The cultural illiteracy of this story is astonishing: Rep. Allen West (R-FL), who formerly served as a battalion commander in the Army in Iraq, received a bunch of demands from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (an organization linked to terrorists). West replied with one word “NUTS!”.
The Center for American Progress’s (a leftist think tank closely tied to the Democratic party) Zaid Jilani professes to be perplexed by this response:
One has to wonder why West chose to respond in this bizarre way. One possible explanation is that West is channeling a famous line by an American general fighting the Nazis during World War II. During a battle with German troops in Western Europe, Gen. Anthony McAuliffe was told that the Germans wanted his men to surrender. He replied, “Us surrender? Aw, nuts!”
“One possible explanation”? This is obviously what West was referring to, although Jilani does garble the story. As I’m sure most of my readers are aware, “Nuts!” was famous as General McAuliffe’s one-word reply to the German demand for surrender. What’s this business about “Us surrender? Aw, nuts!”
Well, it turns out that quote was related by Lt. General Harry Kinnard, a member of McAuliffe’s staff that day, explaining the circumstances under which he suggested the “NUTS!” reply.
How on earth would Jilani be aware of the more obscure “nuts” reference, but not its famous usage? Here’s my theory: If you google the term “nuts”, the first two hits are for pages dealing with nuts. The third hit goes to a page about Harry Kinnard, and if you search for “nuts” on that page, the first hit is the quote “Us surrender? Aw nuts!” The article goes on to explain how the exchange resulted in McAuliffe’s famous reply, but it doesn’t actually mention that the reply was famous. (Presumably since, being famous, everyone should know that already.)
This fellow apparently never heard of “NUTS!”, had to google it, and then still didn’t get the point. Okay, that’s fine. Cultural literacy is not a requirement. Still, it’s remarkable that not one of Jilani’s friends or colleagues at the Center for American Progress could fill him in. The cultural divide between our military and the left is wide indeed.