Sunday, October 2, 2011

A (Not So) Real American Hero

And, straight from my father's email box, here's the story of a great American hero.

Until you actually check the facts.
Dealing With Muslims  
 Two Black Americans were elected to congress this cycle, and both are Republican.   Col. West is from southern Florida.   He won in a walk.
If you call "winning 54% of the vote, compared to the other party's 46%" a walk, go ahead... but I don't think many folks would agree with you.  Especially when he lost by similar margins against the same opponent two years prior.

This new Congressman was an extremely popular commander in Iraq.  He was forced to retire because during an intense combat action a few of his men were captured.   At the same time his men captured one of the guys who were with the Iraqis who captured his men.
He was popular amongst his men.  However, this email provides a VERY different version of what happened according to an Army investigation, as reported by the New York Times.

According to this account:

Knowing that time was crucial and his interrogators were not getting anywhere with the prisoner, Col. West took matters into his own hands.  
These "interrogators" weren't professional interrogators.  They were the men under his command who brought the detainee in, stating they were inviting him to go on patrol with the unit.  They then bound him, kicked him, threw him off the Humvee, and told him that Col. West would kill him unless he provided information on the assassination attempt.

He burst into the room and demanded thru an interpreter that the prisoner tell him where his men were being taken.  The prisoner refused so Col. West took out his pistol and placed it into the prisoner's crotch and fired.   Then the Col. told the prisoner that the next shot would not miss.  
The gun was aimed at his head.  Not his crotch.

So the prisoner said he would show where the American service members were being taken.  The Americans were rescued.  Someone filed a report on incorrect handling of prisoners.  Col. West was forced to retire.  
Well, there were no "prisoners" to rescue.  Seeing as Colonel West was threatening to shoot the detainee in the head, the prisoner did what most prisoners (guilty or not) do in this situation - He provided some names, none of whom were found to be involved in any sort of planned attack.

Colonel West resigned, and no court martial was called.  Whether this was an unofficial agreement, no one will say.

With all-due respect, I can understand why Colonel West did this.  In the same situation, I might have done the same thing.  But I wouldn't call it heroism, or say that I took these actions because of my "true" understanding of Islamic threats.

Col. West was just elected in November 2010 to Congress from Florida.   During the elections he was part of a panel on how to handle or how to relate to Muslims.   You will see his answer here explaining in just over a minute the truth about Islam.  Please watch and if you agree, please forward it to your friends; if you disagree, you're an idiot.  Hit the delete button.
You can watch the video if you like, but it's lacking any sort of depth.

The title of this YouTube video reads, "Sura 9:5 says, 'Slay the idolators wherever you find them'".  As usual, I grabbed my copy of the Koran.  (Another translation of these passages can be found here.)

This section, in my translation of the Koran, is entitled, "Repentance".  It deals with how Muslims should behave when Non-Muslims violate the peace agreements they make.  It directs Muslims to give such treaty-breakers four months to repent, but allows for self-defense when other solutions aren't possible.  And it doesn't call for Muslims to kill all non-believers.

In the video, Colonel West cites a litany of battles fought between Muslim armies and others, without discussing their (very complex) causes.  And he directs people to "Read the Koran, the Sura and the Hadith" in order to understand why "the enemy" wishes to destroy all of Western Civilization.

And this might make sense - until you actually find out what the "Sura and the Hadith" are.

First of all, it makes no sense to tell people to "read the Koran and the Sura".  If you've read the Koran, you've read all the the Sura - they're just the chapters of the Koran.

The Hadith, however, are not part of the Koran.  They are collections of actions and statements attributed to Mohammed.

There are many collections of Hadith, and no agreements regarding which (if any) are authentic.  Certainly, no collection of Hadith can speak for all of Islam, and statements to the contrary only serve to illustrate the ignorance of the person saying that they do.

Perhaps, Colonel West should spend a little more time following his own advice - to study his "enemy" a little more closely.  And, maybe, spending a little more time looking at himself.