircraft of the U.S. Marine VMA-211 squadron. The ensuing four-hour firefight resulted in the deaths of two Marines, squadron commander Lt. Col. Christopher Raible and Sgt. Bradley Atwell. Nine Marines were injured, and six Harrier fighter jets and one C-130 aircraft were destroyed.The attack marked the largest single loss of U.S. fighter aircraft since Vietnam – and to this day no one has explained why Tongans were on the perimeter.

Whether we are bolstering defenses against the likes of Aaron Alexis at the Navy Yard, the Taliban in Afghanistan or Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood, we must ensure for this generation and the next that our military installations are highly secure. Our gaps are being exploited, and in this post-9/11 world, the enemy is watching.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen B. West

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@AllenWest Weekly Update | Next Generation TV | 9/13/13

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Another Fine Obama Mess
The president’s bumbling Syrian policy keeps getting worse.
I have listened to countless experts, pundits and self-acclaimed strategists give their insights into the current Syrian episode, and some of these folks could not find their way out of an open-end paper bag. Unfortunately, many of them are part of the Obama administration.President Obama addressed the nation on Tuesday evening to make his case for the United States to embark upon military action in Syria. However, Obama ended the speech calling for a “pause,” especially because he had just been outmaneuvered by Russian President Vladimir Putin and lacked congressional votes for an attack.The speech ended up being totally confusing, and if I were his adviser – nah, hell has not frozen over – I would have told him not to give that pointless speech.

The realities of Syrian war

First of all, if America is concerned about the use of chemical weapons, we need to understand their delivery method. Chemical weapons are delivered via surface-to-surface systems, normally artillery shells, or even rocket and missiles. These mobile platforms are easily hidden. In Gaza Strip, Hamas Islamic terrorists have converted garbage trucks into multiple rocket-launcher platforms.You also cannot attack a chemical weapons stockpile without creating a larger and more deadly event because high levels of heat are need to destroy the weapons. In other words, we cannot bomb Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s delivery means or his chemical stockpile.Furthermore, the “rebel” forces in Syria may have used chemical weapons. They simply could convert chemical weapons shells into improvised explosive devices and detonate them in target areas based upon prevailing winds for maximum effect.

So when Obama says he intends to degrade Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons, he cannot do that without “boots on the ground.” The best way to deliver precision-guided munitions against mobile targets is to have someone on the ground “lasing” the target and communicating with the aerial delivery platform.

Standoff weapons such as Tomahawk cruise missiles also are only effective against stationary targets, and you can bet by now that Syria’s mobile systems have been repositioned into areas that would yield high levels of collateral damage.

And let us not forget that Syria has one of the most sophisticated and intricate surface-to-air missile systems in the world thanks to our Russian friends. Any U.S. air campaign would not be a walk in the park. Only the boldness of the Israeli Air Force enabled that country’s airmen to enter Syrian airspace and attack targets.

Also remember that air power does not win a ground engagement, as we learned from the folly of Bill Clinton against the Serbs in the Balkans. I still remember the pictures of Serbian forces giving us their version of the “finger” as they conducted their retrograde operation. Their systems were intact.

There are no good guys

Some people believe that bombing Assad’s airfields and air force would be just punishment for using chemical weapons. Well, do that and you may tip the balance of the civil war to the rebels – and we may not want to do that.They are no different from the rebels we assisted in Libya. The Free Syrian Army, led by Col. Riad al-Asaad, initially defected from the Syrian Army and Assad regime. The problem is that the FSA has been sorely neglected in armament, capability and logistical support. If the United States were to somehow find a precision means to support the FSA, we would have to fight Assad’s forces and the Islamists under command of Brigadier Gen. Salim Idriss and the Supreme Military Council.Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood (i.e., al Qaeda) support the SMC. The two most prominent of the Islamist forces are the Jubhat-al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. These are not organizations we want to tip the balance toward, as we did in Libya.

And no better, Iran and Hezbollah are aligned with Assad. This is really a schism between Sunni and Shiite Islamists. The window of opportunity for our intervention closed some two years ago.

Is the use of chemical weapons against civilians horrific? Yes. But the level of brutality and beheadings that occur in most of the Islamic world are just as horrifying. One can read daily about atrocities being committed from Nigeria to Egypt, to the Gaza Strip, to Iraq and to Pakistan.

We cannot embark upon a venture under the guise of having a responsibility to protect unless we want to be all over the world – and the Obama administration has severely decimated our military capability.

We also cannot talk about Syria without examining the unintended consequences of Obama’s ill-conceived operation in Libya. Motivated by far fewer casualties than in Syria, Obama, without congressional approval, provided air and naval power to Islamists. They later showed their gratitude by attacking our consulate and murdering Ambassador Chris Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, and former U.S. Navy SEALS Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty.

The Islamic terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, was a true national security interest, yet Obama showed no indignation, save against a crude video that his team said inspired the attack. He ordered no response or military action, and now he wants America to forget Benghazi even as he insists that we must act in Syria.

Obama actually referred to Benghazi and his abandoning of Americans under attack and dying as a “phony scandal.”

