SUN TZU'S THE ART OF WAR

1. "Stab the enemy with your sword and you kill him for a day. Teach the enemy to stab himself with your sword and you kill him for a lifetime."

2. "When the enemy is at ease, that is the best time to strike. Unless of course he's at ease because he's already defeated you."

3. "Keep your friends close, your enemies even closer, and yourself closest of all."

4. "There is no honour greater than defeating your enemy without fighting him. That is, if you're a chicken."

5. "To subdue your enemy without washing your face is the acne of war."

6. "A true leader leads by example. Kill the opposing army on your own and your troops will follow."

7. "The best generals are all poets. This is a coincidence."

8. "Do not attempt to engage your enemy in an uphill battle. Instead, climb to the top of a bigger hill and attack downwards."

9. "To know your enemy, you must first know what his name is. Then you must ask around."

10. "If the enemy builds a fence, you must build a taller fence. If the enemy sustains heavy casualties, you must sustain even heavier casualties. Outdo your enemy in everything, and he will eventually resign out of embarrassment."

11. "No matter how sharp your sword is, you cannot use it to cut your losses."

12. "A good battle is like a good bowl of soup. The cavalry is the vegetables, the infantry is the meat, the battlefield is the broth, and the general is the spoon. You must stir up the broth, so that your soldiers get mixed up with each other before you eat them."

13. "Do not seek to understand why a battle is fought. Instead, understand where a battle is being fought, so that you don't accidentally show up at the wrong place and murder six thousand Swiss guys."

14. "No matter how motivated he is, a dead man cannot fight a battle. However, if you're low on ammunition, he can be fired out of a catapult."

15. "If you kill an enemy, you have defeated him once. But if you shame your enemy, then you haven't defeated him at all! Why did you let him get away?"

16. "The only good battle is a dead battle."

17. "There's nothing dishonourable about retreat. I mean, sure. You look like a coward. Sure, your entire village looks down on you. Sure, you bring shame on your ancestors. But—oh wait, did I say dishonourable? I meant honourable. There is nothing honourable about retreat."

18. "Bring snacks."

19. "If your soldiers are fighting for no reason, then they have nothing to lose. I can only assume this is a good thing."

20. "Picture your army like pieces on a chessboard. Move one soldier at a time, then let the enemy move a soldier. Come on, fair's fair."

21. "Do not be afraid to rush into battle unprepared. Only be afraid of dying once you do it."


Brendan Patrick Hennessy, 7 March 2007