Wednesday 19th of June 2024

Wag The Doug 2- The Atomic Sequel.

Former Iraqi hostage Douglas Wood has revealed his expertise in nuclear reactors and wants to be a prime player in the Australian nuclear inquiry.  The former Bechtel nuclear power plant designer, whose release was used in US military propoganda, recently announced his divorce from his American wife to the Australian media without bothering to tell the woman first.

 I've been a keen follower of Wood's progress since the night that Alexander Downer announced Wood's release and have followed his media trail from the lofty heights of the NBC Today Show to the crevasse of the Shepparton Football club, where a uncooperative CD player refused to provide the backing music for Wood's rendition of "I did it my way"  I've laughed at Wood's attempts to win product endorsements for Coonawara red wine, lamb roasts and VB, and cried with him as, one by one, his media deals failed.  His aspirations to give motivational talks on the lucrative U.S. public speaking also appear to be fading dreams.

Wood's release was used in US media as a success-story for Operation Lightning, the media potrayal of the transfer of military sovereignty to Iraqi hands.  Wood, who by the combination of US Citizenship and Crocodile Dundee heritage was a useful media face in both countries. HIs story was wallpapered across the American News Corporation papers and FOX TV stations by the official co-ordinatior of his release, Nick Warner.  There was confusion at the time regarding the nature of Wood's release, With the Australian intermediary Sheik Hillali claiming independant arrangements had been made for Wood to be given freedom on that day, and an Iraqi officer claiming that Wood had been accidentally discovered on a routine weapopns search.   Several months after Wood's release US President Bush hailed Operation Lightning in his State Of The Union address, albeit without mention of the Australian/American hostage.

I kept an online diary of the Wood media story called Wag The Doug that you might enjoy skimming

(work in progress0

Doug enthused by G8

There were mixed messages coming from the meeting of G8 finance ministers at St Petersburg. Take your pick from G8 ministers voice oil price fear , G-8 Ministers Warn of Global Imbalances or G8 finance ministers upbeat on global economy. This probably boils down to: High prices are wonderfully good for oil and gas producers.

Peter Costello was invited to skite about his fiscal credentials ("Tax cuts all round!"), along with other non-G8 bean-counters. He would have read this headline in the SMH, on the first-class ride back home - $100 to fill up family car

Costello is probably wondering where to pitch himself in the debate about uranium and energy needs. His boss has grabbed that baton and he will massage the outcomes with care. Would Costello like to manage the "consume less" end of the stick? The member who represents postcodes with the highest concentration of urban assault vehicles may feel he might encounter some very vocal and persuasive opposition.

Unless a champion for cycling bursts out of the backbenches, my guess is that we will have an enhanced uranium industry, and no reduction in consumption.

Anyhow, it will be interesting to hear Costello wittering about his trip to Leningrad. I tip a lean toward the "upbeat", with a gentle wag of the finger to be more careful with fuel, like "make sure your tyres are not flat before you pull away from the curb".

If Costello needs a hand to formulate some energy policy, in a tight spot, Doug is available. Doug is brushing up on East Timor, in anticipation of a need for more consultants in the natural gas industry. Taking the lead from the US (Congress Kills Ban On Permanent US Military Bases In Iraq) Aussie troops could be in Dili for a long, long time.