The problem with the right wing is they think that brute force is the way to win, and we've seen, for four years that it is a failure. Matter of fact, to really respond to the right wing's positions, one must refuse to use their language, rejecting the very idea of the "war on terror" and on "winning" in Iraq.
The war on terror is a metaphor, at best. Real war with armies and guns and bombs, is all about territory and nations. You can't attack an enemy that can fade into the background with bombs. You can't conquer a territory when the enemy can continue to fight and thrive, even grow and get stronger thanks to your presence.
One has to question the value of even calling the conflict, the confrontation, the challenge of facing and dealing with terrorists a "WAR." Sure, you can use the word, just as we talk about the "war on crime" or the "war on cancer."
Then there's this talk, from Bush and his surrogates, of Winning. This idea of Winning is a sad distortion of reality, aimed as another metaphor, at the sports minded, macho right wingers who have personalized the "war on terror" as a war they are, through their young military troop "heroes" vicariously salvaging or "viagra-izing" their sense of strength, power and power to do something. But this is a chimera that has, so far failed and will continue to fail. That's why so many who embraced this illusion have already let go of it, with revulsion, realizing that they have been under the spell of a sophisticated, powerful media propaganda blitz funded by the CIA and the Bush Whitehouse.
It is time that the politicians on the left start taking a stand calling the "war on terror" and the idea of "winning in Iraq" the bogus lies that they really are, and the people who are still under spell as the dupes of the propaganda assault that they are.
It's time that we start using the language against the parties that are pushing for the war, like charging the oil companies with war profiteering for manipulating gas prices.
Bush talks about winning in Iraq. That is a neocon masturbatory fantasy that is getting limper and limper. The US won the war against Japan when the Emperor surrendered. There is no leader to surrender. You don't win a battle with the wind or the rain or air. You can only hide from them, build walls against them. Terrorists and freedom fighters, insurrectionists and fighters on either side of a civil war are like this. They fade into the background, and there is no taking over their territory. It's failed in the middle east, in the border territories of Pakistan, in the rural regions of Afghanistan and it's failed in Iraq. Sure, if the US keeps adding more and more troops, and focuses them in very limited areas, then the attackers are squeezed to other, less policed locales. That's not winning, that's playing whack-a-mole.
There are some things on this earth that one side doesn't win at-- relationships, partnerships, child rearing, truth, integrity... In all of these, destructive conflict causes both sides to lose.
We have to reject the macho, shallow arguments of the far right that this failed occupation of Iraq can be won. It has always been an experiment in imperialism and we must face the fact that it failed almost as soon as the bombing by the US stopped, that it is at best a failed experiment, at worst a horrible atrocity started based on lies and propaganda.
The people Besides Bush and Cheney, like Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, who lead in talking about "WINNING" the "WAR" must be called on their abuse of the English language. The Dem led congress should be hiring staffers who can work with language-- people like George Lakoff, to counter the echo chamber "languaging" that Frank Luntz and others on the right have excelled at. They should be developing elevator arguments, deliverable in 15 second sound bytes, that totally put down and contemptuously mock the idea of "winning the war in Iraq." Winning is for football games with set times and measurable goals, not for right wing extremists to subject a great country to. War is something that great nations are forced into, after being attacked, by nations led by vile, evil, dishonest power hungry leaders. Hmm. Does that sound like Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld?
When someone brings up the war against terrorism, stop him or her. Interrupt with "What war?" "What makes it a war?" "How do you win this kind of war?" then make it clear you don't think it's a war at all.
When someone brings up Winning in Iraq, laught at them. Seriously. Totally mock them for even thinking that this idiotic conflict, which we are horribly losing, can ever be won. Make sure you show disdain for the idea. Dont' let them get away with it any more. Make them feel like an idiot for even using the phrase. We have to do to the phrases "Win in Iraq" and "War on terror" what we did the "cut and run" a term, you know, that the right wing was forced to give up, with their tail between their legs.
We win wars when we end them. We win wars when the leaders of our nation work from truth and justice. We achieve success when our leaders do the right thing. Too many Democrats, afraid of standing on principles, failed to oppose our entry into the war. Some of them have had the guts and integrity to face their error. Others have been voted out of office. More should be voted out. None that still call this farce a war should be allowed to remain , failing to represent their constituents.