I have been waiting a very, very long time for this. Rest assured, Australian PM John W. Howard is scraping the bottom of the barrel right here:
Prime Minister John Howard says he told the US President this morning there should be no more significant delays in the process of bringing David Hicks to trial.Ooooohhh, yeah baby!!! Where to start, where to start?
Mr Howard says Mr Bush rang this morning for a lengthy discussion about North Korea.
The Prime Minister says Mr Bush acknowledged that there is an intense feeling in Australia that it has taken too long to bring Hicks to trial.
"Well his assurance was - and it was a very direct assurance - that he would again reinforce to the authorities in the United States the need for the matter to be dealt with with all possible expedition," Mr Howard said.
"And I left him in no doubt during our discussion that this was an issue of great concern to the Australian people."
How about that word "again"? This implies that Howard has previously asked Bush for assistance, which has not been forth-coming. So Bush has to go back and ask AGAIN for action in support of a major Coalition ally. Which raises the question, did he even make the effort last time, and if so, why was he ignored? Could it have something to do with the fact that he is a lame duck president polling at Nixon levels? Hmmn?
Or what about Howard's earnest plea that this was "an issue of great concern to the Australian people"? How about, "this was an issue that might save my sorry ass"?
Or what about the "North Korea" angle? Bush rang Howard (not vice versa, please note) pleading for help with North Korea. What's that all about? I thought a deal had been struck. Is Bush trying to undermine the diplomatic deal with a renewed threat of violence? It basically sounds like Howard told him to go stuff his head up his arse if he cannot provide a little "wiggle room" on David Hicks.
Here we have two political dinosaurs turning on one another after all other available food sources have been exhausted. It's not a pretty sight, but it is a fascinating one. Stay tuned for more.