Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 5 of 10

It is about 500 BC in China and Sun Tzu’s hit-and-run campaign against the state of Chu is working.  The Chu prime minister is starting to lose support and the moral of his troops is dropping.

Throughout the countryside of Chu, there is fear of where Sun Tzu will strike next. When the larger Chu army threatens one of Sun Tzu’s allies, Sun Tzu uses another rule of war, “To move your enemy, entice him with something he is certain to take.”

Then, when his own forces are surrounded, Sun Tzu says, “Put the army in the face of death where there is no escape and they will not flee or be afraid – there is nothing they cannot achieve.” See The Long March

What happened to Sun Tzu when his small army was surrounded also happened on June 6, 1944 when allied troops in World War II invaded Europe during D-day.

Sun Tzu says, “All warfare is deception. If you can deceive your enemy before battle, you are more likely to win.”

That’s what General Eisenhower did before the invasion of Normandy. To succeed, the allies used deception to convince the Germans the attack would not take place in Normandy.

Continued on September 4, 2013 in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 6 or return to Part 4

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

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Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 4 of 10

Sun Tzu said, “Keep plans as dark as night.”

The NVA (North Vietnamese Army) and Vietcong did this by moving supplies and troops through miles of tunnels built in the 1950 and 60s.

Deception was also one of Sun Tzu’s rules.

To achieve deception, the NVA and Vietcong announced they would honor a cease-fire on January 31, 1968, the Tet New-Year Holiday.

Sun Tzu said, “In battle use a direct attack to engage and an indirect attack to win,” meaning to deceive your enemy so you can win your real objective.

To achieve this goal, the NVA launched a surprise attack on Khe Sanh, a remote US base, one week before the Tet Offensive.

The South Vietnamese and American military are surprised when the NVA launches the Tet Offensive.  At first, it looks like the Vietcong will win, but the NVA ignored one of Sun Tzu’s rules—moral influence.

Moral influence means a leader must have the people behind him to win.

During the early days of the Tet, the Vietcong rounded up and brutally assassinated several-thousand South Vietnamese government workers and killed many Catholic nuns losing the support of the people.

However, in America, watching the violence of the Tet Offensive on TV turned more Americans against the war.

Eight years later, in 1975, Saigon falls to the NVA and America loses the war even though the US had military superiority.

Continued on September 2, 2013 in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 5  or return to Part 3

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 3 of 10

Sun Tzu liked the enemy to maneuver and respond to his moves. This way he was in charge of the battlefield.

A US report after the Vietnam War revealed that 80% of the time, it was the North Vietnamese and Vietcong who decided where and when to fight.

Sun Tzu said, “Once you know the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses, you can avoid the strengths and attack the weaknesses.” At the beginning of the war, almost 80% of Americans supported it.

As the Vietnam war continued with mounting US causalities, that support at home shifted against the war, which achieved another of Sun Tzu’s rules, “The skillful leader subdues enemy’s troops without any fighting. One does not win wars by winning battles.”

Although the North Vietnamese and Vietcong did not win battles, they won the war by turning the American people against it. To achieve this goal, the North Vietnamese commander was willing to lose ten men for every American killed.

In the end, the US lost 53 thousand troops and the North Vietnamese and Vietcong more than a million with several million more noncombatants killed as collateral damage to the American bombing.

Sun Tzu felt spies were important, and he devoted one chapter to spies.  He said, “Use your spies for every kind of business,” and the North Vietnamese and Vietcong followed that advice.

Sun Tzu said, “An accurate knowledge of the enemy is worth ten divisions.”

He also said, “Let your plans be as dark as night – then strike like a thunderbolt.”  The Tet Offensive in January of 1968 was that thunderbolt.

Continued on August 28, 2013 in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: Part 4 or return to Part 2

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Manipulating public opinion to wage war: Part 5/5

For Vietnam (1953 – 1975):  In 1965—soon after the so-called Tonkin Gulf Incident (the Vietnam War’s Pearl Harbor that was the propaganda to drum up support for war)—only 25% thought the war was a mistake. Source: DailyKos.com

In fact, Anup Shah writing for Global Issues, says it required massive propaganda to create the belief that U.S. involvement in Vietnam was because non-communist South Vietnam was invaded by communist North Vietnam and that the regime in the South was democratic—but there never was a democracy in South Vietnam.

This was all untrue. In addition, many think that the Vietnam War was lost due to the media revealing atrocities but this was also untrue.  Noam Chomsky says the American elite typically regarded Vietnam as a “mistake” or tragedy.

Television news in particular was said to have helped America “lose” the war. Yet, television news coverage was arguably poor, and full of news-bites, rather than detailed documentaries. … The Vietnam experience highlights a multitude of factors that contributed to what can only be termed as propaganda for Cold War ideological battles: a mixture of ideological goals, geopolitical and military goals, and issues to do with the nature of reporting and the structure of the media and how it worked, combined with cultural norms, all impacted the way that things were reported, not reported, portrayed, or misrepresented, and this ultimately provided legitimacy for a war that saw millions killed. Source: Global Issues.org

Gallup reported that in 1965, soon after the so-called Tonkin Gulf Incident, 61% of American’s polled said that sending U.S. troops to fight in Vietnam was not a mistake. But by 1971, 70% would say yes—it was a mistake—to the same question.

Again, we hear the echo of President Abraham Lincoln’s words: “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” In 1965, the majority of the American people were fooled but by 1971, only a few were still fools.

For the Gulf War—also known as Operation Desert Storm (August 1990 – February 1991)—we learn under the first President Bush that short wars with decisive victories provide less time for the public to change its mind. … In addition, President George H. W. Bush (1989 – 1993), remembering the lessons of Vietnam, sought public support … and he got it.  The vast majority of Americans and a narrow majority of the Congress supported the President’s actions. Source: US History.org

But the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, had his Pearl Harbor on 9/11, and he squandered the public support by relying on false reports of Weapons of Mass Destruction to declare war on Iraq. But this false propaganda succeeded leading to Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003 – 2011).

“Being able to exploit the national anguish and anger over 9/11 was a critical ingredient, of course. But the success of the war-selling campaign was testimony to what a determined use of the opinion-molding capabilities of the government of the day, including the bully pulpit of the presidency, can accomplish.” Source: The National Interest

After Powell’s speech at the UN about WMDs in Iraq, a Gallup poll concluded that 79% of Americans thought the war was justified. However, by 2007, 65% would disapprove of the Iraq War thinking it was not worth fighting, and in March 2013, another survey found that 51.9% of the American public felt that the Iraq War had been a mistake—after all, you cannot fool all of the people, all of the time.

Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (2001 to present): In 2001, Gallup reported that eight of ten Americans (80%) supported a ground war in Afghanistan. But by March 2012—more than a decade later—sixty-nine percent of Americans thought that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan.

Return to Manipulating public opinion to wage wars: Part 4 or start with Part 1

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”