When I was commissioned as an Army officer in 1982, one of the books listed on our mandatory reading was Sun Tzu’s “Art of War.” I willed my original copy to a young subordinate officer years ago. However, I still maintain a copy in my office at the NCPA.
One of the memorable quotes from that seminal strategic work is, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” It is that quote which is most applicable considering the most recent inane statement emanating from our Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama, at last week’s US Coast Guard Academy graduation.
At that event, which is the christening of young future leaders, they were told that if they denied climate change they were negligent and derelict of their duty. That, ladies and gents, is a rather harsh and hypocritical statement coming from someone who abandoned Americans to die in Benghazi, Libya and promulgated a false narrative to cover the negligent action.
It is an ironic perspective coming from someone who is negotiating with an enemy, Iran, who chants “death to America” while they are holding four Americans hostage – Robert Levinson, Jason Reznaian, Saeed Abedini, and Amir Hekmati.
What is most disconcerting is the stretch to align climate change as a cause for Islamic terrorism, at least one specific group. President Obama claimed that we need to, “Understand climate change did not cause the conflicts we see around the world. Yet, what we also know is that severe drought helped to create the instability in Nigeria that was exploited by the terrorist group Boko Haram.”
This is where Sun Tzu’s quote is applicable, as President Obama knows not the nature of the enemy. A simple search and you will find that, “Boko Haram is a branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. It has been active in Nigeria since 2009. The name of the group means ‘Western’ or ‘non-Islamic’ education is a sin. The group is active in the north of Nigeria, and wants to impose Islamic law as the only law in Nigeria.” So Boko Haram did not appear as a result of drought conditions; their name is a dead giveaway as to what their objectives and intentions are.
Last August President Obama presented his “strategy” to defeat ISIS, a group he had previously termed as the “jayvee” team. The president emphatically stressed that ISIS was not “Islamic,” albeit the first word in the group’s name is “Islamic” – they are certainly not Southern Baptist. The Taliban derives its name from the root word, “Talib” which translates to religious student – the religion is Islam.
When murders are being conducted in the name of a religious belief – sorry, I am not talking about Crusades – we must accept the reality of the enemy. The problem is that eventually their reality will become your own. And that is what Sun Tzu was attempting to explain all those thousands of years ago. It is critical to understand and know your enemy’s intent, goals, and objectives.
Read more: townhall.com