We’re playing chess, not checkers

I will not be guilt-tripped into believing we must act in Syria because President Obama went off teleprompter. World War I began based upon miscalculations and a series of uncontrollable events that were set in motion.Syria is not our problem; it is the problem of President Vladimir Putin and Russia. If they want to maintain a warm weather port in the Mediterranean Sea, let Putin decide whether he wants Syria to fall into the hands of Islamists.Putin has shown himself the master strategist and outmaneuvered Obama this week, even writing an op-ed in The New York Times. The Obama spin masters cannot twist this into a favorable position for their confused community organizer.

Strategically, if Obama wanted to have an influence, he would have maintained a residual force in Iraq, but campaign promises override strategic vision. Obama plays foreign policy checkers, not chess. He said his foreign policy involved “pivoting away from the Middle East,” and he has abdicated American influence in the region, to the detriment of Israel, by doing just that.

The real fight in the Middle East for America is against the Muslim Brotherhood and their spawn, and against Iran. They must be defeated.

You want to do something related to Syria? Provide logistical support to Jordan and the Syrian refugee camps. Start supporting the Egyptian Army in crushing the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist forces in the Sinai Peninsula. And at some time we will have to conduct a strategic strike against Iran, but let’s not tell them we are coming and what the targets are!

We must develop better alliances with the minority ethnic groups friendly to America – Assyrians, Copts, Kurds and others. Yes, I support an independent Kurdistan, which would be a great friend to America.

We also need to promote American energy security. That means developing our own resources and telling OPEC and the Organization of Islamic Countries to take a hike. Lastly, let’s reaffirm our commitment to our best ally in the Middle East, Israel.

America needs strategists and leaders who know how to play chess, not checkers.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen B. West

Allen West Weekly Update | @Next_GenTV | July 26, 2013

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Serene Reflections of America – Two men, soldiers and fathers, find perspective on the trail

Last weekend my wife Angela and our daughters decided to take a trip to Jamaica to visit extended family. Of course when you have aunts, uncles and cousins in Jamaica, you are going to have a nice time because it is less expensive and you really get to see the Island.I hunkered down Washington, D.C., over the weekend but linked up with my former brigade commander from Fort Bragg, retired Col. Denny R. Lewis. We went hiking on the Appalachian Trail. (And yes, unlike former South Carolina Gov. and now-U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, I was on the Appalachian Trail and not in South America. I took pictures to prove it.Denny and I headed out I-66 West on Saturday about 0630 down. We exited I-66 at Virginia Highway 55. About two miles down that road is an entrance to the Appalachian Trail near Linden, Va.We headed north on the trail toward two campsites, Manassas Gap and Dick’s Dome. It was a perfect morning – not too hot and a decent breeze through the trees as we began our ascent. We planned for a four-hour hike, with backpacks full of water, energy bars and the ole trusted peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.

As we hiked, I remembered the times when as a student at the University of Tennessee we walked in the Great Smoky Mountains. The peace, the serenity, just affords one a time to reflect. For Denny and me, our serene reflections were of our America. On a day when there were those calling for protests all over America, two men, one white from West Virginia and the other black from inner city Atlanta, reflected on “old-school values.”

Old-school values worth remembering

Denny recalled how hobos during his youth came around and asked for work to get something to eat. They did not feel entitled to get something but wanted to offer a service for sustainment. He reflected upon how his small local community came together to support a family in need or distress. It was the community’s responsibility to help a neighbor in need.I told him that today the government is in the business of promoting distress and dependency for political gain. One need only look at the explosion in food stamp recipients and poverty in America over the past 5 years.Denny thought about the folks who came to pay their respects when his Mom passed away. They brought whatever they thought would soothe and comfort the family. He remembered one fella who brought some fresh “shine,” and he laughed as he remembered how good it tasted.When we both reflected upon the foundation of our country, the American family, our conversation really became animated. We both remembered the days when children were a reflection upon their parents and their reputations.

When I was growing up, one of the worse beat downs I got from my Dad was when we were visiting his hometown of Cuthbert, Ga., in Randolph County. I had been walking back from the store and playing some basketball, and when I got home, word had spread that Buck West’s boy Allen was disrespectful because he did not speak to the old folks sitting on their porches.

I had committed the ultimate sin, according to the old-school ways. I had been disrespectful in not addressing my elders. I had not given the simple recognition of “Hello, ma’am,” Hello, sir,” “Afternoon, sir,” or “Afternoon, ma’am.” And the insinuation was that my Dad was raising a disrespectful son.

Last Friday, President Obama stated that as a black man, he was followed at malls and shopping centers, had doors clicked when he crossed the street, and watched women clutch their handbags when he entered elevators with them. Well, perhaps, thanks to that one experience I had in Cuthbert, Ga., I never shared Obama’s experiences. Perhaps having parents who insisted that I be a respectful young man made the difference.

True measures of toughness

As we hiked, Denny and I reflected on how great it would be to have young black men in the inner city hike the Appalachian Trail for a day and spend a night – to expose them to the serenity and beauty of America instead of the chaos and despair that they witness every day in their neighborhoods.We agreed that toughness is not about cursing loud, joining a gang or killing someone in your neighborhood. If these young men are so adamant about killing people, they can focus their energy on a very determined enemy.Toughness is being pinned down by the enemy in a compound in Afghanistan, picking up a grenade thrown into that compound to protect your fellow paratroopers, and throwing it out only to have it explode as it leaves your hand – a now-prosthetic hand that I once shook.Toughness is disobeying orders and charging toward the sound of guns to rescue fellow Marines pinned down by heavy enemy fire or State Department officials under attack.

