Another former general calls on Rumsfeld to resign - on Fox News, for added piquancy. On the plane back from England, I tuck into Cobra II. I'd put it off, thinking it would be important but tedious homework. In fact, it's a really riveting, readable narrative of the Iraq war, its origins and its unfolding. Gordon and Trainor actually do what Bob Woodward is reputed to do (and doesn't). They give you an inside account of matters of state that is fair and devastating. I haven't finished yet, but already the evidence is simply overwhelming that this (in my view) noble, important and necessary war was ruined almost single-handedly by one arrogant, overweening de facto saboteur. That man is Donald Rumsfeld. It's actually hard to fathom how one single man could have done so much irreparable damage to his country's cause and standing; and how no one was able to stop him. He makes McNamara look inspired. This is not to exonerate Bush and Cheney, who enabled and enable him. And it's not to argue that the military shouldn't always ultimately defer to civilian leadership. But when that leadership has been this incompetent, this bull-headed, this reckless and malevolent and petty, the generals have a patriotic duty to speak out. Until this man is removed, we can have no confidence in the conduct of the war; and no confidence in the president as commander-in-chief. It's really as simple as that.

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