Attacking Iraq is… Racist?

I apologize for having my first post here in a very long time be so short, but this, mentioned in a Fox News article on Iraq, just left me staring in disbelief.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who Bush has praised as a hero of human rights, joined the chorus of critics by calling Bush arrogant and implying the president was racist for threatening to bypass the United Nations and attack Iraq.

“Is it because the secretary-general of the United Nations is now a black man? They never did that when secretary-generals were white,” Mandela said.

Most pronouncements of racism I can at least understand, though usually not accept. This, though, makes very little sense to me. Why did Mandela choose to call Bush racist, instead of one of the many other possible pejoratives which would be at least a bit more relevant to the topic of discussion? I don’t agree with most of the criticisms of Bush concerning Iraq, but if people are going to criticize him, I’d think they’d at least choose a criticism about Iraq.

UPDATE (from John) – Susanna Cornett also takes a nice, justified whack at Nelson Mandela.

Say What? (6)

  1. John Rosenberg January 30, 2003 at 2:17 pm | | Reply

    Welcome back, Jessie!

  2. Chris Lawrence's weblog January 31, 2003 at 1:28 am | | Reply

    Mandela goes nuts

    As you’ve probably read by now, ex-political prisoner and former South African president Nelson Mandela has started sounding a bit…

  3. Cobb February 1, 2003 at 6:41 pm | | Reply

    might i suggest that the readers try a better source than fox news? jeez.

    Excerpts from Mandela’s speech:

    Mandela Blasts U.S. Policy Toward Iraq


    January 30, 2003

    Posted to the web January 31, 2003

    Nelson Mandela

    Sandton, South Africa

    Former South African President Nelson Mandela strongly criticised U.S. policy toward Iraq in a speech delivered Thursday to the International Women’s Forum meeting in Sandton, South Africa. The speech, on the theme of Courageous Leadership for Global Transformation, was recorded by SABC. What follows are excerpts from that speech.

    It’s a tragedy what is happening, what Bush is doing. All Bush wants is Iraqi oil. There is no doubt that the U.S. is behaving badly. Why are they not seeking to confiscate weapons of mass destruction from their ally Israel? This is just an excuse to get Iraq

  4. Jessie Rosenberg February 1, 2003 at 10:49 pm | | Reply

    I fail to see your point. This contains the passage that was quoted in the Fox News article. Where’s the problem?

  5. Cobb February 2, 2003 at 3:00 am | | Reply

    my point is that it’s rather dishonest to attempt to discredit mandela as a racist as if he had no other beef with american policy.

    you asked why he didn’t use other pejoratives against bush. they are as plain as day in the text. he called bush stupid, and that wasn’t phrased as a rhetorical question.

    which pejoratives did you have in mind?

  6. Jessie Rosenberg February 2, 2003 at 1:52 pm | | Reply

    All I meant was, it’s a strange sort of way to criticize Bush’s policy on Iraq. I didn’t mean to imply that Mandela had discussed no other problems with the policy, only that to call Bush a racist in this context is a rather irrelevant ad hominem attack, and it certainly is not a criticizm concerning Iraq.

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