Monday :: Oct 27, 2003

Did Bush Really Rebuke Malaysian Prime Minister?


by Steve

In a story that the American lapdog media didn’t cover last week, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad flatly denied the White House’s assertion that Bush rebuked him in a private conversation about Mohamad’s recent anti-Israel comments. At a recent summit of Pacific Rim leaders in Thailand, the White House put out the official story that Bush had pulled Mohamad aside and told him that his remarks were “wrong and divisive.” Condi Rice told the media that Bush thought the comments were “reprehensible.”

Yet Mohamad has been consistent since the conversation took place that Bush did not in fact rebuke him, but instead tried to give Mohamad advance notice of what Mohamad was about to see in the media regarding what Bush thought of the comments. To Mohamad, it almost sounded like Bush was apologizing.

Yesterday, Mohamad went further and stated flatly that Bush was lying if he told the media that he had rebuked Mohamad.

Mahathir denies Bush reprimanded him.

"I'm now told that Bush said he rebuked me," Mahathir was quoted as saying in the New Sunday Times newspaper. "That is the biggest lie of all."

Mahathir, who has been a feisty critic of Bush and the U.S.-led fight on terrorism, said Bush merely explained why his administration had used strong language to condemn his remarks about Jews.

"If he had rebuked me, I'm quite sure I'd have reacted in my normal way. I would have rebuked him also," he said.

Mahathir said he was unperturbed by Bush's version of events but took a swipe at the president's credibility, using the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq as an example.

"If you can tell a lie about the existence of weapons of mass destruction and go to war because of it I'm not surprised if he is prepared to lie about what he said to me," Mahathir was quoted as saying.

Although Mohamad is quite likely grandstanding on this issue as he leaves office, such comments cannot be easily dismissed. It is entirely consistent with this White House that they would portray a tough-talking Bush image publicly while he in fact did a buddy-buddy routine in private. (I wonder what nickname Bush has given Mohamad?)

What is more interesting however is why Bush’s Jewish lobby supporters aren’t trying to pin this discrepancy down, since it would be totally unacceptable if Mohamad is even only partially right that Bush only explained the media coverage without rebuking him.

Steve :: 7:01 AM :: Comments (2) :: Digg It!