Sun Tzu said: 'Know Your Enemy'
In Iraq, the enemy is elusive. For the past two years, the U.S. military has chased so-called insurgents through the vast deserts of western Iraq and up and down the Euphrates River valley. But to little avail. According to military leaders, we still know very little about the "enemy"-- Who are they? Where are they? What will they do next?
"Sunni Muslim insurgents -- some angry about the downfall of Saddam Hussein, others fighting for a Sunni theocracy -- have joined with Muslim extremists coming across a porous desert border looking for the glory of international jihad. The guerrilla fighters often leave a rearguard to fight advancing U.S. forces, while moving the majority of their men to other towns where the Marines have no presence and the police forces have disbanded." Detroit Free Press, August 8, 2005So when the President says that he doesn't want to send a bad message to the "enemy", who is he referring to?
Yeah, I've heard that the enemy is a "terrorist". But can you please tell me what a terrorist looks like in Iraq? Yeah, I've also heard that the enemy is an "insurgent"? But could you please tell me what an insurgent looks like?
The truth is, our enemy has no head, takes no definitive shape, and does not manifest any locus of power. In essence, the enemy is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The enemy in Iraq is, for all intents and purposes, unknowable.
"We cannot recognize the enemy because he dresses like a civilian and he drives in a civilian car. He looks like everyone else." Detroit Free Press, August 8, 2005Can the President tell us how this non-existent enemy will be found or how it will be defeated? Does he think we will simply wear out this elusive enemy on its home turf?
In Sun Tzu's The Art of War, the oldest military treatise in the world, the great Chinese warrior stated:
"When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength." Art of War, at II:2.But more importantly, Sun Tzu stated:
"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." Art of War, at III:18. (Emphasis Added.)Unfortunately, our President does not know his enemy. Yet, like a child, he is stubbornly trying to outlast and defeat the unknowable ghost in the closet. And similar to Vietnam, without ever losing a battle, for every victory gained, we are bound to suffer a defeat. Moreover, unlike Bush, our elusive "enemy" does follow the Art of War game plan.
"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." Art of War, at VI:7.Is this not the definition of guerilla warfare?
Oh, the folly and arrogance of George W. Bush. He speaks like a child and wages war like a neophyte. How will we know when the last enemy is gone, when he can't be sure where the first enemy is hiding?
The war in Iraq is doomed to fail. I take no pleasure in this inevitable fact. I only wish it would end sooner rather than later. So when the President says it 'makes no sense to leave Iraq now,' he fails to realize that it makes less sense to stay in Iraq. How many more must die?
Something tells me, these right-wingers will not realize the futility of this campaign until many, many more have died. And certainly, when that happens, rather than realize that this campaign was doomed from the outset pursuant to longstanding war principles, they will simply blame the loss on, you guessed it, the Left. Once again, like children, they will avoid responsibility and choose rather to blame others. Until twenty or thirty years from now....when they do it all over again in some other far off land....