Republicans' Art of War

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Keeku's picture

Republicans' Art of War

I had an epiphany the other day while watching a television show on Sun Tzu's "Art of War", and it all makes sense now.

I've spent the last two years trying to make sense of Karl Rove and the Tea Parties' political strategies. The only strategy I ever saw was one of complete confusion, bullying, and obviscation, a form of mass insanity among the right. Well, mine eyes have been opened.

They are following the strategies of Sun Tzu. In fact, in some companies it is required reading for managers and CEO's. It's a corporate strategy guidebook, and now a political one.

Everything they are doing is in there. read for yourself...

I wish Thom would do a show about it.   /hint  /hint


Keeku's picture
Here is an excerpt: All

Here is an excerpt:

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away;when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected. These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.

Keeku's picture
Another...  classic

Another...  classic Rove.


Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle, there may be seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all; amid confusion and chaos, your array may be without head or tail, yet it will be proof against defeat. Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline, simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength. Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is simply a question of subdivision; concealing courage under a show of timidity presupposes a fund of latent energy; masking strength with weakness is to be effected by tactical dispositions. Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. He sacrifices something, that the enemy may snatch at it. By holding out baits, he keeps him on the march; then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him.

Keeku's picture
And this.. Appear at points

And this..

Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected. An army may march great distances without distress, if it marches through country where the enemy is not. You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended. You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked. Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack. O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible; and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands. You may advance and be absolutely irresistible, if you make for the enemy's weak points; you may retire and be safe from pursuit if your movements are more rapid than those of the enemy. If we wish to fight, the enemy can be forced to an engagement even though he be sheltered behind a high rampart and a deep ditch. All we need do is attack some other place that he will be obliged to relieve. If we do not wish to fight, we can prevent the enemy from engaging us even though the lines of our encampment be merely traced out on the ground. All we need do is to throw something odd and unaccountable in his way.

Keeku's picture
By discovering the enemy's

By discovering the enemy's dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy's must be divided. We can form a single united body, while the enemy must split up into fractions. Hence there will be a whole pitted against separate parts of a whole, which means that we shall be many to the enemy's few. And if we are able thus to attack an inferior force with a superior one, our opponents will be in dire straits.

The spot where we intend to fight must not be made known; for then the enemy will have to prepare against a possible attack at several different points; and his forces being thus distributed in many directions, the numbers we shall have to face at any given point will be proportionately few. For should the enemy strengthen his van, he will weaken his rear; should he strengthen his rear, he will weaken his van; should he strengthen his left, he will weaken his right; should he strengthen his right, he will weaken his left. If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak. Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible attacks; numerical strength, from compelling our adversary to make these preparations against us.

anonymous green
Spot on friend! Don't forget

Spot on friend!

Don't forget how they use the teachings of Jesus in this artifice.

Keeku's picture
Religion is Moral Law I

Religion is Moral Law I believe. I still have much to study. Can anyone else point out the parallels?

Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise: (1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law? (2) Which of the two generals has most ability? (3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth? (4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced? (5) Which army is stronger? (6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained? (7) In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

Keeku's picture
"The Moral Law causes the

"The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger"

This line shows us why they are using religion as a campaign tool.

You're thinking too much. If

You're thinking too much.

If the GOP has discovered that someone will vote for a candidate who claims that we will all be better off if we cut the tax rate on dividends from 70% to 50%, and then again from 50% to 28%, and then again from 28% to 15%... Why wouldn't they advocate cutting from 15% to... 1%? Or zero?

And accordingly, the opposition candidate appears "better" when he advocates raising the tax rate to... 16%...


Keeku's picture
No, I'm not thinking too

No, I'm not thinking too much.  lol...    Maybe not enough.  This post is about campaign strategy. The tax conversation is just a weapon in their war on the American people.

Correct.  Thom has done a lot

Correct.  Thom has done a lot about the rhetoric and how "thinking" can be tripped up by appeals to our subjective and unconscious narrative behind our thoughts.  Appreciating the skills of propaganda and how much research and technology can be brought to the manipulation of people does not make what they do moral or worthy of praise.  We need to know what we are up against.

Defanging the "strength" of the opponent may seem impossible for those who put their trust in reason and civility to allow the better case to appeal.  Talking down about Obama is a way of denying his overwhelming competence in office.  I don't have to agree with Obama to appreciate his brains and leadership qualities.  I don't have to disagree with Romney to see that he is an empty suit.

But, I am aware of how the packaging and messaging works and try to keep myself outside its seductions.  Those who are unaware do not have this defense.  

Disgust at the negativity and irrelevance of our campaign's content works to keep people from being informed and active.  It is a form of voter suppression, so of course it is part of the Republican Plan.

Surprise, they wrap their sword in a flag and hold a Bible with it.  The merger of religion and patriotism on the Right is structural to their narrative even though it includs a full ability to condemn secular America with much greater passion than anyone on the Left is allowed.  Remember Rev. Wright, an honest Christian preacher who ran an integrated urban church as a reconciling community.  Compare him with the excrable Hagey.

Rove can divde us on religion.  We need to do better.  Critics of bad religion can also notice that there is good religion.  They don't have to participate, but it would help were they not making it hard to reach people who can read the Bible and see the Socialist Jesus.  

bobthebear's picture
Good work Keeku! I wouldn't

Good work Keeku! I wouldn't worry too much about Republicans reading "Art of War". It's been proven that most Republicons can't read. We just have to worry about their lies.

Good luck

I read The Art of War years

I read The Art of War years ago, for a business class.  IIRC in the first example Sun Tzu tells a warlord, emperor, whoever, that he can make a military platoon out of the palace's dancing ladies.  The emperor scoffs.  So he trains them for one day and when they come before the Emperor they're awful. So Sun Tzu beheads one of them. The next time they're doing everything right.

That particular strategy works in business.  The rest of the book struck me as interesting stuff for actual warfare, but kind of silly for business.  Machiavelli's "The Prince" was around for hundreds of years before Westerners discovered The Art of War, and IMO is more relevant to business, politics, etc.


Keeku's picture
Ahhh..  another good example.

Ahhh..  another good example. Any Republican who dissents is politically "beheaded" by the Tea Party.

Politics isn't business, it's a type of war, the ground they are fighting for are the voters/states, or the seats in the house and senate for example. The ultimate prize being the presidency. David Koch called it a war in one of his Tea Party meetings (it's on video). He said it was the biggest war "they" have fought in 108 years.