Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sun Tzu The Art of War Chapter 2

Theme: Count the cost of war.

Also, Mr. Tzu gives important advice on protecting the resources of the state, the people & augmenting your strengths with the resources of your opponent's.

All of this is given in the context of; 'How one is to effectively wage his war.'

The question of, whether or not war should be waged has already been answered, in Sun Tzu's philosophy.

Again, I beleive that Sun Tzu's world sees Life and War as distinct, yet coeval.

Ergo, war is ever present to all who exist.
Humans are not given a choice of war, we only have free-will of how to pursue our battles in the war and conduct our affairs in war.

Please note that I am giving my opinions & interpretation of Sun Tzu's philosophy. If you disagree please comment to these posts.

There is a great deal of information in this chapter, which puts Bush & Rumsfeld's war making skill in question. Obviously, most who read this blog already believe the current administration to be unskilled in matters of state.

1 comment:

Scott Starr said...

Yes, it could be said that much of Bush's cabinet is unskilled at war. This is partly because very few of them ever served in the actual military or have seen combat, killing and death.

They are ideologues that worship the god of war but have never shed any of their own blood in so doing. This could be said of many other national leaders as well including those on the other side of the aisle.

The finer point is thus; almost all warfare leads to a never ending cycle of violence and revenge.

I was recently reading another blog where the point was made that violence is never the answer and then another blogger gave examples of where it supposedly did work. The points raised by the man who insisted that violence does work were then addressed one by one thusly:

"Sorry, but violence does work"

You've been watching too many Arnold and Stallone movies on DVD.

1. American Revolutionaries freed us from the iron grip of the British.

Yes, the iron grip of the most advanced and civil democracy then existing in the world. The British then ended slavery in countries they controlled, but that didn't apply to America, which had "freed" itself, sorta. if you were a European, English-speaking white person of the male sex who owned property. (Kind of like eating your colonialist cake but saying you don't have it, too, mostly so you don't have to share it with your more remote fellow imperialists?)

2. The Civil War ended slavery.

A war that had the largest loss of life in human history to that point (500,000) resulted in no change for the debased condition of African-Americans in the South for another century, until non-violent resistance made the first real changes. Lynchings, KKK, Jim Crow, no voting or office-holding, no property rights, apartheid.

3. WWI stopped the German plan to take over western Europe.

That's why within a few short years, the conditions caused by WW I resulted in Germany taking over all of western Europe. Not only that, but it resulted in collapse of Russia, directly causing the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union to threaten the west, and the rise of Stalin.

4. WWII stopped German and Japanese efforts to conquer in Europe and Asia. The Nazis (what a bunch!) were kicked out and had to either leave or go in hiding.

Instead, the Soviet Union took over much of Europe and a threat of nuclear annihilation hung over us all, and over-reactions caused civil liberties losses in the US with fascists like McCarthy causing fear and loathing.

We proved that a civilized nation was willing to kill entire civilian populations by dropping not one, but two atomic bombs on cities for test purposes on a country which no longer had a navy or air force and threatened no one any more.

In Asia, the aftermath of the war caused China to become completely unstabilized and for communism to take over both China and many other Asian countries, leading to many more millions of deaths and several undeclared wars which deprecated the constitutional controls on America conducting wars.

5. American military action in
Bosnia brought about a peace, tentative though it may be.

And the conflicts there were stoked and pent up from the previous above unresolved conflicts. And set a precedent for pre-emptive war in the future, which we've now fulfilled, again to no benefit to our own condition or others - in fact, just the opposite.

6. Violence is often necessary to subdue criminals and other antisocial types.

Much less than you might think. Sometimes responding provocatively with armed might intensifies the violence, instead of putting it out.
Not every black in a doorway pulling out his wallet needs to be subdued in a hail of 41 bullets.

America believes in violence, and it suffer from epidemics of violence from your house, to the White House.

7. As we know from the movies, the U.S. Cavalry saved a lot of settlers from being massacred by Indians.

The movies! Glad you get all you know from there, now we know the state of your mind firmly rooted in unreality and convenient and entertaining myths. I suppose from the point of us Indians, we just didn't use enough violence back against the U.S. Calvary, which engaged in genocide, to allow us to declare ourselves the "good guys" defending our homeland from invaders who really needed that "liebensraum" that the homelands in Europe couldn't supply.


Posted by: | November 1, 2007 7:43 PM

Here are some other apt quotes on the subject:

You can no more "win" a war than you can win an earthquake. The whole enterprise is about survival, damage control and recovery.
~Scott E. Starr

It is useless to attack men who could not be controlled even if conquered, while failure would leave us in an even worse position...
- About the quote: Thucydides was a Athenian historian, born in the 5th century, BC. Here, he is quoting the Athenian general Nikias on the proposed invasion of Sicily during the Peloponnesian War.

The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions.
~Robert Lynd

It would be easier to subjugate the entire universe through force than the minds of a single village.

The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.
~Albert Camus

In any war, the first casualty is common sense, and the second is free and open discussion.
~James Reston
About the quote: American Journalist (1909-1995), best known for his work with the NY Times.

What an immense mass of evil must result...from allowing men to assume the right of anticipating what may happen.
~Leo Tolstoy

May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
~Albert Einstein

The voice of never more needed than when the clamor of fife and bidding all men...obey in silence the tyrannous word of command.
~Charles Eliot Norton

The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated.
~William Ellery Channing

Let not your zeal to share your principles entice you beyond your borders.
~Marquis de Sade

The dangerous a defender of militarism and its ideals of war and glory.
~Colonel James A. Donovan, Marine Corps

Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
~Benjamin Franklin

Today the real test of power is not capacity to make war but capacity to prevent it.
~Anne O'Hare McCormick

Liberty and democracy become unholy when their hands are dyed red with innocent blood.
~Mahatma Gandhi

The chain reaction of evil--wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so...
~Robert A. Heinlein

An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.
~Thomas Paine

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
~George Washington

I am not blaming those who are resolved to rule, only those who show an even greater readiness to submit.

After every ''victory'' you have more enemies.
~Jeanette Winterson

Violence as a way of gaining being camouflaged under the guise of tradition, national honor [and] national security...
~Alfred Adler

Non-violence is not inaction. It is not discussion. It is not for the timid or weak... Non-violence is hard work.
~Cesar Chavez

Then of course there is the sermon on the mount as delivered by Christ....