Mandela’s alive and so is Bush’s reputation

Poor George Bush. Eloquence isn’t one of his strong suits, but even when he tries hard and manages toMandela1
string a few coherent words together, he still gets ridiculed, as a Reuters article shows.

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.

"It’s out there. All we can do is reassure people, especially South Africans, that President Mandela is alive," Achmat Dangor, chief executive officer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said as Bush’s comments received worldwide coverage.

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. . . .

References to his death–Mandela is now 89 and increasingly frail–are seen as insensitive in South Africa. [Link]

Well, it should be fairly obvious that Bush was using a metaphor — and a good one at that. But of course most people would find it hard to believe that Bush even knows what a metaphor is.

Reporter: "President Bush, why did you allude to Nelson Mandela’s death."

Bush: "Uh … I was speaking … uh … meta … uh … metaformically. I was using a metaform."

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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