Now is a good time for clear thinking and speaking. If we intend to succeed (and it is vital that we do), then we must persist. If the "surge" doesn't work, then more troops and different strategies should be employed.
If we are going to throw in the towel, then we should bring the troops home promptly, lick our wounds and prepare for the inevitable Third Gulf War, which we will have to fight under far worse conditions than currently. Either of those options are at least honest (although the latter is dangerously foolish).
But the current mentality in Washington -- to pretend that there is a third way between victory and defeat -- is morally despicable. Washington politicians of both parties are trying to salve their consciences for the ignominy of accepting defeat by fooling either themselves or the public into believing they are doing otherwise.
Perhaps they can fool their own flaccid minds, but history grades hard and true. And history may enter its ledger with shocking promptness.
The most popular form of current thinking seems to be "wishful thinking". Once we declare defeat in Iraq, then what? We continue to train the world that "we can be beat" ... Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, and if the left has their way, Iraq. The objectives of the other side are very clear, as they were in the days of the USSR. If you want to be an evil empire, the only game in town is world domination, it really doesn't do to have a rich, free, and fun alternative on the globe. Neither gulags or burkas are all that attractive in comparison to living in the US. Be it "decadent capitalist" or "decadent infidels", the proper state that our adversaries approve for us is either dead or obedient, take your pick.