Last summer, after writing a fantasy-column about what "President" Dick Cheney might have done during those few hours of presidential powers he held while George W. Bush was hospitalized for minor surgery, I received an email from Lt. Col. Allen West (USA ret.) (pictured above). He thanked me for including him the following "presidential" reverie:
Mr. Cheney checked his watch. It was already 35 minutes into his "presidential" term, but he had plenty of time left to issue presidential pardons for border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean (now serving excessively harsh terms for wounding a fleeing drug smuggler following a struggle). And while he was at it, what about presidential recognition for the service of some of our great soldiers who have been overzealously prosecuted after fighting in Iraq and left out to dry by their commander in chief? "Let's gets these pardons going. I'd also like to issue some presidential proclamations, starting with Col. Allen West and Lt. Ilario Pantano, thanking these men for their military service and apologizing for not recognizing their gallantry sooner," Cheney said....
Allen West, of course, was the commander in Iraq who fired off a gun early in the occupation, in a still-volatile battle zone, to frighten an insurgent into confessing an ambush plan, surely saving American lives. In today's military, however, that was grounds not for commendation, but for early retirement.
He explained to me that after leaving the Army in 2004 "after 22 great years," he resettled his family in South Florida, where he taught high school for a year --"a combat zone in itself," he added. He continued:
I harbor no angst toward my Counry, US Army, or anyone...If I had played victim surely Howard Dean would have become my best buddy...LOL LOL. What one has to understand is that sometimes you get knocked down, but the measure of one's character is how you respond. America needs its Warriors to contribute and hence why I got back into the fight.
He went on to explain that he had been "heading up an advisor team to the Afghan Army" since June 2005.
What a terrific guy.
Having returned to the States late last year, Allen, who has since become a pen-pal of mine, got back into the fight, civilizan style. He is now running as a Republican for Congress in Florida's 22nd District. This week, in response to Barack Obama's low-down dealing of the race card against himself in what certainly appears to be a gambit to cash in on race (vote for Obama to vote against racism), Candidate West wrote:
My advice to Senator Obama is to run as a Man and Leader, and the American people will evaluate you as such, not as a victim. This is a Presidential race, based solely on a capacity to lead the United States of America. It is not about skin tone...however, perhaps we should come to expect these immature statements.
It also seems rather humorous that the Presidential candidate who was supposed to be such a "uniter" and transcend race is the one talking about it the most. If Senator Obama was confident in his abilities and character, he would not need to create a crutch for failure. Senator Obama has just tipped his hand, any criticism of him and his policies will be directly attributed to racism. I congratulate Senator Obama for taking race relations in America back some 30 years (Via American Thinker.)
Allen West for President (well, Congress, first)!