The Objective and Subjective Nature of Positions

Sun Tzu taught that strategic positions are both physical and psychological. Building a psychological position is easier than building a physical one because it is easier to manipulate information than it is to move real objects. For example, the war on terror has always been an information war. The main thesis of my adaptation of Sun Tzu to address the terror war, Strategy Against Terror, is that terrorism is best understood as a advertising campaign in which the terrorist leverage the systemic problems with mass media. The physical war was never in doubt, but in the subjective war, the anti-American position of the media always favored the terrorist. But subjective reality can only diverge so far from physical reality. As Michael Yon reports from Iraq:
“Al Qaeda in Iraq is defeated,” according to Sheik Omar Jabouri, spokesman for the Iraqi Islamic Party and a member of the widespread and influential Jabouri Tribe. Speaking through an interpreter at a 31 October meeting at the Iraqi Islamic Party headquarters in downtown Baghdad, Sheik Omar said that al Qaeda had been “defeated mentally, and therefore is defeated physically,” referring to how clear it has become that the terrorist group’s tactics have backfired. Operatives who could once disappear back into the crowd after committing an increasingly atrocious attack no longer find safe haven among the Iraqis who live in the southern part of Baghdad. They are being hunted down and killed. Or, if they are lucky, captured by Americans.
Of course, this turn of events just confuses journalists because the reality conflicts so strongly with their subjective viewpoint.