John McCain and the Associated Press Editorialize

The Associated Press reports on Senator McCain’s charge, in South Carolina, that the Iraq war has been mismanaged for years:

Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Monday the war in Iraq has been mismanaged for years and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will be remembered as one of the worst in history.
“We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement – that’s the kindest word I can give you – of Donald Rumsfeld, of this war,” the Arizona senator told an overflow crowd of more than 800 at a retirement community near Hilton Head Island, S.C. “The price is very, very heavy and I regret it enormously.”
McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, complained that Rumsfeld never put enough troops on the ground to succeed in Iraq.

McCain is entitled to editorialize, of course, and I believe he has been consistent in calling for more troops. It seems odd to blame Rumsfeld, though; the administration’s position has always been that it would provide more troops if the generals said they needed them. The military judgment of the generals on the ground has been, up until recently, that they had enough personnel to do the job.
My guess is that McCain’s criticism is more about the future than the past. What he really wants is to buy time for the surge to work. As Paul noted yesterday, McCain has acknowledged that if the surge doesn’t work, there probably won’t be sufficient public support for the war effort to try a Plan B. By emphasizing the alleged “mismanagement” of the past, McCain is trying to generate optimism that, if properly run and adequately manned, our effort can succeed.
While McCain is entitled to editorialize, the AP reporter isn’t. But get this, immediately after McCain’s criticism of Rumsfeld:

The comments were in sharp contrast to McCain’s statement when Rumsfeld resigned in November, and failed to address the reality that President Bush is the commander in chief.

Apparently it’s a matter of policy at the Associated Press that President Bush be blamed for everything, so the reporter made up for McCain’s omission.
Via Power Line News.
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