Toughness is looking at your family and telling them you have to go and take your post on freedom’s rampart to safeguard liberty, not knowing if that is the last time you will see them.

We can develop real toughness by gathering a group of young, inner-city black men, giving them a map, having them load supplies and telling them they have a certain amount of hours to reach a shelter and prepare their food for the evening while also ensuring they secure their site.

This past Saturday, the race-baiters just created more noise, more chaos, and still more young black men died in Chicago. What if we had decided to round up young black men and take them out for a hike? What if we had decided to take them away from the chaos and give them a place of respite where we could talk in peace and reflection?

When are we going to stop addressing the symptoms and treat the disease, the illness that afflicts the black community – the breakdown of families. Members of the black community can be angry all they want, but Bill O’Reilly of Fox News was right in a poignant “Talking Points Memo” commentary this week.

Role models for the next generation

As two American men from different backgrounds, Denny and I shared the experience of parents, Dads, who raised us to be the men we are today.While we were on the Appalachian Trail, we met a recent college graduate named Steph from Massachusetts. She started hiking the trail May 28 in Georgia. She was alone on the trail because her male hiking partner, John, had allowed her to go off alone. Denny and I ran into John after seeing Steph a second time at Manassas Gap shelter crossroads. She had left him a message.As two Dads with two daughters, Denny and I pondered chivalry and what we would have done to ole John if he had allowed our daughters to be alone on the Appalachian Trail. Nope, our musings were not an indictment of Steph as a capable young woman and a hiker. They were a reflection upon what it meant to us to be chivalrous men as opposed to what that seems to mean today.The next generation needs moments of serene reflection, and it needs us as parents to demand a higher standard, not the standard of low expectations that this culture will inculcate into their lives.

The next generation in the black community needs less voices yelling and less chaos that reinforces the soft bigotry of low expectations. It needs more role models who will expose them to the serene moments of reflection, responsibility and respect.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen B. West

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Allen West’s Weekly Update 7/5/13 via @Next_GenTV “The ongoing struggle for liberty worldwide”

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‘Liberty, Freedom And Justice For All’ – How we won them in America and why they still matter

This is one of those special weeks to remember in American history. Two very critical events in years past during this week defined and preserved this great constitutional republic we call home, America.

The promise that is these United States of America was put to parchment 237 years ago this week. We celebrate our independence and the establishment of a nation where our unalienable rights emanate from our Creator, not man. We celebrate a nation where our own individual determination and industrialism leads to our prosperity and enables our pursuit of happiness. We celebrate a nation that rejects an onerous, invasive and intrusive central government.

We celebrate a nation where all men are indeed created equal. However, we hold dear an equality of opportunity in America, not an equality of outcomes.

The link between Independence Day and Gettysburg
In this same week, we remember the greatest battle of the Civil War, fought July 1-3 at Gettysburg, Pa. (See the story below for links to our video series on the battle.)

Perhaps it is somewhat poetic that this seminal battle, which truly changed the course of the Civil War, was fought just days before 87th anniversary of our independence from the British. The battle ensured that Thomas Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” – would persevere and survive.

Three days of battle at Gettysburg, where nearly 50,000 Americans were killed, wounded or went missing, were about the essence of Jefferson’s words and the moral character of our nation. It proved that we could no longer compromise our principles and values as they related to liberty, freedom and justice for all. If those words had meaning, we had to fight.

As President Abraham Lincoln stated in the beginning of his Gettysburg Address: “Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.”

This week is special because we remember the intricate relationship between these two ominous events – the Declaration of Independence and the Battle of Gettysburg. They are interwoven and should be forever emblazoned in our minds and upon our hearts.

If not for the Declaration of Independence, well, there might not have been a Gettysburg.

The Declaration of Independence lit a fire, establishing a beacon that shined brightly, and the Battle of Gettysburg fueled that beacon for future generations so those people previously under the shackles and chains of physical bondage could experience true liberty and freedom.

The ongoing struggle for liberty worldwide
As we remember these events that define us as Americans, let us never forget that man still yearns for liberty and freedom. We see it happening before our eyes now in Egypt. See, it is not just the physical chains of bondage but also the theocratic ideological chains of bondage that hinder our desire to be free.

We also must remember Franciscan Catholic Priest Francois Murad, who was recently beheaded in Syria for his faith. He lost his life in the struggle for religious freedom.

The struggle for liberty and freedom continues for women in Islamic countries that see them oft times as nothing more than property. That is the real “War on Women” and not some faux political gimmick propagandized by progressive socialists in our America.

The struggle for freedom and liberty cannot be confused with special-interest groups seeking a political agenda. We must never become so disillusioned to believe that every desired aspect of our lives or behavior translates to a right because as Jefferson stated, “A government that is big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take it away.”

From July 4, 1776, to July 1-3, 1863, to the present, brave men and women have fought to ensure this grand experiment in liberty, freedom and justice for all – that this nation under God will have a new birth of freedom for all who legally came to our shores and that this government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Toward a united people with national character
Many national cemeteries across America and the world are filled with these brave Americans laid to rest. Gettysburg is one of them. This week we remember that America is the land of the free because it has been and always shall be the home of the brave.

