The means and forms which Strategy uses are in fact so extremely simple, so well known by their constant repitition, that it only appears ridiculous to sound common sense when it hears critics so frequently speaking of them with high-flown emphasis. Turning a flank, which has been done a thousand times, is regarded here as proof of the most brilliant genius, there as a proof of the most profound penetration, indeed even of the most comprehensive knowledge. Can there be in the book-world more absurd productions?

Carl von Clausewitz, On War, Book III, Chapter 1

Note: Clausewitz wrote these lines 170 years ago, but a new crop of dufuses arises with each generation. So, during the Persian Gulf conflict, reporters spoke in awe of Schwartzkopf's "brilliant" decision to do an end-run around Iraqi defenses. Presumably, these same reporters would say it is "brilliant" to walk around a pile of dogshit instead of stepping in it. As Clausewitz said, "Can there be in the book-world more absurd productions?"

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