Nelson Mandela calls Bush shortsighted and arrogant on Iraq; implies racism: Former President Nelson Mandela called President Bush arrogant and shortsighted and implied that he was racist for ignoring the United Nations in his zeal to attack Iraq.
... What on EARTH?
[...] He accused Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair of undermining the United Nations and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is from Ghana. "Is it because the secretary-general of the United Nations is now a black man? They never did that when secretary-generals were white," he said.
No, they just refused to pay UN dues or to support UN missions. The US, anyway; Britain was generally rather better behaved. And, one might just point out, Bush and Annan's terms of office are roughly contemporaneous; Bush has never had the chance to pay disrespect to a white UN leader.
Then there's this odd passage: "Mandela also criticized Iraq for not cooperating fully with the weapons inspectors and said South Africa would support any action against Iraq that was supported by the United Nations." First, Mandela can no longer speak for South Africa; at least as of June 28, 2002, Mandela held no official government position, aside from being the honorable former president. (I dare say Mbeki was rather surprised to hear South Africa's theoretically official position coming out of someone else.) Second ... what if, against all the odds at the moment, the UN Security Council looks at the evidence presented by the US on February 5 and by the weapons inspectors on February 14, and then decides that going to war is the most logical option? Does that mean that "South Africa" suddenly withdraws its support from the UN position?
I can understand that he is opposed to war in Iraq. Many people are. But the statements he's made, as contained in this article, are just bizarre.Posted by iain at January 30, 2003 06:52 PM