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Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Art of War, Trump edition

After God, the biggest influence on Donald John Trump's presidency is Sun Tzu, a Chinese general who died more than 2,500 years ago.

He wrote a book, "The Art of War," that Donald Trump read when he was the captain of his class at the New York Military Academy, which was then an all-boys high school.

He applied those principles to business and had a successful career that took him from being a millionaire to being a billionaire to being a billion in the hole to being a billionaire again.

Now he is applying those lessons learned in a half-century of running his family's business to running the Free World.

The foundation, however, remains "The Art of War."

President Trump is the commander in chief of the largest and most deadly military ever on Earth, but he uses it sparingly.

He truly believes Sun Tzu's observation that "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting."

(This is also quoted as "For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.")

Donald Trump may be the most reluctant president to go to war since President Eisenhower, who had seen two world wars and wanted no part of a third one.

President Trump is trying to subdue without firing a shot the surviving members of the Axis of Evil: Iran and North Korea.

With the latter he uses diplomacy. Every president since Truman tried to use force against North Korea. That did not work for 12 presidents. He decided to try something different. The experts freaked.

But a strategy of a friendly relationship with Kim Jong Un backed by economic sanctions is working. His paternalistic approach to Kim is a nod to Sun Tzu's advice, "Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death."

With Iran, a different approach emerged. He still relies on economic sanctions but he eschews the personal diplomacy with the mullahs.

He can't. The Obama administration is publicly and brazenly undermining any attempts at negotiation. John Kerry is open about meeting with the mullahs to encourage their defiance of America. The enemy of Kerry's enemy is Kerry's friend.

President Trump sidestepped Iran's attempt to provoke war when it downed an American unmanned spy aircraft.

The president made it clear that he could have attacked Iran but he also said the loss of 150 Iranian lives was "not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting and more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!"

That was eight days ago.

Now the results are in.

Business Insider reported, "Iran downed a $130 million US drone. Trump's sanctions are probably costing Iran $120 million a day."

The story said, "For the US, losing a drone is costly and destabilizing but not really a big deal for a country with a $718 billion annual defense budget. In Iran, the currency has crashed, and the country has become gripped by protests and strikes. And it has felt a crackdown on the financial freedom for all of its citizens.

"While many Iranians, particularly the powerful hard-liners close to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader, blame the US for the financial woes, ordinary Iranians have a more mixed view of the topic."

President Trump's goal is regime change. America cannot impose change; it must come from within Iran. We can help trigger that change.

The Associated Press reported, "Inflation is over 37%, according to government statistics. More than 3 million people, or 12% of working-age citizens, are unemployed. That rate doubles for educated youth."

The president is willing to meet with the mullahs, just as he met with Kim and will meet with him again.

This is a patient president who is not pressed to show results because his supporters will not defect. We ain't budging. One reason is the rabid and continual attacks on him in the press.

Iran is used to dealing with politicians as presidents (Reagan being the exception). They think they can roll him like they rolled Obama, or just wait him out.

But they overlook Sun Tzu, who said, "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."

President Trump took his time -- more than two years -- to confront Iran. That tells intelligent people all they need to know. He already has won.

Now Iran is paying $120 million a day for a $130 million drone.

UPDATE: Comments are a privilege not extended to people who call me names.


  1. money is an interesting commodity based on illusion. the belief amongst those can't find indiana on a map, much less n. Korea, that it has some innate value, is based purely on government propaganda. Nixon tore the shreds of a standard into confetti. the only value money has is based on government say so. it used to be paper. now its just electrons.

    as any physicist will tell you, hey EarthLing- there's no such thing as electrons. its just a place keeper until we figure out what's really there.
    like genes were before the discovery of DNA.

    liberals deride the decisions of the market constantly, and claim it doesn't work. they hate the market because it corrects the foolishness constantly. but that illusion is exposed by the markets reaction to moneys value by upgrading or downgrading based on the markets definition, not that of the government.

