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October 23, 2011

Size Matters: Obama, the Military and the Pull-Out

(click for full-size)

Friday’s White House “Photo of the Day” is actually pretty funny, given the grumbling Obama is hearing over the Iraq pullout. Seems the right-wing is up in arms over Malki’s insistence on — and Obama’s compliance over — a total U.S. military pullout. (Forget the fact that thousands of State Department personnel, including armed contractors taking up the slack, make the five-thousand troops in questions practically a non-issue.)

Still, I’m sure my conservative friends will appreciate the visual politics here (especially to the degree they think size matters. That said, make sure you click for full-size). Whereas Obama and Maliki mirror each other perfectly, just like they were sitting at opposition ends of the same table, check out those other  two windows squeezed together, half-the-height of the Maliki projection, sharing the right half of the screen. That’s Biden in the center window, and then, on the far edge (power analogy welcomed) is the U.S. Commanding General of U.S. Forces in Iraq along with the American Ambassador.

Looks (if you’ve got a ruler) like the military downsizing is underway.

via WH Flickr: xtra-large and mondo (I can see the Calvin Klein logo on Obama’s sox) -size.

(photo: Pete Souza/White House caption: President Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq during a secure video teleconference in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 21, 2011. Seated at the table, from left, are: Tony Blinken, National Security Advisor to the Vice President ; National Security Advisor Tom Donilon; Puneet Talwar, Senior Director for Iraq, Iran and the Gulf States; Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough; and Chief of Staff Bill Daley. Pictured onscreen are: at left, Prime Minister al-Maliki, along with two aides; in center, Vice President Joe Biden; at right, General Lloyd Austin, Commanding General of U.S. Forces – Iraq and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey.)

  • bks

    I don’t recall much discussion of Iraq in the GOP debates.   I don’t see much discussion of Iraq on the candidates’ websites.    And I haven’t seen anyone in the U.S. Gov’t talking about the fact that Karzai said that if the USA pushes Pakistan, Afghanistan will side with Pakistan.

    I guess two trillion dollars doesn’t buy many friends these days.


  • Ralfast

    I find the arrangement of the tables interesting. While the rooms look small, the fact that both leaders are sitting at the long end of the table as far away from the screen as possible creates a sense of distance, a gulf between their positions, cultures and geographical locations even while the technology evokes a sense of immediacy.

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