Ruses – Detours Part I

Joshua Chapter 8: 15 And Joshua and all Israel made a pretense of being beaten before them, and fled in the direction of the wilderness. 16 So all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and as they pursued Joshua they were drawn away from the city. 17 There was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, who did not go out after Israel; they left the city open, and pursued Israel. 18 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai; for I will give it into your hand.” And Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. 19 And the ambush rose quickly out of their place, and as soon as he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and took it; and they made haste to set the city on fire. 20 So when the men of Ai looked back, behold, the smoke of the city went up to heaven; and they had no power to flee this way or that, for the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. 21 And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city went up, then they turned back and smote the men of Ai. 22 And the others came forth from the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side; and Israel smote them, until there was left none that survived or escaped…

Reading the whole chapter we learn back in verse 2 the Lord tells Joshua to lay an ambush against the city of Ai, behind it.

This post is an introduction to a kind of a ruse, a kind of a detour1. It could be called a lure2, a being drawn out from defenses, via your own desires. It is the kind of ruse I worried most about during foot pursuits as a young police officer. A criminal flees knowing the officer will pursue and then using that pursuit the criminal sets an ambush. As a young police officer pursuing criminals around dark blind corners of houses, sheds, and privacy fences in the wee hours of the morning my thoughts may have sounded something like: Has he had enough time to sink a hasty ambush around this corner? I better go a little wider. I better ready up and shine some light into those dark narrow cuts. A detour uses a man’s desires, to lead him by that will to a position of disadvantage. A man’s will might be righteous as in the case of a police officer faithfully carrying out his duties, or his will might be unjust as in the case of a criminal aggressor looking to impose his desires on an innocent by threatening or using deadly force to rob, rape, murder, and burn.

Karl Von Clausewitz in part defined war as coming down the will of men. I need to draw a distinction here involving intent. To lure means in part to desire an adversary follows, chases, or pursues. Luring is a sort of tempting of one’s adversary. Luring means to attract, entice, or invite. It is a tactic in war. So here’s the distinction: For an innocent person having recourse to legitimate self-defense in civilized society, there is no desire to be followed, chased, or pursued. I’m not looking for war. I’m looking to avoid it. The changing landscape of the legal, civil, and social battlefields are more than enough reason in these confusing days to avoid violent confrontations in as much as is tactically reasonable, and possible.

“You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” ― Leon Trotsky

History records Trotsky was a “communist theorist and agitator, a leader in Russia’s October Revolution in 1917.3” As a Catholic Christian, Trotsky’s identifying as a Communist theorist places Trotsky in an ideological adversarial position. In other words, this quote comes forth from the mouth of an enemy. War – is – interested – in you! So we pray for peace, and prepare for war.

To maneuver off line or away from unjust aggression is intended quite literally to avoid even a near pass with dangerous men. The innocent man or woman using a detour type of a ruse desires to avoid and escape the unjust aggression. The difference is in the will. If you seek glory then you may confuse competing with winning. Competing in combat situations is a good way to get sent to prison or worse to the morgue. However, if avoidance or escape cannot be achieved it is then that the unjust criminal is led, as it were, to a place of disadvantage and vulnerability. In other words, if as a part of legitimate self defense we must make a stand – to defend ourselves – lets do it over there behind cover, lets do it over there behind concealment, let’s do it over there behind an obstacle.

Using a detour type of a ruse is to lead one’s enemy out to the deep, as it were. It is the unjust criminal aggressor’s own immoral, illegal, and illicit desires that compels or leads him forward as he strives to close the gap with you or yours. For the innocent the intention is to avoid and escape, up to the point of reaching the safest reasonable position possible under current bad circumstances. There is an old adage: Is this the hill you want to die upon? Well sometimes – yes, it is as good a hill as any. The alternative is to continue fleeing until you’re tackled, raped, stabbed in the back, clubbed over the head, or shot repeatedly from behind by an unjust criminal aggressor. We ought not do those things! Once a better position is achieved why would I then choose to flee to a worse position? That’s a big part of military and combat history. Many folks have died fleeing in a panic. Choose your hill wisely my brothers and sisters. As with any use of legitimate force the unjust criminal aggressor is free at any time to just stop his unjust criminal aggression! Nobody is forcing him to threaten grave bodily harm, or death, in an attempt to rob, rape, or murder you. Stopping may be referred to as a psychological stoppage. He is physically free to stop pursuing you at any point. He is physically free to stop compressing time, distance, and cover with your position. Proximity is king. Proximity is king. It is his choice. Every one of us has the gift of free will. He doesn’t have a valid moral or legal choice to do evil and crime, but he is physically free to do those things. Deescalation ultimately comes down to the unjust aggressors choice. He decides to stop or to continue. The unjust aggressor who pursues decides if and how much force must be used to stop him. The question to that mystery lay within his will. We’ll all find out what’s in his will based upon what he does next. If he chooses to stop then all ends well.