    moneys value is ENTIRELY based on the peoples belief in their government. the more onerous the govt restrictions on money, the less people believe in it. this disbelief is often fueled by the govt printing it by the train load. followed by their demand that people use it. any nation that follows that path is often accompanied by a vigorous black market assigning the ACTUAL value to that money, even if that involves a 37% discount, a 137% discount, or a 13700% discount. in the soviet, people said, they pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work. but the bosses accepted that, and got their own medicines from e. Germany. this is a market evaluation done on an individual basis. its the same decision a predator makes when he stakes out a waterhole.
    what's in it for me?

    even in the us, when carter ramped up the presses until they were smoking, people weren't fooled, and the pursuit of gold coins, junk silver, rare stamps, gems, etc. or anything else with intrinsic value reached insane proportions. it even got to the point of insanity where billy beer became a store of value. like tulips.

    1. The only things of value are food, shelter and a way to protect the first two.

    2. I'm sorry, but I believe your focus may be too narrow.

      take more joy from the things you value. after all, isn't that what defines value?

      food and shelter: how about a good book, a comfy armchair next to a warm woodstove. the sound of rain drumming on the roof, the gurgle of water running through gutters and pipes to the cistern. the smell of a rabbit stew, a mug of hard cider at your elbow. the warm satisfaction remembering the assembly of those pipes and that system to save rain water for crops and critters, the knowledge that the cabin pipes gardens and critters were put together with your own hands and will.

      as Ian Anderson put it, "I believe in fires at midnight, when the dogs have all been fed, a golden toddy on the mantle, a broken gun beneath the bed.

      silken mist outside the window,frogs and newts slip in the dark, too much hurry ruins the body, i' ll sit easy fan the spark, kindled by the dying embers of another working day.

      go upstairs take off your makeup
      fold your clothes neatly away
      me, I'll sit and write this love song, as I all too seldom do
      build a little fire at midnight
      it's good to be back home with you.

      a dam good ballad. makes you feel good. and if we define value as what makes you feel good, it has value.

      maybe we can stretch your statement to call for " food for thought?"


  2. Actually this is a neo-con web site. For a genuine conservative view on Iran read on

    1. Thank you for your comment. It shows a misunderstanding of what I have written. I wrote, "America cannot impose change; it must come from within Iran. We can help trigger that change."
      I lack the ability to make it clearer that it is up to Iranians not us to change.

    2. I caught that. I've said it myself here.


    3. Sanctions are an act of war. Forcing people to suffer is evil.

      You'd rather be the Sauds and Israel's bitch and provoke them to fight. Its undeniable.

    4. So what.War is hell.Your phony sanctimony and
      concern for people suffering is transparent and
      tiresome and, ignorant.

    5. Iran has been warring against the US ever since they wrested power, with force, and created a religious government.

      They took many Americans hostage for over year.

      Iran fully supports Hezbollah, HAMAS, and other groups considering them as not terrorists but liberators.

      Iran put its deathly contempt for other Muslims away and helped Bin Laden and Al Qeada. US embassies in Kenya
      and Tanzania were bombed due to this help.

      Iran directly supported Al Qeada in bombing the USS Cole.

      Iran gave direct support, training, and aid to the mostly Saudi 9-11 attackers.

      Even with this there was direct tension between Al Qeada/Bin Laden and Itan.

      How many times does Iran have to declare that they will obliterate the Great Satan in war that will bring back a12th Islamic religious figure or something like that?

      I am surprised that all of those Presidents dating from Carter did not obliterate Itan, granted they were supported by the USSR.

      Anon talks about sanctions being war, but they are benign to the war Iran has inflicted upon the US.

    6. > Sanctions are an act of war. Forcing people to suffer is evil.

      War is peace. Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery.

      We cleared all of that up back in 1984.