I end with the words of George Washington in a letter to James Madison on Nov. 30, 1785:

We are either a united people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all matters of general concern, act as a nation, which have national objects to promote and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen B. West

Allen West Weekly Wrap Up via Next Generation TV 6/7/13

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When ‘Freedom’s Flame’ Burned Bright
A brief history of the battles of Midway and D-Day

This week the Center for Security Policy honored me with its 2013 “Freedom’s Flame” award — two years after giving me the greater honor of delivering a short tribute to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon as the “Keeper of the Flame.” Receiving the award has special meaning for me because our American history this week is all about freedom’s flame.

Too many schools fail to teach our children our history – and especially to have pride in our history. This is not just in our middle and high schools but also in our colleges and universities. Too many of our teachers and instructors also believe our country has been wrong throughout our history, and they convey their subjective perspectives to our young people.

With that in mind, I want to give a brief history lesson about what happened this week of June during two different years in the 1940s.

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The most stunning naval victory in history
Let us begin by remembering a small island atoll in the Pacific called Midway. The United States suffered a horrible attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and the following day, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his “date which will live in infamy” speech.

America soon responded in the daring Doolittle raid on Japan on April 18, 1942, showing that America was not defeated and that we would strike back. However, we suffered a tough defeat May 7-8 at the Battle of Coral Sea, and the Imperial Japanese Navy fleet made its way back across the Pacific with its eyes upon a strategic location with a ready made airfield, Midway.

Admiral Yamamoto commanded the fleet, which possessed heavy confidence of aircraft carrier superiority. Indeed, the USS Yorktown was badly damaged at the Battle of Coral Sea and limped back to its home station for repair. The damage assessment after the battle predicted that it would take months to repair the ship and make it battle ready.

Admiral Chester Nimitz, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, knew we did not have months, and industrious Americans restored the Yorktown in 72 hours. It set sail to join the USS Enterprise and USS Hornet near Midway Island.

Thanks to naval cryptologists and PBY search and reconnaissance aircraft, Americans spotted the Japanese fleet. And from June 4 to June 7, one of the greatest naval battles took place near that flat atoll.

A truly classic study in naval maneuvers and carrier tactics ensued, something this ole Army doggie would be hard-pressed to understand and certainly to explain. But the key is that the carrier USS Yorktown made the difference. Even though it eventually sunk, the carrier made a vital contribution.

Military historian John Keegan called the Battle of Midway “the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare.” It was Japan’s worst naval defeat in 350 years and a decisive turning point in the Pacific theater of operations. The battle set the stage for the Solomon Islands campaign — first stop Guadalcanal, where heroism was defined.

The defining battles against the Nazis
Two years later during the same week, America and its British, Canadian and French allies embarked upon the greatest invasion known, “Operation Overlord.” We remember it as D-Day on June 5-6 — the event that finally liberated the continent of Europe from the stranglehold of the Nazis.

We all know the story – or perhaps I hopefully assume we do. The evening of June 4, men of the 82d and 101st Airborne divisions jumped into place behind German lines to disrupt and seize key crossroads so ground forces could push deep into the Normandy countryside.

Anti-aircraft fire spread the paratroopers all over the place and they missed their drop zones. But wherever they landed, they fought – even when dropped right on top of German Wehrmacht units in places like St. Mere Eglise.

They fought through the night to secure their objectives because they knew what would occur at sunrise. The Army Rangers braved the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc to take out German gun emplacements. Ronald Reagan remembered them in a breathtaking speech on the 40th anniversary of the landing.

Then as the sun rose, landing craft launched and scores of brave young Americans hit the beach. They were from all over our great land and wore patches of the 1st and 29th Infantry divisions on Omaha beach. They wore the ivy patch of the 4th Infantry Division, “Steadfast and Loyal,” on Utah Beach, where Army Brigadier Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. landed with the assault force and was later killed in combat.

Despite massive casualties, allied forces prevailed. Within the year, Germany surrendered and Europe was liberated from the Nazis and the horrible specter of the Holocaust.

A week to remember sacrifices of the past
This week in American history is all about men and women who fought to ensure freedom’s flame was never extinguished. We should remember this week with pride and never forget their sacrifices. I am amazed that some countries celebrate the sacrifices of America greater than America celebrates them herself.

This week, if you are in the Washington, D.C., area, take the time to visit the World War II Memorial and gaze upon the tribute to the Battles of Midway and Normandy. If you just happen to get a chance to look at a piece of history, a World War II veteran, go up to him and shake his hand.

You may not have much longer to recognize them in person. Just this week we lost our last World War II veteran serving in Congress, New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

Parents and grandparents, if you cannot make it to the capital, sit down with the next generation this week and watch the films about that era: “Midway,” “The Longest Day,” “Saving Private Ryan” or the mini-series “Band of Brothers.”

The next generation must never forget the sacrifices of those before them in order to keep freedom’s flame burning brighter than ever. And let those sacrifices inspire us to greater exertions to guarantee that their sacrifices were not in vain.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen B. West

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Allen West Weekly Newsletter 5/24/13 via Next Generation TV “Moral Courage And Conscience”

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Moral Courage And Conscience – We see too much of one and not enough of the other

There just never seems to be a dearth of topics for reflection in this newsletter. The themes for this week: moral courage and conscience.

But first, all of us here at PJ Media, PJTV and Next Generation.TV send our heartfelt condolences to the people of Moore, Okla., which was devastated by a tornado early this week. The storm killed at least 24 people, including nine children inside a school, injured dozens more and leveled entire neighborhoods.