God revealed to man in His Holy Word:

“Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 15: 16 He has placed before you fire and water: stretch out your hand for whichever you wish. 17 Before a man are life and death, and whichever he chooses will be given to him.”

Let us pray the unjust have a change the will and cease their unjust pursuits. Let us prepare should the unjust choose to insist upon their own ways.

So Ai pursued Israel and Joshua fled. Joshua and his people’s flight drew his enemies away from their defenses. Once Ai saw their city in flames they likely experienced a psychological kind of discouragement, perhaps even a despondency (a loss of hope). Joshua began taking away Ai’s hope. Scripture records this worked exceedingly well. Then Joshua and his people turned back to fight Ai, as did more of Israel coming forth from the burning city, placing Ai in ever worsening positions. A despair or a panic seized hold of Ai. Ai may have initially perceived Israel as low hanging fruit (analogous tactical tree) as Israel seemingly fled for their lives. Ai climbed too high up and too far out on the thin limbs of that tactical tree. The branches gave way, as it were, and a short – fast – fall dropped Ai to their sad sorry state. Ai was demoralized. In the end Ai was smote, meaning none survived or escaped.

Let go of your ego, humble yourself, and adopt a winning mindset. Forget about competing with an unjust criminal aggressor. Avoid the fight in as much as is humanly possible but if it cannot be avoided stack advantages in your favor and adopt the tactics that set aside fantasies of a fair fight. It ain’t about competing, it’s about winning. That is precisely why you must – avoid – the fight if possible. You cannot know whether your enemy will show you any mercy so you cannot compete with any man threatening grave bodily harm or death. Competition is for organized combative sporting events with judges, referee’s, and doctors sitting ringside. Competitions are most definitely not for the streets. Avoid, escape, and if those are not an option – win! Win my brothers and sisters – win! Winning mindsets seek to stack advantages in positioning, timing, and over the will of ones adversary.

In the process of avoiding unjust aggression an innocent may have opportunities to stack or combine other ruses. For instance we may pick a line of departure using a disinterested near pass with a 90° cut at the apex point, to a position of cover, concealment, or obstacle, thereby putting something between us and our adversary. Cover is first in order because it stops little projectiles (bullets) traveling between roughly 800-3,000 feet per second. Concealment is next in right order because it has the capacity to conceal a surreptitious draw of whatever proportional self-defense tool is reasonable under the circumstances. Third in right order of desirable positions is an obstacle, as an obstacle buys a bit of time as well as removes ambiguity for the unjust aggressor maneuvering around it. Pursuit around an obstacle shows forth jeopardy. Ambiguity is a big part of ruses. Concealment of weapons, abilities, and intentions until the ambush can be sunk in deeply.

If we have to use legitimate self-defense against another human being, the probability of experiencing some degree of the legal, civil, or social battlefield is rising exponentially in these dark and confusing days. Unless your exceedingly wealthy consider investing in some kind of concealed carry insurance. After doing the work of researching the issues involved from various angles, I did purchase concealed carry insurance.

Take a look at this video where an unjust criminal aggressor uses a police officer’s will to detour, lure, and pull the string of the officers will to a position of disadvantage. Once in a position of disadvantage the unjust criminal aggressor pulls a firearm from his coat pocket his coat pocket and attempts to murder the innocent officer. The usual procedure (meaning probable) in my experience is for the armed criminal to either immediately break and run upon seeing the officer align with him, or break an run at some point as a detention is sought. Law Enforcement must be ready for the unexpected. That being said experienced officers do observe patterns or probabilities. The danger with that is complacency – perhaps a talk for another post. Sometimes part of what is usual (probable) involves a criminal temporarily stopping and complying up to the point where the officer desires to pat him down for weapons. It is then law enforcement sees the fight or flight responses begin.

Unjust Criminal Aggressor Example

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A detour led the officer to a very bad and vulnerable position. The detour led the officer to what’s called point blank range with an unjust aggressor who was willing to draw and repeatedly shoot the innocent officer. Point blank range is more often than not mutual destruction at best. Shootings are always preferable to gunfights. This was a shooting but the bad news was the bad guy was doing all the shooting.

1Detour: a deviation from a direct course or the usual procedure Merriam Webster

2Lure: to tempt with a promise of pleasure or gain : ALLURE, ATTRACT, ENTICE, INVITE