Self-proclaimed ‘extremist’ among US Tea Party hopefuls
In an interview with the German Press Agency dpa, West voiced fears that the United States is headed for the kind of violent protests seen in France and Greece, if nothing is done about the country’s growing government.
‘We are at a tipping point,’ West said.
He rejects government programmes aimed at propping up the poor, saying Obama’s policies will ‘pit the producers against the entitlement class.’
But West’s most controversial actions came before he ever entered politics. A 22-year Army veteran, West has been front-and-centre of a long-running debate about US conduct in the war against terrorism.
In 2003, West threatened to kill an Iraqi police officer he said had information about a pending attack. West watched four soldiers beat the police officer before himself hauling the detainee outside and firing a gunshot near the man.
West faced a military hearing, was fined for the incident and allowed to retire from the Army with his military rank intact. He has been unapologetic, telling the military hearing that he would ‘go through hell with a gasoline can’ to protect his fellow soldiers.
The incident would prove the foundation for West’s political career, garnering him a following among hardline conservatives in an era of fear of more terrorist attacks in the United States.
West told dpa that the Obama administration has been ‘wishing away the problem’ of terrorism by ignoring its Islamic elements. He challenged Obama to ‘know your enemy’ and make clear that the US is fighting ‘Islamic terrorism.’