Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Iraq: Machiavelli's advice for the White House

If you cannot win, what would Machiavelli tell the failed leadership?

He would remind the leader that the objective of power isn’t to achieve results, but to defeat your opponent.

If you cannot win, make all others lose. The goal is to confuse the public, making them think the opposing party is a greater threat than the enemy or defeat on the battlefield.

Iraq: America's commitment to failure

If you can't agree how to adjust, keep doing what doesn't work.

Some presume that victory and success are imminent, yet they can't define what it is they're looking at: How does one say "Stay the course" when their idea of "what course we're on" isn't clear?

Apparently, an adjustment is self-evident, but America has decided to stick with it, as if commitment is the same as a plan. If you're not clear what you're doing and have no plan, change the subject to whether or not you are committed to something vague.

* * *

Some suggest, "The troops are there, we can't pull them out." Strange, that was the same argument for putting them in there in the first place: "They're right on the border, we can't have them sitting there doing nothing."

* * *

Some suggest, "We have to keep doing what we're doing. There's no alternative."

Perhaps the problem is that the commitment to the outcome, regardless the effectiveness of progress, is more important than developing an option.

The issue isn't that there is dissension; but the issue has been argued on the basis of "We have no other choice." That's a weak argument to continue with what needs to be adjusted. A lack of an alternative doesn't mean progress is inevitable.

* * *

We don't have enough troops on the ground to do the job. Staying committed to that approach doesn't solve the "lack of resources" problem, it just affirms our momentum to stick with what is inadequate.

* * *

Rather than focus on the alternatives [increasing troops], the public is not discussing whether they are happy with their own reaction to the stalemate.

"We're making progress, but we have no clue what that result might look like."

* * *

One argument is that if we don't fight them in Iraq, they'll show up on America's border. Wait: Originally, the reason we were there was over WMD.

Now you're saying that "A new problem, that didn't exist in Iraq, will move from Iraq to the US?" That sounds like a widening of the war, but a lack of plan to deal with that "mighty force" that cannot be put down.

And we hear of no calls for a draft to line America's border with people to protect the border.

As we've stated before: If the war has widened, but you're not willing to mobilize to win the war, then don't start.

* * *

If progress is being made, why the reluctance to give people an idea of "How are things going" and "Are we making progress" in terms that are meaningful to people: How long.

All this talk about, "We can't afford to tell the enemy. . . " is an excuse to not inform those you must need to lead: Your citizens.

In practice, what's being said is, "We have a leadership problem, and we can blame that inability to communicate on the enemy -- when we have no plan, we can blame the enemy and say, 'We can't tell you the details because we don't want to tell the enemy.'"

So much for leadership at home.

* * *

"We can't do anything that might mobilize the enemy," so lets keep our own citizens in the dark: What are we doing, are we making progress, what is needed to win."

* * *

"If you dare call for an alternative or adjustment to what isn't working, you support the enemy."

* * *

We'd rather commit to an idea without committing the resources to achieve that outcome.

If you have no alternative, simply rally those who have no clue with calls of, "Chicken."

If you have no plan and your leadership has failed, accuse those who call for an adjustment of what you lack: Leadership, vision, and commitment.

If you put your opponent in a no win situation -- either being for something that is not going to work, or against something that might fail -- you've successfully changed the issue form whether your own team is going to do what they're supposed to do.

Tyrants win when they can paint those who ask for an adjustment or alternative as traitors, cowards, or enemies.

Rather than admit your current approach has failed, change the issue to whether the opposition is for or against the current plan which his failing. You will win if you can label their calls for an adjustment as appeasement.

It is absurd to suggest the leadership is 'doing the right thing, despite their opposition.' If Bush was doing the right thing, there'd be no need to twist the reasonable request [that there be an adjustment or new benchmark] into something that is the opposite: And end without a plan.

If you can't agree on a plan to end with victory, get your opponent to disagree whether you can or cannot plan for an end.

Now that we've squandered so many lives, goodwill and resources, to admit we made an error would be unthinkable. We must continue to sacrifice more, along a path that hasn't worked, to an end we cannot describe but in vague terms, and we have no credible basis to get there, other than to silence those into see there is a problem to support with vigor that which isn't working.

* * *

When you're losing on the battlefield or not making progress against the enemy, turn those who point out the obvious into the enemy and defeat them. It doesn't matter if you win or lose on the battlefield, the crowd will have been subdued into cheering, regardless the result. Their cheers can be used as evidence of your leadership, even though your leadership was incapable of uniting your nation to defeat the enemy.

* * *

Different conditions and new information warrant new approaches. If we are not willing to consider new ideas and define "success" in terms of whether we are or are not consistently asserting a policy which isn't working, then we condemn our fellow citizens to assent to whatever result we fabricate, without any expectation they contribute or adjust when the situation demands it.

* * *

If you can't solve the situation on your own, define all alternative options as giving up.

