Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sun Tzu and the dangers of occupation

I remember my first post about Sun Tzu pissed off the wingnuts, let's see if I can continue.

I've been re-reading The Art of War recently and was reminded how some 2000 years ago, Sun Tzu was already warning lords and generals about military occupation.

From Chapter II: Waging War
2. When provisions are transported for a thousand li expenditures at home and in the field, stipends for the entertainment of advisers and visitors, the cost of materials such as glue and lacquer, and of chariots and armour, will amount to one thousand pieces of gold a day. After this money is in hand, one hundred thousand troops may be raised.

Heard that Rumsfeld? You don't go to war with the army you have. You pay for the army you need and only then do you go to war. And yeah, that includes armour. Rumsfeld remarks are even stupid considering the USA ain't a third world country. The Army ain't sending its troops to fight barefoot because they can't afford boots.

3. Victory is the main object of war. If this is long delayed, weapons are blunted and morale depressed. When troops attack cities, their strenght will be exhausted.

What's more depressing for a soldier? The so-call liberal media or the fact that he can't see the light at the end of the tunnel?
5. When your weapons are dulled and ardour damped, your strenght exhausted and treasure spent, neighbouring rulers will take advantage of your distress to act. And even though you have wise counsellors, none will be able to lay good plans.
Now the problem here is Bush can't even benefit from wise counsellors. Now think of Iran and its possible race for nukes, North Korea and even illegal immigration from Mexico. Are all these problems worth the Iraq debacle? The answer is no, because the irresponsability of America's leaders is a direct threat to its national security.
11. When a country is impoverished by military operations it is due to distant transportation; carriage of supplies for great distances renders the people destitute.

In other words, is it worth opening Subway joints in the Green Zone while there's already hungry citizens in America? (I could also ask is it worth opening a Tim Horton in Kandahar while 1 million Canadian children go to school hungry?)
16. The reason troops slay the enemy is because they are enrage.

And there you have the recipe for Haditha. Soldiers are not policemen or security guards.

It is unfair to send soldiers on a mission they are bound to fail. Chickenhawks can bitch all day long about how they don't necesseraly support all aspects of the Iraq occupation, but that really doesn't matter, because in the end they will lose. Not because they're not capable of winning, but because their leaders have set them up for failure. The die is cast and it is tricked. And it is even more disgusting to send them on a doomed mission, knowing full well they won't refuse to go, it's a gross abuse of confidence.

I'll end the chapter with this.
19. Treat the captives well, and care for them.
2000 years before the Geneva Convention.

Cross-posted at Liberal Avenger


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Can I cross post it on my LJ? Giving credit to you, of course!

--I'm "Sutut" and "GreenGestalt" on LiveJournal, and I indend to use the former if its ok.

--Also "KingNot" on DA, which you might remember comments from me on, including the previous Sun Tzu thread.

4:26 AM  

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