A NRO reader makes what I believe is an obvious point:

It is the truest maxim of Washington policymaking that most big mistakes can be traced back to a time when key decision makers underestimated the American public.

Rumsfeld underestimated the American public's ability to withstand both casualties and a long war. Both of which we by and large have withstood and done so without a single member of the administration coming forth and saying "We are going to fight until we win. The country will have to sacrifice to make that happen." - which is basically all that would have been necessary to have had 500K in country and five years of public support in the 60s ...

Yep: Rummy was still obsessed with Vietnam. And he was so so wrong. The reason I am and have been so angry at this administration is because I believe we had an astonishing chance to turn around the Arab-Muslim world with a serious effort to transform Iraq, and Bush didn't trust the American people enough to do it. I regard that as a betrayal of his 9/11 promise. And so we have the worst of all worlds: an ineffective intervention that weakens and divides us, while strengthening and emboldening the enemy. Why could he not have urged a major expansion of the military, a gas tax to pay for the war, and an intervention with enough troops and enough of the right kind to succeed? I expect Vietnam-crippled Democrats to do what the Bush administration has done. Instead, we got Vietnam-crippled Republicans.

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