Confused Bush lost for words in “Austria”

Oops, he did it again.

President George W. Bush thanked his “Austrian” hosts and expressed his enjoyment of being at the OPEC summit in Sydney yesterday. Of course, he’s in Australia and it’s the APEC summit, but what’s a few mis-pronounced names between friends?

It gave us a few laughs to follow the stunt pulled by The Chasers on Thursday (which they followed up, by the way, with another stunt yesterday – running around Sydney in cardboard box cars with Canadian flags affixed – of course, they were stopped by the police within two minutes, searched with sniffer dogs and told to go away. I can’t wait to see the show next Wednesday night!), which gave enormous relief from the public love-fest between Howard and Bush (which continues even now – Enough boys already!! We get it – you’re mates. While you might think that’s great, we don’t care!! And people are starting to talk!!).

Interestingly, it has been reported by our local news services that our Prime Minister, John Howard snubbed President Bush on his arrival in Sydney last Wednesday (sending Deputy PM Mark Vaile in his stead), preferring instead to attend the Dally M National Rugby League Player of the Year Awards. Hmmm. Maybe George W. has mispronounced something one time too many? Or maybe they’re not such great buddies after all? Well, I guess all that free food, sports stars and alcohol was too much to pass up, and we all know what a sporting nut our PM is. Maybe he should be focusing on other issues however – like what other countries are chatting about while they’re here, for example.

Yes, it’s nice that the Russians now have access to our uranium – that’ll make us all feel a lot safer at night, especially as Russia has also struck a deal with Indonesia to loan them $1 billion – to buy Russian WEAPONS, and it’s lovely that Opposition leader Kevin Rudd has been invited to the Beijing Olympics as the Chinese Premier’s personal guest (will you mention Tibet and other human rights issues to him while you’re chatting away in Mandarin, Kevin??), but c’mon boys!! Let’s resolve those really hard issues while there are 21 World Leaders camped under the same canvas!

Top of the list is climate change. Well, at least it’s top of the list. Will they finally ratify Kyoto? Looking doubtful. Both Bush and Howard want to negotiate a separate agreement, outside the Kyoto protocol (well, you have to give those civil servants SOMETHING to do). Personally, I don’t care which agreement they agree to, as long as it does something to address the issues we’re currently facing on that front and Australia and the US start reducing their pollution emissions. Well, one can dream, can’t one?

Of course, there’s nothing like a bit of pressure. The American contingent are leaving on Sunday before the conference is over (shows how much respect is really being offered), so all these world leaders have to make a decision in one day. ONE DAY?? And it’s today.

Getting 21 politicians to agree on one solution in ONE DAY?? Well, okay, I know it’s not really one day, there have been months of negotiations and drafting of documents going on in the background. But just getting them all too agree to a solution? Now, that would be an achievement.

Let’s just hope that it isn’t going to be “we’ll look at it again next APEC”.

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