  3. Welp, the trolls are out this morning...

    1. And I am deleting the ones who dare call me names on my site.
      I also am displeased with the ones that use sexual name plays on politicians, such as calling him Buttplug. I do not want to be a comment policeman.

    2. Yeah, but their ranting is very humorous and leads me to think that they are way beyond TDS. So sad to see such anger and delusion. They seem unable to to be happy and function in reality.

    3. Thanks Don for removing the obnoxious comment I saw earlier. I generally find the comment threads interesting and informative. I know it's a pain to have to police them, but some idiots were getting out of hand.

    4. Aww he couldn't handle Chuck Baldwin's devastating article on Israel. Just had to delete it.

      In times of war truth is the first casualty. Which is precisely what liberals have done for generations.

      Its not easy to handle the truth. Better to censor it so you'll feel better. The last thing ever done here is engaging truthtellers.

    5. Here is some truth:

      Each, from first breath, is experiencing the countdown to last breath.

      Each, from first heartbeat, is experiencing countdown to last heartbeat.

      Each, from inception, is confined by being contained within flesh, assembled of substance, designed to confine.

      Each is either as substance or not as substance.

      Each chooses to:

      If as substance, remain as substance or be not as substance.

      If not as substance, remain not as substance or become as substance.




      Flesh containing and confining essence of I AM, of I EXIST, of the individual WHO you consider you to be.

      Illusions, confusions, delusions, profusions abound, each choosing as each decides, heartbeat to heartbeat, breath to breath, until that individual moment of death.

      Each seeks what each chooses.

      Each shuns what each chooses.

      Each endures what each must.

      This is all that each has, contained within confinement of substance.

      Perspective is limited by design.

      Design is clue to Purpose.

      Purpose is clue to Intent.

      Intent is clue to nature of Intender.

      Follow path of clues with care.

      Each will find what each seeks.

      That, my dear Watson, is the rub.

    6. > Its not easy to handle the truth. Better to censor it so you'll feel better. The last thing ever done here is engaging truthtellers.

      Well, that's certainly not Google, Twitter, or Facebook's philosophy.

    7. > That, my dear Watson, is the rub.

      Ezra Pound said it better.

  4. Spot-on Don.

    "If Israel was not such a fanatical militaristic apartheid state, the PLO, Hamas and Hezbollah would not even exist."


    1. Anti-Semites gotta anti...
      Israel is the freest country in the ME.

    2. You're clueless Douglas. Preachers of the gospel are persecuted there. Its all over youtube as preachers post what happened to them when they dared preach Christ in Jerusalem the harlot of Revelation.

    3. Criticize blacks and liberals call you racist
      Criticize Jews and conservatives call you racist

      Gee no difference at all between them!

    4. I'm not a racist period. BTW Isreal does not round up Christians or Tax them.
      Unlike Moslem states. So you believe Israel has no role except as the Harlot? You have different bible than mine..

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. we should appreciate Carter and Obama.

    orcutts first law states, before things can get better, first they must get much worse.

    under carter, things got worse.
    carter brought us the Ronald.

    under Obama things got MUCH worse.
    Obama brought us the Donald.

    Obama care did cure one thing...
    voter apathy.

    and that was important.


    1. Poor Carter, he truly loved/loves this country.When he puled for the Shah of Iran, it was th epitome of liberal good intentions gone wrong. When Obama orchestrated the 'Arab spring', he knew exactly what he was doing.

    2. "Ronald, Donald, and Bill." [Barr, of course]

      Sounds like the name of a Dion song.

  6. Excellent article. Interesting perspective. Thank you, Don.

  7. appreciate the thoughts and the quotes. May have to read the book myself

  8. "UPDATE: Comments are a privilege not extended to people who call me names."

    There should be no name calling. It's distracting and provokes angry and irrelevant responses.

    By the way, going through six rounds of identifying cars, buses, hydrants, crosswalks and signals from dark, blurry photographs has finally worn me out. Maybe it was something I said. - Gary B

    1. Wears me out, too, when I have to do it. My vision is not good enough to tell if that's bus way down that street.

    2. Name calling is censored????

      Y'all call democrats names every single day! What hypocrisy there is here.

