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06/25/2014

Germany owes US a draw, at least

Facing the possible elimination from the biggest party sporting event in the world, it's time for the U.S. to call in a debt. It's time for the U.S. to remind Germany they owe us. Huge.

On Thursday in Brazil, the U.S. men's national soccer team will play Germany in its final group match. The US needs but a draw against the Germans to advance to the knockout stage.

We are a mighty nation - ask Germany back in the 1920s and '40s - but we are not on the same plane on the pitch with the nation that made the great David Hasselhoff an international treasure.

 

 Bottom line: If US/Germany ends in a tie on the pitch, both teams advance out of the Group of Death. With that reality, it's time for the US to send a text, memo, message in bottle, courier pigeon or singing telegram with these two words:

Unknown"Marshall. Plan".

After the Allied Forces destroyed the living hell out of Nazi Germany, and accepted unconditional surrender on May 7, 1945, Germany was worse off than when it signed the Treaty of Versailles in 1921, to end World War I.

That "agreement" between the U.S. and Germans sent the losing team into an even deeper recession with a series of debts and bills it could not possibly repay; it eventually paved the path for Hitler, and World War II.

When the Germans lost WWII, U.S. President Harry S. Truman wanted no part of another sequel. Truman set in motion a comprehensive, and massive, rebuild of central Europe, including Germany. 

Truman named U.S. general George Marshall his secretary of state, who in turn devised the "Marshall Plan" - a detailed plan to rebuild Europe. It was called the European Recovery Program, but it known as the Marshall Plan. Truman wanted to stability in Western Europe, and there was no better way than to give those war-crushed nations an economic lift.

The Marshall Plan went into effect in early 1947, and between 1948 and 1952 the Western European nations that for roughly a decade were in the middle of war were rebuilt, and rebranded.

There is nothing the Germans can do to adequately thank the Americans for the giant check we granted more than 60 years ago, and for the U.S. saying, "We're good" after the war.

A tie in the World Cup tomorrow would just be a solid way of saying thanks for The Marshall Plan.

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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