Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Hero

I have said before, that I have a man crush on Colonel Allen West, Representative from Florida.
Today, Rep. West became my hero.
Besides his antipathy to Rep Schultz, he is apparently a witty student of military history, As this CBS story points out. According to the story, the Florida chapter of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) sent him a letter demanding he distance himself from groups they feel are "Anti-Islamic." His response was one word: NUTS.

Now some of you, including CAIR and several of his constituents may think this is childish, or unprofessional. I assure you, though, this is funny.

You see, back in World War II there was a battle in the Ardennes Forest in Germany, called the Battle of the Bulge. Hitler amassed his best remaining forces, including a crap-ton of Panzer and SS divisions, with the best German equipment and sent them straight through the Ardennes at the weakest point in the American lines. In the middle of winter. It was a complete surprise attack, and it caught the Allies napping. The idea was to break through the Allies thin lines and then turn and attack in all directions at their exposed rear flank while capturing all the Allies' supplies along the way. This all hinged on a little town named Bastogne, in Belgium, where no less than 8 major roads came together and intersected. When news of the German offensive reached Allied Command, the 101st Airborne, including the famous Easy Company, were taken off of leave and ordered to the town of Bastogne. They had little food, little ammo, almost no medical supplies, and absolutely no winter boots or uniforms. Oh, and they had almost no artillery or tanks or, really, any big weapons (no bazookas) and the weather meant they had no air support. They were a light rifle company. On the way to Bastogne, they collected what ammo and supplies they could from the masses of retreating Americans they were passing. It still wasn't enough, and they knew it. When they got to Bastogne, they occupied the surrounding forests and settled in for the shitstorm (pardon my French, but it is an apt description) they knew was coming. In town, the best they had were a couple light Anti-tank guns, against a horde of Panzer divisions.

When the Germans finally got there, they surrounded the town and the soldiers. When the German commander, General Von Lüttwitz send a cable to American General Anthony McAuliffe demanding that the Americans surrender or face absolute destruction, Gen. McAuliffe sent back a one word reply, the only reply he could think of to such a demand. It read: "NUTS!" The Germans attacked, The Americans held. After a and General Patton (Whoop!) came to the aid of the Battered Bastards of Bastogne, as they had come to be known. To this day, no member of the Airborne has admitted needing rescued.

Sorry for the history lesson, but I feel it's important to understanding the humor and context of this statement by Col. West. He's an Army guy, he knows all about this battle. Granted, the man he sent it to is either completely ignorant of this famous episode in history, is pretending to be to make a point. He is quoted in the article as saying, "When I first saw that, I wasn't sure if he was calling me nuts, or he was calling my concern nuts." Honestly, he should probably be more upset that his group was compared to a Nazi general demanding surrender from Americans, than with his concerns being called nuts. In this case, I guess, ignorance is bliss. Well not bliss, just mild indignation.  Regardless, my respect for this Representative from Florida just took off like a Saturn-5 rocket.


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