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Germany surrendered to America May 8, 1945.
Japan surrendered to America August 15, 1945.
And America surrendered to Iran Oct. 21, 2011.
President Barack Obama issued a “Come-and-Get-It” invitation to Iran. The gift package of all Iraq is on its way. All (Yes, all!) American troops will be removed from Iraq. And only the smartest observers are aware America was, in effect, kicked out of Iraq because of the unskilled labor of the president. And Obama has the chutzpah to present this diplomatic disaster as a victory; indeed, as the fulfillment of a campaign promise to “end the war in Iraq.”
We expected a residual American force – enough thousands to keep training the Iraqi military and to deter any Iranian takeover attempt. This is the biggest “Yankee-Go-Home” drama yet – a classic poison-pill Middle-East “Thank-You” for all the lives and treasure America sacrificed to rid Iraq of a brutal dictator and set it free. No, Obama didn’t admit this was a fumbling diplomatic disaster. “C’mon, fellows! We can do better than that. How about, ‘Your loved ones will be home by Christmas!’?”
Imagine a hospital director who gets so angry at a doctor that he orders him and all of his patients out of the hospital immediately. The doctor meets with his patients – wheelchairs, walkers, canes – in a conference room. There are doctors with sufficient character to admit, “I got into an upscuddle with the director of the hospital and I’m afraid I didn’t handle it very well. We all have to leave immediately. I’ll do what I can to help you all.”
America’s “doctor,” however, says, “I talked with the director. He wants you all out of here immediately. And I want you to know I agree with him completely. It’s high time you all stood on your own two feet.”
That might work for some patients. I fear for the one named “Iraq.”
Anton Chekhov said, “All this would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.” We’ve all heard of wresting defeat from the jaws of victory. Do you mind if I just have fun with this catastrophe for a while? Trust me; we’ll have plenty of opportunity to get that smile off our face.
Regarding spinning defeat into victory, Obama’s not the only one, merely the most chutzpah-dripping. A Norwegian newspaper did it, too. Norway is mountainous; lots of good skiers. Neighboring Sweden is relatively flat; not so many good skiers. In a dual meet, Swedes finished first, second and third. The first Norwegian came in fourth. The Norwegian newspaper bragged, “It took three Swedes to beat one Norwegian!”
Abraham Lincoln liked the one about the man being ridden out of town on a rail. When asked how he felt about his predicament, he replied, “If it weren’t for the honor of the thing, I’d rather walk.”
Regarding returning victory unopened, on March 2, 1945, as American troops advanced eastward into Nazi Germany, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower wired Gen. George Patton: “Do not try to take Trier. Cannot take Trier with fewer than four divisions.” Patton shot back, “Have already taken Trier with two divisions. What do you want me to do? Give it back?”
If only Obama’s thunder-blunder were as smile-provoking! The Norwegian newspaper was kidding. And it was only about sports. And Patton did not give Trier back to the Nazis. But, come Jan. 1, the fragile freedom of stand-alone Iraq will face the many forces of Iran – direct, surrogates, Iraqi Shiites. If this were boxing, even the state of Nevada would forbid the fight to proceed.
So now the late evangelist Daddy Grace has to share his “World Chutzpah Championship” title with President Obama. Until Obama’s victory-coated surrender to Iran, Daddy Grace, a black man from Portugal’s Cape Verde Islands, had a solid solo claim on that distinction.
In the era of racial segregation, Daddy Grace used to tour back-country USA in a caravan of Cadillacs, with a team including dozens of beautiful black women in diaphanous white gowns. No one knew what their role was. He called them “My Angels”!
Daddy Grace would stand up before crowds of black sharecroppers in the Deep South and, after his spiritual ministrations, would tell the crowd, “You may now throw your contributions at me. I’m going to close my eyes, and I don’t want to hear any noise!”
That meant the minimum suggested contribution was one dollar. Do you know what a dollar meant to a sharecropper in the 1940s?
One day Daddy Grace ran into a community in Alabama where the authorities were not exactly his followers. He was thrown in jail.
“What are the charges?” Daddy Grace asked the chief of police.
“We’ll do the paperwork in the morning,” snapped the bigoted cop.
With the dignity of a Libyan camel, Daddy Grace stretched out uncomplainingly on his bunk and went to sleep.
The next morning the jailer unlocked Daddy Grace’s cell and said, “We have to let you go. The judge who ordered your arrest died during the night.”
Without the slightest pause, Daddy Grace said, “I know. I know.
“I hated to do it!“