The absolute necessity of taking your enemies seriously is recognized around the world. I’ve collected some quotes on the subject, all emphasis mine. Here’s a veteran of the Iraq war:
A friend of mine once told me that, in a variation of a Sun-Tzu quotation, “Before you can defeat your enemy, you have to respect your enemy, and that is respecting him as you respect yourself.’ Respect in this case is not a moral decision. It is just that you must respect your enemy, if you ever hope to defeat your enemy.
Nor is this idea restricted to the Western world. From the Makah Indian tribe of the Pacific Northwest:
“The second rule is to know your enemy. The more you know about him, the more chance you have to defeat him. But you should remember to keep your secrets away from him, because he will use his knowledge against you. Just like the Makahs respect the whale during the hunt, you must always respect your enemy. If you don’t, you will be defeated. Never show disrespect for your enemy.“
Here’s the novelist James Patterson on the subject:
“You have to respect your enemy. Never, ever underestimate them. The second you do, they’ll squash you. Be smart about them. Respect their abilities, even if they don’t respect yours.”
Then we have John Fitzgerald Kennedy:
“Respect your enemy, but never forget the shame of defeat”.
Finally, we have a lovely quote from Hillary Clinton:
This is what we call smart power – using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security, leaving no one on the sidelines, showing respect, even for one’s enemies, trying to understand and insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view, helping to define the problems, determine the solutions.”
So it’s quite clear that people around the world agree than if you don’t respect your enemy you’re more likely to fail, to lose the battle or the war.
As an example of not respecting your enemy and losing, I give you Ex-President Obama when asked about the success of ISIS. For those not into sports, the “JV team” is the “Junior Varsity” team of the younger players as compared to the Varsity Team, the Lakers are a basketball team, and Kobe Bryant was their superstar. Obama said:
Yes, but, David, I think the analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.
Obama calling ISIS the “JV team” shows what can happen when you do not respect your enemy.
Given that common knowledge about what happens when you do and don’t respect your opponent, please consider this exchange in today’s Super Bowl interview between Bill O’Reilly and President Trump regarding Vladimir Putin of Russia:
O’Reilly: “Do you respect Putin?”
President Trump: “I do respect him, but …”
O’Reilly (interrupting): “Do you? Why”
President Trump: “Well, I respect a lot of people but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna get along with them.”
This is the nature of strong people. They respect other strong people, even when those people are their enemies. Truly, you’d be a fool not to.
Which makes the caterwauling of the chatterati on this subject quite amazing. Every time Trump says that he respects Putin, talking heads explode, and this is no exception … so of course he keeps saying it. People go on and on about “but … but … but Putin’s a BAAAAAD MAN! Don’t you know he kills people? Don’t you know he’s ex-KGB? He poisons his opponents, for God’s sake!”
Well, yes, we know all those things. Here’s a clue to separate the wheat from the chaff. If someone doesn’t recognize and respect a strong man or woman whether or not they agree with them, it is very likely that they are not a strong man or woman themselves.
If someone is shocked that Trump respects Putin, they’ve never spent much time around alpha males and females. Leaders are curious creatures. They recognize each other across a room or across a continent, and they respect each other even if they dislike each other.
And the more they dislike each other, the more they need to respect each other. If they don’t respect each other, one of them will make a possibly fatal move based on underestimation of their opponent.
So I am overjoyed that Trump respects Putin. Yes, Putin’s a dog and an evil person … but he is a POWERFUL and DANGEROUSLY RABID dog, and even a child knows to respect that.
And if you think Trump doesn’t understand that, you need look no further than at General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, the “Warrior Monk” that the President picked to be Secretary of Defense.
Seems crazy to me that I need to explain this stuff, but given the number of people who find Trump’s respect for Putin either a mystery or a reason to lose the plot entirely, I guess it must be necessary. Me, I’m not an alpha male or a beta male …
… I’m a lone wolf.
Rainy here again, on and off, leaving the air crystalline and cold … the world is good, I’m gonna watch the game and cheer Bush the Elder.
Regards to all,
PLEASE: remember to QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE REFERRING TO in your comments, so we can all know what you are referring to.