Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The 36 Strategies: #2, Beseiging Wei to Rescue Zao

Aka ... Surround one state to save another.

When a strong group is about to take over a weaker group, a third part can "hayve it's cake and eat it too," gaining a good reputation by attacking the aggressor in apparent behalf of the defender, and also eventually absorb the weakened defender to boot, without incurring the same negative reputation that would be leveled at outright aggression.

What this amounts to is if A is in trouble, and asks B for help, B can use the occasion for his own advantage.

I think what can be learned from this strategy is less about taking advantage of someone else, than if you are in trouble, and are going to ask someone else for help, be very careful in selecting who you ask.

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