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[casi] Mandela blasts Bush

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Mandela: U.S. wants holocaust

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CNN) --Former South African president Nelson Mandela has slammed the 
U.S. stance on Iraq, saying that "one power with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think 
properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust."

Speaking at the International Women's Forum, Mandela said "if there is a country that has committed 
unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America."

Mandela said U.S. President George W. Bush covets the oil in Iraq "because Iraq produces 64 percent 
of the oil in the world. What Bush wants is to get hold of that oil." In fact Iraq contributes to 
only 5 percent of world oil exports.

The Bush administration is threatening military action if Iraq does not account for weapons of mass 
destruction and fully cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors.

Receiving applause for his comments, Mandela said Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are 
"undermining" past work of the United Nations.

"They do not care. Is it because the secretary-general of the United Nations is now a black man?" 
said Mandela, referring to Kofi Annan, who is from Ghana.

Blair is expected to discuss the issue of Iraq when he meets with South African President Thabo 
Mbeki in London Saturday, a day after the British leader's meeting with Bush.

Mandela said he would support without reservation any action agreed upon by the United Nations 
against Iraq, which Bush and Blair say has weapons of mass destruction and is a sponsor of terror 
groups, including Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network. (Full story)

Nobel Peace Laureate Mandela, 84, has spoken out many times against Bush's stance, and South 
Africa's close ties with Libya and Cuba irked Washington during Mandela's own presidency.

In reaction to Mandela's comments, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Bush was grateful to 
the many European leaders who "obviously think differently."

"The president will understand there are going to be people who are more comfortable doing nothing 
about a growing menace that could turn into a holocaust. He respects people who differ with him. He 
will do what he thinks is right and necessary to protect our country," Fleischer said.

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