Cao Cao vs. Zhuge Liang

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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Sun Sep 19, 2004 1:24 am

But why kill the people. Why not just kill Tao Qian's generals or his men. Why not expand into his land, capture him and kill him and abondon it. It would completly relieve him of military power and without the expense of the people.
He didn't kill the people for any reason other then to avenge his father. Sun Quan did not slaughter Jiangxia population for his father. Liu Bei did not slaughter people in Jing. Why only Cao Cao? Yuan Shao's father died but he didn't go on a massive slaughter against his killer.
Lu Xun- "After much observation of how Liu Bei had been leading troops in his career, I see that he had more failures than success; hence, he is not much of a threat."
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Unread postby Master Fu Xi » Sun Sep 19, 2004 1:50 am

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:But why kill the people. Why not just kill Tao Qian's generals or his men. Why not expand into his land, capture him and kill him and abondon it. It would completly relieve him of military power and without the expense of the people.
He didn't kill the people for any reason other then to avenge his father. Sun Quan did not slaughter Jiangxia population for his father. Liu Bei did not slaughter people in Jing. Why only Cao Cao? Yuan Shao's father died but he didn't go on a massive slaughter against his killer.


Because Cao Cao was furious about his fathers death and I believe that he said that he would kill anyone in the way. And remember that Lu Bu came to attack him from behind and took Chen Liu, so Lu Bu asked for reinforcements from Yuan Shao but instead Yuan sent them to Cao.

Also like I said before... he was mad and would stop at nothing to avenge him. Yuan Shao's father... I'm going to have to look up I guess because I don't remember how he died.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Sun Sep 19, 2004 2:25 am

That still doesn't excuse the fact that he killed so many civilians and that he basicly brought no good of it to anyone.
That was a foolish thing to do and no one else killed civilians in order to avenge someone. Any person can see that he could have just captured Tao and his city, killed Tao and adondon the city if he was unable to hold it.
He was not thinking when he did this and surley needs to realize the strategic mistake that is mass civilian slaughter.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Sun Sep 19, 2004 3:13 pm

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:But why kill the people. Why not just kill Tao Qian's generals or his men. Why not expand into his land, capture him and kill him and abondon it. It would completly relieve him of military power and without the expense of the people.
He didn't kill the people for any reason other then to avenge his father. Sun Quan did not slaughter Jiangxia population for his father. Liu Bei did not slaughter people in Jing. Why only Cao Cao? Yuan Shao's father died but he didn't go on a massive slaughter against his killer.


To kill Tao Qian or his main generals would require that Cao Cao stay in Xuzhou for an extended campaign.Well over a year,if they decide to resists in their cities.Cao Cao's lightly defended holdings to the west would be easy game for anyone who wanted it.
And even if he conquers and then abandons Xuzhou he has just wasted huge resources dominating a province he has no intention to rule at this time.Leaving Xuzhou abandoned also leaves it completely open for Yuan Shu or somebody else to add to their holdings.I don't think Cao Cao wants to do the work for everybody else.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Sun Sep 19, 2004 8:11 pm

And Killing everyone is Xuzhou also leaves it open for Yuan Shu.

It won't take a year because Tao Qian is weak and would only put up a fight for 2 months at most.

No matter what the case, Cao Cao foolishly killed civilians and at that time, he was in no way concerned with strategy. Just from seeing how easily Lu Bu took his land shows that he was foolish in his slaughter. In the end he accomplished nothing with this.
Lu Xun- "After much observation of how Liu Bei had been leading troops in his career, I see that he had more failures than success; hence, he is not much of a threat."
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Sun Sep 19, 2004 9:22 pm

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:And Killing everyone is Xuzhou also leaves it open for Yuan Shu.

It won't take a year because Tao Qian is weak and would only put up a fight for 2 months at most.

No matter what the case, Cao Cao foolishly killed civilians and at that time, he was in no way concerned with strategy. Just from seeing how easily Lu Bu took his land shows that he was foolish in his slaughter. In the end he accomplished nothing with this.


It's really funny how you make these pronouncements at the end where you seem to think that you've made a concrete point and that's that.Your points are weak.

Cao Cao didn't kill EVERYONE.He killed a lot of people and he damaged Tao Qian's offensive capability but Qian could still defend himself to a degree.Yuan Shu would have to fight how it,leaving himself open to Liu Biao.

What does the revolts of some officials have to do with Cao Cao being foolish?Nothing!Why you bring that up I don't know.

I show how Cao Cao accomplished plenty with his slaughter,breaking the back of Tao Qian's realm and ending the threat he posed.All you have done is bawl about how he could have done something else and all of the recommendations you made were useless.

