Iraq: real movement or just for home consumption?

Adds: It’s worth adding the Independent on Sunday’s version of a joint Brown-Obama approach to shift focus to Afghanistan, but no other news source goes this far.

Reports of Obama and Brown on separate trips to the troubled region although confused, are important enough to attract Slugger’s attention! But first as ever, presentation is vital even in the desert. Note the difference in style between cool Barack

and Gordon trussed up in his Whitehall suit, poised to fire a heavy sub machine gun at 200 rounds a minute.. “> The big US blogs are humming with comment on leaked reports from the White House of Obama’s plan to withdraw from Iraq in 16 months. But just as it seemed the Iraqis are buying it, Drudge in the next post, (see tiny red link above the screaming headline) throws in a squib with an al-Maliki denial from CNN .

A great example this of switchback character of the digital news cycle to change the agenda in seconds.
We have to wait for the reappraisals and rebuttals to have a clue what it all means.

  • fair_deal

    Editorial note

    The fire rate is closer to 750 than 200

  • cynic

    Nice gun, what a pity that, as an inquest this week showed, in Afghanisan UK rules of engagement dont allow the aircraft crew to use it in defence of ground troops unless the safety of the helicopter itself is immediately at risk.

    Wonder did Gordon sort that one out while he was out there?

  • cynic

    ..and Brian….. what did you expect?

    Gordon…cool? He doesn’t do cool.

    And what idiot of a Press Officer set up this pic? Maggie Thatcher on a tank he ain’t.

  • cynic

    …and by the way, is it me or was that gun not loaded?

    If so was it because:-

    1 they dont trust the PM near it loaded or

    2 they have run out of bullets (again)?

  • heck


    the new york time reports that the al maliki denial of support for a withdrawal was issued by a Spokesman through the US CENTCOM (central command) press office.

    Me thinks the bush people gave the al maliki’s people a talking to-“why don’t they behave like the Brits and only express the opinions we give them”

  • Harry Flashman

    That’s not a heavy machine gun, it’s a bog standard general purpose machine gun.

  • cynic

    Agreed…this is the sort I suspect the Americans would use but we cant afford them and even if we did it might be deemed too aggressive

  • heck

    these types don’t work

    see this picture which cost dukakis the election tank.jpg

    or see this one -even stuffing the flight suit only worked in the short term

    the picture of brown in the helicopter is probably the stupidest of all–what a looser

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “Middle-aged, white, Scottish, Protestant politician not as cool as young black politician from the US SHOCKA!”

  • Harry Flashman

    In fairness to Gordon Brown, it does appear that this wasn’t stagemanaged, the door gunnner he was chatting to simply let go of the GPMG and it swung round in front of Brown and a sharp photographer got a quick snap, apparently the PM’s press secretary when she realised what was happening had kittens and tried to get Brown’s attention but the damage was done.

    Having said that he brought on much himself I mean for God’s sake what sort of eejit wears a business suit to visit troops on a Saturday afternoon in a desert war zone?

  • Peat Blog

    Good to know what the next Private Eye front cover will be.

    Anyway, it could have been worse; he might have been wearing a baseball cap.

  • heck

    to get back to the substance of Brian’s post
    “But just as it seemed the Iraqis are buying it, Drudge in the next post, (see tiny red link above the screaming headline) throws in a squib with an al-Maliki denial from CNN.”

    as I said above this denial came from a spokesman through US central comand.

    der speigel stands by Al Maliki’s call for a time line for foreign troop removal,1518,566914,00.html

    the only people who want troops there are US neocons, their ali’s new labour, and possibly matt drudge

  • Pounder

    That pic is just dying for a caption regarding the Lisbon Treaty. “Referendum? Do you really want a Referendum now, well do ya? Punk”

  • Comrade Stalin

    Pounder, I love it. 🙂

    My initial reaction was “what an idiot” but having read Harry Flashman’s explanation it’s obviously more of a mistake rather than a planned picture. Still, the jerkoff shouldn’t have allowed himself to get into that position.

  • “Good to know what the next Private Eye front cover will be. ”

    Obama: “I’ll sell you out for votes as quick as I did Jerry Wright”
    Soldier at right: “Where’s my nutcutter?”

  • RepublicanStones

    It looks in the picture as if he is facing a GPMG, which is a LMG, nothing sub-about it.

  • Peat Blog

    “Good to know what the next Private Eye front cover will be. “

    Speece bubble above Gords’s head:

    Is this pointing at my foot?


    When do we arrive in Glasgow East?

  • Peat Blog

    Sorry, should be “speech”.

  • RepublicanStones

    Perhaps Peat, Brown has that Chesire cat grin because a certain T. Blair has just walked into range.

  • Greenflag

    At least he’s smiling . Must be the sunshine . I’ve always aid the only time you’ll see a Scot smile is when they’re about 1,500 miles south of Dover 🙂

    They have a point 😉