How to Lose a War…S.H.E.E.P.D.U.N.G
After publishing the highly successful Applying the Principles of War to the Harriet Miers Nomination, I have spent two months in deep strategic thought. I have decided that with Rep. Murtha’s many brilliant strategic proposals, and Hanoi Jane’s attempt to grab a 16th minute of fame (to go with her 30 years of infamy), I should begin a treatise on defeat.
You know, go out and lose one for LBJ, John Kerry and Rep. Murtha. I thought I could develop a guide which nations, and high school football teams, could use as a guide, so that they could ensure that losing, and the loser mentality, could be perpetuated forward, for the good of all mankind. No small feat, but buoyed by my previous, highly regarded strategic analysis, I felt I was up to the task.
I thought S.H.E.E.P.D.U.N.G. After hours of onerous research, toiling over the best that UC Berkeley and the University of Michigan, and Yale Law school had to offer, I came across an obscure treatise , published in the archives of the French Army War (?) College entitled The Art of Losing by General Gaston de Drapeau Blanc-he. S.H.E.E.P.D.U.N.G.
The General outlines the basic principles to follow should losing a war be your desired outcome…S.H.E.E.P.D.U.N.G.
S –Slanted press coverage. By garnering the opposition of your home country press to your warfighting efforts, you can rapidly accelerate and magnify the negative aspects of war, and mobilize hundreds of poorly informed, marginal moonbats to begin a groundswell of opposition to your war…no matter how righteous the cause. The MSM can distort the facts, avoid positive stories, and publish reports of possible atrocities against animals on the endangered species list…all of which they can further distort to garner even more opposition and drive the hated leader’s poll numbers into the cellar.
This is a vital step in beginning the downward spiral to defeat. It is possible to show the same burned out C-130 hundreds of days in a row, so that your viewers will believe that one C-130 gets shot down everyday. You can get the public to confuse humiliation with atrocity. You can quote liberal lawmakers and their exaggerated claims of grave wounds to thousands of our military personnel. (All wounds are serious, but not all result in amputations and gross disfigurement, as many would have your believe).
You can really gain some momentum through your editorial bias, your superior numbers over neutral or right leaning mediums, and the constant pushing of your anti-military values on to the rest of the country. This is job number one!
H – Half-hearted Congressional support. Once the Slanted Press Coverage has begun the pendulum against the war, it is time to change your Congressional posture. This will help cause confusion about your true beliefs and come in very handy at re-election time. Your dumb constituents will actually believe that you were “for the war, before you were against the war,” and that your waffling is less a measure of your lack of principle and more a representation of your political guile; which will eventually garner you a great committee chairmanship sometime out into the future…should you and the rest of your unprincipled partymates ever gain a majority in either house. It may well come in handy for a Presidential run, if the Media slackers could be more effective in their anti-war effort.
Additionally, the dumb sots who are actually getting shot at will blindly believe that you support them, while you are diminishing the value of their efforts. This will eventually confuse them to the point that millions can be spent on VA projects, and you will be able to create a new strain of loser malaise that can be studied for decades, and will call for a whole new government favoritism program that will eventually bring you a whole slew of life-long, anti-war, confused veterans that the Slanted Press can exploit for many wars to come.
Supporting the troops while diminishing their efforts has a long term payback that is incalculable. This is a must.
E – Equivocate on the Mission. The righteousness of the strategic mission can always be twisted by the Slanted Press to confuse the dumb masses and dilute the focus of the country. No matter that 3000 Americans died at the hands of Islamofascists, who undoubtedly received various types of aid from a regime that was known to possess nerve agents and possibly other WMDs. The focus can be diluted with off-target discussions on Valarie Plame, yellow-cake, UN inspectors, casualty lists, Texas redistricting, Supreme Court nominations, the housing bubble, and myriad of other red-herrings that will take the focus of your population off of the fact that there are bad (mostly mis-understood) people out there that will kill you and your family for no reason. And besides, nothing has happened in four years, so 9/11 was an isolated incident…not in any way related to the numerous terrorist activities of the past…USS Cole, World Trade Center Bombing 1.0, US embassy bombings, etc…all unrelated horoscopic events that were unpreventable, either by previous administrations or by those who carried them out.
If the country begins to succeed in its mission…redefine the measure of victory. Eventually, the Slanted Press will help define victory in some impossible combination of immeasurable activities that ensure the word “victory” cannot be applied. Who cares who won the race, the race was not won with a hybrid vehicle, and so it really wasn’t a victory for the environment, was it?
No mission-no victory. No victory = defeat.
E- Endless rhetoric, sloganizing and cliché development. Nothing focuses the masses for defeat better than a good, defeatist slogan. Who can forget the classic, “Hell No We Won’t Go?” A lot of real effort needs to be focused here. Eventually a political opportunist will grab one of these slogans, carry it nationally, and bring momentum to the defeat movement.
Additionally, superficial treatment of serious issues allows the dialog to be kept at a level that entertains the average schmo, and keeps any serious discussion at bay. A good PR firm can package dozens of these slogans a day…sooner or later one will stick, and totally distract efforts at a serious dialog. MoveOn.org might make an excellent on-line partner. Soon the debate can be defined along a very narrow issue that the defeatists can win…proving the valid nature of their pure cause, and propelling defeat to the forefront of the political agenda.
“Lose now; before we miss the opportunity.” Love it.
P – Politicize Strategy. The surest way to lose a war is to closely manage it from any political arm in Washington, DC. This necessitates the losers having control of at least one branch of government. If the losers are in the White House then the war can be expertly mismanaged from the Oval Office ala LBJ.