If you can't come up with new ideas, label the opposition in terms far worse than the real enemy.

If you must create a new enemy and paint them with a darker shadow, that is what must be done to retain power.

If you cannot win, define the opposition’s alternatives as unprecedented, and discredit anyone who compares the alternatives with things your side has done.

If you cannot win, define your temporary setback as the fault of your opposition; and that any deviation from the original plan, however prudent, should be labeled in awful terms to churn the stomachs of your opposition's allies.

If you cannot win, discredit the insight of those who see things are not going well. The goal isn't victory, but to discredit those who say otherwise. The goal isn’t to adjust, but to discredit any incremental notion that adjustment is needed. Wait until the disaster hits, blame something else, then do more of what your opponent said is needed, and say they did not have the vision to forecast this greater challenge, to which only you are capable of adjusting.

If you cannot win, change the argument of your opposition from whether you are or are not succeeding, to whether their adjustment borders on treason Feign confusion, and assert their proposed alternatives make no sense. If you need to, swing to an absurd implementation of their adjustment, and show that the most ridiculous implementation would fail. Divert attention from whether the original adjustment was or was not timely in the early stages.

If you cannot win, call your opponent names and align all those who do not blindly believe you as being of the same flavor of those you discredit.

If you cannot win, rally the nation to stay committed to what isn't working. Change the issue form whether you are making success and progress, to whether an adjustment amounts to treason, abandonment, or surrender.

If you cannot win on your own merits, ignore the changing situation, and focus on how your opponent adjusts their statements based on the changing situation.

If you cannot win, feign shock, outrage, loss of comprehension, confusion, and point to the unprecedented situation. Ignore all who point to similar analogies; if they persist, show how the analogy is different; if that fails, attack those who assert the other view; if that fails, then force them to defeat the most absurd notion of their adjustment.

Stay committed to what is not working. The goal is not to prevail, but to change the issue from whether you are or are not committed, regardless the need for adjustment.

If you cannot win, rally the world to reject the most absurd notion of your enemy's position. Be the last to stand in the unfavorable light.

When you cannot win, create a new situation where the options are limited; but do not allow the world to see or notice that you have no option. It is far better to put attention on those with limited options than to admit you have no alternative.

If you cannot win, change the argument from whether you are or are not succeeding, to whether you can or cannot characterize your opposition in terms unrelated to progress or the argument. It is easy to mislead and distract the feeble with charges of scandal, mental incapacity, or inconsistency. Changing time demand changing perspectives, but let that adjustment be something your opposition must explain, not for you to adjust.

If you cannot win, define your opposition in terms that will make them appear wanting. Distract attention from your self-evident inability to provide an alternative. Make the issue their qualifications, to shift attention away from whether what you are doing is or isn't working.

If you cannot win, rally your opposition to the cause of something at odds with your most capable critic. Show the masses how your fiercest, insightful opponent is unlike the rest of the opposition. The crowd will compel the one who is most a threat to submit to mediocrity, and imprudence.

If you cannot win, assert your most able opponent has psychological problems. Their harshest criticism, however valid, can be explained away as their problem.

After you have destroyed your opponents reputation, then use all irrelevant factors you can to cast your own in a new light. There is no need to explain that your own advances are the fruit of corruption. Define your own side's advances as being evidence of your skill, however irrelevant; then redefine your oppositions insight as irrelevant, however compelling.

If your own side has a problem, be clear with your weaknesses, then say they do not matter. But emphasize that any problem your opponent has is a major problem. The crowd will not realize that you have two scales on whether irrelevant issues are or are not relevant. They will applaud in that you have used your weakness to win, even though you still are losing.

If you cannot win, reframe all your opponents strengths as weaknesses, then compare your own sides weaknesses on a scale that would show you are better, however incompetent and ineffectual are you. Change the subject from whether you are making progress, to whether your opponent does or does not meet an irrelevant standard.

If you cannot win, assert the opposite and your commitment, however foolhardy, will carry great weight with the small minded. They are impressed by the commitment to illusions, for illusory dreams and goals are admirable, and they can identify with you because they too struggle against standards others have imposed on them against goals they are equally incapable of achieving. Change the subject from whether you are making progress, to whether you are committed to a lofty goal.

If you cannot win, create in the mind of the public the notion that freedom, liberty, and the law are something beyond our true comprehension. And that this struggle is unique in that the stakes are high, and the taste of principles is merely a distant memory, unless they stay committed to what is not working.

If you cannot win, define the calls for an adjustment as a failed strategy, but offer not proof. Assert those who have a different option as being defeatist. Change the subject from whether the two approaches can or cannot win, and merely discredit the other option simply because it is not one you have considered.

If you cannot win, define the opposition’s calls for an adjustment as a failed strategy, but continue to assert your approach, however wanting it is of succeess. Offer no evidence that one is inferior or superior; simply reject the evidence and assert the desired conclusion. Repetition!

