The sunk cost fallacy
, or alternately the Gambler's fallacy
is the only possible explanation for the thought process behind the Bush/McCain/Lieberman escalation plan.
The sunk cost fallacy is the idea that to justify costs that have been lost in the course of an investment one should continue to invest more to prevent a total loss (even though the losses are already irrevocable). It's based on the idea that the value of something is what you invested in it, not what it is actually worth.
The gambler's fallacy is the idea that something can become due
, it's the idea that a losing investment can't go bad forever (or that a winning one can't stay good forever) and therefore given enough time betting on a loser eventually your luck will change.
Whether you're talking about David Brook's Making the Surge work
, Joe Lieberman's Why We Need More Troops in Iraq
, McCain's Send More Troops
or any idiotic justification coming out of Bush or Cheney's or any other neocon's mouth, it pretty much boils down to one or both of these fallacies.
This does not change that the cost of the war in terms of civilian casualties has tripled
(for a total of about 23k Iraqi civilians confirmed dead in 2006), the 3000 troops we've lost, or the unimaginable waste of money, goodwill and potential for real progress against extremism in the wake of 9/11. These things are lost. They are gone. They can not be replaced. They can not be recovered. They are sunk costs. The investment of blood and money does not make Iraq worth
any additional investment unless there is clear potential for gain.
Further, there is no evidence that anything in Iraq will improve with more troops, quite the opposite. More troops are just more targets, without any realistic chance of creating the secure environment necessary for Democracy. There is no good reason to think that a continued investment in Iraq will pay off because eventually good news has to come out of that place. Everything, all the evidence, points towards a civil war that is spiralling uncontrollably into total chaos.
Now, an idiot president who has fallen victim to the sunk cost fallacy or the gambler's fallacy may feel the need to justify the investment in Iraq we've made so far by putting our troops in the middle of a crossfire. This is idiotic. Things are not going to get better. No amount of investment will improve the situation, and the investment we've made so far is lost
So, Neocons, Give UP, it's lost. You're polishing the brass on the Titanic, time to get off the ship. There is only one good thing to come of these idiotic justifications for extending this war, it could end the political careers of Bush, Cheney, Lieberman, McCain, and any other asshole that's supporting this stupid war at the cost of American lives and resources.
Labels: David Brooks, idiots, Iraq, Iraq Civil War, Lieberman, Neocons