"Bush falls victim to a bad new argument for the Iraq war."

Craven de Kere
Reply Tue 13 Sep, 2005 02:04 am
Thomas wrote:
Craven de Kere wrote:
The "sunk-cost" fallacy is ONLY fallacious logic if the costs of continuance outweigh the benefits.

I'm not sure I agree.

Nor am I, and I agree with every element of your post. Hence the "I was joking" disclaimer.

If I were serious about trying to defend Bush's campaigning as a logical argument I would probably try to argue that lending emotional meaning to loss of life recoups some of its costs and thereby renders the cost a variable cost, not a sunk cost.

But then I would be stuck with a pretty lame argument that the war is about feeling good. Which is why I won't try to support his emotive campaigning.

I'm just ribbing a poker buddy of mine on A2K who frequently misinterprets "pot odds" in poker using those words.

Plus I christened two new (and IMO real) fallacies. :-D

Note: the second one isn't really a fallacy so much as a loathesome argument tactic so this is a disclaimer that those aren't serious either.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 21 Nov, 2006 02:54 pm
from the wayback machine (I was searching for any "recent" reference to Halberstam)

blatham wrote:
As David Halberstam noted (somewhere in something I read this last week), the argument "we can't leave Viet Nam now or all those kids lives are wasted" began to appear as early as 1964!!!

Halberstam Finds Key Links in Iraq and Vietnam Coverage ... link ...

Pulitzer-prize winning war correspondent David Halberstam said Monday that government criticism of news reporters in Iraq reminds him of the way he was treated while covering the war in Vietnam.

"The crueler the war gets, the crueler the attacks get on anybody who doesn't salute or play the game," he said. "And then one day, the people who are doing the attacking look around and they've used up their credibility."

Halberstam, who wrote about Vietnam for The New York Times, joined combat reporters from The Associated Press and other news outlets at a conference at Middle Tennessee State University.

Independent-minded reporters wrote that the war in Vietnam was not going as policymakers in Washington had hoped -- and they paid a price for angering the administration.

"The attacks on us were very, very unpleasant," Halberstam said. "There was an attack on our manhood, on our politics. We were portrayed as being communists and weak."

But reporters are often vindicated over time, he said.


Halberstam said the country's experience in Vietnam should have alerted policymakers to the pitfalls in Iraq. Following the invasion of the country, Iraqis "have very predictably gone on and done what is important to them, not what is important to us," he said.

"I don't think there are any great surprises," he said.

0 Replies

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