Brit Iraq Withdrawal Not Really News

February 20th, 2007 9:53 PM

As you'll see below, the alleged big news today of a Brit withdrawal from Iraq is not really news. It actually appears to be less than was planned months ago. And pardon me for yet once again pointing out what an idiot Glenn Greenwald, now at Salon, is while making the point.

You can click through to read Greenwald's latest on Blair's withdrawing of troops, or read the MSNBC version distortion here. But I'll post all you need to know.

Greeted with news that Blair is removing 1,500 troops in some number of weeks, Greenwald and the MSM are treating it like big news.

First Greenwald quotes Blair in the LA Times on Jan. 24:

Prime Minister Tony Blair rejected calls Wednesday to withdraw British forces from Iraq by October

Then he quotes Blair from today, suggesting it is a shocking reversal and a slap at Bush's surge - which it absolutely is not in both cases. "That rather striking reversal does not appear to reflect much confidence in the prospects of success for the President's Glorious AEI Surge"

Prime Minister Tony Blair will announce on Wednesday a new timetable for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, with 1,500 to return home in several weeks, the BBC reported.

Blair will also tell the House of Commons during his regular weekly appearance before it that a total of about 3,000 British soldiers will have left southern Iraq by the end of 2007, if the security there is sufficient

Now check out Blair via the Beeb on January 11, 2007:

Tony Blair has lost no time in signalling that President Bush's plans for a troop "surge" in Iraq will have no effect on British moves to gradually reduce force numbers in the country.

Indeed, all the talk in Westminster now is around speculation that the draw down of up to 3,000 UK troops may be under way by May - in the weeks leading up to the prime minister's expected retirement day.

The aim of these two developments is to seek to reassure voters that, whatever the US does, it will not lead to an increase in British involvement in the country or blow the government's plans off course.

Ministers are eager to point out, as Mr Blair reminded the Cabinet on Thursday morning, that conditions on the ground in the UK's zone of operation in Basra are entirely different from those in Baghdad, which is the focus of the US movement.

It's a non-story, just as Greenwald is a non-entity when it comes to his having an objective, or fully informed opinion.