ZERO PLUS 1116 DAYS,--New York, NY, Saturday,
October 2, 2004--Two
telling parcels of world stability or lack of it can be underscored
by politics and sports. In the center of this spotlight are
Japan and Turkey.
as we commonly know it appears to be about one group of people
seeking domination over another. Terrorism, however, isn't
a specific nation seeking to ravage another nation's sovereignty
and rule its land as historically was the nature of war--a
simple battle for real estate.
Terrorism is about an ideological war
Terrorism is about an ideological war--a proving that one
belief system is more powerful than another. That is, if I
am a radical Terrorist and can attack a school and kill children
in it and cause Fear, Intimidation and Complacency among millions,
then I am victorious. I have won my "little war."
I have poisoned the "security" and "serenity"
of a huge power.
radical Terrorists proved they could bring a nation of nearly
300 million to its knees on September 11, 2001 by shattering
the illusionary shell of security that had kept America safe
from foreign invasion since the war of 1812. Today, more than
three years later, the Presidential debates are all about
fighting such a war, with one candidate saying he is best
to defend the children of the nation while the other is accusing
the incumbent of using the war as a political ploy to retain
power in the face of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
the real war on Terrorism is about the differences between
people's thinking and beliefs, a separation of one group's
ideology from all others to the extent that killing innocent
women and children becomes justifiable to meet the end.
had gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a sewage
treatment plant opening when the bomb exploded killing
over 30 children
Baghdad the other day a score of children were killed when
a car bomb exploded where American troops were giving candy
to the kids, and, for the Terrorists, this was a victory for
it proved the inability of Americans to protect the most innocent.
a couple more threats are hanging in the air shattering old
belief systems that individuality and separatism are keys
to internal and external security.
has to do with baseball and the other has to do with politics.
the case of baseball, a Japanese player who speaks very little
English and is as far-distant from the image of Babe Ruth
as Osama bin Laden is to Reverend Billy Graham, just shattered
the oldest baseball record on the books.
Suzuki shattered an 84-year-old record
name is Ichiro Suzuki, a four-year veteran of America's recent
thrust to import baseball players from all over the world.
cranked off his 258th hit of the regular seas with the Seattle
Mariners, shattering an 84-year-old record set in 1920 by
George Sisler for the most hits in a season.
that wasn't all. In addition, Suzuki set a couple of new high-water
marks in the record books with the most base hits over any
four-year span of 919, as well as walking off the field with
the record for the most hits in the first four seasons of
playing in the major leagues.
in Toyoyama, Aichi Prefecture, cheer for Ichiro
short generation ago, the idea of a Japanese baseball player
getting mobbed by American fans for being a "hero"
is unfathomable for many, especially when the USA was splattered
with posters about the "Yellow Devils" and "Don't
Trust A Jap," plus, putting Japanese Americans in detention
camps as though they were "enemies within."
behind Suzuki is the Yankee's superstar, Hideki Matsui. The
Yankee outfielder with only two years in the major leagues
holds the highest batting average on his team, with .298.
His closest rivals are tied at .291 and include Derek Jetter,
Cairo and Sheffield. Baseball's highest paid player, Alex
Rodriguez, is fifth in batting average rankings for the season
Matsui with his 31st homerun helped propel the Yankees
to their Division title
a deciding game for the Division title, Matsui cranked his
31st home run of the season, helping propel the Yankees for
a record-smashing total hits for the season that brought the
Bronx to its feet in cheers for the Japanese imported player.
baseball is a microcosim of a shifting world where ethnicity
drops by the wayside in favor of universal talent, both Japanese
players symbolize the integration of American "heroism"
to extend far beyond our borders. This includes even those
who in 1941 bombed Pearl Harbor and received the same lambasting
as the Terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center--perhaps
the other side of the water, in a place called Europe, a similar
battle is underway to keep ethnic walls thick and separated,
but, it appears the effort is like holding hands in hopes
the tides won't rush in.
is seeking entrance into the European Economic Union
battle is about allowing Turkey entrance into the European
Economic Union. It's a similar process to making Turkey a
part of Europe's "United States," enjoying all the
same privileges and benefits that American states do with
one another, including federal funding.
in Europe oppose Turkey's entrance into the 25-member European
Union(EU)--the world's largest trading block--because it would
be the first Muslim nation to join. Turkey's population of
71 million would also represent the largest of any single
against the Turks joining is expressed by former President
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing of France who has stated that
Turkey is not a European country and that Turkish membership
would mean "the end of Europe.".
throughout Europe are divided on the issue. They face the
question as all nations are facing: "How universal are
we? How separatist are we?"
seeks to divide and conquer people.
more integrated a society, the harder it is to divide and
conquer it since diversity is its key. The more singular a
society, the easier to alienate its members.
is a prime example, and certainly not the only one.
the Japanese are taking the headlines, for many years ethnic
Hispanic players have been dominating the game. But, for those
who believe the Americas are the Americas, north or south,
the idea of "foreigner" doesn't apply in the same
way a Japanese player does for many--especially when the players
can't speak the language and need interpreters.
basketball has seen an influx of Eastern European players
(Dirk Nowitzki on right)
is on such a course. An American game that once was all white
and shifted to a majority of black African American game,
it is now swinging the other way with a huge influx of exceptional
Eastern European players, tall, white players with thick accents.
sports is a reflection of integration, world series and world
championship games will truly be just that in a generation
or so, for teams will comprise members of all sizes and shapes.
the political side, even the President of the United States
is up for grabs. Arnold Swartzenegger's capturing of the California
governorship, a common stepping stone to the White House,
has fueled a long-sought goal by many to change the qualifications
for becoming the President of the United States from being
naturally born here, to having been a citizen of the nation
for at least two or more decades.
Schwarzenegger, born in Thal, Austria, is the Governor
is some strong reality to that position, especially as America
continues to become more and more diverse, and needs to represent
it diversity at the highest levels, as it is doing in sports.
it is true of the EU.
United States as the EU has to face tough issues--how united
is it a separatist?
more separatist it is, the bigger a target for Terrorism,
that's a known. The more diverse, the less.
is a major target for Terrorism because it clings to a unique
culture and ethnicity in the face of pressures from all sides
of a different culture and ethnicity. It is facing the question
of assimilating millions of Palestinians who have no rights
as Jewish citizens even if they live and work and raise their
children within the borders of Israel.
seeks to divide and conquer, inside the mind as well the borders.
American politics today ignores a world of diversity, and
the recent debate between candidates shockingly reminds the
more versed about the dangers of isolationism.
when the Parents of the World Unite, will the true diversity
occur. When Parents of Vigilance vote in favor of their children's
future, and their Children's Children's Children futures,
will we see a world moving toward a Terrorism-Free Zone.
is happening in American baseball, and many other sports.
doesn't capture many headlines, but it is an undercurrent
that allows the world to see how all nations can compete to
win for the children.
love sports. Their heroes today come from a vast array of
nations. They aren't just white or black, they are European,
Asian and a potpourri of nations.
looking to the world for heroes see the future of Vigilance
children look to the world for heroes, and not just their
own, they see something that adults don't or won't--they see
the future of Vigilance. They see a world in which enemies
melt by religious, ethnic and political differences into one
mold--human beings competing in a fun, fair way.
salute American sports.
is the signet of ultimate Vigilance.