It's long been a bit of a joke for two years or so now that Australia's prime minister, John Howard, is not allowed to make a comment about the state of the 'War On Iraq' until he hears President Bush himself speak first. And then, and only then, can he make his own comment,
which must of course echo the words of the president.
The closer Howard's words are to Bush's, so much the better.
So Bush's 'Stay The Course' mantra became John Howard's 'Stay The Course' mantra.
Bush's "We will not leave until the mission is complete" became Howard's "we will not leave until we complete the mission".
And Bush's "withdrawing before the job is done will be a victory for the terrorists" became Howard's "it will be a victory for the terrorists if we withdraw before the job is done".
Did Bush actually e-mail quotes for Howard to spout, we wondered?
It sure seemed like it.
But this year, the gap closed dramatically between when the words and fresh mantras that fell from the drooping lips of Bush were heard echoing back out of John Howard's mouth. The time delay was down to only one or two days.
Thus the theory of a telepathetic quote network linking the declining brains of Bush and Howard was born.
Well, that's my theory anyway, but people seem to agree it sounds about right.
After all, what other explanation could there possibly be?
It would be far worse to know that Howard has staff members rushing up to him with copies of the latest Bush speech, address or press conference, so Howard can then quickly learn his lines and get cracking with the latest patch-up/slap-on blurtings to paper over the horrific truth of what was actually happening in Iraq.
No, it's far more comforting to believe that they telepathetically linked (yes, I know the word is telepathic, but my word is better). Hooked up, in tune, via an instant quote network. Bush says the latest manifestation of reality-defying spin and almost immediately it pops into Howard's head and falls from his lips.
Unfortunately, this quote network seems to be a one way street. The only thing John Howard has ever said that President Bush has repeated was his 2004 campaign slogan 'Who Do You Trust?' which Bush used to good effect during his own election campaign.
And so today, the ultimate proof of the Howard-Bush brainlink bumbled into the spotlight, but this time it was noticed by the media.
In the United States, during some tense questioning by a British journalist, Pesident Bush admitted :
This is why John Howard is known in Australia as 'Bonzai' .
CODA : In the same press conference today, President Bush made a remarkable confession :
And truth of the matter is, a lot of reports in Washington are never read by anybody.Perhaps he is referring to the CIA reports that expressed serious doubts and misgivings about Dick Cheney and his NeoCon fictionastra's endless claims that Saddam Hussein was preparing to nuke the world, the moon and the Sun itself in late 2002.
Then again, perhaps President Bush was referring to the CIA, FBI, Mossad, German intelligence, French intelligence and MI6 reports that were flowing into the White House in mid-2001, almost hysterically, frantically, uselessly trying to raise the biggest and reddest flag in Bush's field of vision about Osama Bin Laden's planned attacks on key targets inside the US (the WTC and Disneyland were the most prominent targets cited) on or near September 11.
"A lot of reports in Washington are never read by anybody."They sure are. Or aren't.
Makes you wonder what else has been missed in all those unread reports.