My first duty station in the U.S. Army was at Fort Sill just south of Moore, so we feel a special bond with those of you in that community. Angela, Aubrey, Austen, Lin and I send up prayers to our heavenly Father that you will be consoled in this time of heavy emotional stress and despair. We also ask that God welcome your loved ones into His loving arms, where you all shall be with them again one day.

Humbled to be a considered a hero
It has been a busy travel week for this ole paratrooper. It was great to be back in Georgia and address the Republican convention there. To have the distinct honor of standing before the delegates of the Virginia GOP convention in Richmond also will be a moment I will never forget.

After those events, I flew back to Los Angeles to attend the American Freedom Alliance’s Heroes of Conscience awards banquet. It was truly humbling to receive the 2013 “Heroes of Conscience” award from this organization because the alliance seeks to promote the principles and values that strengthen western civilization. Its president, Avi Davis, is an ardent warrior for liberty, freedom and the free market.

Sadly, Davis told the audience that the group’s tax-exempt status has been revoked. The tornado that hit Moore, Okla., demonstrates nature’s power to destroy lives. But the news about AFA demonstrates that the man-caused disaster from government’s misuse of power can be far more destructive to our great constitutional republic.

Virginian Thomas Jefferson, once stated: “When the people fear the government there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.” I do not believe anyone in the Obama administration is worthy to be recognized as a hero of conscience.

A cast of characters without conscience
As I was flying to Los Angeles on Jet Blue Monday morning, I watched the movie “Black Hawk Down” on FX. If any modern-day combat movie truly features heroism, that is it. The Rangers and Delta operators who fought the 1993 battle of Mogadishu, Somalia, in the movie exemplified heroism for all of us to see.

But as I watched the movie, I recalled how former President Bill Clinton, through then-Defense Secretary Les Aspin, denied support to our men in combat there. That memory made me reflect upon how the other Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, more recently abandoned Americans engaged in combat with Islamic terrorists in Benghazi, Libya.

The words of Gen. William Garrison, the U.S. forces commander in Somalia, symbolized the creed of warriors: “No one gets left behind.” I wonder if Gen. Carter Ham issued the same order the night terrorists attacked the U.S. embassy in Benghazi and killed four Americans but heard a different order from Washington?

Howard Dean called Benghazi a laughable joke.

Conscience.

This week we learned that it was not just reporters at the Associated Press targeted by the Obama administration. Fox News Washington correspondent James Rosen and CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson have, too.

The last time I checked, America had “freedom of the press,” but these intimidation tactics are far from displaying the foundations of our constitutional republic. How much deeper does this go?

Conscience.

This week we also learned what many of us with a military background already knew: Maj. Nidal Hasan has been getting pay since he fired upon soldiers and civilians at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009. Hasan has received some $278,000 and benefits as he awaits trial for his heinous and treasonous action. He shot 45 of our brave soldiers, killing 13 of them, all the while shouting “Allahu Akbar.”

Of course, our government officially declared his terrorist attack as “workplace violence,” so the victims have been denied proper recognition and benefits. Why? Well, according to the U.S. Army, declaring what Hasan did to be a terrorist attack would unfairly impact his trial. He will be paid until proven guilty.

Conscience.

An emboldened enemy
Let it be known that our lack of national conscience in punishing Hasan, and truly in reacting to domestic Islamic terrorism, has emboldened the enemy.

That was sadly obvious again this week when Islamic jihadists attacked and beheaded a British soldier in broad daylight. Even more despicable, disgusting and savage, one of the barbarians with blood-soaked hands made a video describing the attack and promising more of them.

I pray the British have learned a lesson from us here in America and will not call this attack workplace violence, especially because these bastards also were shouting “Allahu Akbar” as they brutally killed the soldier. Have we lost our sense of moral courage and conscience, not just in America but also across Western civilization?

The next generation must have men and women of conscience to ensure that we pass on the blessings of liberty, freedom and democracy – our American birthright. Part of our DNA, the American genome, is threatened.

We need men like the two brave Americans who lost their lives this week, FBI special agents Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw. They were part of the hostage rescue team in the Critical Incident Response Group and lost their lives during a fast-rope training exercise from a helicopter onto a ship when they plunged into the Atlantic Ocean amid rough weather and ocean conditions.

Lorek is survived by his wife and two daughters, and Shaw is survived by his wife, daughter and son. America will persevere as long as we continue to raise such men and women of conscience, not cowardice.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen B. West

@AllenWest Weekly Wrap Up via @Next_GenTV 5/3/13 – Choose your hero to confront jihad

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Jason Collins’ Convenient Coming Out – It doesn’t take courage to be gay in today’s America

I just gotta tell ya, it is really easy to write these weekly missives because there never seems to be a lack of chuckleheads doing things that perplex me.

First up this week: On Monday NBA player Jason Collins told us all that he is black – duh – and that he is gay. He immediately became the center of attention with a Sports Illustrated cover story, praise and accolades, TV interviews, and even attention from former President Clinton and President Obama.

People praised Collins for being courageous and heroic. Now, I have to tell you, courage would be announcing you are a gay basketball player in, say, Iran. It does not take courage to state something that will make you a cultural darling.

Collins’ declaration reminds me of the words of Thomas Jefferson: “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” So you can bet my not jumping on the Jason Collins bandwagon will draw the ire of those who swim with the current and fawn over what is politically correct in our culture.

