Playing With The Enemy
President Bush believes baseball brings people together and helps explain Western values. Games will pit traveling American naval team against willing Muslim inmates.
El Dorado Hills, CA, March 29, 2007 -- A source inside the Pentagon confirmed today that some of the prisoners held at Guantanamo have been offered the opportunity to participate in America’s favorite pastime: baseball. Their opponents will be American servicemen. The decision is part of an extensive new outreach effort to create better relations between the United States and the Muslim world.
According to independent publishing house Savas Beatie, LLC, the idea originated with Pete Merrick, a guard at Guantanamo and former high school baseball standout. Merrick got the idea from Gary W. Moore’s recently released book Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and a Field of Broken Dreams (2006). “If the Americans can teach captured Nazis how to play baseball and break through the ice, then why can’t we teach some of these detainees the same thing?”
Merrick raised the sensitive issue with his superior, “who was initially very cool to the idea,” explained the former shortstop. “But he eventually came around and kicked the suggestion upstairs.”
According to the Pentagon source, who spoke off the record, the journey “upstairs” made it all the way to President George Bush’s desk. The President quickly warmed to the prospects of improving relations (and the world’s view of Guantanamo) through baseball. The former owner of the Texas Rangers and Commander-in-Chief is an avid baseball fan and sometimes referred to in the White House as “the nation’s First Baseball Fan.”
President Bush often does things to honor his father, President George H. W. Bush, a former Navy pilot who played first base for the Yale Baseball Team. In an ironic twist, author Gary Moore’s father Gene was a baseball-playing sailor with major league aspirations. Playing with the Enemy explains how Gene, who was recruited by the Brooklyn Dodgers at the age of 15, overcame the stiff opposition of his superiors to teach the game of baseball to captured Nazis he and his teammates were guarding in Louisiana. The Germans fell into American hands when their submarine U-505 (currently on display at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry) was captured in 1944. Moore’s saga was sold to an academy award-winning Hollywood producer. The movie is scheduled to shoot this summer.
According to the Pentagon source, officials in both the White House and inside the Pentagon “vigorously protested” the President’s decision, but have since thawed to the idea, especially since some of the detainees themselves have expressed interest in the idea. “The President feels strongly about both the game and the prospects for improving relations. Is there a better way to do that than with a game of baseball?”
Author Gary Moore was dumbfounded when he “got the call.” As Moore told a local reporter, he was “honored the President is following in my father’s footsteps and using the greatest game ever invented to craft a public relations solution to Guantanamo. I wish the President luck in this endeavor, and would love to throw out the first pitch in the first game ever played between American Naval ballplayers and Islamic extremists.”
Training is set to coincide with the April 1 opening of the 2007 Major League Baseball season.
For additional information on the Guantanamo baseball training, contact Sarah Keeney or visit http://playingwiththeenemy.com/index.htm
About Savas Beatie LLC:
Savas Beatie LLC is a leading military and general history publishing company.
About Playing with the Enemy author Gary Moore:
Gary W. Moore is the president and managing partner of Covenant Air & Water, LLC, a motivational speaker, and an accomplished musician. Gene Moore was his father. Gary lives in Bourbonnais, Illinois, south of Chicago.
Sarah Keeney, Marketing Director
Savas Beatie LLC
And don't forget that Gary Moore is my guest on Political Pistachio Radio on April 7, 2007 (day before Easter). If you don't catch the show live, remember you can listen to the archive later. If you catch the show live, feel free to call in and ask him a few questions.
And coming up on this coming Saturday, March 31st @ 4pm Pacific/7pm Eastern, our special guest will be Bushwack from American and Proud, to tell us about his participation in The Gathering of Eagles March just recently in Washington D.C.
Tune in to Political Pistachio Radio to catch all the fun.