"Allen West Suggests Anti-War Congressmen Should ‘Get Shot At A Few Times’"
In the wake of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the House came closer than it ever has to voting for an end to the war in Afghanistan today when a bipartisan amendment that would have required President Obama to submit a timetable for withdrawal failed by just 12 votes, netting approval from 26 Republicans.
But some Republicans were not pleased with the vote. Tea Party firebrand Rep. Allen West (R-FL) — a retired Army officer who was discharged after shooting at an unarmed detainee in Iraq — denounced the amendment, telling the Miami Herald that his anti-war colleagues should “get shot” to understand the true threat of the Taliban:
“Is the Taliban still fighting? I spent 2.5 years in Afghanistan. Just because you kill Osama bin Laden does not mean that the Taliban has stopped fighting,” he said. “Now can we fight a little smarter? Absolutely.”
Asked about efforts to curb U.S. involvement, West said, “I would take these gentlemen over and let them get shot at a few times and maybe they’d have a different opinion.”
With the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) still fresh in Americans’ minds, West’s comments are especially irresponsible. But perhaps this should be expected from West. In January, he criticized Obama for traveling to Afghanistan with a security detail, saying, “[I]f I’m asking my young men and women to go out there and put their lives on the line, I should be willing and able to do the exact same thing.” West also had no problem hiring right-wing Florida radio host Joyce Kaufman to be his chief of staff, even after she proclaimed at a Tea Party rally, “if ballots don’t work, bullets will.”