Obama has an interesting take on the idea of victory. Watch (and by the way, kudos to the journalist asking the question):
To hear this question and then go immediately to a sports metaphor is surpassingly strange, and deeply revealing on Obama’s part. He simply does not think in terms of military or geopolitical victory.
Repeat this question to 100 people on the street, and I would bet that almost all would at least understand that it’s about victory in a war or quasi-war (either a cold or hot war, but a war) and not sport. All Obama had to do to reject the premise of the question and show that he at least comprehended its basis was to say “we’re not at war with Iran, so I don’t want to talk about victory.” You could then either agree or disagree.
Obama is free to reject the concept of war (and therefore victory) over Iran, and I’m free to think it’s dangerous of him to do so.
To be clear: the subject matter here is the development of nuclear weapons by Iran. Iran is indisputably a country that by its own admission has been our sworn and determined enemy for thirty years, through Republican and Democratic administrations alike, and has sponsored terrorism around the world aimed at our friends. Iran repeatedly calls us the Great Satan, and the war that it has waged all these long years has been global, and both cold and hot (the latter through surrogates).
Iran’s present intent regarding the development of nuclear weaponry is a skirmish in that long-lasting ongoing conflict, a cold and sometimes hot war that threatens to become much more hot. But whatever you call it, it sure ain’t football—and no one is suggesting it might be. But it suits Obama’s purposes to suggest that they are.
[ADDENDUM: Meanwhile, in other news, Iran seeks victory.]