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Decision Makers' Use of False Analogies Causing Miscalculation and War
Unformatted Document Text:  Horan 25 and situations necessitating war in order to justify the policy to the public and gain domestic support. By using these analogies, policy makers generate the expectation that their will be success in the future through the involvement. 43 H 5 : Success Base Analog  Justify Involvement in Current War  1) Deception, 2) False hope  Optimistic Offensive Miscalculation The following is an example of a decision maker using a successful situation as an analogy to justify action. Following the attacks on September 11 th , the American public was looking for a way to explain and think about this event. Incomparable to any recent event in history or any event at all, analogies were the first place to look in “the search for a usable past” to understand. The Pearl Harbor analogy was the closest similar event in recent history due to its significance to America’s rise in power and the spread of democracy against anti-U.S. forces. Both President George W. Bush and Americans found a comfort in regarding the situation in this way. While after Pearl Harbor the U.S. went on to victory fighting the fascist forces of an industrial giant and providing needed aid to its allies, the same thing was needed this time. While the media, Bush and the American public looked to Pearl Harbor to explain 9/11, President Bush also explained later resistance to war in Iraq in terms of Roosevelt’s plight for support to engage in World War II. The need to convince the American people of the urgency of engagement in Iraq was similar to convincing them to fight Germany and Japan at the same time, the U.S. “could not afford to 43 Noon, David Hoogland. “Operation Enduring Analogy: World War II, the War on Terror, and the Uses of Historical Memory.” Rhetoric & Public Affairs Vol. 7, No. 3, 2004. 342.

Authors: Horan, Elizabeth.
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Horan 25
and situations necessitating war in order to justify the policy to the public and gain domestic
support. By using these analogies, policy makers generate the expectation that their will be
success in the future through the involvement.
H
5
: Success Base Analog Justify Involvement in Current War
1) Deception, 2) False hope
Optimistic Offensive Miscalculation
The following is an example of a decision maker using a successful situation as an analogy to
justify action.
Following the attacks on September 11
th
, the American public was looking for a way to
explain and think about this event. Incomparable to any recent event in history or any event at
all, analogies were the first place to look in “the search for a usable past” to understand. The
Pearl Harbor analogy was the closest similar event in recent history due to its significance to
America’s rise in power and the spread of democracy against anti-U.S. forces. Both President
George W. Bush and Americans found a comfort in regarding the situation in this way. While
after Pearl Harbor the U.S. went on to victory fighting the fascist forces of an industrial giant and
providing needed aid to its allies, the same thing was needed this time. While the media, Bush
and the American public looked to Pearl Harbor to explain 9/11, President Bush also explained
later resistance to war in Iraq in terms of Roosevelt’s plight for support to engage in World War
II. The need to convince the American people of the urgency of engagement in Iraq was similar
to convincing them to fight Germany and Japan at the same time, the U.S. “could not afford to
43
Noon, David Hoogland. “Operation Enduring Analogy: World War II, the War on Terror, and the Uses of
Historical Memory.” Rhetoric & Public Affairs Vol. 7, No. 3, 2004. 342.


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