George W Bush and the Art of War

Chinese military strategist Sun-Tzu, wrote his famous treatise, The Art of War 2500 years ago. The basic postulates laid down in this classical work are as valid today as they were when they were first written. Today, on the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Alan Woods points out that Bush has made every possible mistake in the book.

The rules of war have been studied carefully for at least 2,500 years, when Sun-Tzu, the great Chinese military expert, wrote his famous treatise, The Art of War. This text has been carefully studied by generals ever since, including generals in the US army and is considered to be one of the most masterly treatises on the subject ever written. And in spite of the immense technological development since the days of Sun Tzu, the basic concepts he developed are as valid today as when he first wrote them.

Sun Tzu says:

The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry, which can on no account be neglected.

These remarks are very true. It may be a matter of regret to moralists, but for all of human history the most serious matters have always been settled by force of arms. That goes for both wars and revolutions. The study of war and military tactics and strategy are therefore of great importance. Yet the conduct of the American forces in Iraq has revealed a complete ignorance of even the most basic principles laid down 2,500 years ago with great brilliance by the master Sun Tzu. Let us begin with the preliminaries.

On preparation

Sun Tzu says:

Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought.

The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

The US imperialists, it is true, made many calculations before invading Iraq - but all of them were wrong. The most famous saying of Sun Tzu is:

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.

When he launched his Iraq adventure George Bush did not understand the mess he was getting into. He did not understand the enemy, nor did he understand the limitations of his own forces and the psychology of his own people. He assumed that the crushing military superiority of his armed forces would be sufficient to ensure a speedy and absolute victory. He assumed that the people of Iraq would greet the US forces as liberators - or, at least would not be able or willing to fight them. And he assumed that the people of the United States would continue to support the war as long as necessary. All these assumptions were false.

It is true that the majority of Iraqis did not like Saddam Hussein. But they like the US occupation forces even less. All the recent opinion polls show that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis think they were better off under Saddam Hussein, and an even bigger majority wants the Americans and their allies to leave. But the Americans are in no hurry to leave.

On the other hand the present occupant of the White House and Commander-in-Chief of the US Army failed to understand the limitation of his own forces. All the technology in the world will not make up for a demoralized army that has lost all confidence in its mission and no longer has the will to fight. The soldiers do not want to go to Iraq, and that is particularly the case with the reservists. The fact that a disproportionate percentage of the US troops in Iraq are poor, black or Latino, adds to the discontent and resentment. This can create an explosive situation in the ranks in the next period.

Last, but by no means least, the US public, which was never very enthusiastic about Bush's Iraq adventure, has turned decisively against the war. They know that they were dragged into the war under false pretences, and every new death of a young American soldier further deepens their animosity to the war and the President who launched it. The demonstrations on the streets of American cities will increase in scope and radicalism. The Republicans face meltdown in the elections. This in turn is causing splits in the ranks of the Republican congressmen and women, who are very attached to their positions on Capitol Hill and all the privileges that go with them. As a result, George W Bush is fast becoming the most unpopular President in American history.

The importance of leadership

On the question of leadership Sun Tzu says:

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.

By his actions George W Bush has indeed placed the nation in peril. The original excuse for invading Iraq was the terrorist attack on the 11th September. The US public was deceived into believing that Iraq was harbouring al-Qaeda, whereas in fact the secular Baathist regime in Baghdad and al-Qaeda were bitter enemies. There were no al-Qaeda cells in Iraq before the invasion. Now there are many. Occupied Iraq has become a magnet for all the jihadis in the world and is acting as a centre of operations for al-Qaeda and similar organizations in the Middle East. Thus, far from increasing the safety of the USA and the Middle East, the invasion of Iraq has had the exact opposite effect. We are reminded of yet another of Sun Tzu's aphorisms: A whole army may be robbed of its spirit; a commander-in-chief may be robbed of his presence of mind.

Some sentences of Sun Tzu can be taken as a direct criticism of George W Bush today: He said:

Ponder and deliberate before you make a move. [...] 16. While heading the profit of my counsel, avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules. 17. According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one's plans.

