Peter Costello explains:
"I think it's important for Australia that we do host these summits. Other countries do it.We must do it because others do it - that's leadership for you.
"We show Australia in a leadership role."
Come September, I doubt there will be much real leadership on display. APEC meetings tend to wind up with nothing much of substance to show: the real action happens at ASEAN meetings, where Australia is typically sidelined.
This is all about Howard scaring the shit out of the population just before an election, and desperately trying to look like a respected global leader. I don't think it's going to work, but what do I know? Unlike John Howard, I am not in tune with the lizard brains.
PS: Kudos to AAP's Glen McCurtayne for the great photo.
UPDATE: Half an hour after I posted this, Tim "Inside The Tent" Dunlop says there is too much "small-minded and petty" whinging about APEC:
APEC itself is a worthwhile undertaking, our government should be willing to host events like that, and while authorities should do their best to keep disruption to a minimum, thems [sic] the breaks.Tim doesn't bother explaining how or why this particular APEC meeting is "worthwhile".
Personally I think our government's reckless actions in support of Bush's bogus "war" on terrrrism have made the hosting of such an event ridiculously difficult, and our government's hostile attitude to our region has ensured that there is limited scope for any meaningful outcomes. Even Bush is smart enough to ensure he is not around for the final day, when the lack of substance will be on display for all the world to see.
We've already had secretive meetings of Finance chiefs and Military chiefs, who thresh out any accords of substance among themselves. The APEC meeting itself is just an elaborate display of showmanship by corrupt buffons dressed in stupid clothes.
What's the bet they'll all be in Akubras and R.M. Williams coats for this photo op?
But what would I know, right? I don't even get paid to blog.
UPDATE 2: Sweet: nearly all Tim's own commenters disagree with his "professional" analysis.
To my way of thinking, Canberra should have been the host city.Hamilton Island and HMAS Navy warships have also been suggested as more fitting venues.