Obama, ISIS and Sun Tzu

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Obama, ISIS and Sun Tzu

Post by kbot » 04-17-2015 05:55 AM

Recently I picked-up some books that I've wanted to read over the year, but for some reason or another, simply haven't gotten around to. One book I picked-up was the classic Art of War, by Sun Tzu, and, as I've been reading the chapters, I've been struck by the remarks coming out of the WH Press Secretary's office.

The copy I bought has a forward that alludes to the book being used over the centuries by the military over the centuries, and now by the business community.

Some quotes from the book - as you read these, think back over remarks made by the WH - either Obama himself, or his press staff........

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle

“Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.”

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”

“There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.”

“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”

“Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.”

A couple of points - the introduction of the edition I bought showed how the Chinese Communists under Mao, as well as the North Vietnamese used The Art of War in their campaigns - both which were disastrous for the US.

This morning's news ran a segment of how the morale of the US Army is at it's lowest point. Ever.

Think Obama and our government is being schooled?

http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/ ... Tzu?page=1

Army morale low despite 6-year, $287M optimism program

More than half of some 770,000 soldiers are pessimistic about their future in the military and nearly as many are unhappy in their jobs, despite a six-year, $287 million campaign to make troops more optimistic and resilient, findings obtained by USA TODAY show.

Twelve months of data through early 2015 show that 403,564 soldiers, or 52%, scored badly in the area of optimism, agreeing with statements such as "I rarely count on good things happening to me." Forty-eight percent have little satisfaction in or commitment to their jobs.

The results stem from resiliency assessments that soldiers are required to take every year. In 2014, for the first time, the Army pulled data from those assessments to help commanders gauge the psychological and physical health of their troops.

The effort produced startlingly negative results. In addition to low optimism and job satisfaction, more than half reported poor nutrition and sleep, and only 14% said they are eating right and getting enough rest.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... /24897455/

Just happened on this from a few years back.......

Sun Tzu would not be happy with Obama's plans for Syria strike

Sun Tzu: “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

We have heard a lot of noise over the past week from the White House…and we are about to hear a whole lot more…

The president intends to conduct a surgical military strike against Syria in the near future because Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad violated international norms to send a message. And despite the limited duration of any such planned military action and the lack of clear and achievable objective there is a frightening gap between Obama's rhetoric and the reality we face.

The old adage applies here: plan for the worst, but hope for the best. However, “hope” is not a strategy and it is not a sound policy regarding Syria.

It is time for President Obama to level with the American people and Congress.

The White House needs to expand its horizon and create realistic expectations of what any military action will bring.

Surgical strikes never go exactly as planned.

Many experts believe Assad will not heed the message and will instead continue to act illogically and use chemical weapons against his people, again.

What are we to do then; what then are our options; what will be the cost of the next move and the next move after that?

Congress is more aware than the president to the reality of political backlash that will come with the blind use of U.S. unilateral military force; and in the end what are our options if the message carried by our cruise missiles and manned bombers does not take?
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/09/ ... ia-strike/
What the hell are we fighting for? Ah, just surrender and it won't hurt at all. You just got time to say your prayers. Yeah, while you're waiting for the hammer to fall. (Brian May of Queen)

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Post by Doka » 04-17-2015 09:41 AM

Do you ever get the feeling, that we , the people, are being played and maneuvered like a fine tuned orchestra? :confused:
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Post by kbot » 04-17-2015 11:31 AM

Doka wrote: Do you ever get the feeling, that we , the people, are being played and maneuvered like a fine tuned orchestra? :confused:


Yes.

This morning I was listening to a replay of a Katherine Albrecht broadcast and she was talking about Machiavelli's The Prince, and how a lot of what we see today (and over the course of recent decades) is straight out of there.

The truly sad part, as she alluded to in her show, is that books such as this used to be used in school. Not anymore.... So, people of a certain generation might look at events here and around the globe and say, "Ya know, that's messed-up". But, now, with the younger crowd, they just don't have a clue. They (and us) are being played.
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Post by kbot » 04-17-2015 11:42 AM

Kinda in the same vein Doka, of your concern. At a time when the Democrats portray themselves as champions of the middle class, we get this...........

Like I've said - it doesn't matter which political party is in office. There is an agenda out there, I believe, to take down this country economically, and the politicians are perfectly fine with cooperating with those pulling the strings.

Look, we had both Bush 43, and now Hillary, receiving financial support from overseas. Any reason to think that things will improve under Hillary?

Democrats’ civil war over free trade

The most important trade bill in a decade has pitted Harry Reid against President Barack Obama. Liberal Democrat Rosa DeLauro against moderate Democrat Ron Kind. Labor unions against pro-business Democrats. And Elizabeth Warren against virtually everyone who supports a landmark piece of legislation that would allow the president to close what could be the biggest free-trade deal in history.

