Endgame strategies in baseball and football shed light on stay-or-quit choices in Iraq and in Afghanistan as well as worldwide war on terror. We need to understand this is an event-driven struggle in which we need extra innings rather than it being a time-limited struggle or one suitable for a "prevent-defense" recipe for defeat.
Regarding War on Terror in general and in Iraq and Afghanistan in particular, The Greatest Generation, for whom baseball was the national pastime, would have understood that "if it takes extra innings to win, it takes extra innings to win-- no time-constraints, please."
Differences between baseball and football provide strategic insights into the war currently being waged in Iraq, Afghanistan and worldwide by Islamic fanatics against the Western values of liberty and democracy disciplined by respect for human rights. One of the fundamental differences between baseball and regular-season football is that baseball's endgame is entirely event-driven, but football's is time-limited-- i.e., baseball continues until one side wins regardless of the number of innings required, but football ends with a "tie" when neither side has won at the end of regulation time. Until the 1960's, baseball had been our "national pastime," but soon after the first Super Bowl, football eclipsed baseball and became, at least our "de facto" national pastime. (See www.PoliSat.Com video "Baseball, Football and War" in Windows Movie Video or YouTube format by clicking an image below.)
Baseball became our "national pastime" in an era in which the American psyche expected and preferred decisive outcomes. After Pearl Harbor reawakened this American psyche from its naive slumber following World War I, what would later become known as "The Greatest Generation"º¹ intuitively understood baseball's event-driven endgame strategy to be applicable to the historic conflict they entered. They knew that preservation of liberty would require them to persist in the conflict for however long it might take for liberty to emerge victorious. They unapologetically proclaimed their faith in liberty over totalitarianism. They didn't subscribe to such silly nonsense as "One man's totalitarian is another man's humanitarian." They were "in it" for the duration of the conflict. They understood the necessity of the goal being "victory" rather than another Munich "compromise" designed by people knowing less than they believed they knew about the nature of fanaticism.
The free press (then) astutely knew it to be sophistry to try to feign "neutrality" in the struggle between liberty and totalitarian systems prohibiting a free press. The free press didn't try to publish information useful to the enemy and hurtful to our side. Today, the "free press" worships at the altar of the sophistry of trying to be "neutral" in the struggle between an alliance of mutual enemies (under the maxim "the enemy of my enemy is my friend") -- i.e., Islamic fanaticism and Paleo-Stalinism-- on the one hand and classical Western liberalism (including the very concept of a "free press") on the other.
Then, with the coming-of-age of the The Greatest Narcissistic Generation, a.k.a., the "baby boomers," (excepting from such epithet, of course, those who served in the military), the patience necessary for appreciating the event-driven nature of baseball's endgame all but vanished from the American psyche to replaced -- at an ever accelerating rate-- with a craving for quick gratification and a sense of entitlement that "things" should work-out "favorably" within a reasonably short period of time.
This virtually instant-gratification craving and sense of entitlement empowered a national psyche that wasted the sacrifices and almost unending string of victories by our military in Vietnam by capitulating to totalitarians and then turning a blind eye to the slaughter of millions in the wake of our departure. At least then, neither the North Vietnamese nor the Viet Cong overtly desired the destruction of the West in general or the United States in particular. Today, as was the case in the wake of the then-enemy's military-failure/propaganda-success known as the "Tet Offensive," the mentality of American Self-Defeatists is in the ascendancy, and the craving for an "end" to the conflict regardless of the consequences has become political bloodlust.
Who are the American Self-Defeatists today? Currently, most of the Democratic Party (with a few exceptions such as the dependably courageous and morally principled Joe Lieberman), virtually the entirety of the traditionally dominant media (the so-call "MainStream Media" or "MSM"), virtually the entirety of the entertainment industry, and a growing minority of white-flag Republicans. Who's left? At present, not enough of us. That's what we need to change-- and sooner, not later. We must cease merely "preaching to the choir." We must convey the issues in a rational way to the countless "independents" and "middle-roaders" misled by the unrelenting, propagandistic, caricaturization* of the issues by the American Self-Defeatists. We must enlighten the "independents" and "middle-roaders" in order to alter poll-results worshipped by weak-kneed politicians who are now looking for the tall grass.
Is there enough time? No much. Let's get going. Let's get America understanding and playing "baseball" again.
--Jim Wrenn, Editor, PoliSat.Com.
Here are two permanent links for this page in addition to the WebCommentary permanent link:
here and here.
º¹ Credit Tom Brokaw for this great insight among the few he had-- to be fair, maybe none of us can realistically expect more than one great insight as we stumble through life.)
* So-what if it's not in the dictionary. It says what I mean.
Jim is a proud descendant of 18th Century criminal exiles from England who swam to the Outer Banks when the British ship taking them to a Georgia penal colony sank in a storm near Cape Hatteras. Having the prescience to prevent their descendants from becoming "TarHeels," they immediately migrated to Virginia, where, within just a few generations they worked their way up into poverty. Jim's grandfather was the first in the family tree to see the distant horizons, but his career was cut short by severe injuries he sustained when a cousin cut down the tree.
After a brief stint in the Amry (ours) following graduation from law school, he began his legal career in the state bureaucracy but was never able to break into the federal bureaucracy. Several years later, he entered the private practice of law and co-founded a small law publishing company. Later, finding the publishing of small laws unstimulating and finding his private practice too private to be lucrative, he began writing political satire/commentary. His greatest vice is taking himself too seriously.
Although he regularly teaches Continuing Legal Education courses to lawyers, he's too-often available through he Rubber Chicken Speakers Bureau to speak on politics, satire, etc., at luncheons, dinners, root canals, funerals, etc. His speaking fees are so outrageously high they border on criminal price-gouging, but as a free-market advocate, he defends his fees on the higher moral ground of charging whatever the traffic will bear. For more information (surely more than one would want or need), go to www.PoliSat.Com.