    3. Read what I actually wrote: "Comments are a privilege not extended to people who call me names."

      Except for profanities, I really don't care what you call one another.

    4. You should not be having to get through the captcha gauntlet each and every time you attempt to post a comment.

      With cookies and java enabled, which is required to be able to post comment, IF you are using same connection, same identifiers of same connection, with same device used to make connection, both your device and blog should be remembering that you are not robot!!!!

      This may have expiration time factor, but, for awhile, you are recognized as being not a robot. Thus, no captcha gauntlet is imposed.

      Posting as "anonymous" does not effect actual indentifiers being neccesarily used by system.

      Something or things about how your connections are individually being made must being changing each time for cookies to not preclude you being captcha gaunletted each time.

      Perhaps you are using roaming wireless to make connections, with the resulting always different identifiers in some portion of the identifier sequence being the cause of you not being recognized as previously proven to be not a robot.

    5. I was forced to get a Google name to avoid all of that hassle required to comment. Seems odd that Don supports the company that is censoring conservative thought... please don’t be mad!

  9. FTA: "President Trump's goal is regime change." Precisely. His comments about casualties was aimed at the Iranian people, Iranian mothers in particular. They now know that Trump cares more about their sons than the mullahs who left them there by their missile batteries as cannon fodder to provoke Trump. He's smarter and tougher than they are.

    1. "They now know that Trump cares more about their sons than the mullahs "

      Its a negotiating tactic. Trump dropped 40K bombs last year on dirt poor destitute nations!

      But he loves those Iranians! LOL

      Most of you have TDS as much as liberals do.

  10. Comments are a privilege not extended to people who call me names.

    The way it should be.

    Especially when said commenter(s) can't even muster the courtesy to use a name.

    1. So.

      Courtesy is giving you an easy way to pretend you know, even a bit, the who who's comment you are reading.

      How slothful of you.

      Brain lazy. (See. I give you courtesy of giving you credit for having strong, but lazy, brain. Be courteous. Thank me.)

      Don could, but does not, apply the following:

      1. No comment not directly addressed to the subject of the specific article remains posted.

      2. No comments directed from one commenter to another, unless specifically relevant to article subject, remains posted.

      3. No comments remotely resembling personal between commentors remain posted.

      4. No comments not named by registration with blogger are ever posted.

      5. All comments remain posted until article posted under moves from 1st page of blog to next page.

      6. All comments no longer on primary, 1st page, move to archive of past pages, minus all comments.

      7. No comment merely disagreeable, yet lacking credible substance, reasonings, etc., specific to article subject, remain posted, not matter how lovely a name posted it.

      Lucky Don does not do these things.

      Lucky Don is not an idiot.

      Lucky that Don has the wisdom of MAGA.

      The Wisdom of MAGA:

      1. When the idiots are being vocal with their idiocy, do not impede them. Pay attention and remember. Take notes. Specificity has value. Collect the evidence of the idiots idiocy as if you are employed at CSI. Consider this, if it pleases you, as a hobby.

      2. Whenever the idiot is denying doing something, something you know, by having proof, the idiot did do, accuse the idiot of doing that something the idiot denies doing. This presents the idiot with opportunity to either continue to deny or to admit. If idiot continues to deny, you have proof, choose when to display it. If idiot admits, then you have opportunity to ask idiot why the denial. The virtuoso violinist can make even the most stubborn fiddle sing.

      3. Ditto on the above if the idiot claims to have done something, something you know, having proof, that the idiot did not do. Examples of the fun of these abound. Why, it is practically written into the dna of the swamp creatures!!!

