The AP went soft in its byline on Senator McCain’s faulting the Bush administration on Iraq. It said:
Sen. McCain Faults Bush Administration for Not Better Managing Public's Expectations in Iraq
A closer review of the piece indicates McCain said much more.
"I think one of the biggest mistakes we made was underestimating the size of the task and the sacrifices that would be required," McCain said. "Stuff happens, mission accomplished, last throes, a few dead-enders. I'm just more familiar with those statements than anyone else because it grieves me so much that we had not told the American people how tough and difficult this task would be."
The Bush team had the wrong intelligence, strategy and execution. The deteriorating situation indicates this continues to be the case. It’s not just a matter of managing public expectations, the Bush team is legendary for its ability to craft messages.
Is Senator McCain implying the administration knew the difficulty, the sacrifices required and was not honest with the American people? The Saudi foreign minister predicted invading Iraq would result in sectarian violence and destabilize the region. Bush obviously discounted his advice by invading anyway, but did he do so cognizant of the costs?
From McCain’s words I could conclude the Bush administration is manipulative and/or incompetent. Given his track record elsewhere, that is not all that surprising.