Liking the ant analogy. I have often referred to myself as an “ant”. For me it is because of the ant having to rebuild his home over and over through no fault of his own other than making the rooftop visible to someone who wanted to mush it up.
As the leader of an ant colony trying to take down an elephant, bin Laden had to use his imagination. Like the ants, al Qaeda couldn’t attack frontally in force. To invade and subjugate the US would be virtually impossible; it could not be defeated on its own territory. He had to get his enemy to turn its power on itself. Ants would send small units to infiltrate the elephant and sting its most sensitive parts. For bin Laden, this meant a brazen attack on symbolically sensitive targets in New York and Washington. The goal of ants and al Qaeda was the same: inflame and enrage the enemy.
Deception can be an effective tactic: the Trojan horse; Roosevelt promising in the 1932 campaign to cut government spending and balance the budget; the Allies fooling the Germans about where the D-Day invasion would land. What is neither generally recognized nor recorded in the annals of history is a tactic that has achieved far greater victories, the most powerful tactic of them all: getting one’s enemies to fool themselves.
Governments and their people are natural enemies. The former are parasites; the latter are hosts. For governments to survive, they must trick their people into believing they are necessary and beneficial, not coercive and parasitic. The easiest way to do so is to convince them that their security is threatened and that only the government can protect them.
Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war…
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