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By Geoff Metcalf

December 15, 2003

The Lt. Col. Allen B. West story created an excrement storm when word got out the Army might court marshal him. He threatened an Iraqi bad guy by firing a weapon to scare critical intelligence from him. Military and Veterans groups universally supported West. The P.C. gang wanted to make an example of 'inappropriate' John Wayne behavior.

Despite earlier threats, West will NOT be court marshaled and instead has received non-judicial punishment. He will be allowed to retire from the Army with full retirement pay and benefits but must first pay a $5,000 fine.

Whoever the JagOff (my acronym for Jag Officer), or chairborne, politically correct bureaucrat in uniform who crafted his punishment is should be horse whipped. Gen. Raymond Odierno, who commands 4th Infantry Division based in Tikrit, fined West $5,000, relieved him from his post and forwarded his request for retirement next spring for approval.

A courageous commander would have fined West five dollars and then reached in his pocket and paid it for him and sent him back to work.

The negative consequences of the West episode will resonate long after West hangs up his uniform. But before I outline what is so epically wrong with how this episode was handled, here's the deal�

The Army requires Col West to pay a $5,000 fine for actions many believe should have resulted in a spectrum from a medal to a simple 'attaboy'.

Please make a small donation to cover the fine AND send a message to everyone in uniform.

I am calling on volunteers to cover the fine and in the process flip off the politically correct virus carriers who contributed to this mess.

  • I am asking all radio talk show hosts with the conviction and stones to ask their listeners to contribute.
  • I am asking all the web sites and news groups that have followed and reported on this story to ask readers to contribute.
  • I am asking the Fox News teams and specifically Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, Fox and Friends, and John Gibson to ask viewers to help.
  • Frankly, Fox is the best venue for receipt of the funds and distribution to Col West and his wife. If they are disinclined to serve as an escrow we can have an account established.

Too often righting wrongs like this are hijacked by egos, promotional value, and territorial imperatives. Talk show hosts and web sites like to assume proprietary interests in their crusades. I understand that�but hate it. THIS ain't about us folks! Credit for any success goes to everyone or no one�it shouldn't matter.

At a time in the war on terrorism when we need good combat leaders like breath, Col West is being attrited by P.C. B.S. We need MORE Allen Wests in uniform not fewer.

Recruiting and retention are sensitive issues for the military. Both will inevitably suffer because of how the military mishandled this episode. This was not George Patton slapping a battle stressed troop. This was an officer ostensibly scaring the snot out of an enemy in a combat zone.

  • Gung Ho hard chargers will question joining the service.
  • Hardcore strack troops (like West) will leave in frustration.

Col. West did not torture or physically harm the Iraqi detainee. He did scare bodily fluids out of the bad guy. And it worked! After he twice fired his service weapon away from the wannabe terrorist (who was an Iraqi police officer), the detainee talked and gave up the information on a planned attack.

Lives were saved and yet some uniformed bureaucrats back in the rear with the gear sought to destroy the life of a combat leader, and deny the Army a valuable asset with twenty years of talent and experience. Words are grossly inadequate a means of articulating what is sufficient to gag maggots. Actually a case can be made that he was merely implementing 'The Bush Doctrine' of preemption at battalion level.

The same kind of politically correct desk jockey types who are Jonesing to put women in combat, neuter fighter jocks and impose rules of engagement for a cricket club instead of barbaric 13th century guerrillas have succeeded in denying the Army of an exceptionally effective combat leader.

November 3rd I wrote a column "Let Loose the Dogs of War ... on a Short Leash?" about this tragedy. I ended that column with a quote from Woodrow Wilson: "Leadership does not always wear the harness of compromise. � Men of strenuous minds and high ideals come forward. ... The attacks they sustain are more cruel than the collision of arms. ... Friends desert and despise them. ... They stand alone and oftentimes are made bitter by their isolation."

Please don't desert Col West. If only a thousand who read this send five dollars his fine is covered. If more respond, we can send his children to college.

� 2003 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's Web Site: While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book!  E-mail:









"However, it is blessing still denied to THOUSANDS of family members of thousands of MIA/KIA servicemen who have again been reduced to second-class status by the presumption of hubris."