Needless to say, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is not happy with Col. West. When it demanded that he repudiate any ties with “anti-Islamic” people and groups, his one-word reply defiantly echoed one of the finest moments in American military history.
A notable (and dismaying) aspect of the following news video is that neither the news presenters nor the people interviewed on the street seem to have any familiarity with the single-word quote, much less understand its significance.
As Mark Steyn said, “When a society loses its memory, it descends inevitably into dementia.”
Here’s the story, as reported on the Florida TV news. Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this clip:
For those who are interested, a brief history of “NUTS!” is below the jump.
On December 22, 1944, the division commanded by General Anthony McAuliffe was surrounded at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. According to the recollections of Col. H.W.O. Kinnard of the 101st Airborne, this is the story behind Gen. McAuliffe’s immortal reply to the Germans’ demand for surrender:
… [General] McAuliffe had first thought that the Germans were trying to surrender to us. But, we told him no, not so. That they want us to surrender to them, and they go on to say all the bad things that they’re going to do if we don’t do this.
And he said, Tony McAuliffe then said, “I surrender, ah nuts!” And then he sort of pondered about whether he should answer or should it be in writing, and so forth. And everybody agreed that there should be a written answer. And Tony McAuliffe then said, “Well, I don’t know what to tell them.”
And I spoke up and said, “Well, what you first said would be hard to beat.” And Tony said, “What do you mean?” And I said, “You said nuts!” And all of us in the room sort of thought that was a good answer. So Tony sat down and wrote out with a pencil, “To the German Commander, Nuts! A.C. McAuliffe, Commanding.” Had his secretary type it out. Gave the message to Colonel Harper, who took it back to his headquarters and gave it to the German Armistice party.
The Germans were allowed to take off their blindfold and read the message, and they were puzzled by it. And they were trying to translate nuts. And they said, “Nuets, Nuets, Nuts... Vas Is Das?” They didn’t get it at all. And Colonel Harper said, “If you don’t understand it, it means go to hell!”
When I was a kid, the war was still less than fifteen years in the past, and most of our fathers had fought in it. Everyone knew what “NUTS!” meant. When we bought our plastic figurines of World War Two heroes, General McAuliffe was right there in the set, along with Eisenhower, Bradley, MacArthur, Patton, and all the rest.
How times have changed. Be prepared for the onset of cultural dementia.