Iraqis looking for Jim Craig's dad in the stands
Hugh Hewitt explains how a scrappy little hockey team kept a dispirited America from chasing a handful of sleeping pills with vodka and instead turned its life around and won the Cold War and Peggy Noonan's heart
Almost 27 years ago, in one of the more improbable moments in sports, a scrappy group of college kids in Lake Placid did the unthinkable, which was beat the Russian team, a team that was bigger, stronger, and much more experienced than the United States squad. But it turned out to be much more than a hockey game, although not many people at the time realized the impact of it.
As detailed in the very fine documentary Do You Believe in Miracles? The Story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team, the United States was at the height of the Cold War in 1980, had just suffered through four years of near-ruinous Jimmy Carter economics, and a foreign policy that had no answer for the Iran hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The country was, by and large, in a funk. Hockey had never been as big across the country as baseball, basketball and football, but seeing our kids take on the dreaded Soviet squad, beating them, and then going on to win the gold medal had an effect on our national psyche. It was a shot in the arm of national pride that was one of those intangible elements that helped us transition from the malaise of the 70’s to the prosperity of the 80’s under Ronald Reagan. We can only hope that what took place earlier today in Jakarta will give Iraq the same shot in the arm it so desperately needs.
Of course, what Hugh is alluding to is the death of disco in the Middle East; disco being the real crisis of the 70's, bringing America to its knees and ruining an otherwise nice pair of Angel Flight pants.
But not really.
No, Hugh finally found some Muslims he can tolerate for a few hours and jumps on the bandwagon to celebrate Iraqs big soccer win in the Asian Cup; an event that Hugh normally wouldn't have a clue about, like so many other things that never penetrate his bubble-world of Republican fascism, Catholicism, and where to get a good man-bra that doesn't chafe.
Hugh directs us to the guys at Iraq the Model who are understandably thrilled by the win
I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said hat today has been as exciting as one of those election days in Baghdad. Our national soccer team is playing for the Asian cup for the first time in its history. By comparison this is as if the American team is playing for the cup of Copa America against the team of Brazil or Argentina! But of course here in Iraq we care way more about soccer than Americans do. No offense meant of course!
And none taken! You like soccer and we like invading countries, killing their leaders and converting their people to Christianity. As we used to say in the seventies: different strokes for different brown people who will burn in hell for worshiping their mud-god.
But back to Iraq:
No, the joy is not for "no matter what"….Our team has just won the Asian cup for the first time in our soccer history. The win came through a magnificent goal by the head of our heroic forward Younis Mahmoud at the 71st minute of the match.. Our team ruled the game by all standards; in defense, midfield and attack our players proven that they are the best…they are now the masters of Asian soccer!
Today is definitely the happiest day for Iraqis in years.
If you find it hard to imagine that this was "the happiest day for Iraqis in years' just take a look at Iraqi life between 2pm and 4:30 that same day:
I went out in the early afternoon to bring some food and gasoline for the generator as I had only a few liters left in the generator's tank and I didn't want to take chances. I found that small crowds have gathered around gas vendors, obviously the demand is higher today and no one seems willing to miss part of the match because of a stupid gallon of gas. As a result gas price rocketed to more than 4 dollars a gallon; that's a 30 % increase from just two days ago.
Curfew was imposed at 4 in the afternoon and will last until tomorrow morning but in fact the streets were going to be empty even without a curfew.
Everyone seemed in a hurry buying what they need to before they all go home to sit in front of the TV sets. I returned home, filled all three generators with gasoline just in case one of them fails us, which is something that happens quite often. I also put several cans of beer in the fridge and brought some Pringles chips. The ultimate snack when watching soccer, or pretty much everything!
The good surprise came at 4:30 when the state electricity came after two days of absence; I assume it's a small "gift" from the government and the electricity department.
Behold, I am America, the destroyer of worlds, bringer of Pringles*
*Pringles ™ Official Snackfood of Decimated Infrastructures