Foreign Policy

"The Republican goal is to win in Iraq"

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President Bush slams Dems for lacking a plan for victory in Iraq. Here's the latest on his own plan–"101 Americans Die in Iraq During October."

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  1. New Disney movie?

    101 Dead ‘Mer-cuns?

  2. Plan A: Stay the Course
    Plan B: FDA hasn’t approved this one yet.

  3. I feel so guilty for giggling at that, Kwix…

  4. ‘Dems lacking a plan for victory in Iraq’

    I assume that this is as opposed to his plan for a catastrophe?

  5. anyone else having trouble viewing wapost stories lately? It loads the first couple paragraphs, then stops.

  6. “The Republican goal is to win in Iraq”

    My goal is to discover cold fusion, win the lottery, and sleep with Angelina Jolie.

    Now all I have to do is come up with a plan…

  7. Brian24 is pretty much perfectly right on this one. The issue here is not the goal, but the plan.

  8. Thomas Sowell had a telegraphic we-must-finish-what-we-started rant in the Wall St Journal today. Just FYI.

  9. The issue here is not the goal, but the plan.

    I’m not so sure.

    Anyone advocating an expeditious pullout cannot seriously be said to be pursuing the goal of winning much of anything in Iraq.

    For some people, the goal is to get out now. Nothing more, nothing less.

  10. Brian24

    “sleep with Angelina Jolie”

    Why not? Everyone else is.

  11. Dean,

    depends on how you define “win”, and whether you seriously believe that the war supporters’ version of victory is actually attainable given the reality of the situation.

    If one thinks that it is not, and that every day that we’re there is simply a waste of American blood and dollars in exchange for an unattainable goal, then certainly, “winning” can be constituted by saving lives and fortune by phasing out our involvement.

    But to say that anything other than “stay the course” is simply “not wanting to win”, is wrongheaded and jingoistic.

  12. Maybe that’s the only way some people can see us “winning” this “war”.

    I’m still having a hard time believing we went in. And just how long are we supposed to stay before it becomes a good idea to cut our losses. Or does there come a time where we’ve invested too much to get out?

    What a mess. :/

  13. “Or does there come a time where we’ve invested too much to get out?”

    Lowdog,

    I can’t remember the name of that particular fallacy, but it is indeed a fallacy, of the economic kind. When making the decision to stay in the game or fold, you cannot base your decision on how much you’ve already put into the pot; that money is no longer yours, it is public domain. Thus, any investment decisions that take into account “how much has already been lost” are irrational decisions.

    How much you’ve already invested has absolutely no bearing on how likely or unlikely you are to reap rewards in the future. It merely has a bearing on your irrational emotions—namely, the fact that you’ve lost so much already makes you want to stay in and get some of it back.

  14. It’s called the sunken cost fallacy, or alternately the Concord fallacy.

  15. Thanks, BaBar—that’s what I was lookin for.

  16. “President Bush slams Dems for lacking a plan for victory in Iraq.”

    Unfortunately, President Bush didn’t have a plan for victory in Iraq either. He had a plan alright. …but it wasn’t for victory–it was for…what we got. I mean, is he seriously suggesting that where we’re at right now is all part of his big plan? …for victory?

    He’s only kidding himself. He must hear voices. No one in their right mind wants to give George W. Bush a mandate to carry out his big plan for Iraq. The attitude’s more like–got any more bright ideas, Mr. President? …you big dummy.

    It really would be funny if it wasn’t for all the dead people.

  17. Trouble with the Wpost. Just a Rovian trick. Read the Sowell rant in the WSJ and it will automatically take you to the only pro conservative article in the Wpost.

  18. I can’t remember the name of that particular fallacy, but it is indeed a fallacy, of the economic kind. When making the decision to stay in the game or fold, you cannot base your decision on how much you’ve already put into the pot; that money is no longer yours, it is public domain. Thus, any investment decisions that take into account “how much has already been lost” are irrational decisions.