Where is Greg Robinson’s call, Mr. President?

On the same Monday at Fort Campbell, Ky., 34-year-old Army Sgt. First Class Greg Robinson became the first amputee to complete the grueling course called Air Assault School. I am a graduate of that school and can attest to the rigors of what is called “the toughest 10 days in the Army.” I will never forget losing 8 pounds during the hot summer I went through Air Assault School.

SFC Robinson lost part of his right leg during a combat deployment to Afghanistan in 2006. Here were his words about going through the school: “Right now, I am a platoon sergeant and I have roughly 30 men in my platoon. As a leader, I didn’t want to tell my soldiers that they needed to go to Air Assault School if I am not air assault qualified.”

Even though SFC Robinson’s prosthetic leg broke twice during his time at the school, the standards were never lowered. During the final 12-mile road march with a 35- to 40-liter rucksack and full combat gear, he had to stop and repair his prosthetic leg. SFC Robinson has four combat deployments in his 16 years and quietly stated, “It’s not a disability if you don’t let it slow you down.”

He is assigned to the famed 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and on graduation day he was pinned with his Air Assault wings before his wife Amanda, 4-year-old daughter Drew, and his soldiers – no phone call from the commander-in-chief, no magazine cover, no tweets giving him praise and accolades.

SFC Greg Robinson does not need their confirmation. He is an American hero who did not swim with the current. He stood like a rock. Air Assault!

Giving quarter to Islamic radicalism

Another tale of everyday heroism came in the April 28 Washington Times article by Rowan Scarborough, “Top Brass Crush Career of Army Officer Who Warned of Jihadists.” The story detailed the case of decorated Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, who was removed as an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College.

Back in October 2011, 57 American Islamic organizations, several with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, sent a letter to then-Obama counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan. They demanded that the U.S. government scrub its teaching on Islam, “purge” all training materials that they judged to be offensive to Islam, and ensure that any offending instructors “are effectively disciplined.”

In an unprecedented move, the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff personally attacked LTC Dooley, an instructor who had an approved curriculum and presentation for his course, “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism.”

Even worse, an Army Command Selection Review Board of three generals and two colonels voted to retain LTC Dooley as a candidate for combat Battalion Command. Then-Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Lloyd Austin overturned the board’s decision.

We discussed this case on Next Generation TV (log in first to watch) with Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, who is representing LTC Dooley.

Of course the apologists and useful idiots, like the two University of California at Los Angeles professors who proclaimed in The New York Times that America failed the accused Boston Marathon bombers because we did not do a good job assimilating them, will attack LTC Dooley.

Choose your hero to confront jihad

I implore you all to read the “Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America.” The FBI uncovered this document during a raid in the basement of a home in Northern Virginia. Mohammed Akram, also known as Mohammed Adlouni, wrote the document for the Shura Council of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Here is one of the more notable quotes:

 The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ilkwan (Brotherhood) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet.

It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work everywhere he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahideen be equal.

Make your choice, America. Who is the hero who will confront this enemy, Jason Collins or SFC Greg Robinson and LTC Matthew Dooley? The next generation will need the latter, not the former.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen B. West

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Allen West Weekly Wrap Up via Next Generation TV “Those who vow to defend and protect live by a code”

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Courage Is America’s First Response To Tragedy –We need to make it our lasting response to terror and all evil

We here at PJ Media, PJTV and Next Generation TV continue to offer our deepest condolences for those people who lost loved ones last week, not just in the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent manhunt but also in West, Texas, as a result of the fertilizer plant explosion.

We are constantly reminded of the courage of our first responders to emergencies, and in Boston and West, they made us proud again. What manner of person runs to the sound of explosions and gunfire, or to any danger, disregarding the possibility of death?

Such behavior reminds me of the parting words that Spartan King Leonidas sent back to his countrymen before the deaths of he and his men in battle, words that are now a simple memorial to their brave stand at Thermopylae: “Go tell the Spartans, strangers passing by, that here obedient to their laws we lie.”

Those who vow to defend and protect live by a code, and it truly becomes inculcated into their every meaning. The code elevates the belief in selfless service above all. It is oft times passed down through generations of men and women who have gazed upon pictures of their forefathers and mothers who stood upon freedom’s ramparts or as daily guardians walked the thin blue line.

As we move past the horrific tragedies of Boston and West, Texas, let us never forget the heroism of those who once said, as it is stated in Isaiah 6:8, “Here am I, send me.”

The cold and timid enablers of terror

Unfortunately, as we move into the post-attack phase of the Boston bombing and manhunt, we now see, as predicted, those people who worship at the altar of political correctness and cultural relativism. We are again being anesthetized by the attitude of people who remind me not of the quote by Leonidas but rather of the critical and “timid souls” once described by Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

These cold and timid souls fail to realize that we are facing a serious issue of domestic, radical Islamic terrorism and jihad. These cold and timid souls seek to promote some perverted perspective of cultural relativism in their reticence in confronting the facts.

These cold and timid souls should read the “explanatory memorandum” of the Muslim Brotherhood uncovered in 1991 during an FBI raid in northern Virginia. This document outlines the strategic plan for the infiltration and demise of America by Islamists and their subsidiary front groups,.

The rest of us need to remember this simple quote by Vladimir Lenin: “Probe with a bayonet. If you meet steel, stop. If you meet mush, then push.” These cold and timid souls are the mush, and we need to steel ourselves.

