No, Senator Reid. The "war" is not lost. The "war", which has become the misnomer of this or any other age, was won a long time ago. In 2003 American troops invaded Iraq on the heels of a "shock and awe" bombing and missile campaign. Within months the war was over. Officials of the Iraqi government either surrendered or fled. Among the latter, Saddam Hussein would later be found hiding in a hole in the ground. Military commanders and their troops surrendered. Organized resistence was ended. The war, by any measure of conflict, was over and the United States and its allies had won.
What remained was, and is, a postliminium conundrum having nothing to do with a war. A secularly-divided populace has resumed an internecine struggle held in abeyance for years only by the iron-fisted cruelty of the now-absent dictator, Hussein. To the extent that they were victors, and occupiers, the American and other foreign forces were met by rag-tag civilian opposition in a nation universally armed. Since the vast majority of the victorious forces are American it is they who bear the brunt of casualties.
The misnomer, "war," has become the semantical mistake of this new century for the United States. The President and his administration embrace the misnomer with fervor, calling for "victory" in this non-existant war without ever carefully defining what victory in a phantom struggle might entail. Opponents swiftly adopted the misnomer in the belief that a "war" was surely something to be ended. They have been trumped. You want to surrender, cut and run, in the middle of a war? America does not lose wars! Ah, but America, as poiinted out, has already won this one. The misnomer is of course adopted by the Generals. They wear stars composed for warfare. They do not fight postliminiums.
So long as the great debate is framed around that word, "war," there can never be rational discourse. But what would happen should some national political candidate issue a statement of policy: "I will not refer to the continued presence of American forces in Iraq as a war in any debates to come or any speeches to be made. I will make possible rational discourse on the subject."
If widely adopted, this will depoliticize a subject which has brought the American psyche to its knees.
The War in Iraq is Over. We won.