Sunday, March 16, 2008

Scandal-mongering has long been a staple of the Levant...

Scandal-mongering has long been a staple
of partisan politics, but is reaching new, and
unprecedented, epidemic proportions....
The scandal-politics that are getting played
are really something worse than the scandals,
themselves, much of the time.

The dirty tricksters no longer need to assassinate
opponents as often, as they did January 24th 2002,
killing 4 wonderful young men with families, by way
of the White House's Murder Inc., when they can use
character-assassination, instead...., by the same dirty
trickers of the infamous White House Murder Inc.,
with the Jumblatt daily hate mongering litanies, against
the Valiant Lebanese resistance, and his 14 Hmars band
of thugs, killers and convicted war criminals. At this rate
of descent, though, I am not sure that we can depend
on things remaining so kind-and-gentle....

As offensive as such lapses of personal morality
can be, we really shouldn't be bringing in the "Reds"
over them... It is a sign of the national decadence that
we have such interest in investigating and prosecuting
someone who visits a day camp....., while we turn a
blind eye to things like political murder, election rigging,
theft of public funds, and much more...

The French philosopher Diderot once observed that
a good way to reduce crimes is by not inventing
fictitious ones - meaning things like "victimless" crimes,
such as visiting a Resistance day Camp...., in order to
defend your family, your property, towns and villages.

It would be wiser to spend time investigating
things like "entrapment" and "selective enforcement"
that is done for blatantly partisan/ideological reasons...
and because your handlers/masters are saying so.....
Things to ponder by the 14 Hmars....before it is too
late to Tango peacefully with partners in the Nation...

The core strategies for foiling opponents came from China centuries before any of today's practitioners of the tactics were born, author-professor Hiroshi Moriya would argue in his book The 36 Strategies of Martial Arts. In the early 1980s, Moriya, an accomplished scholar of Chinese culture and philosophy, analyzed and explained these strategies in a book published in Japanese. Now, renowned translator William Scott Wilson has translated the original Chinese maxims and Moriya's interpretive research into English.

The ancient Chinese generally didn't want a bloody fight, especially if there were high odds of losing, Moriya argues. Today's officials, wary of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre, know they would lose an international public relations battle if they used violence against protesting citizens. So they, and other modern Chinese in schools, offices and even big messy families, use some of these old battle strategies to get one over on perceived adversaries while minimizing aftershocks.

The strategies, taken from the I Ching, which was theoretically written almost 5,000 years ago, rely on deception and other psych-outs, eliminating the need for much real firepower, Moriya effectively explains. His 255-page guide to shafting your enemy concisely describes each strategy and gives examples of how Chinese dynastic leaders would wield it in battle. Several chapters describe how Mao Zedong's armies applied the theories, and how those ruses were adopted by the former Soviet Union and Germany in World War II and elsewhere.

Among the more memorable strategies: Make an enemy think you're doing one thing while you sneakily do another; divide a strong army geographically and then reduce it by attacking the weak points; exploit dissent within enemy ranks and keep faking attacks until an enemy thinks you're not really up for a real fight - then finally wage war when least expected. A garrison commander during the Tang Dynasty, for example, twice lowered 1,000 soldier-like straw mannequins down a fortress wall in front of rebel forces, who rolled their collective eyes. When he sent in real soldiers later, the enemy imagined mannequins again and quickly lost the battle.

Another strategy explains how ancient Chinese would delude an enemy into suspecting internal dissent among powerful leaders, leading to the elimination of the people most likely to win a battle. In that spirit, Stalin executed a top general, Marshal Tohachevski, after Hitler secretly fabricated documents that accused him of treason.

"Recent times have produced good examples of this strategy, even though you might think that such a transparent, wedge-driving ploy would no longer be effective," Moriya writes. He adds that this strategy "has an equally comfortable home in the relations between individuals as well".

Other lessons, we learn, can be used to beat bigger rivals in business, say by introducing niche products that mega-companies haven't produced. "I would request strongly that it be read as a book whose practices can enliven our present world," Moriya writes.

But 90% of the examples come from Chinese history, dropping barrages of obscure names and places that could be cited in generic terms without detracting from otherwise concise and fluidly narrated stories about how the strategies were used. The emphasis on historical detail will frustrate a non-scholar of Asian history who reads to get hints about battle plans against an industry competitor or personal rival.

Some strategies have also been compromised by law-driven modern societies. If the modern incarnation of Japanese swordsman Yamamoto Kansuke punched a hole in a business competitor's boat as he did in the book's foreword, he'd simply be charged with vandalism. A special prosecutor would be assigned to sniff out fraud in a developed country if someone today followed Hitler's example of preparing fake documents to convince Stalin that his general was a traitor. Moriya needs to bring the strategies up to date.... ?