If you cannot win, and have no new ideas, discredit and defeat the calls for an adjustment; then assert that the defeat of alternative ideas is affirmation that we are all in this together. Make no mention that you have not adjusted, or have already planned to do so later. The crowd will not remember you are being inconsistent, because you remind the crowd more loudly of something else.

If you cannot win, and do not want to adjust, state that what you are sticking to is the needed decision and most timely. Ignore the fact that the current plan is not working. Make the fact that you have asserted a point at this specific time the evidence of your leadership, but give no deference to anyone who asks that we take time to consider other options. Time is on your side to assert that it is evidence of your leadership; but others who ask for time are incompetent. The powerful can manipulate the public's perception of time, then repeat what your opposition has asserted as if it were already known to all as self-evident. The crowd will grow amused and dazzled when you offer the specific plan your opponent has long said was needed. The crowd will not notice you are reacting; explain this away as a secret plan created for their benefit. The crowd will applaud when you tell them you were silent because this was part of a greater plan of deception to protect them.

If you cannot win, and do not want to subject yourself to public hatred or examination, force your opponent to decide without consultation. Regardless what they do, show how their action, statements, and conclusions are disconnected from those who have had time to review the matters. The issue is not that they had less time, but that they failed to create infinite wisdom in limited time. Use this as evidence of your superiority and their defectiveness. The crowd will never catch on that they are used to support imprudence. Then wave before the crowd the divinely inspired plan, as evidence of your sainthood. The masses, easily manipulated by religion, will be dumbfounded, forever a mindless slave of the state to destroy their own faith in themselves.

If you cannot win, change the issue and use all responses as evidence of your ability and prudence. It is irrelevant whether your conduct and results are prudent or in need of adjustment. The crowd will be convinced there is a secret plot. Secrecy and plotting is your ally, the cloak to scrutiny and the curtain to produce dazzling magic. It is far easier to simply steal from your opponent, then hide it behind the curtain, waiting to be produced with the right flash. The fluttering dove is a nice touch.

If you cannot win, force your opponent to define their opposition, but never explain why your imprudent progress is not working. Force the opposition to admit that they are different, therefore at odds with the path, however imprudent the path is. The crowd will not realize that you have already adjusted, but are waiting for the right velvet cape to wave before their eyes. They will focus on the movement, not the details.

If you cannot win, characterize all comments inconsistent with your failed approach as something that is propaganda, spin, or a threat to the nation. Make no mention whether the alternative might work or be incorporated into your plan. When they command respect, focus the light of confusion and then arrive to explain that they brought this on themselves. Make no mention that your non-sense and imprudence created the original mess to which they simply said that which is self-evident: An adjustment is needed. Your opponent will spark the nation into revolt against the opposition; use this outburst as the cry for help, and deliver unto them that which your opponent has already called for. You, are now a God in the eyes of the huddled masses, yearning to be enslaved.

If you cannot win, assert that all non-sense you spew out is merely what they deserve. Offer no proof the original concerns have been addressed, or that your non-sense addresses the original concerns. Make "their concern" the issue, and ignore that the feedback may be prudently applied now, not later.

If you cannot win, use all the feedback as the catalyst to ask your opponent questions. Their answers, no matter how prudent, can better refine your adjustment. These will be embraced and incorporated, as if divinely inspired from the heavens, and be evidence of your superior leadership.

If you cannot win, define all the feedback as something that is odds with the original lies, however foolish the ideas were and remain.

If you cannot win, define your success in terms of rejecting all calls for an adjustment. Your success will not be remembered in terms of having rejected what may be prudent; rather but state that the needed adjustment was a change, therefore imprudent. Offer no evidence to justify your assertion; it is your opposition's job to justify why the crowd should not be impressed with non-sense. With the turn of the clock, the crowds will forget, and then applaud when you produce a plan which does exactly what your opponent demanded. The only difference: God inspired you, not your opponent. If God had inspired your opponent, the crowd would not have been upset.

If you cannot win and have no new ideas, force someone to take a position on anything, then assert it is imprudent, regardless its irrelevancy to your failures. This will exhaust your opponent, and give you time to rally your troops to do more of what your opponent calls for. The powerful define the moment for the crowd to scream with terror or jeer in delight.

If you cannot win and have no new ideas, feign exhaustion and state you are just tired of the opposition. The crowd will believe that your opponent is unreasonable, and not notice that you have no other option than to whine about being tired of your own reaction to your failed progress. Use this delay as the needed time to polish your favorite illusion. The crowd enjoys a surprise, even if it is no different than that which you have discredited. Simply change the direction the cape twirls, and you will have won.

If you cannot win, your goal is to get your opposition to exhaust itself; then offer what they have demanded, but as if it were something you had already created without their help. Make no mention that your adjustment was because of the self-evident failings and need to adjust. Call your belated, reluctant reaction to self-evident failings a divinely inspired plan, evidence of your leadership -- the crowd will cheer you with as much vigor as they have condemned those who called for the same.