George Bush does not ponder. He reacts to events, and has been doing so from the very beginning. Worse still, he ignores the advice given to him by those more able and intelligent representatives of the ruling class (the Iraq Study Group), who urged him to make a phased withdrawal from Iraq and strike a deal with Syria and Iran.

Instead of following this very sound advice, George W Bush proposes the tactic of the "surge", that is, to send even more US troops to be killed in Iraq. This will not defeat the insurgents but will make a bad situation still worse. This latest policy has all the appearance of something that has not been pondered but hastily improvised. It has been correctly described by the bourgeois press as an irresponsible gambler's throw, a last desperate attempt to prevent defeat. It will not have the desired effect. It will not solve the mess in Iraq but will spread the instability to the whole of the region.

Sun Tzu continues:

Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

The second variant is also exactly applicable to George Bush.

The economics of war

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.

He dedicated a great deal of study to the economics of war, and today the amounts needed to sustain a modern army in the field are many, many times more than in his day. The expense is far more ruinous if the war is prolonged, which is why Sun Tzu insisted that long campaigns should be avoided:

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. 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 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. Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.

Sun Tzu said: In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns. Bush and Rumsfeld thought that the Iraq war would be quickly over, and based their economic calculations on this variant. But as the war has dragged on, the economic costs have spiralled out of control. George Bush's "solution" to the Iraqi quagmire is to send in more troops. This will inevitably lead to new American (and, of course, Iraqi) casualties. That will have a serious effect on the mood of the US public, as I pointed out in my article, War Drums in Washington or Bush's Last stand. But there is also a huge cost in purely monetary terms.

The cost of war in Iraq is already ruinous. The original estimates varied but were something in the region of $50 -60 billion. But the real cost is now already $350 billion. According to at least one congressional researcher, the war is costing the US $2 billion a week, and the final figure is anyone's guess. One recent estimate places the final bill in the region of $2 trillion, if we include the long-term costs of those injured in the war. The conclusion is inescapable: not even the richest country on earth can strand such haemorrhage of blood and treasure. Sooner or later, the USA will be compelled to leave Iraq. They will leave behind a situation infinitely worse than it was before they invaded.

The way in which the armies of antiquity made up for this economic drain was to live off the land, that is to say, to live by plundering the enemy's country. This was also the original intention of George Bush and the big US corporations that stand behind him:

On this Sun Tzu said:

The skilful soldier does not raise a second levy, neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice. Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.

When you plunder a countryside, let the spoil be divided amongst your men; when you capture new territory, cut it up into allotments for the benefit of the soldiery.

That there were plans for the plunder of Iraq, in particular its rich oil resources, is not open to doubt. Unfortunately, the plans have not worked very well to date. Reconstruction is another form of plunder. Big American companies like Halliburton have been awarded lucrative contracts worth billions of dollars. But with an increasing number of contractors being killed and kidnapped, this has become a very risky proposition. As to the soldiers, the only recompense they can look forward to is the loss of life, or an arm or a leg. Wars are not as profitable as they used to be, in particular for the soldiers who do the actual fighting!

The idea was to loot Iraq's huge oil supplies to finance the occupation and pay the bills of the big US corporations engaged in the "reconstruction" racket. Unfortunately, oil production has been hampered by the continued insurgency, and things like oil pipelines make very tempting targets for the rebels.

Sun Tzu also warned strenuously against waging wars from long distances:

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. 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. When their substance is drained away, the peasantry will be afflicted by heavy exactions.

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.

The prohibitive costs of sending large numbers of troops over long distances, and then keeping them supplied over a prolonged period, becomes a logistical nightmare. The drain on America's resources must already be having an effect on the Federal Budget, which was already suffering from a substantial deficit even before the war started. Already the government is talking about cutting expenditure on health and pensions. This is a variant of Goehring's policy of "guns before butter". And the burden of arms increases to the degree that US imperialism insists on maintaining its world role and its imperial ambition of intervening everywhere under the sun.

In Sun Tzu's opinion, the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities. He says:

The rule is, not to besiege walled cities if it can possibly be avoided. The preparation of mantlets, movable shelters, and various implements of war, will take up three whole months; and the piling up of mounds over against the walls will take three months more.

The general, unable to control his irritation, will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants, with the result that one-third of his men are slain, while the town still remains untaken. Such are the disastrous effects of a siege.

