I didn’t think the big fella could make himself look more ridiculous, but he’s done it

The last time Big Gerry Brownlee went to Iraq this was the image we all had to suffer through:

Gerry Brownlee and his custom tailored ballistic vest that cost three times the standard vest worn by Kiwi troops

I didn’t think he could look more ridiculous, but dang, the big fella has done it. ?

I’d love to see him go prone and fire a rifle.

He makes Sgt. Shultz look like a poster boy for Jenny Craig.

Meanwhile, the Media party talk about his “secret mission” to Iraq…as if Gerry could go anywhere in secret. He needs a dump truck to drive him around and a Hercules to fly him anywhere.

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has just left Iraq after a secret visit to hold high-level defence meetings in Baghdad and to meet New Zealand trainers at Camp Taji north of the capital.

While there, he hinted there was a role for New Zealand in the reconstruction of Iraq.

And he suggested there could be a move to extend the mandate of the Kiwis at Taji to work on intelligence beyond any immediate threats to the camp.

The Iraqis are close to recapturing Mosul, the last big Isis base in Iraq, so the focus by Iraq and the coalition of 23 countries assisting it is turning to what happens next.

Brownlee was on his third trip to Iraq as Defence Minister and was accompanied by the Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating.

The Herald was there too. The mission was kept secret for security reasons.

Brownlee travelled by helicopter from Baghdad airport to the secure international zone where he met Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Iraqi Defence Force head General Othman Alghanimi and senior United States generals, General Stephen Townsend and General Joe Martin.

At a press conference with the Iraqi general, Brownlee congratulated Iraq for taking the fight to Isis.

“What we are seeing unfold, I think, is an Iraqi solution to what have could have been a very big international problem.

“When we see displaced people on our television screens at night, then we do know that there is a reconstruction need here that clearly the coalition will need to address,” he said.

Brownlee also said that the international effort in reconstruction “needs to be as strong as it has been in supporting Iraq in this particular battle”.

“We’ve agreed that ridding not only this country but the world of that particular terrorist evil means that there can be no vacuum for anyone else to fill beyond the military success.”

At least he got the talking points correct. We should not be showing terrorists any mercy whatsoever, no matter what that fool Hager says.


– NZ Herald