As the slaughter continues, George Packer is excellent on the inability of the President and his political and military team to admit mistakes, substantively change course or resign. A snip:
But under the Bush Administration no senior civilian official or military officer has been held responsible for what will probably turn out to be the greatest foreign-policy disaster in American history. (Donald Rumsfeld was thrown overboard only after he became too much trouble politically.) Those in highest authority have been kept in office (Dick Cheney), promoted (Gonzales,Condoleezza Rice), honored with medals (Tenet, General Tommy Franks, Paul Bremer), or sent off with encomiums (Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld). Generals who held command over chaos and looming defeat have received additional stars and more powerful posts, such as George Casey, Jr., who was promoted earlier this year to Army chief of staff. Recently, an Army lieutenant colonel and Iraq veteran named Paul Yingling published an essay in the Armed Forces Journal, entitled A Failure in Generalship. Yinglings open indictment of a military leadership composed of yes-men was the first by an active-duty officer during the Iraq war, and it expressed in analytical terms a simmering rage among lower-ranking soldiers. A private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war, he wrote.