I’ve spent many years working alongside and living with our Caucasian brothers and sisters. So, I have learned a little over time about how to interpret their language. Our lingual culture is often quite, shall we say, direct. The announcement today that the U.K. will soon remove more than half their troops from Iraq had some carefully chosen, less-than-direct words. I invite you to use this handy guide to translate for your Big Mama what Gordon Brown is actually saying to the other white people in charge.

From the BBC:

“My first instinct if I were honest with all of you was that I wanted to get on with the job of putting my vision of what the future of the country was to the people of the country and deliver on it before there was ever an election.”

“But I did listen to people. I looked at what people were saying. I heard from our candidates in marginal seats. These candidates in marginal seats were telling us that we would win the election. I happen to believe we would win at any time.”

“I take full responsibility for everything that’s happened. I will not put the blame to anybody else. Anything that happens in Downing Street is the direct responsibility of me and I will always take that full responsibility myself.”

“I did think: ‘It’s a party conference season, wait until the party conference season has finished, then make your announcement about where things are going’.”

“I considered an election. I said: ‘Let’s see what people are saying during the party conference season’. I then said I have got to bring that to an end…I could have done it earlier, maybe I should have done it earlier – that’s the reality of the situation.”

“Look, y’all, I just got this job and ever since then, every manner of folk have been all up in a brother’s face trying to tell him what to do. Day-yam! Of course, I *don’t* want to lose every Labour seat in Parliament over this debacle in Iraq for that my ill-advised predecessor got us into, either! I know the stakes here. I’m not an idiot. I just wanted to take a little time and figure out what the best course of action would be. And how to spin it. I am the Big Dog around here. Mistakes may — or may not– have been made. Woof woof! So everybody needs to back on up off me, ya hear?

From the New York Times:

”The security gains made by the multinational forces this year have been significant,” Brown said. ”As important as improving security is building the capacity of the Iraqi forces so they can achieve our aim: that Iraqis step up and progressively take over security themselves.”

Iraqi forces will take control of security in the southern province of Basra within two months, ending Britain’s combat role in the country, Brown said.

British forces will move to an oversight role which will initially include securing key supply and transit routes from Kuwait to Baghdad, Brown said.

But during a second stage beginning next spring, British troops will ”maintain a more limited re-intervention capacity and where the main focus will be on training and mentoring,” Brown said.

We’s gettin’ out while the gettin’ is still good. We’ve cleaned up Basra. Let the Iraqis and Americans take it from here. We reserve the right to get back in there and kick some behind, if necessary. We Still Bad. Don’t start none, won’t be none. We’re saving face here obviously but still want to appear helpful, involved, reasonably on top of the Middle East situation etc. However, at this point, we’d prefer to move into more of a supervisory role rather than the day-to-day killing, er, legal enforcement we have lately been undertaking. Thank you.

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