John McCain and Barack Obama have both had to apologize in recent days for using the word "wasted" in reference to the lives that we've lost in Iraq, both resorting to the word "sacrificed" instead.
Of course, that's made a bit sticky by the actual meaning of sacrifice. A baseball player hits a sacrifice fly to advance a base runner. Primitive tribes sacrificed virgins, tossing them into the volcano so the gods wouldn't become angry and kill the rest of the village.
See the important part we're missing here? A sacrifice means that you actually gain something in return. What have we gained in Iraq? We didn't stop some nascent mighty military with the capability to conquer the world, thereby strangling Hitler in his crib--- We beat a military that had decayed in the decade and change since its soldiers, in a mad rush to wave a white flag for anyone that looked vaguely American, surrendered to CNN camera crews.
We didn't destroy some nascent nuclear weapons program--- We re-bombed the buildings that hadn't been rebuilt since being destroyed a decade earlier. We didn't dislodge a regime that encouraged Islamic extremists to attack America---- We dislodged a regime that Islamic extremists wanted to dislodge as well.
We didn't destroy a breeding ground for Islamic extremists--- We created a new one where operatives can get practice in the field killing American soldiers.
The only people that thinks this is the definition of "sacrifice" are the same people that think hanging a 99 cent decal on the back of a gas guzzler amounts to "supporting the troops".
To McCain and Obama: Grow a pair. Mean what you say, and say what you mean. Obama has opposed this war since day one. McCain--- Well, it depends on what day of the week it is.
But both men know that the back end of "sacrifice" means gaining something in return for the 3100 lives snuffed out on the battlefield and the sea of limbs left behind in Iraq. Without a real threat to take care of in Iraq, the lives lost are indeed a waste.