RANGER AGAINST WAR: It's Only a Game <

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Only a Game

 JUST DO IT -- it's one of advertising's most successful campaigns. But Nike's defining 1988 slogan was being used successfully 20+ years before in an Ohio cornfield. 

Back in 1965 when Ranger was a young ROTC cadet he had a tough old Master Sergeant, Nick Kolivas, who owned the slogan well before the sports store. He constantly yelled at us: "Just do it!" It silenced any grumbling or complaints on our side.

Nike's winning 1988 logo was preceded by the also powerful, "There is No Finish Line." When Ranger recently saw these words on a T-shirt he thought, "What does this imply?" It is the perfect analog to the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©).

If there is no finish line, does this imply there is no starting line? When does a War on Terror start, and where and when does it end?

Today the runners are gathering on Beacon Street in Boston to run the 118th Boston Marathon, mindful of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing which was a gruesome application of the finish line metaphor. Is that marathon, with its finish line bombing, a perfect example of the "Long War" that all PWOT enthusiasts embrace? Was it just another senseless act or does it make sense at some level beyond our consciousness?

In every terror awareness training I attended we were taught that we must think like the terrorists ... but is this even possible?  Do the terrorists know what they think and why they think it? Do our leaders share this inability to  recognize the significance of their policies? Is the motive --> consequence clear?

There is no finish line because we cannot even determine the starting line. Democracy should be about growth, humanistic endeavors endeavors and the dignity of the individual. If the world operated on logical rules, then terrorism is the opposite of that construct.

The nihilism of terrorism is what we will never comprehend, regardless of how many terrorist courses we attend. That understanding is rational; what does not fit is the reactions of the United States to recent terrorist events.

When we rely on assassinations, unauthorized surveillance and various iterations of military violence as a response to terrorism then we have become as incomprehensible as any nihilist or terrorist. As long as there are criminals, crazies or crusaders willing to cause mayhem there will never be a finish line.

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Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...


As you point out, for me terrorism awareness courses produced the scary realization that the company grade officers I observed in courses at USJFCOM and several other locations came to believe they knew and could predict terrorists goals and motivations with alacrity.

Friday, April 25, 2014 at 10:43:00 AM GMT-5  

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