I can’t play chess.  I never learned how, nor have I ever wanted to learn how.  I’m more of an analyst, than either a strategist or a tactician.  But I do know one thing about chess:  The word “checkmate” comes from the Persian phrase “shah mat,” which translates as “the king is dead.”  Kill the king, win the war game.

When it comes to al Qaeda, bin Laden was the king.  We are at war with al Qaeda.  In war, you kill the king.  That’s what we did.  So pfui on the claims that it was cold-blooded murder.  Even if bin Laden didn’t have arms on his person, he had an army.  (Or to make it more pithy:  He’s not unarmed; he has an army.)  That made him fair game.  If you make yourself king of the army, the enemy gets to target you, at all times and in all places.

So — checkmate!

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  • Danny Lemieux

    I think that the most important message from this event is that “if you attack us, it doesn’t matter where you hide…we will find you and kill you!”. I like the ring of that.

  • Ymarsakar

    Conservatives never had a problem with killing people who needed killing. Especially Southerners.

    It’s all those hypocrites on the Left, in the media, and in the world you need to worry about. A strategist is like an analyst but combines data processing with actual decision making/branching.

    Chess is simply doing math in your head, in order to memorize and calculate. 2 plus 2 equals 4, hold the 4 in your head, and then calculate 4 utilizing a derivative formulation in a mathematical series. Memorizing the 4 is not hard. Holding it in your head while doing complicated calculations utilizing other variables are.

    Mostly, however, chess is much like anything else requiring human focus. If you can disrupt a person’s focus by distracting him with something, their thinking will begin to focus on places they shouldn’t be focusing on. And if they make a mistake and become angry at it, their thinking will proceed towards a reckless sphere of movement. And if they believe they have lost due to an overwhelming disadvantage, they will also lose the will to fight and thus will stop thinking of the cleverest tricks.

    Thus chess is often psychological in nature, rather than purely analytical. The Grandmasters themselves have utilized “intuition” and have recognized it even in the AI programs used to beat them.

    Checkmate is only said when you are sure that there are no other avenues of escape for the king. That requires you to calculate both your side’s potential openings and the other side’s potential vulnerabilities, often several moves ahead in order to guarantee checkmate. This is often said as “checkmate in X moves”, which is only ever totally accurate with grandmasters. Novices or talented amateurs are still not accurate enough in memorization to be able to look that far ahead with 100% accuracy.

    Humans being humans, there can be mistakes in saying checkmate and the other side can simply run out the clock by repeating a pattern move. Thus the focus of a chess end game is to constrict the total available number of options for the enemy, in order to force them into the path you wish them to take, thus concluding the game decisively.

    It is very easy to predict enemy moves when their options are constricted. No genius required for that.

  • Indigo Red

    Pfui? Must be one of those analytical words.

  • Charles Martel

    Pfui is Pforzheim’s sister city.

  • Ymarsakar

    The Japanese kawaii shojos would say “kyah”.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Ymarsaker tells us…”Conservatives never had a problem with killing people who needed killing. Especially Southerners.”

    Whaaaat? I’m a conservative. I love Southerners!

  • Charles

    Pfui is related to phooey which in turn is related to phoo which might be related to poo which is what bin Laden might have done in his pants as he was trying to hide behind his teenage wife.

  • 11B40


    Back in my infantry days, I used to tell my new soldiers this parable.

    Two young riflemen were having the age-old philosophical discussion about where to shoot those who would oppose them. One was a “head-shooter”; the other preferred the “center-mass” (torso). The head-shooter asserted that if you hit him, he’s done. The center-mass guy liked the larger target area. As they were going back and forth, their Platoon Sergeant came by. “Hey, Sarge,” called out the head-shooter, “where do you like to shoot the bad guys?”

    “In the back,” he replied.

    As many as you can, as often as you can, anywhere and any way you can.

  • Mike Devx

    I enjoy people who celebrate Bin Laden’s death.  I like to see it.  But I don’t do it myself. 

    Partly, just because I’m an introvert.  About the only time I jump up and yell and shout like a crazed fool is when my favorite football team scores a touchdown.  Or does something else equally awesome, such as disastrously dislocate the opponent quarterback’s shoulder with a crushing to-the-astroturf sack.  But I also just don’t personally like to celebrate a death of any sort. I’m the same way with lethal injection/death penalty deaths.  I am utterly satisfied and happy with the death, and consider it total justice.  It’s right, and it’s necessary.  I’m just not leapin and shoutin.  My personal response is just my nature.

    But I like to see it from others who DO like to celebrate demonstratively!  Have at it!  I’m totally right there with you.

    p.s.  Osama bin Hidin’ was a legitimate target.  100% legit.  Just like Bush or Obama, in their role as Commander-in-Chief, was or is a legitimate target.

  • Oldflyer

    11lB40:  I believer that John Kerry got a Silver Star for shooting an enemy in the back.
    I am a little worried about the idea of Southerners needing killing.
    I am not at all concerned about how Bin Laden was killed.  I think our worst nightmare, probably worse than having him in  hiding, would be a captive Bin Laden.  I can only imagine the debate and the hand wringing over where to try him; and by whom.  I can visualize various Human Rights Activists organizing protests  on his behalf.  Flamboyant defense lawyers flocking to his side.  Many statements emanating from the dungeon of the martyred one.
    Then, think about this.  What direct and conclusive evidence would the prosecution bring to bear in a trial?  What witnesses, to what crimes?  Bin Laden was a symbol.  I am not sure it would be possible to prove much beyond that.
    Justice was served.