The Incontiguous Brick

February 23, 2008

Sun Tzu’s wisdom and today’s folly

Filed under: China,politics,Ramblings,Warnings,Wordpress Political Blogs — iknowkeith @ 2:27 am

suntzu.jpg“He who wishes to fight must first count the cost.

When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be dampened.

If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.

Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.

Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor dampened, 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…

In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.”

~Sun Tzu, the Art of War


From the Washington Post:

“Do you want to know who is bailing out America’s biggest banks and financial institutions from the consequences of their folly — by acting as the lender of last resort and controller of the system? Why, it’s the sovereign wealth funds, owned by such nations as China and the Persian Gulf oil producers. The new titans are coming to the rescue, if that’s the right word for their mortgage on America’s future.”

I wonder if the China’s leadership has ever read Sun Tzu. Oh crap, he was Chinese.



  1. The war in Iraq made is less secure and more vulnerable in far more ways than many people realize.
    Great post.

    Comment by Dan (Fitness) — February 23, 2008 @ 2:39 am | Reply

  2. Great stuff!

    Comment by maximuszen — February 23, 2008 @ 11:58 am | Reply

  3. on the other hand, exhausting the treasury may be exactly what our plutocracy is aiming for

    Comment by Media Vulture — February 23, 2008 @ 3:16 pm | Reply

  4. Excellent post. My friend did a similar analysis of Sun Tzu’s text vs. the Bush Administration’s policies in Iraq here:

    Comment by Pat — February 23, 2008 @ 5:42 pm | Reply

  5. We are on the brink of a depression which could topple America, and the world’s economy. David Rockefeller, a man who owns so much he is called more powerful than the American president, has said in his memoirs that he would like to see America collapse.

    George Bush’s neocons and David Rockefeller’s bankers planned this, and also 9/11 and these wars. Ron Paul would have stopped it and restored us to a nation of peace. Others will not. Barack Obama will not. We as the American public will have to do this ourselves.

    They will crush themselves. Or we will find out what they’ve done publicly and they will hang or rot. We, common Americans, will pick up their best machines and their place if they make these foolish moves.

    Comment by howdy — February 23, 2008 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

  6. While reading Sun Tzu I was overcome with this feeling of dread that people at the positions of power really didn’t know what they were doing. Because Sun Tzu strategies made sense to me, but the War policies adopted by almost any country till date did not.

    Do we get dumber as we get more powerful? Or is it too difficult to see the obvious? Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Indo-Pak – all speak the same story.

    Comment by coldocean — February 23, 2008 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

  7. Kipling wrote a follow up to “The Charge of the Light Brigade” that I think is worth posting:

    The Relief of the Light Brigade (R. Kipling)

    There were thirty million English who talked of England’s might,
    There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
    They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
    They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

    They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
    That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
    They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
    And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four !

    They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
    Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
    And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, “Let us go to the man who writes
    The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites.”

    They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
    To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
    And, waiting his servant’s order, by the garden gate they stayed,
    A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

    They strove to stand to attention, to straighen the toil-bowed back;
    They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
    With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
    They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

    The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and “Beggin’ your pardon,” he said,
    “You wrote o’ the Light Brigade, sir. Here’s all that isn’t dead.
    An’ it’s all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin’ the mouth of hell;
    For we’re all of us nigh to the workhouse, an’ we thought we’d call an’ tell.

    “No, thank you, we don’t want food, sir; but couldn’t you take an’ write
    A sort of ‘to be continued’ and ‘see next page’ o’ the fight?
    We think that someone has blundered, an’ couldn’t you tell ’em how?
    You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now.”

    The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
    And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with “the scorn of scorn.”
    And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
    Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

    O thirty million English that babble of England’s might,
    Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
    Our children’s children are lisping to “honour the charge they made – ”
    And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!

    Comment by zoagria — February 24, 2008 @ 12:20 am | Reply

  8. Lao Tze is a wisdom that impresime verry much , I didn’t know to much about Sun Tzu but I here about it

    can you right someting about Lao Tze and taoism ?

    Comment by bluefairy74 — February 24, 2008 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  9. I have heard expressed from more than 1 person that the influence of Jewish money on American foreign policy is the reason for the war in Iraq.

    Comment by jose4fel — February 24, 2008 @ 2:19 pm | Reply

  10. The last line “In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.” is the key here I think. We (the US) have been fighting in Iraq too long and that is sapping our strength. We should have come on much stronger from the beginning and not let up after the initial success. We should have maintained order in Iraq rather than allowing the insurgents and other riff raff to gain a foothold. Similar to what we did in Viet Nam I think, we did not come on strong enough. If you’re going to do war, you better do it like you mean it.

    Comment by dionysius — February 24, 2008 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

  11. This is a Good story from ancient China too..

    Humiliation of Crawling between a Ruffian’s Legs

    when have we ever seen this happen in the last 50 years??

    Comment by Jana — February 26, 2008 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

  12. mmmm………….??????

    Comment by Ceci — December 6, 2009 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

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