Therefore the skilful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.

With his forces intact he will dispute the mastery of the Empire, and thus, without losing a man, his triumph will be complete. This is the method of attacking by stratagem.

These days the technique of war has changed beyond recognition since Sun Tzu's day. Armies do not usually besiege cities and the latter no longer have walls. If a city gets in the way it is simply bombed to rubble or destroyed by a combination of bombs, rockets and artillery, as was the fate of Fallujah, that first Gernika of the 21st Century. Nevertheless, these comments retain all their validity in the case of Iraq. What the Chinese master of war is saying is: do not get yourself bogged down in lengthy military activities like sieges, which only lead to excessive casualties and are a serious economic drain. But this is precisely what the Americans have done in Iraq.

Physical conditions

According to Sun Tzu 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. These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline. In order to decide which of two armies will win, it is necessary to answer the following questions:

(1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law? (2) Which of the two generals has most ability? (3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?

When Sun Tzu refers to Heaven he is not talking about the gods. In fact, religion plays no role in his Art of War. This word signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons. That is to say. It refers to climatological and geographical factors: the weather and the terrain etc.

Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.

The Coalition troops in Iraq are fighting in unfavourable physical conditions, in difficult terrain to which they are unused. If deserts are difficult, the crowded streets and back alleys of Baghdad are still worse. Every house becomes a potential enemy fortress, every window a potential sniper's nest. The heat, the flies, the mosquitoes, the dust, make things worse, further sapping the morale of the soldiers and increasing their nervousness. A burst of fire from an upstairs window fired by an unseen assailant produces a nervous reaction, frequently involving the deaths of civilian men, women and children. This does not serve to defeat the enemy but only to increase the hatred of the population for the occupying forces.


In addition to the original factors, morale, terrain, climate etc., he adds:

(4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced? (5) Which army is stronger? (6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained? (7) In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment? By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat. The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat:--let such a one be dismissed!

Numerically, the US army may be stronger in well-trained troops. But this is by no means sufficient to determine the outcome. Napoleon explained the vital importance of morale in warfare. We might add that morale includes not only the morale of the soldiers in the front line but also that of the civilians in the rear. This factor is even more important today than it was in China in the times of Sun Tzu. He writes:

The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

This is the first condition for fighting a successful war and it is the first one that the present US government has failed. The conduct of the war, based on lies that have been exposed, has alienated US public opinion, which is certainly not behind Bush or his war. This hostility to the war in Iraq, the fact that it is an unjust war, the idea that "our boys are dying for nothing" in turn communicates itself to the soldiers and saps their morale.

The US troops in Iraq do not believe they are fighting a just war. Those who may have originally believed it are soon convinced to the contrary by their own experience. They soon realize that the Iraqi population sees them as foreign invaders, not liberators, and long to see them removed from Iraq. The US troops therefore have no incentive to fight and die in a cause they do not believe in. On the other hand, the resistance fighters believe fervently in what they are fighting for and are prepared to die, if necessary, to achieve their objective. The first condition for fighting a successful war is therefore absent.

The question of discipline is ultimately determined by the question of morale. The Coalition troops will mechanically obey orders, but if their heart is not in it, they will not fight effectively. They see few rewards from what they are doing and they mostly see the very fact of being in Iraq as a punishment. The longer they have to serve in Iraq, and the more frequently they are sent there, the less will they be prepared to fight. By contrast, the Iraqis are fighting for their country, their families and their future. They are motivated to fight and this produces an inner discipline and willingness to sacrifice that will ultimately give them victory over the better-armed and more professional Coalition forces.

It is true that the Americans have superior weapons and the advantage of modern technology, satellites, night sights etc. But the insurgents have the advantage of the support of the population, from which they are indistinguishable, and with which they can merge, emerging to fight and then disappearing again. Such methods as suicide bombing are the "poor man's answer" to high tech weapons. It is the ultimate answer because it says that the insurgent is willing to die for the cause.

"Treat the prisoners well"

On the treatment of prisoners Sun Tzu said:

The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept. This is called, using the conquered foe to augment one's own strength.

