The White Flag Principle : How to Lose a War and Why by Shimon Tzabar
London : Allen Lane, 1972. First British Edition. Hardcover. 150 pages ; maps, photographic illustrations ; 23 cm. $1.95 dust jacket with heavy fading and sunning. Storage odor within pages. No markings. Pages are age toned. Binding is firm.
War is so profound in human nature, so drastic and far-reaching in man's history, that he has taken it too seriously. Thus, argues Shimon Tzabar, he has thought of war in terms of stereotype, insisting always on victory as the only proper end to proceedings, with all its ruinous and laborious cost. Which great war leader would not have liked to echo Winston Churchill's solemn vow: Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival'? But England was winded by the war with Germany and has never regained its stride, while Germany rid itself of Hitler and his lunatics, reformed its economy, drained its conquerors of aid, and is now the most prosperous state in Western Europe. America has almost torn itself to pieces with its single-minded pursuits of victory and supremacy. The more thoroughly it has devastated Vietnam, the more irrevocably its own morale has suffered. The examples of decline following victory are legion. How long will it be before politicians recognize that survival depends upon the expeditious manipulation of disaster?
Shimon Tzabar's argument is pungent and ironic, but never frivolous; it is revolutionary, but securely based on a study of the history of warfare and its consequences. The White Flag Principle has all the unblinking cynicism of a mankind so devastated by war that it has at last learnt to distinguish the weird laws of the game.
Shimon Tzabar was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel. He describes himself as a painter turned cartoonist turned journalist. From 1952 to 1967 he was a columnist for newspapers and magazines in Israel, notably the daily paper Haaretz. He now lives in London. Shimon Tzabar was editor of the Israeli Imperial News, an anti-Zionist publication, in 1968. He is the author of thirteen previous books, all written in Hebrew.
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