Gordon Brown made his first major foreign policy speech to Parliament today, and while he had everyones attention, he basically told George Bush to "bugger off."
As if we needed more evidence that aWol Bush is indeed the worst president ever, he has managed to alienate Britain, our closest historic ally.
About a week ago, Gordon Brown announced that he would be cutting the British presence in Iraq to 5000. The White House responded predictably - that is to say - petulantly. A Bush aid announced that Britain was no longer Bush's greatest ally, and then slandered the British forces. “Operationally, British forces have performed poorly in Basra,” said the official. “Maybe it’s best that they leave. Now we will have a clear field in southern Iraq.”
"Well, fine then." Was apparently what Gordon Brown had to say about that.
Today, Gordon Brown announced that the British presence will be cut further, to a total troop strength of 2500 by spring. Those 2500 will be serving in a support role.
Later on, after Brown's appearance before Parliament, one of his top aids told a reporter that he would not be surprised if all british forces are out of Iraq before the end of 2008.
The White House response to being told to get buggered was more measured today than it was last week. "This is consistent with previously announced plans by the British to reduce their troop presence in southern Iraq as the Iraqi security forces are able to take lead responsibility in the southern provinces," Said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the White House National Security Council. What accounts for the more reticent response today is anyones guess.