It's a classic argument I have,if you can't come up with a better idea then you have no right to criticize another's.Show me another way Cao Cao could have contained Tao Qian so quickly while leaving his territories vulnerable for as little time as possible.This is obviously rhetorical since you can't give me an answer anyway.
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Unread postby James » Sun Sep 19, 2004 10:43 pm

You know… Xuzhou, in my opinion was a tactical error on Cao Cao’s part. He was not able to destroy Tao Qian as he had wished, so he took his anger out on the populace in an act of brutality which certainly impacted him in various events over the future years of his career. No doubt it also hurt Tao Qian, who would suffer in wealth and trust due to what happened to populace under his protection, but did Cao Cao really need to do such a thing in order to defeat Tao Qian?

Cao Cao could have easily withdrawn and waited for the proper opportunity down the road, taken it at that time, then found himself governing a populace which would have probably been much more trusting in him. In this instance he would also never have been judged for such an act of cruelty. Maybe for a person who was not so capable, such would have been a reasonable action, but for Cao Cao, a man capable of so much more, it strikes me as a larger mistake.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:24 am

But was his goal even to destroy Tao Qian at all.Marking Cao Cao's actions as a blaze of anger and brutality might fit with what happened but does it really fit with Cao Cao as a person.Such a streak of madness was never seen in him before and never again.So really,is it madness?
I would think not.I do not doubt that when Cao Cao heard of his father's death that he swore to drink from Tao Qian's skull or whatever but to carry out an entire campaign in that heat of anger?It fits not with his character at all.

Certainly Cao Cao could have waited for another moment but two facotrs argue in the favour of haste.First is that Tao Qian killed,knowlingly,the father of a known warlord.That really can only mean an act of war by Tao Qian.You don't go around killing the close family of warlords for fun certainly.So therefore Cao Cao now has a quarrel with Tao Qian,started by Qian.At this point Cao Cao has no open conflicts with anyone,that is to say he is not actively engaged in combat so therefore he does not lack time.But looking to the future will that time ever be there again?Certainly with rival warlords to every side of him,Cao Cao cannot but see himself soon to be embroiled in a years long war with them all.So why not take this opportunity to deal with Tao Qian once and for all and remove him from the big game.

Secondly is of course the humiliation and face Cao Cao lost,as well as his duty to avenge his family.This would certainly mean that he must act sooner rather than later.If he allows Tao Qian to strike such a blow and go unpunished then what message is Cao Cao sending?None save:"I am weak."In a time when perception could easily cause another warlord to strike at you and all warlords want to look as good as possible to attract the services of worthy men,can Cao Cao afford for his character to take such a hit?I should not think so.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:46 am

You know what I think. That it fits Cao Cao perfectly.
That's not the only atrocity he's commited. If anything, he would be the guy who goes around killing family members for fun.

It's still strategicly incorrect. Either Cao Cao's less intelligent, or loses his temper and was mad at that time. You decide.

He may as well have decided to get a caolation on Tao Qian. What happened? He got a small caolation on himself. Liu Bei, Kong Rong, Lu Bu and a few other minors went against him. Why? Because he was strategicly incorrect. He gave everyone the perfect chance to wipe Cao Cao out of the picture, not Tao Qian.
Lu Xun- "After much observation of how Liu Bei had been leading troops in his career, I see that he had more failures than success; hence, he is not much of a threat."
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Unread postby Uiler » Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:57 am

From what I read in history books, Tao Qian didn't knowingly kill Cao Song. In fact he wanted to offer Cao Song his protection but some of his subordinates decided that the rich baggage train that Cao Song had was ripe for the pickings. Of course it is likely that Cao Cao didn't believe Tao Qian's protestations of innocence so it doesn't matter that much anyway when discussing Cao Cao's motives on the matter.

Exar Kun wrote:First is that Tao Qian killed,knowlingly,the father of a known warlord.That really can only mean an act of war by Tao Qian.You don't go around killing the close family of warlords for fun certainly.So therefore Cao Cao now has a quarrel with Tao Qian,started by Qian.At this point Cao Cao has no open conflicts with anyone,that is to say he is not actively engaged in combat so therefore he does not lack time.But looking to the future will that time ever be there again?Certainly with rival warlords to every side of him,Cao Cao cannot but see himself soon to be embroiled in a years long war with them all.So why not take this opportunity to deal with Tao Qian once and for all and remove him from the big game.

Secondly is of course the humiliation and face Cao Cao lost,as well as his duty to avenge his family.This would certainly mean that he must act sooner rather than later.If he allows Tao Qian to strike such a blow and go unpunished then what message is Cao Cao sending?None save:"I am weak."In a time when perception could easily cause another warlord to strike at you and all warlords want to look as good as possible to attract the services of worthy men,can Cao Cao afford for his character to take such a hit?I should not think so.
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