As all but a handful of U.S. troops prepare to leave Iraq by the end of the year, talking heads will debate whether the mission was a success. Certainly, Iraq is not the pluralistic democracy that we had hoped for, but it's also not the base for al-Qaida that we feared it might become.
We probably won't know for some time whether Iraq will turn out as a success story, but The Rumor Doctor can think of one reason why things just might turn out OK: Chuck Norris.
Norris has a large following among U.S. troops for his purported supernatural powers, known as "Chuck Norris Facts." However, his fans also include Iraqi troops.
In an exclusive interview with The Rumor Doctor, Chuck Norris recalled meeting Iraqi troops during a visit downrange a few years ago.
Chuck Norris, aka "the bearded ninja," was initially hesitant to talk to the Iraqis because he didn't think Saddam Hussein let them see his movies.
"I don't think they'll know who I am," he recalls saying at the time.
Oh, they knew.
"They were very lovable and just hugging me and kissing me," he said.
The Iraqis’ embrace of Chuck Norris is a sign they have embraced what is best about America and the universe. He represents awesomeness; his favorite “fact” about himself has him running a marathon backward so he could see what it was like to come in second place.
Such is his legend that one tabloid went as far as reporting that Chuck Norris secretly killed former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, although he was busy filming "The Expendables" sequel at the time.
Some pundits predict Iraq will collapse after U.S. troops leave, but The Rumor Doctor believes that, inspired by Chuck Norris, the Iraqis will deliver a fatal roundhouse kick to injustice.
As for those who claim Chuck Norris killed Gadhafi: "Let 'em believe that," Chuck said. "Maybe through some kind of osmosis, my spirit did go over there and take him out."
THE RUMOR DOCTOR'S DIAGNOSIS: Iraqis who love Chuck Norris also love freedom, so The Rumor Doctor has hope that they will be able to counteract Iranian influence after U.S. troops leave.