While the first chapter of The Art of War was pretty tame in terms of showing how the US is off track in how it is currently waging war, the second chapter is a doozy. It was my intention to stick to illustrating HOW we are violating so many tenets of TAOW and to keep to a minimum speculation as to WHY we are doing so. However, comments on TAE stating that those responsible for the American wars currently in progress are fully aware of the way in which the wars are sucking the life out of America, and that this is exactly what they want to happen, have made me think twice about this approach. I do believe that the catastrophic losses we are suffering, in terms of bankrupting our country but of course also in terms of the human toll, are intentional. On the other hand, tieing together the evidence in support of this assertion is a project that would be vast in scope. So consider this series a part of that evidence, but not one that provides an answer to the bigger picture of why these events are occurring. To those who are aware of the dynamics of power and world control, my exercise in linking TAOW with current events may seem redundant. I hope, however, that those who are unaware of these issues will take a more careful look at the actions of the US in Iraq and beyond.
Chapter 2 of TAOW, Waging War, “explains how to understand the economy of warfare , and how success requires winning decisive engagements quickly. This section advises that successful military campaigns require limiting the cost of competition and conflict.” This chapter shows that the US is violating some of the most basic, important criteria for achieving victory in war. And it’s costing us. To me, this is damning evidence of gross negligence. It is difficult to believe that our leaders are so incompetent, as well as unlikely. The most logical explanation is, of course, that this is their strategy for achieving some other ends (like a return to feudalism). Again, keep in mind that this book is required reading for U.S. Marine commandants, among others in the military.
II. WAGING WAR
1. Sun Tzu said: In the operations of war,
where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots,
as many heavy chariots, and a hundred thousand
mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them
a thousand li, the expenditure at home and at the front,
including entertainment of guests, small items such as
glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armor,
will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day.
Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 men.
>This just means that war takes money. A lot of it.
2. 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.
>I guess we “won” in Iraq when Bush II declared “mission accomplished”. Since then, we have been fighting and we haven’t been winning.
3. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources
of the State will not be equal to the strain.
>This point is important enough to be repeated. This repetition could be an indication of the author’s sense of humor, but I really, really doubt it. Even supporters of the Iraq War would have to admit that the conflict is ‘protracted’. As anyone who looks can see, the State is indeed unequal to the strain- we are already in a depression. I could link to articles on unemployment, decay of social services and safety nets, plummeting quality of life, and other signs that our State is falling apart under the strain, but all that can be easily found on your own.
4. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped,
your strength exhausted and your treasure spent,
other chieftains will spring up to take advantage
of your extremity. Then no man, however wise,
will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.
>I think we are already well into the consequences part. Which means that we can’t avoid the consequences any longer. Hopefully, I’m wrong about this. The fact is that war is bankrupting us, however.
5. Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war,
cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.
>Then our leaders are either stupid, or evil. I’m going with the latter.
6. There is no instance of a country having benefited
from prolonged warfare.
>This fact is not encouraging for the USA.
7. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted
with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand
the profitable way of carrying it on.
>Corporations like Halliburton and Xe (formerly Blackwater) are indeed profiting. But their profits are not our profits. Their profits come from our loss, as it is our tax dollars that support these corporations. They are screwing us.
8. The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy,
neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.
>We’ve had second, third, and perhaps more levies already.
9. Bring war material with you from home, but forage
on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough
for its needs.
>We bring virtually everything from home, halfway around the world. Very expensive for us = very lucrative for contractors like Halliburton.
10. Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army
to be maintained by contributions from a distance.
Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes
the people to be impoverished.
>Record inequality in the US, depression level unemployment . Boy, are we becoming impoverished.
11. On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes
prices to go up; and high prices cause the people’s
substance to be drained away.
12. When their substance is drained away, the peasantry
will be afflicted by heavy exactions.
13,14. With this loss of substance and exhaustion
of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare,
and three-tenths of their income will be dissipated;
while government expenses for broken chariots, worn-out horses,
breast-plates and helmets, bows and arrows, spears and shields,
protective mantles, draught-oxen and heavy wagons,
will amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.
15. Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging
on the enemy. One cartload of the enemy’s provisions
is equivalent to twenty of one’s own, and likewise
a single picul of his provender is equivalent to twenty
from one’s own store.
>F@*& off- It would be “un-American” to forage. We’ll stick to the food provided by Halliburton, thank you very much. Really, thank you, it’s your money buying the food.
16. Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must
be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from
defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.
>-I can’t comment on how angry our men are.
-What advantage do they have from defeating the enemy, besides being able to get out of there? They’re not protecting their families from the enemy. The enemy would not be out to get them if they were home.
-I’m not sure about the rewards provided by our military. I do know that a lot of vets are left to deal with the psychological wounds of war on their own, which has inspired the formation of the group Iraq Veterans Against the War.
17. Therefore in chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots
have been taken, those should be rewarded who took the first.
Our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy,
and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours.
The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept.
>Kindly treated and kept. I don’t think Abu Ghraib quite qualifies.
18. This is called, using the conquered foe to augment
one’s own strength.
19. In war, then, let your great object be victory,
not lengthy campaigns.
>Seems we got it backwards. We don’t even know what victory would mean in these wars.
20. Thus it may be known that the leader of armies
is the arbiter of the people’s fate, the man on whom it
depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.
>Is is clear yet that the leaders we depend on could care less about us?