However, under the guise of tolerance and religious acceptance we continue to allow these groups and the co-opted “useful idiots” who enable them to tell us, through a Star Wars-like Jedi mind trick, “move along, nothing here to see.”

When tolerance becomes a one-way street, it leads to cultural suicide. It is time we face the truth and stop tolerating the intolerable. We rushed to read Boston suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda rights instead of declaring him an “enemy combatant” for means of intelligence gathering even though the latter designation would have not precluded his being prosecuted in civilian court.

Why? Because as Marine Col. Nathan Jessup said in the movie “A Few Good Men,” “You can’t handle the truth.”

The carnage of Kermit Gosnell

Another truth is that these same cold and timid souls wish to hide from us the heinous actions of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. All it should take to turn one’s stomach in knots is to read the transcripts of his trial.

The actions of this beast are as bad as those of any terrorist. Actually, they are worse because Gosnell’s carnage was wrought against the most defenseless – babies.

The judge in this case dropped three of the charges, citing that no one could prove that a child was born in those instances. That the same judge, upon second thought, quickly reinstated one of those charges speaks volumes about how wrong he was about all three of them.

I challenge you to follow this case because what has transpired here does not reveal the “better angels of our nature” that Abraham Lincoln articulated.

And never forget that President Obama, as a state senator in Illinois, sponsored legislation to make it legal to kill an American child who survives an abortion. Only two countries, China and India, legally support such infanticide.

Is this how little we care about our next generation?

Don’t be intimidated by the politics of air travel

As we get closer to the summer travel season, I wish to extend my humble apology to the American air traveler who is the targeted as the guinea pig of Obama administration drama.

The Federal Aviation Administration started rolling furloughs of air traffic controllers on Sunday as a means to reduce its spending by 5 percent as required under the forced budget cuts of sequestration. However, this 5 percent reduction reflects fiscal 2010 spending levels for the FAA – and I don’t recall any extraordinary flight delays in 2010, do you?

I want to end on a very high note and share with you my trip to Santa Barbara, Calif., and the Reagan Ranch. I truly enjoyed my early morning runs there; it was picturesque. But my heart still prefers running along Juno and Jupiter beaches back in South Florida.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen B. West

Allen West – Weekly Wrap Up via Next Generation TV – 4/19/13 The Hateful Heart Of Terrorism

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The Hateful Heart Of Terrorism – It lurks in the shadows and strikes without warning

This has been a horrific week for America as once again we were reminded that we should never take our liberties and freedoms for granted. There are and always will be people who hate us just because of who we are and what this great country, America, represents.

All of us here at PJ Media, PJTV and Next Generation TV convey our heartfelt condolences and sincere blessings upon those who lost loved ones and have been seriously injured, psychologically scarred or horribly maimed by Monday’s terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon.

I will not regurgitate my sentiments about that specific attack in this week’s newsletter.You can view them in the commentary we released the following day.

We also learned this week of the toxic chemical substance ricin being mailed to Senate offices and the White House. This form of terrorism again creates fear, panic and hysteria in good Americans who are simply serving their country. These staffers are moms, dads, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters – Americans.

Terrorism is a tool of the weak to wreak fear upon the strong. The inhumane use secrecy and simplicity to intimidate their adversaries and alter how their enemies live. Terrorists intend to restrain our freedoms, to make us feel less secure. It is truly death by a thousand cuts, slowly bleeding the victims until they are dead.

What dies? A society, a dream, a nation that was created as a beacon for those who seek a better way, opportunity, not just for themselves but for the next generation.

Terrorism says, “We cannot take you head on, but we will hide in the shadows and instill fear.” Our response: We try to rationalize, to understand, and we may even make insidious excuses that only embolden terrorists in their objective, which is irrational.

I will never forget the killing of Leon Klinghoffer, who was pushed, wheelchair bound, off the Achille Lauro into the Mediterranean Sea. Terrorists behave this way, as my friend Brigitte Gabriel titled her book, “Because they Hate.”

The progressive path to economic servitude

This week also marked the 100th anniversary of the personal income tax. What began in 1913 as a supposedly temporary revenue measure has expanded into a tax code that is onerous, complex and confusing – and more than 75,000 pages long.
We released a commentary on the state of taxation in America. 

This weekend I will speak at the Rawhide Circle retreat held at the California ranch of former President Ronald Reagan. The topic is, “Can free enterprise survive for future generations?” The short answer is, not if we continue down the path of progressive taxation, which has become a weapon to undermine more of the hard-earned capital of American taxpayers.  We will not have economic growth under heavy taxation; we will have economic servitude.

A threat to the military chain of command

Another point of concern for me this week springs from an April 13 New York Times article by Thom Shanker. The article suggests that the military for the first time may require first-time generals and admirals to be evaluated by their peers and the people who they command on qualities like personal character.

U.S. Army Ranger school currently includes peer evaluations. However, each evaluator is a Ranger school student; no peer commands another.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey is leading this new effort as part of a broad overhaul of training and development programs for generals and admirals. He believes that “evaluations of top officers needed to go beyond the traditional assessment of professional performance by superior officers alone” and that these changes are necessary “to assess both the competence and character in a richer way.”

This initiative breaks down the chain of command and discipline in the military. We cannot believe that the few instances of “misconduct” warrant a complete altering of the command relationship in the military.

