Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Playing Risk; Women; Foreign Relations

Played Risk last week. Four players. 1980 American version, similar to the 1980 Italian version shown above.

Though the early rounds, we all four remained spread over the world. I had armies lightly bunched in Africa and Asia - as innocuously as possible - deployed away from everyone's line of attack. My "Survivor" strategy: allow opponents to attack each other. Two opponents were close to consolidating continents; I was not.

However, my friend always keeps an eye on my strategy. He foiled my "Survivor" strategy via attacking my lightly bunched armies in Central Africa. We both were damaged in battles which represented a metaphor for modern day armed disruptions in oil rich central African nations.

I could've then licked my wounds and continued to consolidate in Ural and Mongolia. Instead, in attacks representing strategies which have surely crossed both Putin's and China's minds: I turned in my only three cards, gained a few additional armies, and swept down out of Asia and attacked into my friend's African nations. Another opponent - my friend's girlfriend "Cat" - asked "What are you doing?!" Cat's reaction represents the international left's reaction when Russia invaded Georgia. My friend laughed: "He is teaching me a lesson."

Exactly so. My attack left us both severely damaged. I was killed off and eliminated before my next turn. If only that could happen to the Chinese Government.

My attack will help my chances in future games. It communicated this:
  1. fear my unpredictability and seeming irrationality
  2. attacking me has consequences: I won't be punked.

As I explained my rational irrationality tactic to Cat, I realized this is the exact tactic some wives use against their husbands. Such wives use unpredictability, vindictiveness, and seeming irrationality as tactics to help them gain power inside marital relationships. They are not irrational; they merely want their husbands to think they are. Given their objective of gaining power, their seeming irrationality is a rational tactic.

I shared this with Cat. At first, she acted insulted on behalf of her gender. None of we three men bought it. However, she soon enough copped to personal usage of irrationality and vindictiveness as tactics.

Caveat: I'm not alleging all women do this. Some women are fully irrational:

I was reminded of predictability vs. unpredictability when Sen. Biden yesterday made his guarantee: foreign nations will intentionally test Barack with a foreign policy crisis during his first months in office. Senator Biden implied:
  1. Barack will do nothing
  2. It will look like weakness
  3. It will actually be Gandhi-wisdom (Greg's note: Gandhi-wisdom is my characterization. This is Gandhi-wisdom in a POTUS: what destroys America and her interests only makes America stronger. Gandhi recommended nonviolent reaction to Hitler. It didn't work out for the Jews.)
  4. The Hollywood/Hyde Park/Manhattan Left must have Barack's back when he deploys his Gandhi-wisdom.
Bill Kristol:
It's not just that Obama's own running mate expects an international crisis early in his presidency. It's not just that Obama has a weak foreign policy record. It's that Biden himself expects what will appear to be a weak response from Obama to testing by a dictator.
If you are Russia or Iran: Barack is predictable. You are certain of your footing. In the face of provocation, Barack is going to dither and do nothing.

If you are Russia or Iran: McCain is unpredictable. He might support Campaign Finance Reform. He might oppose drilling in ANWAR. He might organize a Senatorial Gang of 14 to derail Republican judicial nominees while safeguarding the Senate filibuster. He might oppose torture. He might favor a surge of troops when he, Lieberman, and GWB are the only politicians who believe it will work. He might select a Jewish Democrat or a female Alaska governor to be his VP. If you are Russia or Iran or China: you don't quite know what the bastard McCain is going to do. You are off balance.

Advantage: United States.


Scott Johnson: Kristol Translates Biden
Scott Johnson: The Kennedy-Khrushchev Conference for Dummies

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