More on The (Lost) Art of …
Following a previous post, the lost Art of … I came accross these two links:
The Art of Instant Forgetting: “Media corporations have an awesome ability to fail to learn even the most obvious lessons from the recent past. In discussing allegations made against Iran in 2007, for example, it is often as though Iraq 2002-2003 never happened. The same journalists receiving the same propaganda from the same government sources respond with the same credulity and the same indifference to the human consequences …” read more
David Edwards for Atlantic Free Press
Art of war: “THE truly influential books can be counted on the fingers of both hands. Any reasonable list would certainly include Sun-Tzu’s ‘Art of War’. Written well over two thousand years ago, it has come to be recognised as an essential work for generals and commanders, as well as for rulers. Increasingly, it is being studied by corporate executives for tips about leadership qualities.
While unsure if Pakistan’s military academies and staff college have made the Art of War required reading, I do believe that one of their most distinguished alumni, General Pervez Musharraf, has ignored the Chinese thinker’s very first dictum. The book opens with this sage advice: “Warfare is the greatest affair of state, the basis of life and death, the Way (Tao) to survival or extinction. It must be thoroughly pondered and analysed.”
… “If it is not advantageous, do not move … Unless endangered, do not engage in warfare. The ruler cannot mobilise the army out of personal anger. The general cannot engage in battle because of personal frustration. When it is advantageous, move; when not advantageous, stop. Anger can revert to happiness, annoyance can revert to joy, but a vanquished state cannot be revived, the dead cannot be brought back to life.”
… And although Sun-Tzu’s timeless text is taught at West Point, it seems the Pentagon was forced to embark on this mad adventure against its better judgment.
For Sun-Tzu, the best general is the one who can attain victory without having to fight his enemy: “Thus, the highest realisation of warfare is to attack the enemy’s plans … and the lowest is to attack their fortified cities…”
… The reality is that warfare today is far more complex than it was in Sun-Tzu’s times. … As we watch the build-up to a possible American attack on Iran, we can only hope those planning for this contingency have studied the lessons of the ‘Art of War’ well. Currently, Iran does not threaten either the United States or Israel, whatever the rhetoric of President Ahmedenijad might suggest. Iran is an ancient and proud state …
Given the extremely tenuous nature of a possible victory, Sun-Tzu would have advised inaction on the military front, while concentrating on a diplomatic solution. This is precisely what many sane people are counselling.