Bush on a tour of Asia

BANGKOK - When illustrating America's close ties to Asia, never forget the elephants.

BANGKOK - When illustrating America's close ties to Asia, never forget the elephants.

In the keynote speech of his Asia tour yesterday, US President George Bush related how the King of Siam offered elephants to help the US government fight the South in the Civil War.

"President Abraham Lincoln politely declined," Bush said.

But, mindful of a new era of security threats, the president quipped: "I was wondering whether we can get the offer back on the table."

Bush found room for another old tale. This one recounts the time he squired Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to see Graceland, Elvis Presley's famous, gaudy mansion in 2006.

Bush has marvelled at what it means for the leader of Japan to be such a big fan of American pop culture and one of its greatest allies. - Sapa-AP

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