Republican Representative Allen West, a Tea Party favorite from Florida, weighed in on President Obama’s 10-year security agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. In the agreement, Obama pledged continued support to Afghanistan once NATO combat troops leave in 2014. “I look at what happened between President Obama and President Karzai as a 1930s, Chamberlain, Hitler moment,” Representative West told radio host Frank Gaffney. “There is not going to be peace in our time.”
I’m not quite sure what this analogy is supposed to prove. Is Karzai supposed to be Hitler? Whatever complaints one has with Karzai – and I have plenty of my own – he’s clearly no Hitler, and he doesn’t appear to have designs for world conquest.
As a general matter, the Chamberlain-Hitler-appeasement analogy is much overused and is often a sign of lazy thinking, as is the case here.
Allen West’s comments about Communists in Congress were needlessly provocative, but in the scheme of things he doesn’t deserve as much grief for them as he’s been getting. Plenty of politicians have said worse, but West has become a magnet for criticism recently. The latest fallout is from the NAACP, which reportedly disinvited West from a fundraiser where he was supposed to deliver the keynote address:
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) was supposed to be the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for his district chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) this past Saturday. But days before the event, the group canceled the gathering and asked West not to come back when they rescheduled. Why?
“There’s a certain statement he made about Communists,” Jerry Gore, president of the Martin County NAACP, told Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. “That statement alone … we do not represent that type of atmosphere.”