Chasing its Losses Redux

By Ryan McGreal
Published February 15, 2007

Back on September 11, 2003, I wrote an essay about the Bush administration comparing them to problem gamblers chasing their losses:

America bet the house on overthrowing Saddam, and lost. Empty promises carried America into the casino. No weapons of mass destruction have been found. The people of Iraq have not rejoiced. The reconstruction is not paying for itself. Acts of terrorism have actually escalated. Iraq is no model for the rest of the Middle East to follow.

It's time for America to admit it.

An article by Michael T. Klare on February 15, 2007 in The Nation makes a similar argument:

Like an inveterate gambler who has lost every previous round and now faces insolvency, Bush seems poised to wager everything on one last throw of the dice.

I read this sentence and my blood ran cold. It struck me with fresh intensity that three and a half years after it was already painfully obvious that the invasion of Iraq was a bad gamble, the US is still in the casino dully, robotically cramming coin after coin into the slot machine, and even seems prepared to start dumping tokens into an adjacent machine called Iran.

It's far past time for an intervention.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.

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By David (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2007 at 08:45:28

The "one last rool of the dice" is certainly a perfect metaphor for what we apparently are seeing. Is Bush looking for some kind of last minute success for his own legacy? Or is the situation so desparate for the US that he is willing against a world of public disdane to get what is needed. An even better metaphor I heard was that the US is acting like a drunk in a bar who has been knocked down with one punch, and gets up and says,"OK - who's next?"

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