John McCain has a critical need to take control of the Obama/Biden attempt to hijack the meaning of "end a war" - one that Joe Biden again raised at the debate (and which Sarah, alas, did not take down).
The myth is that the U.S. can simply decide to end a war by setting a 16-month deadline for removing troops.
What we need to tell the American people is that this is not how war works - you don't just decide one day that you can simply turn-off a war like a television.
The age-old lesson of history is totally different...The fact is simply that once you start a war, the war doesn't end until both sides agree to stop fighting. This can either happen because one side has no one left (or not enough forces) to continue the fight and surrenders - or there is mutual agreement between the opposing forces.
When one side stops fighting and the other side does not, that is surrender by the first side.
Now it is true that The U.S. President could decide to withdraw our troops unilaterally. That would end the war - for America - but would not end the war for the Iraqis. This would be utter selfishness and self-absorption.
The traditional terms for such behavior is betrayal - betrayal of our committments to our allies, to those we've pledged to fight for - betrayal to our soldiers who have fought in Iraq. - betrayal of the trust that others have place in our promised.
If this is what Obama/Biden mean by improving America's standing in that world, that calling lies to be truth. The reality is that a unilateral withdrawal and betrayal of our committment will irreparably harm America's standing because the world will no longer take our word and committments seriously.
And this is what McCain needs to expose to the American people - is that the only acceptible way to end a war is to win it. You can't just simply walk away from a war without imposing your will upon your enemy.