Give some credit to Allen West, the former one-term congressman and ultra-hawk, for at least being consistent on the recent situation involving the U.S. Sailors taken into custody (and quickly released) by Iran. While most conservatives have lambasted the Obama administration for allegedly showing weakness, West knows who’s also to blame: The troops!
West is an Iraq War veteran whose military career ended when he tortured an Iraqi policeman to obtain a false confession — after which, he emerged as a star of conservative politics. In a blog post published yesterday, he railed against the U.S. personnel who didn’t further escalate the situation when they were in Iranian territorial waters.
West seemed to cast doubt on the official story that the boats had accidentally ended up in Iranian waters. “First of all, I find it odd that these Riverine craft were operating on an excursion from Kuwait to Bahrain. Why were they not hugging close to the coast line?” And if engines really malfunctioned, then a call for help should have been put in immediately.
But from there, West went on, all efforts should’ve been made to secure the boat and fight against any Iranians attempting to intercept them:
I find it rather disturbing that any Iranian watercraft were able to approach these two heavily armored assault boats. My question would be, was the on-board radar equipment operable? If so, then the approaching enemy craft would have been detected. That being the case, the officer in charge should have reported contact, verified that they were not friendly, and taken action to defend his position, his boats. That means warning shots should have been fired, if not heeded, and then the full power of these assault boats levied against the enemy watercraft — with situation reports being sent to higher command. We need to know why exactly those actions were not taken — and if the young officer in charge was told to not take any action. And if so, by whom.
The result of two U.S. Navy vessels being boarded and seized by an enemy — which is what the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Navy is — is disturbing. The images and video they took depicting our sailors on their knees in the position of surrender is damning. This, folks, is an act of war, and our sailors were captured. Let’s not try and use “nuanced” language.
Now, I’m sure there are those progressive socialist detractors who would say, Col. West, you would have started a war. And that is the exact example of cowardice from which the Iranians are now benefitting.
West also listed out the clauses of the U.S. military Code of Conduct, which include pledges to never surrender under one’s own free will, nor to cooperate with captors. (The troops participated in a televised message in Iran, saying that they had been treated humanely, and apologizing for their intrusion. It is not yet known whether they were under any duress.) West continued:
I did not make this up, and this is the code by which I lived for my 22 years in service — and would still do today. This whole episode is not in keeping with the Code of Conduct. But before we go and demonize a young naval officer, we need ask, did he take orders from someone else? There can be no doubt, after watching the video and the words spoken, there were countless violations of this code. Our honor calls upon us to fight, to resist, not surrender. The ramifications of not doing so means (sic) our honor is now being mocked and we’re seen as nothing more than cowards on our knees. Say what you wish, but that’s the perception in the Middle East, especially to our enemies.
He concluded by decrying the U.S. negotiations that secured the service members’ release, which was done so quickly and peacefully — part of a further pattern of weakness, West said, and he also somehow connected to the new policy changes to allow women in combat positions:
This is not as John Kerry, a former naval officer, stated. We showed no strength in our ability to negotiate. Our strength should have been in reporting that Iranian naval vessels attempted to seize two U.S. naval vessels, were engaged and then sunk. Our sailors recovered several Iranians from the sea who are being held. That is the message that should have been sent.
Instead the message is that the Americans surrendered and we also got $150B from them — ain’t that a daisy!
I pray this is not the result of the neutered Navy under the auspices of SecNav Ray Mabus, who’s more concerned about gender neutral duty positions. One thing for certain, there is one word to describe all of this.
The phrase “FUBAR” is a military slang acronym, meaning “F*cked Up Beyond All Repair.”
(Hat tip The Hill.)
Photo: Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL), via Facebook.