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despite our vast power, we are only slogging along--if admirably--in Iraq against a hit-and-run insurgency that cannot stop us even as we seem unable to stop it
In 1808 Napoleon was at the peak of his power, and then he made the mistake of occupying Spain and putting his own brother in place of an impopular king.

Four years later, Spain became the first European country to kick Napoleon out of their land, and the word guerrilla entered the international vocabulary. Has any foreign occupier in the past 200 years been able to stamp out a guerrilla insurgency? Not even the Nazis with their brutality were able to defeat the resistance/partisan movements anywhere in occupied Europe. The idiot from the WSJ does not know his history either.

A couple years ago I found this pearl:
Common Dreams: Bush: When Even the Good News is Bad (November 26, 2004)

We cannot win in Iraq, Hersh said. "We have no intel. We can't find the insurgents. When they bomb something, we only know about it afterward. We can't figure them out. Someone said, We play chess, they play Go. All we can do is lose. All we can do is bomb."
(my emphasis)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 05:15:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(Interesting stuff about Napoleon. I shall have to read up on that.)

Chess? Go? It's funny, during the cold war it was said that the Russians played chess, while the Americans played poker (move-countermove vs. one bold move wins all).

(Funnily, I've read elsewhere that chess simulates a battle and go a campaign.)


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed May 3rd, 2006 at 05:29:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia: Guerrilla
   The Oxford English Dictionary lists Wellington as the oldest known source, speaking of "Guerrillas" in 1809.

Poet William Wordsworth, a former radical turned conservative, showed a surprising early insight into guerrilla methods in his pamphlet on the Convention of Cintra.

It is manifest that, though a great army may easily defeat or disperse another army, less or greater, yet it is not in a like degree formidable to a determined people, nor efficient in a like degree to subdue them, or to keep them in subjugation-much less if this people, like those of Spain in the present instance, be numerous, and, like them, inhabit a territory extensive and strong by nature. For a great army, and even several great armies, cannot accomplish this by marching about the country, unbroken, but each must split itself into many portions, and the several detachments become weak accordingly, not merely as they are small in size, but because the soldiery, acting thus, necessarily relinquish much of that part of their superiority, which lies in what may be called the engineer of war; and far more, because they lose, in proportion as they are broken, the power of profiting by the military skill of the Commanders, or by their own military habits. The experienced soldier is thus brought down nearer to the plain ground of the inexperienced, man to the level of man: and it is then, that the truly brave man rises, the man of good hopes and purposes; and superiority in moral brings with it superiority in physical power." (William Wordsworth: Selected Prose, Penguin Classics 1988, page 177-8.)
Note the impliction of moral superiority of the guerrilla fighter in Wordsworth's paragraph.

Methinks the Wall Street Journal and the Hoover Institution have their head up their ass.


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 3rd, 2006 at 06:08:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I really shall have to dig out my "resistance" rules for Risk.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed May 3rd, 2006 at 07:29:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just take up Go, man.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 3rd, 2006 at 07:30:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Take up go: That is, if you have some leisure time free...
It was a incredibly time consuming hobby for me, be warned!
Did you just start or stop, Migeru? I can't believe you blog here AND play go on  a regular basis.

But it is  still the only game in town as far I am concerned, head and shoulders above chess.

La répartie est dans l'escalier. Elle revient de suite.

by lacordaire on Wed May 3rd, 2006 at 12:55:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't played much go lately, no. I used to play go online a lot, too.

Since I have a full-time job I don't get to do as many "extracurricular activities" as before.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 3rd, 2006 at 04:30:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, atari he may be, but since he doesn't acknowledge the ko rule, the point may be moot.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu May 4th, 2006 at 05:08:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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