John Walsh at Counterpunch skates the fine line between dark humour and gut-wrenching exasperation:
At the very least China's President Hu displayed a sense of humor in presenting a book, of all things, to George W. Bush on his recent visit to the United States. And the choice of Sun-Tzu's fifth century B.C. classic, "The Art of War" was tantalizing. Since Dubya certainly will not penetrate too far into it, I decided to have a look, so that at least one American would honor the Chinese gift by actually reading it. This provided me a rare patriotic surge, much like the rush when I put my tax return in the mailbox.Among the illuminating quotes Walsh digs out:
In joining battle, seek the quick victory. If battle is protracted, your weapons will be blunted and your troops demoralized. If you lay siege to a walled city, you exhaust your strength. If your armies are kept in the field for a long time, your national reserves will not suffice. Where you have blunted your weapons, demoralized your troops, exhausted your strength and depleted all available resources, the neighboring rulers will take advantage of your adversity to strike. And even with the wisest of counsel, you will not be able to turn the ensuing consequences to the good. There never has been a state that has benefited from an extended war.I refer interested readers back to my previous post in a similar vein, Bush Versus Confuscius.
Chi K'ang asked Confucius about government, saying, "What do you say to killing the unprincipled for the good of the principled?" Confucius replied, "Sir, in carrying on your government, why should you use killing at all? Let your evinced desires be for what is good, and the people will be good. The relation between superiors and inferiors is like that between the wind and the grass. The grass must bend, when the wind blows across it."