A straw man argument is a logical fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "set up a straw man" or "set up a straw-man argument" is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent. A straw-man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it is in fact misleading, since the argument actually presented by the opponent has not been refuted.
President George W. Bush accused some Democrats on Wednesday of wanting to "wave the white flag of surrender" on Iraq, and vowed that American forces would stay until the mission was complete.
Speaking just over four months before an election in which Democrats hope to wrest control of Congress from Bush's Republicans, the president took a swipe at those Democrats who are pushing for a timetable for troop withdrawal.
Increasing public disapproval of the Iraq war, in which over 2,500 U.S. military personnel have died, has contributed to low popularity ratings for Bush.
"We will complete the mission and I will make my judgments as to the troop levels necessary to achieve victory, not based upon political polls or focus groups, but based upon the measured judgment of our commanders on the ground," Bush said at a fund-raiser for Republican Sen. Jim Talent of Missouri.
"Make no mistake about it, there is a group in the opposition party who are willing to retreat before the mission is done," Bush said. "They are willing to wave the white flag of surrender and if they succeed the United States will be worse off, and the world will be worse off."