Leveraging the Moslem Mainstream

Strategy teaches that everyone bases their decisions on their perception of their self-interest. This means you must understand how the philosophy of a given group before you can create a useful strategy for countering them. The French have declared a state of emergency with the hope that a curfew will stop the violence, but they insist on ignoring the reasons why young Muslims find these activities rewarding. Nor do authorities recognize why the majority of Muslim populations see little incentive to stop the violence. The French and rest of Europe could stop the riots tomorrow if they could see how easily Muslim self-interest could be turned against the rioters. UPDATE: I am shocked the France is actually doing what I suggested here at least so some degree and, strangely, it is working.

The Shape of the Terrain

Strategy teaches that all competitive areas have a shape that makes movement in certain directions easier than others. When an amateur like me examines the green on a golf course, we cannot necessarily see the slope by looking directly at the terrain. However, we can see it by the direction that the ball rolls. The same is true on every terrain. In the case of the Mainstream Media (MSM), you can see the slope by which stories roll given the meager facts behind them. In this Michele Malkin post, she discusses an ex-Staff Sgt.

The Liberal Center of Gravity

A reader Brian writes:
Clausewitz (or at least my understanding of him) says that the enemy always has a center of gravity, and you should sacrifice other goals if need be in order to conquer or destroy that center of gravity. It seems to me that the left's center of gravity is the Supreme Court. Since 1937 many of their biggest wins have been a result of judicial activism. From a Clausewitzian standpoint, then, a direct attack on the Supreme Court is good strategy because it takes that center of gravity away from them. Being forced to set aside other goals like SS reform is a cost of this strategy, but one worth paying under these assumptions. Now, Sun Tzu, on the other hand, tells us to avoid the enemy's strongholds whenever possible, to surround him and bypass him and grow around him, to flow like water, to disperse like fog, to hit 'em where they ain't. And, like you say, under these assumptions a direct assault on the Supreme Court, enemy center of gravity though it may be, is contraindicated. Isn't it?
My short answer is that the liberal center of gravity is somewhere else, but we have to discuss the questions of strategy and go through some history for me to explain.

Is Paris Burning? The Future of Europe

Sun Tzu wrote that battles are messy and chaotic and that they are defined by positions that turn around. While the media is consumed with short-term battles that will mean nothing a few months from now, strategy teaches us to focus on the real battles that will reshape world positoins ten or twennty years from now. One of these battles, one that joins both the elitist-regular people cultural wars and the War on Terror, is the battle for hearts and minds in Europe. The riots in Paris have now gone on long enough to that people are actually hearing about it and learning that Muslims are the people doing the rioting. It is on even on the front pages of NYTimes (on-line version). Pictures of Paris burning are just too compelling. However, unlike the Libby indictment, which we will hear about endlessly, these riots are actually going to reshape the face of Europe.

The Next Story to Bubble Up from the Blogs

Though it isn't in the mainstream media yet, the blogs are collecting a growing body of information about the student who blew himself up in Oklahoma and his connections to Islamic terror. If half of what is being said is true, it is only a matter of time until it starts getting broader media exposure. The female slant for the MSM: Are your children being seduced into terrorism at college?

The Nature of Faith, Truth, and Knowledge

Sun Tzu put philosophy at the center of his strategic universe. In his view, our philosophy defines our goals, our motivation. In our secular age, the stylish thing is to disparage deep philosophy. I just read this article about the role of faith in human progress by Charles Murray. It makes the case that except in technological terms, human progress has slowed as modern society has grown more secular. For me, the payoff was here:

The Progress Cycle and Leadership

I was thinking last night about what I call in my new book, the Progress Cycle of Listen, Aim, Move, Claim. And it occurs to me that, though Sun Tzu didn't define leadership weaknesses using this cycle (he saw weakness more as excess), that this cycle does a good job of highlighting where Bush's (and other leaders) weaknesses are.


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