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Decision Makers' Use of False Analogies Causing Miscalculation and War
Unformatted Document Text:  Horan 37 President Bush described the war in Iraq as similar to the work of Presidents Truman and Reagan to end communism. 74 The Bush administration also wanted the dramatic impact in the United Nations involving Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction as had occurred in 1962 when United Nations Ambassador Adlai Stevenson confronted the Soviet Union’s Ambassador about their missiles in Cuba. The administration “seemed to envision a drama equivalent to the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.” 75 As President Bush associated the situation in Iraq with Fascism, this analogy was extended into a larger connection between Iraq and totalitarianism defined not only by World War II but also by the fight against communism. These analogies are reflected in the decisions made by the Bush administration through the miscalculation associated with them. From these analogies, the Bush administration miscalculated the threat Iraq and Saddam Hussein posed to the United States. By analyzing each analogy made to World War II, the miscalculation is evident. The “Modern Pearl Harbor” analogy was a justification analogy to help define the September 11 th attacks in the context of Pearl Harbor. In making this analogy, one sees H 6 . From a previous failure, the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the new situation, September 11 th , is defined and the Bush administration decided to take a new hard line against terrorism. By comparing 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, the public and Bush administration miscalculated the differences between the terrorists of the 21 st century and those of the early 20 th . From this arose the false hope of ultimate success through taking a past failure and handling the situation immediately through conducting a multi-front war on terror. This is pessimistic offensive miscalculation. Due to similarities between Pearl Harbor and September 11 th , the Bush 74 Woodward. State of Denial. 265. 75 Woodward. Plan of Attack. 291.

Authors: Horan, Elizabeth.
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Horan 37
President Bush described the war in Iraq as similar to the work of Presidents Truman and Reagan
to end communism.
The Bush administration also wanted the dramatic impact in the United
Nations involving Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction as had occurred in 1962
when United Nations Ambassador Adlai Stevenson confronted the Soviet Union’s Ambassador
about their missiles in Cuba. The administration “seemed to envision a drama equivalent to the
Cuban missile crisis in 1962.”
As President Bush associated the situation in Iraq with Fascism,
this analogy was extended into a larger connection between Iraq and totalitarianism defined not
only by World War II but also by the fight against communism. These analogies are reflected in
the decisions made by the Bush administration through the miscalculation associated with them.
From these analogies, the Bush administration miscalculated the threat Iraq and Saddam
Hussein posed to the United States. By analyzing each analogy made to World War II, the
miscalculation is evident. The “Modern Pearl Harbor” analogy was a justification analogy to
help define the September 11
th
attacks in the context of Pearl Harbor. In making this analogy,
one sees H
6
. From a previous failure, the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the new situation, September
11
th
, is defined and the Bush administration decided to take a new hard line against terrorism. By
comparing 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, the public and Bush administration miscalculated the
differences between the terrorists of the 21
st
century and those of the early 20
th
. From this arose
the false hope of ultimate success through taking a past failure and handling the situation
immediately through conducting a multi-front war on terror. This is pessimistic offensive
miscalculation. Due to similarities between Pearl Harbor and September 11
th
, the Bush
74
Woodward. State of Denial. 265.
75
Woodward. Plan of Attack. 291.


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