      4. Taking seriously the delerious is not MAGA. If the idiots act in a serious manner, react accordingly. Worry not about the other, budding idiots not yet blossomed, as MAGA knows the only limits on free will are defined by the laws of physics. The laws of physics are quick. Faster than a speeding bullet quick. The idiots ignore the laws of physics. The laws of physics do not ignore anyone.

      5. MAGA always has something better to do than lament, bemoan, or in any manner, be vexed by the idiocy of the idiots. If the idiots happens to succeed in attracting the attention of MAGA, well, MAGA knows what to do.

      A few of the wisdoms.

  11. I still don't understand why we view the Iranians as our enemy. Can someone explain how Iran is any threat to the United States?

    1. USS Embassy bombing, USS Cole, 9-11, off the top of my head.

    2. 40 years of saying "Death to America"

    3. @Don, really? We want to go to war with Iran because they've been calling us names for 40 years? Can we please have some adults in the room?

    4. @TexasDude - there is zero evidence that Iran had anything to do with the Cole. As for 9/11 yes I remember the Iranians who flew the jets into the world trade center. Har!

    5. Holding embassy staff hostage for 444 days?
      Here is a simple link;

      Iran is the enemy of all Christians. Simply put, their alliance with Russia is Biblical, Persia and Gog. If we make any real move against Iran, Russia is likely to act against us. Seeing as we are not mentioned in Revelation, that is a strong possibility unless of course, we are Babylon the great.

    6. This blog has clearly reached top-level status when people like Iranian apologist Robert come to troll. You serviced Soetero too, didn’t you? We are WAY PAST the Why Can’t We All Just Get Along bullshit, Bob. What a confused Iranian apologist.

    7. Oh, and to answer What?’s original question: Oil, you dumbshit. (Bob’s comeback: We don’t NEED their oil! Me: No thanks to you, Dumbshit. That’s ALL Mr. T.)

    8. @zregime - so I'm a troll for asking uncomfortable questions? As for the being the enemy of Christians that is utter BS. Christians are being slaughtered across the Middle East and North Africa, but not by Iran. That is being done by ISIS who are proxies for Saudi Arabia. Iran has nothing to do with it.

    9. Right, Robert, they've shown us nothing but kindness!

    10. Bobby, when a dumbshit asks a question, any question, I get uncomfortable. I think to myself, Self, how could that guy be such a dumbshit? Re ISIL (per the Black Jesus) and Saudi Arabia, name your source. Unless you’re CIA or NSA (and only Obama holdover dumbshits would post on a site like this), you don’t know that neither do I. So HERE’s an uncomfortable question: Who’d you vote for in 2016?

    11. @zregime, what kind of person hurls insults at a stranger on the internet? I've been nothing but courteous As for who I voted for, that's none of your business.

    12. @rbbr, what does that have to do with anything? We want to go to war with them because they've talked mean to us? Again, can we have some adults in the room?

    13. One thing Jews have learned over the centuries is that if someone says they want to kill you or want you dead--believe them. We've had experience with Iran wanting people dead; they tried very hard and came very close. If they cry "Death to America," you can be 99 and 44/100ths % sure that's what they really, truly, want and they will work very hard towards that goal.

    14. Bobby whatsitz.

      Bobby whatsup.

      Bobby wtf.

      Does Bobby booby not believe that these iya tollah ya many times mutts are:

      1. Saying what they mean

      2. Meaning what they say

      3. Are sincere in both the meaning of what they say and the saying of exactly what they mean



      Are you implying that these moolah moolahs are insincere?

      That they mean not what they say?

      That they say not what they mean?

      Is Bobby the guy, that rarity, that shining beacon of the cants we all just get alongs phenomena, who, so craving the absence of conflict, pretends that those baddies really did not mean those mean things they say??? Let alone mean to do those mean things they say they will do????

      Oh Bobby!!!!

      Oh Bobby!!!!

      Come on out and plaaaaaaaay!!!!

    15. > Can someone explain how Iran is any threat to the United States?

      Richard Fernandez said it best.

      The Soviet Union was a mortal enemy of the US, and so is radical Islam.

