The Fallacies of this war.
The Bush administration is advancing the cause of their war by using a series of logical fallacies. A fallacy is, very generally, an error in reasoning. This differs from a factual error, which is simply being wrong about the facts. To be more specific, a fallacy is an "argument" in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support.
Probably the most used logical fallacy used in support of the war is the fallacy of Misleading Vividness
. This is the fallacy of letting a single strong example or a single vivid case to outweigh strong statistical data. The vivid case of course is the terrorist attack of 9/11. This fallacy is used in support of not only Bush's war, but almost every other action he has taken in the last year. The response to this dramatic TV footage of the towers is way out of proportion to the actual dangers or consequences implied in the actions taken since then. http://www.csicop.org/si/2002-09/9-11.html
When it comes to justifying this specific Iraqi incarnation of their war, the administration used several other logical fallacies to confuse the public. In the fallacy of Begging the Question
the premises includes the claim that the conclusion is true or (directly or indirectly) assume that the conclusion is true. This is commonly seen in the Rumsfeld & Bush claim that Saddam must have weapons hidden because the inspectors have not found them yet. Implied in the premise is the conclusion that there are weapons to be found. In actually the claims say nothing about the presence of weapons while the inspectors say at least something factual on the subject. http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/news/12502_iraq.html
This argument is further confused by the fallacy of Special Pleading
. This is the fallacy of failing the present a reason why this case should be considered differently from other similar cases. http://www.nixoncenter.org/010502Is%20North%20Korea%20More%20Dangerous%20than%20Iraq.htm
or even from the case of the arguer. http://www.salon.com/news/col/scheer/2002/12/11/weapons/
is a fallacy in which a threat of rejection by one's peers (or peer pressure) is substituted for evidence in an "argument." The Bush administration does this domestically with their accusations that all who question their war are un-American. http://www.newsfrombabylon.com/article.php?sid=1355
. Internationally the fallacy is extended to the point of outright threats. http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/11/06/gen.attack.on.terror/
. None of these threats or appeals to polls provides any justification for Bush's war; they only convey his threats and perhaps reasons to worry about confrontation with Bush himself.
The Bush administration deflects the more measured responses in a fallacy known as the Excluded Middle
where it is claimed that if a war with Iraq is not begun, and begun soon, then nothing will be done and Saddam will get mass weapons and destroy the world. The fallacy completely ignores any other possible actions besides war or nothing. http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/02/09/1044725672665.html
While the Bush administration uses a great many fallacies, such as Appeal to Emotion
, Poisoning the Well
, and Burden of Proof
, probably the most used false justification for Bush's war is Guilt by Association
in which the crimes of terrorist Osama Bin Laden are associated with Saddam Hussein by the irrelevant fact of their Muslim heritage. http://www.buzzflash.com/perspectives/Osama_Clock.html