It’s not the custom of The BAG to blog events in real time. There is just something about images that need to settle a bit. Still, I couldn’t help getting a jump on the major PR assault the White House unleashed on Baghdad this morning.
By now, you probably know that Bush stealthily dropped in on Prime Minister Maliki as part of the Administration’s much ballyhooed re-re-re-re-re-re-launch of its Iraqi campaign. I thought I would offer these two images to set the stage of the extravaganza.
First shot: Although only six people in the White House supposedly knew Bush would be “doing the Green Zone,” the Bolton/Rove show still managed to round up, transport, suit up (note bullet proof vests), and deliver a group of MSM’s finest to the scene.
Second shot: As reported, Maliki had no idea Bush was coming. Maybe he’s thrilled about it, who knows? Still, what does it say that — years into the campaign — the elected Prime Minister of democratic Iraq need be commandeered, then taken to our house to meet with El Jefe in Paul Bremer’s old office?
The BAG finds this image most telling. We see Maliki in a relatively prone position with the marble table top making it look like he’s locked in (as if in an airline seat with the tray down, or even a high chair!). If you look at his expression, it’s decidedly non-plussed. Bush, on the other hand, aggressively launches himself at Maliki with a shit-eating grin and a “quick, take my picture” derring-do reflective of a conquest.
The most interesting signifier, and crowning touch, however? It’s the two American flags (with Bush in the middle — like the all-American sandwich) in comparison to Iraq’s lonely one.
(image 1: Larry Downing/Reuters. Baghdad. June 13, 2006. Via YahooNews. image 2: Paul Richards/AFP. Baghdad. June 13, 2006. Via YahooNews)