Alpha Dogs

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.

trump-putinWhich 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.

24 thoughts on “Alpha Dogs

  1. Clinton: “showing respect, even for one’s enemies, trying to understand and insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view,”
    Me thinks that what Clinton actually meant was more akin to Zukerberg’s philosophy:
    “The “only sustainable way to fight back” against these sickening atrocities is to “create a world” where everyone “feels cared for and loved”.
    It would appear that both have the same cultural suicide tendencies as Europeans and appear quite ignorant of the real capabilities of Islam especially when gaining a plurality. An European example is Sweden which now says that the populace must integrate with Muslims and their past culture has effectively ended (example 55 no go Islamic zones). Milo (who is British) claims that London is already transformed beyond previous recognition and has no desire to return. France has soldiers and police everywhere, even the beaches, in an attempt to prevent violence. With the Islamic growth rate in Europe, it’s just a matter of decades before the continent is overwhelmed by their middle ages backwardness. It’s not too far fetched to imagine that once the European takeover is mostly finalized that Israel is going to be the first casualty. We (in Trump) may have dodged that bullet (or axe) not withstanding liberal’s ignorance and stupidity concerning historical precedence of these cultures.


    • I think attitudes amongst Swede are already shifting, evidence of this coming from hearing voices who actually admit to some of the problems. This will gather force as the ability to fund the influx exceeds the capacity of the nation. This will bring about economic collapse, something that will come well before any other cultural factor.


  2. Did Hillary really write that? Or is that her speech writer spin doctor talking?

    Trump is the left’s enemy of choice right now; I don’t see any respect there. I see encouragement of disrespect, probably in the hope of some Arab Spring kind of popular uprising.

    BTW, the media playing up Putin as evil is a useful distraction. He may not be quite as evil as claimed and he (and Russia) would be much more useful as a friend. In any case he is a super smart guy, so if anybody deserves respect it’s him.


  3. May I quote Henry John Temple Palmerston here?

    We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.

    If working with Putin and Russia advances key US interests such as defeating ISIS, then we work with them. If Putin and Russia are working against key US interests, then we oppose them. An entrepreneur like Trump understands that your partner in one deal can end up being your competitor in the next.

    IMHO, President Carter completely messed up US foreign policy by making “human rights” the dominant consideration. It would be wonderful if we could always be on the same side as angels, but sometimes you have to ally yourself with sons of bitches to forestall a greater evil. Churchill and Roosevelt understood this.


  4. Hillary: ” … trying to understand and insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view,

    This is not the sort of respect indicated in the other quotes nor in Trump’s respect for Putin.
    She seems to think of others as naughty and/or unthinking children and she will sit them down and say “can’t we all just get along.”
    Sometimes a person will say of another “She/he has lost the plot.”
    In Hillary’s case I have never felt that she has any idea of “the plot.” This is exemplified in a comment that she was never able to articulate why she thought she should be president.


    • While it is true that Hillary takes it to a strange and recondite corner, she like the rest says that we should respect the enemy. For her, you’re right, it’s more like minimum social respect, rather than true respect … but it is still respect, and Trump is getting assaulted for showing respect of any kind to Putin.

      And you are right, Hillary lives in a plot-free zone, which is one reason why she lost.

      Thanks, John,


      Liked by 1 person

    • Some truths here, but there is more to Hillary’s concept that should be bandied about here.

      Willis has hinted at some of it, but I shall use my personal, deadly experience WRT knowing the enemy, and what to do about it.

      I am a combat attack pilot, and have been shot at, shot up and shot down (once). So I feel I have some amount of credibility exercising tactics and such concerning the axioms about knowing and respecting your enemy whether on a baseball diamond, soccer field or over a heavily-defended military target.

      This small thread needs to be explored, IMHO

      Gums sends…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
    – Oscar Wilde


    Heat not a furnace for your own foe so hot That it do singe yourself.
    – William Shakespeare

    Just sayin…..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Respect != Like/want to emulate/etc

    it’s much closer to Respect == Take Seriously

    Putin took over a Nuke armed country, if you don’t take him seriously and respect the idea that he is able to take action, then you are a fool.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve worked in both architecture and general contracting for over two decades, and the one thing that all developers have in common is huge, bullying egos. And it’s necessary.

    There are so many impediments in place preventing development that it’s a miracle that anything ever gets built. Trump does it, not because it’s an easy way to make money, but because he loves the fight. Development is a low-cash-flow business. It requires decades to develop equity in buildings, and that’s where much of Trump’s wealth is.

    A typical city can require the approval of 8 to 12 departments, design review boards, neighborhood associations, franchise utilities, systems development charges, trip generating fees, up-grades to streets/traffic signals, right-of-way dedications, utility easements, public art, ADA upgrades, site conformance upgrades, etc., etc., etc. All this hoop jumping can easily add 25% – 30% to the cost of construction and two years to the schedule resulting in lost revenue.

    I suspect that a large portion of Trump supporters are in the construction industry, including vendors and suppliers. Construction still is a very labor intensive industry – just take a look next time you are out driving around at how many trucks on the road have signs advertising painting, drywalling, mechanical, electrical, windows, waterproofing, etc. Not to mention all the landscape maintenance crews.


  8. Far too many equate respect for love. As you have eloquently pointed out, there is a big difference. When the left first started this anti-Putin/Trump meme, I thought of General Patton. He had studied General Rommel, and during the war he called Rommel a ‘magnificent bastard’. If Patton said something like that today, the NYT would have the headline, “Fascist Patton In Bed With Rommel/Nazis; Calls Rommel Magnificent”. In Nam, I neither hated nor loved the VC/NVA, but I damn-well sure respected them for their courage.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Alpha Dogs | Skating Under The Ice | Cranky Old Crow

  10. “Putin’s a dog and an evil person … but he is a POWERFUL and DANGEROUSLY RABID dog”

    I can see saying that about Kim of North Korea: crazy, unpredictable, dangerous. But can’t get no respect.

    Putin is Alpha, that we can agree on, but not crazy and not unpredictable. He is playing chess, we are playing poker. He is a bear, not a dog. I like dogs; I respect bears.


  11. I’ve never (yet) been bit by a dog, my sister seemed to tell me when her huskie bit, it was just reflex when the dog was woken up, no stiches needed just shallow punctures.
    Anybody that has held a dog on a leash wouldn’t want a full blown bite, followed by the head shake.


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