“Concerning the Way in Which Princes Should Keep Faith,” by Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince, AD 1513, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/machiavelli-prince.html#CHAPTER%20XVIII[*].
“Clinton adds voice to criticism of GuantÃ¡namo,” by Lionel Barber and Paul Taylor, Financial Times, 19 June 2005, http://news.ft.com/cms/s/9189fb54-e0f1-11d9-a3fb-00000e2511c8.html (from Drudge Report).
Moral Isolation is an important part of victory. Once you morally isolate the Enemy, you take away his friends and his ability to easily find more help. Every warrior in a drawn-out struggle should try to morally isolate his nemesis. Likewise, the warrior must avoid being morally isolated himself.
Former President Bill Clinton has a suggestion on how to do this
Bill Clinton has become the most prominent figure so far to add his voice to criticisms of the US prison camp at GuantÃ¡namo Bay in Cuba.
In an interview with the Financial Times, the former president called for the camp, set up to hold suspected terrorists, to â€œbe closed down or cleaned upâ€.
Mr Clinton joined critics at home and abroad who have singled out the indefinite detention of prisoners without trial and widespread reports of human rights violations at GuantÃ¡namo. â€œIt is time that there are no more stories coming out of there about people being abused,â€ he said.
Mr Clinton said the test for judging whether harsh treatment of terrorist suspects was justified was whether it challenged the â€œfundamental natureâ€ [read: “fundamental appearance” — tdaxp] of American society. If the answer is Yes, you have already given the terrorists a profound victory.â€
WWCD: What Would Clinton Do?
He would appear to change while not changing — he would be slick.
Bush should be slick. Let us avoid moral isolation and appear to be with our friends. As Machiavelli wrote,
Every one admits how praiseworthy it is in a prince to keep faith, and to live with integrity and not with craft. Nevertheless our experience has been that those princes who have done great things have held good faith of little account, and have known how to circumvent the intellect of men by craft, and in the end have overcome those who have relied on their word. You must know there are two ways of contesting,[ the one by the law, the other by force; the first method is proper to men, the second to beasts; but because the first is frequently not sufficient, it is necessary to have recourse to the second…
But it is necessary to know well how to disguise this characteristic, and to be a great pretender and dissembler; and men are so simple, and so subject to present necessities, that he who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived. One recent example I cannot pass over in silence. Alexander the Sixth did nothing else but deceive men, nor ever thought of doing otherwise, and he always found victims; for there never was a man who had greater power in asserting, or who with greater oaths would affirm a thing, yet would observe it less; nevertheless his deceits always succeeded according to his wishes, because he well understood this side of mankind.
Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them. And I shall dare to say this also, that to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful; to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite.
Let us appear to be kind to the terrorists. Just as long as we secretly send them to Uzbekistan or someplace similarly awful.
The terrorists do not deserve honor or humanity. And our enemies do not deserve honesty.
From Around the Blogosphere: Egypt News, Snoofle, and Moon Buggy report it straight, Whittling Wood ignores the fact the prisoners were captured on the battlefield, California Yankee, In the Bullpen, and niTworks don’t give Clinton enough credit. California Conservatives ties it back to the high cost of Amnesty International’s moral Isolation attack.