In response, I wrote
Here's an analogy, Larry B and Joseph (read this in a letter to the editor today): I want my friend to stop gambling, because he is losing money. He says, but if I keep playing, I might win. My desire for him to stop gambling is not because I don't want him to perhaps win eventually, but because I want him to stop losing his money right now.
I think this metaphor is very helpful in explaining my position on Iraq. I want this war over, not because it is my desire that the U.S. “lose” and the region fall into chaos, but rather because the war cannot be “won” in any reasonable sense of the word, and the region is in chaos right now, anyway. Using the analogy, gambling will continue after my friend leaves the boat!
My larger point was (and still is) to decry the culture of deception in our government that says it is okay to change the definition of success to match what is happening now, whatever that might be. As if, when I say to my friend, “You are going to go broke if you keep gambling like this,” my friend responds, “But I am losing fewer quarters than ever before, which means things are getting better!” which is true, but the reality is that he is losing more and more dollars all the time.
It’s like Kansas Bob commented, we are “powerless” in Iraq, and it is time to bring them home.