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September 21, 2007

Where's The Gaff?

Now, I will admit that all I've seen on this is what's contained in this article, but based on this I don't see what's so faux pas-ian about it

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Nelson Mandela is still very much alive despite an embarrassing gaffe by U.S. President George W. Bush, who alluded to the former South African leader's death in an attempt to explain sectarian violence in Iraq.

...In a speech defending his administration's Iraq policy, Bush said former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's brutality had made it impossible for a unifying leader to emerge and stop the sectarian violence that has engulfed the Middle Eastern nation.

"I heard somebody say, Where's Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas," Bush, who has a reputation for verbal faux pas, said in a press conference in Washington on Thursday.

Based on the context al-Reuters provides it seems very clear to me that Chimpy is saying there are no Iraqi Mandelas because all the potential Iraqi Mandelas were murdered instead of being put in jail. He's right. It takes a bit of a creative stretch to read that as him saying 'Nelson Mandela is dead.'

Posted by Mr. Bingley at September 21, 2007 09:25 AM


You are absolutely correct, Bingley. Only a gibbering fool would think Bush was referring to the real Mandela. The White House transcript is here.

The money quote is:

There is local reconciliation taking place. I had a fascinating conversation in the Roosevelt Room earlier this week with members of provincial reconstruction teams from around Iraq who talked about how people are sick and tired of murder and violence, and that they expect their local governments and their central government to be more responsive to their needs, and local governments are beginning to respond.

Part of the reason why there is not this instant democracy in Iraq is because people are still recovering from Saddam Hussein's brutal rule. I thought an interesting comment was made when somebody said to me, I heard somebody say, where's Mandela? Well, Mandela is dead, because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas. He was a brutal tyrant that divided people up and split families, and people are recovering from this. So there's a psychological recovery that is taking place. And it's hard work for them. And I understand it's hard work for them. Having said that, I'm not going the give them a pass when it comes to the central government's reconciliation efforts.

Damn I'm tired of shit like this.

Posted by: Dave E. at September 21, 2007 11:35 AM

Jeez, no wonder nobody can interpret poetry anymore.

Posted by: Kate P at September 21, 2007 02:28 PM

Hi, Koo!

poetry is dead
Chimpy Bushhitler killed it
like N. Mandela

Posted by: Tom at September 21, 2007 02:38 PM

Hi Tom! Nice one!

How's this:

Chimpy's agile tongue
(Karl's stopped pulling the strings) twists
In a full Nelson

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at September 21, 2007 02:59 PM


Were I Bush I'd take every opportunity to give the Reuters reporters hell over this in the White House Press Room.

Posted by: memomachine at September 21, 2007 03:34 PM


You know. For Reuters to believe for a second that Bush was talking about Nelson Mandela it would also require them to also believe that Bush was talking about many multiple Nelson Mandelas.

"because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas"

Frankly I only recollect one Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela was more of a thug.

Posted by: memomachine at September 21, 2007 03:36 PM

Wait a minute, 'Hussein killed all the Mandelas'

Sounds confusing, unless its one of them metaka forical thingies.

Naah, must be a gaffe.

Posted by: Duuh reuters at September 21, 2007 07:04 PM

Yep. Clearly no gaffe.

Media Bush-haters are so desperate to present him as a dipstick they'll just make stuff up.

Usually, they just exaggerate his goofiness. For example at APEC Dubya made a boo-boo by calling it "OPEC" in a speech. This moment was thrashed on all the TV and radio stations.

But he did quickly realise it was a mistake and recovered with a self-deprecating chuckle. When you saw this, the gaffe (and this was a gaffe) didn't look half as bad -- which is why the entire sequence was broadcast only occasionally.

Posted by: Matt at September 23, 2007 06:46 AM

"they just exaggerate his goofiness"

As he means for them to do. It's all pert and parson of his discipled strateegery to maniple the medea.

Posted by: tree hugging sister at September 25, 2007 10:49 PM