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The Art of War is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

The Moral Law
The Commander
Method and Discipline

– Sun Tzu, The Art of War

…in the midst of difficulties we are always ready to seize an advantage, we may extricate ourselves from misfortune.
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War, chapter 8 paragraph 9

Soldiers must be treated in the first instance with humanity, but kept under control by means of iron discipline.
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War, chapter 9 paragragh 43

I voted for George W. Bush. I was an idealist! 9/11 set the US on its ear. We were fighting the wrong that was done to us but then it stopped. Don’t get me wrong I will always support our troops where ever they may be fighting but I no longer believe we were sent to Iraq to rout out terrorism, or WMDs, or saving a people from a tyranical ruler! We went there for other reasons but that’s not the point! Let’s take a moment to compare Sun Tzu’s The Art of War to that of President Bush. The Art of War is accepted as a masterpiece on strategy and often referenced by generals and theorists throughout history (McNeilly, 2001).

All warfare is based on deception!
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War, chapter 1 paragraph 18

This is probably the most famous line in the entire book and has been heavy quoted through out the ages! Sun Tzu meant this in terms of one force trying to hide the reality of their strengh and strategy! Unfortunately, President Bush used it against the people of the United States. We were decieved as a nation to the exact threat caused by Iraq! We were lead into a war under the guise of imminate danger! Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and we needed to stop the deployment of these weapons. Problem is there were no weapons.

Moving on…

Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War, chapter 2 paragraph 3

I could have used…

There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War, chapter 2 paragraph 18

But the first paragrapgh seems more appropreate today! The second engagement with Iraq has gone on for more than 6 years (started March 20, 2003) at a current cost of $12.5 billion per month! In today’s economic climate, that money could have gone to better use at home! Now there are many that will say President Bush couldn’t have known about the housing collapse! Oh yes he did! It was coming for a long time and when it did President Bush got to wipe his hands clean and go back to the ranch… “Yee Haw, dodged that bullet!” Anway you look at it, today’s cost is $150 billion per year minimum. Think we can use that to better our lives here in the US? Especially now. I do!

When he keeps aloot and tries to provoke a battle, he is anxious for the other side to advance.
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War, chapter 9 paragraph 19

This is where President Bush used the mask of WMD to advance on Iraq. Many Chinese scholars have read this to mean that the general is anxious to dislodge their advarceary for a strong position. Aloof? Why? Because we the American people would not see through the weak arguments or prehaps the strong position that Iraq holds is buried beneath the desert! I don’t know? Could be!


McNeilly, Mark R. (2001), Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195133404.