As part of this week's APEC conference, Junior President George Bush [pic] visited Australia. According to MX "news"paper:
It took 4 jumbos, 16 cars, 1 ambulance, 250 Secret Service agents, 200 Government representatives, 150 security advisers, 50 White House aides, 15 sniffer dog teams and 5 chefs to move George Bush 300m today
Five chefs? As a dinkum Aussie, I take offense at that. We're a first-world, Western country. Our cuisine is quite similar to much of the USA's. We have no shortage of meat, which should make self-professed "meat guy" Dubyah happy. And we're not in the habit of poisoning visiting leaders of our major allies and trading partners
RMIT professor Noel Turnbull was quoted as comparing Bush's entourage as being more akin to something from King Louis XIV's reign:
"It's all pretence," Turnbull said. "The entourage is there to add lustre, not to add intelligence or anything else."
It makes a change from Junior Bush acting like Mad King George (see also here) but the analogy goes further. Like the Sun King, Junior Bush is a great believer in absolutism: the President is the law, never mind the pesky Constitution. Existing laws are there to be given lip-service to, obeyed if convenient and if not, ignored or replaced. And while Le Grand Monarque worked hard to keep his nobles so busy copying his extravagant fashions they had no money left to challenge his rule, Junior works hard to bankrupt the nation. (What's the point of being rich if you aren't surrounded by dirt-poor peons to lord over?)
ANU historian Dr Douglas Craig said that the security operation was justified for a disliked nation that had already endured a leader's assassination. (Actually, there have been four successful assassination attempts on US presidents, and seventeen unsuccessful ones). Two thoughts come to mind: many other nations have seen their leaders assassinated; and perhaps -- just a thought -- if the US is disliked, perhaps the government should consider ways to have people hate them less? You know, like, not acting like a schoolyard bully so often.