Saturday, 19 July 2008

More spin from Iraq

Gordon Brown's visits to Iraq are always about propaganda but the Guardian has the most obviously planted story I've seen for a while.

Not only does it helpfully set out Brown's four "building blocks" as bullet points, we are told that
The prime minister and Britain's military commanders believe great progress has been made since March and that lessons have been learnt on all sides.
Thats alright then. This bit too is obviously planted:
Britain is taking a close interest in the Basra Investment Promotion Agency and the Basra Development Fund, both designed to stimulate private sector development. Britain is also promoting the renovation of the Umm Quasr port.
Of course the real story is that Brown has resorted to hinting that there will be troop reductions,
having failed to keep a promise he made last autumn.

British troop numbers in Iraq will be reduced to 2,500 next spring, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told MPs.

Not that you would know from the Guardian that Brown said it would happen. Rewriting history to save Brown embarassment, the Guardian suggests it was something he kept to himself:
Brown hopes that success in training Iraqi forces will allow him to cut British troop numbers, possibly next year when there is a new president in the White House. Britain had hoped to reduce its troop numbers to 2,500 this spring. But this was postponed after the difficulties of the March offensive.

Brown had hoped to cut British troops in Iraq to 2,500 by this spring.

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