Pathetic

Stephen Hadley, the National Security Adviser, was on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Apparently, he doesn’t know the difference between Nepal and Tibet.

Discussing how Bush has “no reason not to go” to this summer’s Olympic games in Beijing and how boycotting them would be wrong, Hadley discussed the outcry over Tibet and the US response, only he kept saying Nepal.

“If countries are really concerned about Nepal, we shouldn’t have this sort of non-issue of opening ceremonies or not. They should do the hard work of quiet diplomacy to urge the Chinese government — in their interest — to take advantage of this opportunity to do something,” Hadley said. [HuffingtonPost]

I don’t know what’s more pathetic. That the National Security Adviser doesn’t know the difference between the two countries, or the way the New York Times deals with the issue. From Sepia Mutiny, a blog dealing with South-Asian issues:

Yes, Hadley is clearly referring to Tibet in context, and the two countries are in the same region. But if the national security advisor was to confuse Saudi Arabia with Iran, that would be news worthy, wouldn’t it? How about China and North Korea?

However, when he confuses Nepal (an independent country emerging from a dictatorship by a Hindu ruler) with Tibet (a conquered country under a communist dictatorship), the NYT buries the mistake at the very end of their article, mentioning in passing that the White House has confirmed that Hadley “misspoke”. [SepiaMutiny]

The way this administration is dealing with foreign affairs, it’s no wonder that populations in the Muslim world have increasingly “unfavorable views” of the United States. From this week’s Economist:

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2 comments for “Pathetic

  1. Mike Lowry
    April 19, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    It’s just as bizarre that Stephanopoulos never corrected him. Were they both confused?

  2. Arnav
    April 20, 2008 at 9:15 am

    i’m not exactly sure what it was. apparently stephanopoulos is supposed to be good at catching these things, too…

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