In the long war waged by the Peoples Liberation Army, Mao Tse Tung followed this very good advice. The numerous prisoners taken by the PLA were not beaten or tortured but given food and lectured by Red Army commissars. They were shown the land confiscated from the landlords and the plots reserved for the soldiers in Chiang Kai Shek's army. They were then released and sent home. The news of the agrarian revolution spread like wildfire and Chiang's army had the highest desertion rate of any army in history.

This was possible because the Red Army was carrying out a revolutionary war. But as Clausewitz explained, war is the continuation of politics by other means. A revolutionary war is carried out by revolutionary means, but an unjust imperialist war can only be carried out by means of the most brutal repression. This, however, is counterproductive.

The Coalition forces treat their prisoners with great brutality, as the Abu Ghraeb scandal revealed before the eyes of the whole world. Defenceless prisoners are beaten, sexually assaulted, humiliated and otherwise abused by their tormenters. This torture has a racist element and this is quite natural. Imperialism is the distilled essence of capitalism and racism is the distilled essence of imperialism. The US troops, who the world media try to portray as the "liberators of Iraq", regard the Iraqi population as a racially inferior species, and treat them accordingly. The inevitable effect is to encourage an ever-growing number of recruits to the insurgency.

However, the US army does not have a monopoly on brutality. A recent trial of British soldiers accused of the torture and murder of an Iraqi prisoner has just ended. The soldiers entered a hotel in Basra where they allegedly found guns hidden in a safe. They then arrested the hotel staff, who were taken to a detention centre where they were brutally beaten and tortured. One man - a married man with children ‑ was beaten to death. One of the British soldiers entertained his comrades by beating the defenceless prisoners until they screamed. He called this his "chorus". This was all shown on a video that one of these gentlemen kept as a memento, as one would keep a holiday video. Although the evidence of all this was beyond doubt, the result of the trial was the acquittal of all the accused. These are the blessings of civilization that the Coalition forces have brought to the people of Iraq. And they wonder why the Iraqis want them to leave!

The insurgents and the art of war

Sun Tzu says:

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

In Iraq all these precepts are being followed to the letter - by the insurgents. They are pursuing classical guerrilla tactics - the only tactics possible against an enemy who enjoys a clear military superiority. Just like the irregular American colonial army that fought and defeated the British in the 18th century, the Iraqi insurgents, to use Engels' expression, refuse to dance the military minuet with the enemy, but rely upon hit and run tactics. They avoid pitched battles where they would necessarily be defeated, and attack the enemy where he is unprepared, appearing where they are not expected.

Sun Tzu added:

The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy.

Again, this is applicable, not to the Coalition forces, but to the insurgents in Iraq. Sun Tzu said:

The general who is skilled in defense hides in the most secret recesses of the earth; he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven.

The insurgents hide in the deepest recesses, not of the earth, but of the people, emerge suddenly to attack, and then disappear again.

Sun Tzu stated that:

It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten to the enemy's one, to surround him; if five to one, to attack him; if twice as numerous, to divide our army into two. If equally matched, we can offer battle; if slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy; if quite unequal in every way, we can flee from him. Hence, though an obstinate fight may be made by a small force, in the end it must be captured by the larger force.

Again, these tactics are being pursued in Iraq, not by the Americans, but by the insurgents. The guerrillas avoid pitched battles with superior American forces and only attack when they have the advantage. This is seen as cowardice and treachery by the Americans, who forget that they are precisely the same tactics used by their forebears in the struggle to drive out the British occupation forces in the War of Independence.

On allies

We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbours.

That is excellent advice, which the Americans would do well to ponder. In order to cover the naked truth of American aggression against Iraq, Bush hastily cobbled together the so-called Coalition of the Willing. But many of his allies were not willing to fight seriously, once it became clear that the war in Iraq was going to drag on for a long time. Spain was compelled to withdraw its troops after the Spanish people unceremoniously ejected the right-winger Aznar. Now Blair has been forced to announce his resignation mainly as a result of the debacle in Iraq, and it is not clear how long the British contingent will last.

Nor are things any better with the USA's other "allies". France has its own agenda in the Middle East, which is in open conflict with the aims of the USA. Germany shows no inclination to get involved and is having enough problems maintaining its troops in Afghanistan.

