Statesmen playing cards on the eve of conflict


2013: John McCain is snapped playing poker on his phone while the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations meets to debate action against Syria. In his defence McCain later tweets: “That damn hearing was three hours long. That’s twenty-three minutes longer than Zero Dark Thirty.”


1938: Neville Chamberlain’s poker face lets him – and Britain – down. The following day Germany begins its occupation of the Sudetenland.


1990: George Bush Snr mishears an aide and attempts to begin a game of charades with Iran. Adding insult to injury, he then miscounts the number of syllables in ‘Ayatollah Khomeini’.


2003: Determined to avoid the same mistakes as his father, Bush Jnr goes ‘all-in’ sitting at a specially constructed casino-quality card table.


A commemorative pack of playing cards is later produced, ensuring that the prosecution of the search for the upper echelons of the toppled Iraqi regime doesn’t get in the way of anybody’s Texas Hold’em.

  • Hand clap.

  • Okay, so the whole of yesterday morning wasn’t *completely* wasted.

  • It’s a good joke. I’m tempted to add a couple. Watch this space.

  • Glad you like it. As a token of my appreciation I’ve just rendered an enormous phallic symbol onto a map of the British Isles.