Lesson from the past

imageIn the current war with the radical part of Sunni Islam, we have won one very important victory; the sympathy of the media. It was almost tipped over in the Gaza/Israel war, and had we lost the sympathy of the media, we would have lost the war on a greater scale.

In practice what has happened is a shift of tactics by the radical Sunnis. Before they used Cold War techniques as infiltration, media manipulation, propaganda and academic infiltration. It did them no good this time, because the bloggers of the world have become a counterpart to media, so that it is not possible to manipulate the entire populace of the west. Bottom line, all the Israeli/Gazan war has accomplished is a huge turnout in terms of support for IS.

IS does not play the Cold War game, it plays by the natural rules of conquest; kill or be killed, scare your enemy into submission, con him if you can. These tactics are as old as mankind, and have a certain effect on the weak minded as France who have succumbed to the threats of the IS, and bought back their prisoners.

In this kind of fight, what is needed is courage and stamina. There is no compromise, and if you succumb to the will of your enemy, he will see it as a sign of weakness, and he will, naturally target you as the next target, because theses savages will work according to the basic principle of nature; the rule of the strong.

So in the end, it ends up being much more a phychological game than only a game of military logistics.

When Julius Caesar fought the hero of France, Vercingetorix he was pitted down in a prolonged war of siege. Vercingetorix was a cunning warlord, and the greatest challenge Caesar had ever met. What did he do? He did three things, first he used his engeneering skills to build all kinds of wonderous contraptions of siege warfare; special walls, crevices in the walls, missile launchers and so on. Secondly he was always alert and shifted his troops to the fray in seconds, in other words, he was extremely good at logistics. But most important of all, thirdly, he won the psychological game. There was a pivoting moment in the siege warfare that kind of won Caesar the victory. In siege warfare hunger is really the problem, people start dying and are hungry, this leads to rebellion and mutiny. Vercingetorix was burdened with a lot of women in his camp. They were unproductive in terms of warfare, and ate a lot of food. So at a given point he had to do something about it. What he did was both a strike of genius, but also counteracted with a strike of genius by Caesar. He send all the women into the killing ground that was between Caesar and Vercingetorix, thereby offering them to the men of Caesar. He had figured, that the roman soldiers would take the women in either because of lust, or pity. Thereby turning the situation around, giving Caesar the disadvantage of the extra burden on ressources. What Caesar did was on the same level of genius. He did nothing, because he knew that if he did not do anything, Vercingetorix would be forced to take them in again, creating a situation where Vercingetorix would be forced to make an attempt of escaping, giving Caesar the upper hand.

Vercingetorix did exactly that, and lost the war, giving the Romans the hegemony over the Gauls. You see the point? It is a war of attrition and psychology, and what seems smart in this situation may not be smart in the other situation. This time the warlord at the gate is not a civilized Roman, but a savage Islamist. And perhaps this calls for a lesson learned from the past; do not leave your post, and please understand the game of psychology that we are entering into. There will be other incidents as this, where our enemies use our soft hearts or our weakness in a game of mind.

It is a chessboard, and the most intelligent, fast moving, coolheaded player wins.

G-d bless the will to remain calm and use the will of spirit to our favour.

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