      But there is an assymetry.

      The Soviet Union had the power to destroy the US, but lacked the desire.

      On the other hand, radical Islam has the desire to destroy the US, but lacks the power.

      What happens when they acquire it?

      If Iran gets its hands on nukes and the ability to deliver them, either they or one of their proxies in the terrorist community (talk about oxymorons) will deliver them. That is a simple fact.

      One day, Tel Aviv is gone. The week following, New York City is gone. Then Washington DC. Then Miami.

      At some point, even a hopelessly liberal peacenik presidency would be forced to do something about it.

      Surrender is not an option. To whom would we surrender? Probably several terrorist groups would all claim victory. There would be too much chaos to know for certain who was behind it.

      We would have a simple choice: do we want to die? or do we want to live?

      If we want to die, we'll just sit and do nothing. Death will come.

      If we want to live, however, we'll have to do a lot of industrial-strength killing, not knowing who the bad guys really are.

      Either way, the Islamic world is doomed. Eventually, they'd start taking out Russian and Chinese cities. Russians and Chinese are much less squeamish than American liberals. Either or both would rain destruction down on the Islamic world.

      The trolls in here will miss the US when it's gone, but they won't know that until it is.

    16. I cannot believe all of you are buying into this idea that Iran is the mortal enemy of the US. If anything it is the other way around. There are only two groups that want the US to go to war with Iran: Israel and Saudi Arabia. If they want war with Iran, let them do it themselves. Don't use American blood and treasure to fight their wars for them. In any case, all you people so eager for war: I assume you will be enlisting soon and volunteering for the from lines?

  12. Absolutely brilliant, again, Mr. Surber.

  13. It looks like some of the trolls from your old Daily Mail blog have found your new blog. - Elric

    1. Big D, I may be just talkin outta my butt here, but methinks you need a vacay. Prof Reynolds just took one and the world didn’t end, although I don’t like his other contributors as much as I like him. Options:

      1) 2 week shutdown. We’ll live, man. Maybe you give us a list of YOUR fave sites and we party there for a while.
      2) Pre-write 2 weeks’ worth of daily posts, one a day. Lotta work gettin em written, though.
      3) Guest blogs. The riskiest option but potentially the most fun. Assign a trusted reader (my nominees would be Elric, Dave, Schlongy, or Doc) to serve as gatekeeper, and then happy mayhem ensues. Also a great training tool!

      I’m sure you’ve considered this already, but I do worry about you, bro. I don’t know how you keep this up. I also think about Mr. T that way sometimes, too. Just puttin it out there...

    2. I don’t know how he does it either, Z. Incredible amount of output, *with* quality.

      Don, I would consider disallowing anonymous comments. Rarely worth the trouble, IMO. Policy: Either use your real name and email or make up an alias and an email to go with it. Done. It would also remove the confusion about “which anonymous is this, really”?

    3. ZeeRee, you are talking out your ass.

      Don is Warrior.

      Don is as MAGA is.


      A break???

      What you talkin bout, Willis?

      As for jeffie boy, well, what can be said for this feeble fellow?

      Don knows what he is doing.

      Don knows whatever he is doing, just the way he does it, is working.

      If Don changes something, it needed to be changed.

      If Don does not change something, it needed to not be changed.

      Grow some bark on that ass.

      You're scaring your mommy with your whimperings.

    4. Hahaha...I don’t disagree with you on Big D. He IS an OG blogmeister.

  14. I still remember my Iranian refugee high school friends telling me how the overthrow of the Shah had destroyed the emerging westernization of their country . They fit right in hosting keg parties etc. We all partied like it was 1979 . lol The Shah's sister lived about 5 miles from my house. TRUMP 2020 !

  15. Isolationists in Middle East brought upon: Islamic Republic of Iran (Carter), Hezbollah (Reagan), Al-Qaeda and Taliban (Clinton), ISIS (Obama)