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Decision Makers' Use of False Analogies Causing Miscalculation and War
Unformatted Document Text:  Horan 30 a similar way to the World War II adversaries of the United States to define the terrorists within a familiar context. The Bush administration extends this analogy later on when deciding to invade Iraq but it is also present in President Bush’s address to Congress on September 20, 2001. He described the terrorists as “‘the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20 th century… fascism and Nazism, and totalitarianism.’” 52 Not only did the Bush administration make these analogies, the media did as well. CBS News supported the comparison of September 11 th to Pearl Harbor reassuring the American public that the United States has “always prevailed” in these situations. Additionally, the New York Times connected the beginning of World War II to this new War on Terror by reporting the following, “‘In every generation, the world has produced enemies of human freedom,’ the president said, glancing at his father, a fighter pilot in the Pacific in World War II and a symbol of another generation’s heroic battles.” 53 The extension of the analogy from solely focusing on Pearl Harbor to the Second World War eventually caused miscalculation about the threat Iraq posed to the United States. Pessimistic offensive miscalculation occurred by using a justification analogy about a failed policy, Pearl Harbor. Through extending the analogy of World War II to the situation in Iraq, miscalculation arose about the threat Iraq and Saddam Hussein posed. The “Modern Pearl Harbor” analogy uses a failure base analogy, the unanticipated attack on Pearl Harbor, to help President Bush and the public define and understand 9/11. Deception and false hope arose by comparing September 11 th and Pearl Harbor as the resulting war after was supposed to yield victory as in World War II. This is pessimistic offensive miscalculation on the part of the public and President Bush by assuming that an offensive action, War on Terror, 52 Kuypers, Jim A. Bush’s War: Media Bias and Justifications for War in a Terrorist Age. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2006. 31. 53 Kuypers, 31.

Authors: Horan, Elizabeth.
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Horan 30
a similar way to the World War II adversaries of the United States to define the terrorists within
a familiar context. The Bush administration extends this analogy later on when deciding to
invade Iraq but it is also present in President Bush’s address to Congress on September 20, 2001.
He described the terrorists as “‘the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20
th
century…
fascism and Nazism, and totalitarianism.’
Not only did the Bush administration make these
analogies, the media did as well. CBS News supported the comparison of September 11
th
to
Pearl Harbor reassuring the American public that the United States has “always prevailed” in
these situations. Additionally, the New York Times connected the beginning of World War II to
this new War on Terror by reporting the following, “‘In every generation, the world has
produced enemies of human freedom,’ the president said, glancing at his father, a fighter pilot in
the Pacific in World War II and a symbol of another generation’s heroic battles.”
The
extension of the analogy from solely focusing on Pearl Harbor to the Second World War
eventually caused miscalculation about the threat Iraq posed to the United States. Pessimistic
offensive miscalculation occurred by using a justification analogy about a failed policy, Pearl
Harbor. Through extending the analogy of World War II to the situation in Iraq, miscalculation
arose about the threat Iraq and Saddam Hussein posed.
The “Modern Pearl Harbor” analogy uses a failure base analogy, the unanticipated attack on
Pearl Harbor, to help President Bush and the public define and understand 9/11. Deception and
false hope arose by comparing September 11
th
and Pearl Harbor as the resulting war after was
supposed to yield victory as in World War II. This is pessimistic offensive miscalculation on the
part of the public and President Bush by assuming that an offensive action, War on Terror,
52
Kuypers, Jim A. Bush’s War: Media Bias and Justifications for War in a Terrorist Age. Lanham: Rowman &
Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2006. 31.
53
Kuypers, 31.


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