If the President is with the winners, then Congress must begin to grab for control of the strategy. This can be done through endless rounds of “Who Did What Wrong” investigations. Dozens of “I Support The Troops” votings. And the ultimate losing move…the setting of a timetable for the defeat. Once Congress has approved the defeat date, the is no stopping the momentum…Giap and Ho Chi Minh understood this perfectly.
Additionally, a vigorous discussion in Congress is bound to snag at least one former military type who wants to shove his vast strategic experience down the throats of the incompetents at the Pentagon. This can be leveraged many times over, as the poor fool will get his 15 minutes in the spotlight, and lend some real weight to the defeat movement. This is the epitome of the defeat pyramid.
And if the winners control Congress…go to the courts. Granting battlefield combatants legal standing in our courts, re-defining terrorists as POWs, stripping the President of his War Powers can all be garnered through aggressive use of the courts. Balance of power and democratic principles can take a holiday here; the courts are the underground railroad to defeat. By slowly stripping the President and the military of their warfighting tools, we can eventually ensure defeat. Anyone care to sign my anti-land mine petition?
Transferring Strategic Command to a defeatist is the surest way to defeat!
D - Democrat Party Election Manuevering. If a war carries across an election cycle, it is imperative that the Democrat Party attack all aspects of the war, in order to place as many negative images into the minds of the brainless. It is perfectly normal to be for, and against, the same thing at the same time. Don't feel trapped by convention. The Slanted Press will not only ignore this behavior, but in many instances will help you "clear up" your messaging by pretending that your bi-polar maneuvering is somehow savant thinking from another generation.
Additonally, this is the perfect time to call those in the military mindless robotons who terrorize and kill blindly for the government. Quickly follow this message with "...I support the troops, not the mission." and the Slanted Press will let your incongruity slide with this cleverly pre-packaged diametric position that they have already "approved" as possible. Brilliant.
The infighting generated around a Democrat Primary season will bring the national negativity scale to a new low reading. This negativity can be leveraged to grow the seeds of defeat, and when combined with many of the other Principles, may result in defeat AND a four year span with a Democrat President...ultimate defeat!!
U – Underestimate. There are no limits here. We should constantly be underestimating the capabilities, the valor, the tactics, and strategy of our military. This should be done publicly as much as possible. These idiots are too stooopid, to make adjustments in equipment, tactics and strategy as they go, so we should play a few more rounds of Band of Brothers and start spouting what we have learned all over the MSM. This will cause self-doubt to set in among the troops and soon they will begin to question the wisdom of their superiors, then they will all start smoking dope, and fragging officers…then defeat will follow. Underestimation, like camouflage, must be continuous to be effective.
Never underestimate the lack of resolve among the truly weak. This is an underutilized source of negativism that can be valuable at any time. The truly spineless weep for undocumented numbers of “civilian” casualties, while allowing abortion to kill millions a year here at home. They make particularly good TV, as they can cry on command and shake at the mere suggestion of an arduous task. Their behavior can induce lemming like behaviors in the simply mild-mannered or lesser affected weak-willed…both groups who are usually eager to be part of a “Million Man” march for their 30 seconds of fame, and 30 years of back slapping about how they changed the world. These groups can always be re-invigorated with a whiff of defeat dozens of years later, and they act as a strategic reserve of defeatism. Cultivate this resource.
Lastly, to truly set up for defeat, underestimate your enemy. Underestimate his direst of intentions as a mere “lack of understanding.” Underestimate his lack of activity as a move to reconciliation. Underestimate his ability to manipulate the inherent, open weaknesses of democracies to gain lethal access to our government and our institutions. Underestimate his ability to evolve his weapons, strategies, and tactics. Underestimate his ability to leverage technology and sophisticated warfighting techniques such as encryption, psy ops, and WMDs. Frequent and quantitative underestimate of the enemy by those who seek control of the strategy is a sure recipe for defeat.
N – Negativism. A constant stream of negativism from enlightened liberals will soon wear down the resolve of the centrist fence sitters. This fickle group can easily be moved to defeatism with a constant stream of nimble, negative messaging. If negativism is countered by logic, simply find another area to concentrate the negative information flow onto…Artic drilling, prison scandals, gas prices, our growing economy…skip that one…anyway, keep the negaflow going at all costs. Once the apathetic get moving, through constant messaging, defeat will follow. Truth and balanced argumentation have no place here…Bush Lied People Died.
G - Gong Show Contestants. Have a healthy supply of Gong Show contestants to parade before the liberal media. Nonsensical ideologs, Fifteen Minuters, college students, the professional marching crowd, and ego-centric grieving parents careful to embarrass the memories of their courageous sons and daughters can fill the bill here. Jesse Jackson, Jane Fonda, Pat Hayden, John Kerry, Jimmy Massey, John Murtha, and Ron Kovic are all likely available on short notice. They will provide a continuous stream of anti-military rhetoric and circus antics, which will keep the slanted press occupied for months, while the droolers from middle-earth watch mesmerized from their Laz-y-Boys.
These types of distractions keep the focus off the real issues and the dangers to the country, and force the Neo-cons to engage the opposition, off issue, and on neutral turf. This can go on for months, until some errant Congressional investigation turns up the fact that Halliburton paid $7 for a $5 hammer, and allows the left to capture the national Slanted Press’ limited attention span for months.
Certain defeat must be won (lost?) through dedication and a coherent defeatist strategy. In combination, these principles can be a powerful enough force to move public opinion, and lead the way to defeat. Although singularly they will have some negative effects, a fully coordinated strategic implementation of these principles is the surest way to defeat. S.H.E.E.P.D.U.N.G.