Editorial: Not nuts about Obama's talk

Published: Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 03:05 PM.

“All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity. Signed, The German Commander.”

When McAuliffe was given the German message, he read it, crumpled it up, threw it in a wastepaper basket, and muttered, “Aw, nuts.”

After failing to come up with a better reply, McAuliffe’s staff decided his words would be the best way to respond to the German ultimatum. The American response was delivered as follows:  “To the German Commander. NUTS! Signed, The American Commander.”

When the German recipient of McAuliffe’s written response to Lüttwitz asked what the message meant, he was told, “In plain English? Go to hell.” 

The threat of German artillery fire never occurred. The 101st Airborne Division was able to hold off the Germans until the U.S. 4th Armored Division broke through and reinforced the 101st Airborne Division on Dec. 26, 1944.

I’m not fan of Putin, but he reminds me of McAuliffe. His response to President Obama’s idle threats of consequences? “Nuts!” or the Russian equivalent: Пошел к черту!

Instead of Putin, I’d like it better if our president reminded me of McAuliffe. And I’d like it better if our president, very measured and cautious in his threats, nonetheless clearly backed his words up with action and walked his talk.

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