Mandela blasts Iraq war, U.S.-British racism

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Thu Jan 30 12:37:25 MST 2003

Mandela Blasts Bush on Iraq, Warns of 'Holocaust'
Thu Jan 30, 2003

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Former South African President Nelson Mandela
lashed out at U.S. President George Bush's stance on Iraq on Thursday,
saying the Texan had no foresight and could not think properly.

Mandela, a towering statesman respected the world over for his fight against
Apartheid-era discrimination, said the U.S. leader and British Prime
Minister Tony Blair were undermining the United Nations , and suggested they
would not be doing so if the organization had a white leader.

"It is a tragedy what is happening, what Bush is doing in Iraq," Mandela
told an audience in Johannesburg. "What I am condemning is that one power,
with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now
wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust," he added, to loud applause.
"Both Bush as well as Tony Blair are undermining an idea (the United
Nations) which was sponsored by their predecessors," Mandela said. "Is this
because the secretary general of the United Nations (Ghanaian Kofi Annan) is
now a black man? They never did that when secretary generals were white."

Mandela said he would support without reservation any action agreed upon by
the United Nations against Iraq, and said action without U.N. support was
unacceptable and set a bad precedent for world politics. "Are they saying
this is a lesson that you should follow, or are they saying we are special,
what we do should not be done by anyone," he said in his speech to the
International Women's Forum on the theme of Courageous Leadership for Global

Nobel Peace Laureate Mandela, 84, also attacked the United States's record
on human rights, criticizing the dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese
cities of Hiroshima and Nagaski in World War II. "Because they decided to
kill innocent people in Japan, who are still suffering from that, who are
they now to pretend that they are the policeman of the world?..." he asked.
"lf there is a country which has committed unspeakable atrocities, it is the
United States of America...They don't care for human beings."

But he said he was happy that people, especially those in the United States,
were opposing military action in Iraq. "I hope that that opposition will one
day make him understand that he has made the greatest mistake of his life,"
Mandela said.

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