Broward News

Allen West Backpedals, Challenges Me to a Debate

Did I call it, or did I call it?

Last week, in this very space, I predicted Congressman Allen West would retract his feeble support of the pro-democracy Egyptian protesters when he learned how very, very much they were disliked by the conservative Israeli punditry.

And lookit this! In his most recent weekly e-missive, West wrote:

[T]he events in Egypt and all across the Middle East are a grave concern for America and our greatest ally, Israel. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It was 1979 when this played out in Iran and I was a senior in high school. And here we are with a parallel situation in Egypt as my oldest daughter is a high school senior.

No question, we ought to worry about a conservative, theocratic takeover of Egypt. Thankfully, it's unlikely to happen -- the mean level of religiosity in Egypt is significantly lesser than that in yesteryear's Iran, and Egyptians have far fewer reasons to loathe America than did the Persians who embraced the Ayatollah.

But, oh well. West isn't a nuance guy.

Elsewhere in his missive, West tossed off a few shockingly sane lines about oil consumption ("How much longer shall we go on sending our taxpayer dollars to those who seek our destruction?") that made me almost like the guy, until I remembered he'd called me out a few paragraphs earlier. "I want to offer a simple message to those who support radical Islamists and liberal progressives," West wrote:

No amount of personal attacks will result in my reticence in speaking the principled truth... To those accusing me of not being "politically correct," here is a simple challenge: Meet me on the stage for an intellectual debate.
As a matter of housecleaning, I should point out that no "liberal progressives" of my acquaintance support "radical Islam," since radical religion of all kinds is anathema to the spirit of liberality. And I should also point out that nobody dislikes you, Mr. West, for your lack of political correctness. More, it's your shocking intellectual dishonesty, your creepy fixation on the Old Testament, and your antipathy for a two-state solution in Palestine that gets on our nerves.

Despite your inability to grasp this distinction, I'll happily take you up on your offer. Provided you promise not to have me beaten and/or discharge a gun near my head. Where shall we do it? Your place or mine?
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Brandon K. Thorp