Friday, July 14, 2006

The Art of War

"Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions. He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain."
- Sun Tzu, Chinese military strategist in The Art of War

I am no warmonger. But, when the enemy slaps you on the left cheek, I'd never advise you to proudly showcase your right cheek. Not in the present generation. The enemy, these days has no heart, no religion, no territorial boundaries. His life is only guided, lets say propelled by a mad ideology. He sees success in every soul killed, which further motivates him to exterminate more.

To counter such invisible insular entities is a mighty task, though not impossible. A fluid approach is needed to be able to percolate into the enemy ranks and cause tension. An approach to make the enemy implode from within. The Art of War suggests determining such an approach governed by the five laws below to triumph over your enemies:
1. The Moral Law: An approach where people unhesitatingly support their leader
2. Heaven: An approach which take the time and the weather advantage into consideration.
3. Earth: An approach which takes the ground situation, distance and danger into consideration.
4. The Commander: An approach where wisdom, sincerety, courage, benevolence and strictness reign supreme.
5. The Method and Discipline: An approach which marshals and organizes the resources systematically.
Let me add the 6th Law for the new generation -
The Non-Machiavellian: An approach which takes into account protection of innocent lives and a human touch.

The Israelis are surely following the first five laws in wiping out the whole of Lebanon. All major infrastructure installations are being blasted to smithereens by the Israeli forces. Reason: Lebanon seems to have kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. They aren't even ready to be hit on their left cheeks. But the absence of the 6th law will make Israel suffer for generations to come.

Indians have been hit on the left and right cheeks with an ever bloody nose. Going the Israeli way will lead to a continous and vicious spiral of violence. Tactically implementing the 5 laws and abiding by the 6th law is the key to success for the Indian government.

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