    I think you are thinking of “sunk costs.” I think there is a slight difference between that and the concept of “pot committed” in gambling. Whereas in the case of sunk costs it doesn’t make sense to throw more money at the investment merely because you have in the past, I think in some cases being pot committed does give the gambler a reason to stay in the betting, but I’m not sure…

  19. Black Box,

    “pot committed” in poker is slightly different in that the more you’ve invested up to that point, the bigger the pot is, and the bigger the reward is. That’s not the aspect I’m referring to, however.

    A better example would be the stock market. Just because you’ve already lost your ass to a shitty stock isn’t a reason to stay in the game while the stock continues to plummet.

  20. Evan & Black Box:

    Sorry guys, your both wrong about “Pot committed”.
    Being pot committed means that you have put such a large percentage of your stack into the pot already that, even though you still have money in front of you in your stack, you have shown your opponents that you aren’t going to fold if they try to bluff. You’re large bet was essentially an all-in bet, even though you didn’t go all in. It keeps people from bluffing you, hence the term, pot committed.

    Evan discribed Pot odds, not pot committed.

    Another name for sunken cost fallacy was coined by Harry Browne, he called it The Previous Investment Trap.

  21. On re-reading your comment, Black Box, I see that you were close.”In some cases being pot committed does give the player reason to stay in the betting”. Being pot committed doesn’t GIVE you a reason to continue, intending to continue if raised or called is the whole point of pot committment.

  22. Not to continue a threadjack, but “pot-committed” has a strong pot odds component. Generally, if you bet/raise a certain amount, the odds you’ll be getting if re-raised will always be sufficient to justify putting the rest of your chips in.

    The analogy to Iraq breaks down in direct proportion to the degree to which our previous investment has not caused the “pot” to be “won” to grow larger.

  23. Pooh:

    I turned my computer back on and tried to cover my ass but you got there too quick! A couple bong hits and I knew, holy shit, sufficient pot odds will mean pot committment. I was thinking too narrowly, but now my mind has expanded to cover the entire concept.

  24. It doesn’t matter. As long as Bush keeps spouting off simplistic, positive statements like “we will win in iraq” and “republicans want to win in iraq but democrats have not said they want to win in iraq” the GOP will remain in power. People are too dumb to questoin anything, and the democrats are not offering any positive statements. Facts, truth, logic don’t matter. Just optimism.

  25. @Ken Shultz

    He’s only kidding himself. He must hear voices. No one in their right mind wants to give George W. Bush a mandate to carry out his big plan for Iraq.

    I’ve been hearing that a lot lately…

    …and I’m inclined to agree.

  26. Anyone advocating an expeditious pullout cannot seriously be said to be pursuing the goal of winning much of anything in Iraq.

    Well, we could stay and suffer more losses without accomplishing anything, AKA “A plan for defeat.”

  27. Try this:
    http://www.antiwar.com/orig/odom.php?articleid=7487
    Its not by a chickenhawk so it may lack validity for some of you…..

  28. Bush’s plan reminds me of the plan the “underwear Gnomes” from South Park had for making a profit.

    Step 1: Get underwear
    Step 2: ???
    Step 3: Make profit

    The Bush plan

    Step 1: War
    Step 2: ???
    Step 3: Victory!!!

  29. “””Anyone advocating an expeditious pullout cannot seriously be said to be pursuing the goal of winning much of anything in Iraq.”””

    Dean, Win what? How are you defining victory and is it consistant with what the Pentagon means?

    Bush has said in the past “victory” is defeating the insurgence. However Rumsfeld has stated in public that job will be accomplished by the Iraqis, NOT by us.

    Then Bush defined “victory” as training the Iraqis to “stand up and fight” on their own.
    This does not ensure an Iraqi “victory” or anything that would look like an American “victory” being that they have not been able to secure Iraq or stop the violence, which is what any real “victory” would have to look like.

    Unless we are entertaining the concept that victory can include an unstable Iraq with AQ training camps.

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