One of my sons had mentioned awhile ago that the competing analogies of Iraq = Vietnam, Iraq = WWII used by the left and right in America, were actually an effort to shortcut the debate rather than engage in it. If you can make people mentally accept either analogy, you no longer have to make any argument. The analogy does it for you.
I suggested that analogizing to other wars might break the logjam, or at least move the debate to more discussable territory. Ben's solution was to relate everything about Iraq to the French & Indian War, or King Phillip's War, or something like that, just because it would be puzzling and humorous. Which actually is a good way of moving thought forward.
The WWII/Vietnam battle for Analogic Supremacy obscures an important point. To the jihadists, neither of those wars is much in their mind. Bin Laden's benchmark is the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and he is viewing our actions through that prism. It's not just what we consider winning and losing that matters, but what they consider winning and losing. Most simply, if the Muslim world believes the jihadists have lost, it doesn't matter whether things were conclusive or satisfying by our standards. Similarly, if we think we have won by our standards, but the jihadists believe they have played to a stalemate, as in Gulf War I, then they will continue fighting.
I don't agree entirely with the assessments in this article over at tcs daily, but it has some very good correctives to American ways of viewing the GWOT.