The Unexpected Hits You Between The Eyes

The BBC reports on Dick Cheney’s surprise visit to Iraq.

I can understand why the man’s visit might be newsworthy, but I find it hard to see why the element of surprise is worth emphasising:

The visit was kept so secret that it is thought even the Iraqi prime minister was not told beforehand.

National sovereignty concerns aside, it must have been a rather unpleasant surprise to find Dick Cheney on your doorstep and not a child in the house washed. However, I suspect that this is not the reason for the ‘surprise’ slant.

Cheney is old, he’s got a bum ticker and a bit of a rep for approving of torture and general bad-assed nastiness. The ‘surprise’ bit reads like something straight from his PR agency, to give the impression that he’s a lot more sprightly and spontaneous than you might think.

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December 2005

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