The open warring among Democrats over fast-track trade legislation, and the party’s broader existential crisis on free trade, grew more pronounced Thursday as senior lawmakers announced a breakthrough on the trade bill. Many Democrats still feel the burn, 20 years later, of lost manufacturing jobs from the North American Free Trade Agreement — pushed through by former President Bill Clinton — and they fear another Democratic president is on the verge of turning his back on working-class Americans by negotiating a trade deal that would send jobs overseas.

What’s at stake substantively is giving the president streamlined authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-country free-trade deal that would dwarf NAFTA. But there’s also much more at stake politically for a Democratic Party whose progressive wing is enjoying an upswing thanks to the aggressive populism of Warren and liberals like Sen. Bernie Sanders, who are unabashedly anti-free trade deal. Obama wants to cement a legacy on global free trade, but his work negotiating with Republicans has created several factions within the Democratic Party.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/d ... 17066.html
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Post by Doka » 04-17-2015 12:39 PM

Kbot, the name "Machiavelli" has come to my mind a lot lately. I believe he coined the phrase "The end justifys the means", which sends evil chills down my spine.

I have to read more about the Free Trade deal, not sure what it contains, on saying that, I do beieve that we are to have a global economy, which can be a good thing for all. But for many it smacks of capitalism, which in their opinion must be eradicated at all costs. A global Cuba, is just not something I desire,for myself and the rest of the world.


I was listening a fella saying that the election was going to be between Hillery and Jeb! Made my stomach hurt. Kind of like how do you want to die, shot or hung? :eek:
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Post by Fan » 04-17-2015 01:30 PM

I will simply add this quote from Sun Tzu that sums up what I think of all this play fighting:

To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.
The heartbreaking necessity of lying about reality and the heartbreaking impossibility of lying about it.

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

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Post by kbot » 04-17-2015 02:13 PM

Fan wrote: I will simply add this quote from Sun Tzu that sums up what I think of all this play fighting:

To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.


Kinda sums-up perfectly where we are.......
What the hell are we fighting for? Ah, just surrender and it won't hurt at all. You just got time to say your prayers. Yeah, while you're waiting for the hammer to fall. (Brian May of Queen)

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Post by kbot » 04-17-2015 02:13 PM

Doka wrote: I was listening a fella saying that the election was going to be between Hillery and Jeb! Made my stomach hurt. Kind of like how do you want to die, shot or hung? :eek:


Not much of a choice........
What the hell are we fighting for? Ah, just surrender and it won't hurt at all. You just got time to say your prayers. Yeah, while you're waiting for the hammer to fall. (Brian May of Queen)

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Post by Fan » 04-17-2015 02:28 PM

kbot wrote: Kinda sums-up perfectly where we are.......


Maybe it would be better stated as:

To have the perfect enemy you must create them.
The heartbreaking necessity of lying about reality and the heartbreaking impossibility of lying about it.

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

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Post by Fan » 04-17-2015 02:29 PM

10 Rules of Media Propaganda during times of War:

1. We don't want war, we are only defending ourselves

2. The other guy is solely responsible for this war

3. Our adversary's leader is evil and looks evil

4. We are defending a noble purpose, not special interest

5. The enemy is purposefully causing atrocities; we only commit mistakes

6. The enemy is using unlawful weapons

7. We have very little losses, the enemy is losing big

8. Intellectuals and artists support our cause

9. Our cause is sacred

10. Those who doubt our propaganda are traitors.
The heartbreaking necessity of lying about reality and the heartbreaking impossibility of lying about it.

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

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Post by megman » 05-01-2015 06:12 AM

What happened to "kill 'em all and let God sort them out"?
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Post by Fan » 05-01-2015 08:20 AM

megman wrote: What happened to "kill 'em all and let God sort them out"?


yeah that is our drone strategy... except you "double tap" as well - wait for the rescuers to come in them drop another.
The heartbreaking necessity of lying about reality and the heartbreaking impossibility of lying about it.

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Post by kbot » 05-01-2015 10:45 AM

megman wrote: What happened to "kill 'em all and let God sort them out"?


Or even better - empty GITMO, send 'em all back and let them do it all again...... :rolleyes:
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Post by Fan » 05-01-2015 11:04 AM

kbot wrote: Or even better - empty GITMO, send 'em all back and let them do it all again...... :rolleyes:


yeah except no one in gitmo is proven to have done anything. You could be in there just as easily if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The heartbreaking necessity of lying about reality and the heartbreaking impossibility of lying about it.

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Post by Riddick » 05-01-2015 12:49 PM

Fan wrote: yeah except no one in gitmo is proven to have done anything. You could be in there just as easily if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
OR just as easily if, due to a printout error, an anti-terror task force mistakenly descends on your home leading to your incarceration and later death during interrogation! (See Terry Gilliam's "Brazil")

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