October 23, 2003

Bush In Oz

OK. I wasn't going to write about W's visit to my home country because it is obviously just one big carefully-controlled PR exercise and the more media coverage it gets, the more successful it is. But now I am just pissed off (yet again).

Protestors are kept not only out of sight but also out of hearing range. No open questions from journalists are scheduled. For the first time in memory, the public is banned from Australia's Parliament House. The media reports what it feels obliged to report - the preparations, the landing, the speech, the departure. Gullible idiots suck it up.

As W himself once joked:

"You can't fool all the people all the time, but you can fool some of the people all of the time. And they are the one's you've got to focus on!"

This is what I will remember of Bush's visit to my country's shores: on the night of his arrival, Australian Defence Force jets zig-zagged across the Canberra skies, causing dogs to howl incessantly and keeping half the population awake all night.

These people preach peace, democracy and freedom. But Bush's visit is a denial of all these values. It is instead a triumph of global capitalist control.

Bush made his predictable speech, praising Australia's participation in the "war" and further raising our profile as a terrorist target. His speech included the usual condemnation of those who oppose his fanatical opportunism:

"Who can possibly think that the world would be better off with Saddam Hussein still in power?"

Obviously, anyone who opposes Bush, Blair and Howard wishes that Saddam was still in power. Obviously, we all wish he was continuing to assist - or, err... beginning to assist? - terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrsts! Obviously, we all wish the UN was still lamely scratching around in the desert for WMDs, instead of being glad that US forces are now scratching around in the desert for WMDs.

When the speech was over, El Busho attended a barbeque at Australian PM John Howard's official residence. The guests dined on shrimps and scallops, beef fillet and lamb cutlet and macadamia pavlova roulade with passion fruit ice cream.

Then it was time to get back on the presidential plane, Air Force One, the namesake of the idealistic and simplistic Hollywood movie which may have actually inspired all this madness.

P.S. unlike a certain 3-year-old girl, Bush was certainly not frisked at the airport.


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