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The Idiocy of the Theory of ‘Proportionate Response’


Allen West


November 7, 2023

“If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it is all because your tactics suck” — 1stSgt (Ret) Jim Reisinger (USMC).

The quote above is probably one of the most profound maxims I learned in my service to the nation in uniform. I also carry it with me to this day. Engaging with your enemy is not about having a fair or proportionate contest; it is about crushing them and their will. Prussian General Carl Von Clausewitz asserted, “War is the imposition of your will upon the enemy.”

This is why I find it abjectly absurd and ludicrous to hear the rhetoric about “proportionate response” when it comes to the sovereign nation of Israel defending itself. It is pretty disconcerting to watch the international community express grief and sorrow when Israel is attacked, especially after the savage, brutal, and heinous assault of October 7, 2023, while that sentiment quickly fades as soon as Israel takes to the offense in defense of their right to exist.

This past weekend, many of us pulled up in front of the television to watch or attend a college or professional football game in person. As we cheered for our favorite team if the opposition scored a field goal, we did not want our team to respond with a field goal; we wanted a touchdown. Are teams penalized for not showing a proportionate response? The Texas Rangers are the 2023 Major League Baseball World Series champions. They went into the top of the 9th inning ahead 1-0 and scored four runs in that inning to win against the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0. Did the umpires in that game tell the Rangers they could not score any more runs since Arizona had scored none? After all, the Rangers were ahead 1-0; there was no need for additional scoring.

Nah, we are not down with proportionate response regarding sporting events. Otherwise, we would be happy with tied contests.

Or how about this talk about “ceasefires” and “pause?” Over the past 18 years since Israel departed the Gaza strip — yes, under Ariel Sharon in 2005 — how many times have we heard demands of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or the other Islamic terrorist/jihadist groups to take a pause or ceasefire? It is rather interesting that the progressive socialist leftists are calling for these actions, along with a “proportionate response.” Yet, they are more than giddy to have dozens of armed FBI agents raid the homes of pro-life activists or a man over 70 years old named Roger Stone. Yeah, they really do pose a dire threat. Even Barack Obama, back in June of 2008, once quipped, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” Yeah, that is how the left defines a “proportionate response.” If you marched on Capitol Hill on January 6th against the left, you were sent to the DC Gulag. But, if you march on Capitol Hill in support of an Islamic terrorist organization that just killed 30 Americans, well, you get the point.

Then again, we should not be surprised by the unholy alliance of progressive socialists and Islamic terrorists/jihadists. They both share anti-American and anti-Semitic passions and sentiments. Just think about this: the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna, was a supporter of Adolf Hitler. Yasser Arafat’s uncle, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, was an ally of Adolf Hitler and provided Muslim troops for a Nazi SS unit that operated in the Balkans. It would appear his nephew did not fall far from that tree. Today, the progressive socialist leftists have their own little version of Hitler’s Brown Shirts, the SA, called Antifa, roaming about attacking anyone — including law enforcement — who doesn’t agree with these Marxists. Funny, have you heard of any FBI raids against Antifa leaders? Nah, the real domestic terrorists in the United States, according to the left, are parents, Moms for Liberty, Christians, and now Jewish students. There is nothing about the millions of single military-aged males who have crossed the border, some on the terrorist watch list.

Suppose you read the charter of Hamas and any of the derivative Islamic terrorist organizations spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood. In that case, it calls for the elimination and annihilation of the Jewish State and Jews. So, what is the “proportionate response” to an organization that is not protected by international rules of law or warfare, nor the Geneva Convention, that rapes and murders young women, kill entire families, and beheads babies? I mean, should Israel target the same? Why, of course not! The Israelis are targeting the organization that seeks their annihilation. Only a true idiot fails to realize that Hamas and these Islamic jihadist groups care little for their own people. They are used as human shields and propaganda pieces. This is why the Geneva Convention is harsh against non-state, non-uniformed belligerents on the battlefield because they endanger civilian lives intentionally.

Have you ever noticed in a college football game when a team has a high-powered, potent offense and they are driving the opposition defense hard? They play a real up-tempo style of football and prevent the defense from substituting players, wearing them down, especially by the fourth quarter. It never fails that there is some defensive lineman who, all of a sudden, drops and grabs his leg. They are always caught on replay. That tactic is used to give a pause, a break, for the defense to catch its breath and slow down the up-tempo offense. You always hear the heightened boos from the crowd.

The Israeli Defense Force has created a high operational tempo (OPTEMPO), and it is meant to drive the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas to its knees. These leftist terrorist sympathizers should shut up, but they are exposing themselves as accomplices. We now know that Russian paramilitary forces are being deployed. Iran’s foreign minister delivered a threat to the United States from the platform of the United Nations, a terrorist-supporting globalist body politic that has not condemned Hamas. There is only one goal: to convey the point that Israel has the right to exist. The only “proportionate response” is the unconditional surrender of any and all Islamic terrorist/jihadist groups and their state sponsors. After Pearl Harbor, America did not seek a “proportionate response;” we sought total and complete victory and to impose our will against our enemies. Our strategic, operational, and tactical maneuvers and operations were not about tit for tat. General George Patton did not seek to slow down once unleashed in the European theater of war. Yes, we used the most powerful weapon known to man in the Pacific theater rather than risk losing more Americans.

Only idiots and those who have never been on a battlefield believe in a “proportionate response” in war. As Union General William Tecumseh Sherman said, “War is hell.” That hell should be directed to Hamas after the atrocities they have mercilessly committed.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified that our homeland is once again under a severe terrorist attack threat. To those pondering such, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will not protect you. It will be, as Maximus said in the movie Gladiator, “At my signal, unleash hell!” That will be the American response.

Steadfast and Loyal

This article first appeared at



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