Repeated invocations of the concept of "victory" or "winning" in Iraq from the hawks continually raise the question of what the heck it is they think victory would look like. As Fred Kaplan points out, whenever you look at what the president means (or at least seems to mean) by this, it turns out he's just ensuring defeat. I would only extend Kaplan's analysis by noting that John McCain, like Bush, has firmly committed himself to a similarly vague and unrealistic vision.

I understand that McCain has cred and therefore deserve a free pass from every reporter on every issue you can think of, but given that McCain has decided to put Iraq at the center of his campaign you'd think someone on the campaign trail might find time for a little scrutiny of what he's trying to say about this.