In the city that hosted an anti Iraq war, pro peace rally of 250-500,000 in February 2003 it is increasingly clear George W Bush is only welcome by the News Ltd Sydney Daily Telegraph owned by a US citizen Rupert Murdoch, and precious few others: Greens keen to cage Bush, not Sydney
In the last few days God's judgement seems to have come down on the gambling industry horse racers with equine flu but also the police horses traditionally used to bully protesters from on high: Flu threat to APEC security
Now we hear via ABC wife of GW Bush, Laura Bush has cancelled her attendance in Sydney altogether.
Greg Sheridan also writes today that GW Bush was not even very keen to attend Sydney's APEC at all, having already cancelled attendance at ASEAN representing only 600M people and 'huge' US commercial investments, and expecting a critical report to Congress about the Iraq war at the same time.
Similarly Secretary of State Rice prefers to ride 15 hours on Air Force One back with GW than stay a second day. Sheridan states p2 of The Australian today
"This is a sorry reflection on the priorities of the second Bush administration as compared with the first. [Colin] Powell would never have done this."
Paul Keating who we might have watched at the Seymour Centre last Thursday in Sydney but preferred to hear him on PM and 7.30 Report instead (and understand via a roadie backstage Keating similarly left the stage to immediately watch the tv as well) is in The Australian today saying effectively the whole APEC agenda is off the rails after the Cold War ended.
No doubt PK is running interference for ALP leader Rudd to spoil PM Howard's APEC stage but he does it with cred as architect with the first Bush Presidency and Clinton of the forum in the first place. Especially references to China and Japan deep animosity, but great mutualistic opportunities not least on China's troubled environment.
We notice the ambiguous heavy irony in the headline in the Oz:
"Auspicious beginning THE founder of the APEC leaders' meeting believes the forum has the political grunt to deal with regional security."
That is political grunt wasted, and squandered, such as "Paul Keating is frustrated by the failures of the organisation [APEC] ...."