This truly will threaten the “good order and discipline” of the military. A system of inspectors general exists to report illicit behavior of commanders. We certainly do not need any system that creates “political officers” in our units.

A week of mourning

We bid farewell to the Iron Lady this week, Baroness and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The world will miss her; however, she will always be remembered for her strength, resolve and vision.

We here in America also lost an iconic figure, professional football legend, Hall of Famer and broadcaster Pat Summerall. Many of us have fond memories of growing up with Summerall and his NFL commentary. Along with former Oakland Raiders coach John Madden, he was one-half of the greatest duos in sports commentary. Farewell to Pat Summerall, a football legend and a great voice.

And our country endured yet another tragedy three days after the Boston terrorist attack – a deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. I offer my condolences to the loved ones of those who were killed or injured in that tragedy.
Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen B. West

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Allen West Weekly Wrap Up via Next Generation TV 4/12/13

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Politicians Who Don’t Have A Clue  They ignore reality and shun smart solutions

Before we dive into this installment of the Next Generation weekly update, please make sure you go to our website and print your updated monthly NextGen data card. This will give you the latest stats on key economic indicators so you can compare the Obama administration’s record with the past.

Now let’s tackle the theme for this week: “I don’t have a clue.”

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are running around the country, on your taxpayer dollars, talking about gun control. However, a CNSNews.com report by Gregory Gwyn-Williams reveals that there have been 32 background checks for gun purchases every minute during Obama’s presidency.

Between Feb. 1, 2009 and March 31 of this year (the latest data from the FBI) there have been 70,291,049 such checks. That’s 1,520 days, the equivalent of 36,480 hours or 2,188, 800 minutes. So as the president would say, it’s math. Divide 70,291,049 background checks by 2,188, 800 minutes, and voila, you get 32 every minute.

Listening to the POTUS, you would think no background checks have been done during his entire presidency. Doggone, I knew that after retiring I should have opened a gun store with a firing range. At least we have found one business that is booming in the Obama economy.

See, if the president had a clue, he would realize that law-abiding citizens obey the law, and he is just pushing for more laws for them to obey. Perhaps Obama wants to hit 50 background checks per minute. That could be an important political statistic for White House press secretary Jay Carney to report.

However, consider that this week at Lone Star College in Houston, a deranged individual randomly stabbed 14 college students. If all things are equal, then Obama and the first lady should be calling for knife control, or at least box-cutter control or maybe even barbershop straight-razor control.

Actually, we probably should ban cars because we did recently have a severe multiple-car pile-up on an interstate in Virginia.
My former House colleague, Democrat Carolyn Maloney of New York, has come up with her own grand idea — gun insurance. I recently discussed it on Fox News. She doesn’t have a clue, either.

Unbalanced budget priorities

The big news this week is that we finally — and I do mean finally — got Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget. Of course it was two months late. It will result in $8.2 trillion in new debt. Yep, by 2023 the U.S. debt will be $25.4 trillion.

Obama also proposed $1.1 trillion in new taxes on top of the $1 trillion in taxes from his healthcare law and the $600 billion in new taxes via the deal enacted earlier this year to prevent America from going over a perceived “fiscal cliff.”

Obama’s budget also calls for $964 billion in new spending above projected growth. And nope, he has no plan to balance the budget. But fear not good citizens, the president assures us his plan is a “balanced” approach — meaning Obama does not have a clue.
If we implemented pro-growth economic policies and got Americans back to work, then payroll taxes would increase, fostering more solvency for Social Security. We also could up the retirement age from 65 to 68, lift the cap on payroll tax contributions and means test the program to create a defined benefit, not just a blind contribution.

This would get Social Security back to its original and intended purpose, but political leaders need to have a clue in order to do that.

A wake-up call for North Korea and China

On the foreign policy front, here is my recommendation to get Kim Jong Un to pipe down. Target every hydroelectric power plant in the northern part of North Korea that supplies China with power and take them out.

Convey a simple message to China: Get your mad dog under control or else. If anyone, including our president and secretary of State, believes China is really chastising the North Koreans, well, I have some really nice farmland to sell you just west of where I live in south Florida.

Do I believe North Korea really wants to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile toward the United States? No.

I do believe that in order to save face, young Kim-bo-san will have to do something. I believe that something will resemble attacks from two years ago – sinking the South Korean naval vessel or firing artillery into South Korean territory. I believe an attack more asymmetrical or small-scale and conventional than a nuclear strike could occur. We must prepare for that.

I am sure some people will think me crazy, but I recall when President Reagan found out about Libya’s involvement in the 1986 disco bombing in Germany that killed several American soldiers. He took action.

There are times when true leaders know they must convey to an enemy that they are not to be played with — like former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the “Iron Lady” who died at age 87 this week, launching the power of Britannia against Argentina in the Falklands.

Reagan and Thatcher, well, they had a clue and knew that foreign policy and national security were based upon respect, not likability. History remembers the resolve and leadership of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II, not his predecessor, Neville Chamberlain. The latter did not have a clue.

Before bidding farewell for this week, I have a special offer to encourage you to become a Next Generation member – an autographed picture of yours truly. It’s our small token of thanks. Even better, you’ll get to see all of our great programming. Please become a member now, and invite your family and friends to do the same!

 

Steadfast and Loyal,


Allen B. West

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