Matters are even worse with Turkey, a key ally in the region. The Americans depend heavily on its bases in Turkey for the swift transportation of troops and supplies. But during the invasion, Turkey objected to the use of these bases, thus reminding Washington that Ankara has its own interests in the region, which do not always correspond to those of the USA. The Turks are opposed to the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish area in northern Iraq, which it accuses of supporting Kurdish rebels inside Turkey. But the Kurds are America's main ally in Iraq, and Washington cannot do without them. This presents Bush with an insoluble contradiction.

The renewal of hostilities by the Kurdish PKK inside Turkey has raised tension on the border. The Turkish army says that the PKK has bases inside the Kurdish area of Iraq and is looking for an excuse to invade. It is an open secret that Turkey has territorial ambitions in northern Iraq, especially the oil-rich area around Mosel and Kirkuk. These are in the Kurdish heartland, where there are already bitter conflicts between Kurds and Arabs, Sunnis and Shias. The danger exists of the break-up of Iraq, which would then be exploited by Turkey, Iran and Syria. This is not a very pleasant scenario for Washington.

The collapse of Iraq has also led to a strengthening of Iranian influence, both inside Iraq and throughout the region. This is unwelcome to the USA and even less palatable to Saudi Arabia and Israel. It is part of the reason for the growing tension between the USA and Iran over the nuclear issue. This can lead to new and violent explosions that were not foreseen by Washington but have been created by its actions, which possess all the delicacy of an elephant in a ceramics shop.

In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.

As for keeping the enemy's country intact, the effect of the invasion has been precisely the opposite. As we have seen, the Americans have caused the fratricidal sectarian strife between Shias and Sunnis and set in motion processes that may well lead to the break-up of Iraq on religious and linguistic lines. This will lead to further bloodshed, far worse than anything we have seen till now.

How to win without fighting

Sun Tzu said:

Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.

Napoleon pointed out that war is the most complicated of all equations. Its outcome is always uncertain and the price of failure can be very high. Therefore, he recommended armies and nations to avoid fighting unless absolutely necessary. The same wisdom is ironically expressed in the motto of the US Marine Corps: "Speak softly and carry a big stick." The motto of the present US administration is: "Shout at the top of your voice and hit everything that moves with a big stick."

The real art of war is to obtain your objectives without firing a shot. It may be possible to get what you want through the use of diplomacy - quite an important branch of warfare - although effective diplomacy always depends in the last analysis on the threat that force will be used. In the same way, negotiations in industrial disputes depend for their success on the threat of strike action. Sometimes the mere threat of a strike is enough to get the employers to give in. To choose the right time, taking into account the state of the order books, the company's profits, the strength of feeling and unity on the shop floor etc., is the art of war as applied to the industrial struggle. It is necessary to strike or to avoid a strike according to these factors.

There is no doubt that US imperialism could have got its hands on Iraq's oil without going to all the trouble and expense of a war. There were plenty of other means of achieving this goal. But George W Bush and the right-wing Republican clique in the White House were absolutely determined to go to war. They had plans for the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein long before September11th, in fact, long before the election of Bush Junior. In the fevered brains of these fanatics, the general strategy of US imperialism for world domination achieved an extreme and fantastic form. They even succeeded in fooling themselves into believing that all that was needed was to invade and "introduce democracy" into Iraq and the whole of the Middle East would fall into the eager embraces of the USA overnight.

Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated, said Sun Tzu.

But George Bush has made every conceivable mistake, and a few that are inconceivable. And in war, mistakes come with a very expensive price tag attached.

To quote one famous French statesman, this was worse than a crime - it was a mistake. The US imperialists had plenty of opportunities to correct this mistake. The more experienced European bourgeois were constantly warning them against invading. Only the pathetic puppet Blair said "amen" to everything that came out of the White House. Now the careers of both Bush and Blair lie in tatters together with all their illusions about the "new Iraq". They would have done a lot better if they had taken the trouble to read Sun Tzu.

London, March 20, 2007

[NOTE: quotes from the writings of Sun-Tzu are in italics throughout and are taken from the 1910 translation from the Chinese by Lionel Giles, M.A., and reproduced from the Sun-Tzu Refence Archive,]

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