Canberra, February 20: A sombre Prime Minister Julia Gillard today announced that another Australian soldier serving in Afghanistan has euphemistically paid the ultimate price.
Ms. Gillard, devoid of makeup, sincerity and empathy, tearfully assured the cameras that the thoughts and prayers of a grateful nation were with the departed hero's family and friends.
The Leader of the Opposition, a sombre Tony Abbott, told journalists as he adjusted his Speedos that he had been up all night praying and called upon all Australians to accept that "shit happens" in war. "It's ruined my weekend." he said.
Defence Chief-of Staff Angus Houston delivered a sombre pre-funeral eulogy to the country's latest war casualty despite admitting later that he had never met the soldier and was quoting from the Department of Defence guidelines on what to say when a serving member of the armed forces is killed in action.
Minister of Defence Stephen Smith,in a sombre mood, said "It is always a sad event when one of our soldiers makes the supreme sacrifice at a time when the government's polls are unfavourable. I want to reassure Australians and the soldier's family that he did not die in vain and that one of the great positive outcomes of such a tragedy is that another soldier now gets an opportunity to travel to an exotic place and risk getting his arse blown off in defence of, er, whatever it is we're defending".
A still-sombre Prime Minister Gillard has reaffirmed the Government's commitment to continue the fight in Afghanistan until the United States decides that it cannot afford the annual trillion dollar cost of sending thousands of troops to a country that most of them are unable to spell or find on a map.
The soldier's family has issued a sombre statement saying that he "died doing what he loved. He was proud to be a member of our defence force and, apparently, a personal friend of Air Vice-Marshall Angas Houston, which we were not aware of".