Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Winnie the Pooh: Military Strategist

Forget Clausewitz, and Sun Tzu. Why study Alexander the Great, or Hannibal, or Julius Caesar, or Patton. Heck, who needs to understand Boyd's OODA loop to win a fight?

Every thing you needed to know about military strategy can be learned by reading ... Winnie the Pooh. Or at least that's what Richard Danzig, who served as President Clinton's Secretary of the Navy, says. You can't make this stuff up, folks.
Richard Danzig, who served as Navy Secretary under President Clinton and is tipped to become National Security Adviser in an Obama White House, told a major foreign policy conference in Washington that the future of US strategy in the war on terrorism should follow a lesson from the pages of Winnie the Pooh, which can be shortened to: if it is causing you too much pain, try something else.

Mr Danzig told the Centre for New American Security: “Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security.” [emphasis added]

There you have it: would-be President Obama's possible new National Security Advisor on the record, ladies and gentlemen. Sigh. No word on whether Obama's next Secretary of State will be drawing foreign policy lessons from, say, the collected works of Sesame Street.
In a briefing which will inform Mr Obama’s understanding of terrorists, Mr Danzig said he learnt much from recent interviews with jailed Aum Shinrikyo terrorists who released sarin nerve gas on the Tokyo underground in 1995.

He said that even people who are relatively well off and successful can feel like failures and become alientated from their societies. He said one terrorist told him: “We have been raised on a theory of superheroes. We all want to be like Luke Skywalker.

"When we’re doing mundane things, we lose track of our ambition but when someone comes along, like Asahara, the head of the cult, and presents himself as a messiah and gives us a picture of progress that is ordained by heaven and that we are carrying out a saintly mission on earth that is for us extraordinarily evocative.” [emphasis added]

Mr Danzig added: “The parallels with al Qaeda are obvious.”
Not to mention to Senator Obama's campaign. Obviously, I'm not in any way suggesting the senator is a terrorist leader, but the messianic image of Obama portrayed by an enthralled mainstream media, along with the almost religious fervor of some in the media for his candidacy, hardly suggests objectivity in their reporting, but rather "a picture of progress that is ordained by heaven ". Or maybe that's just the Audacity of Hype.

I guess that's why we don't see this ridiculous stuff, by potential key presidential advisors, reported by the US news media?

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