These are the least diplomatic statements I have ever seen associated with this man who is so extraordinarily popular around the world. Maybe we really are in deep deep trouble.
Nelson Mandela, no friend of current White House policy, yesterday in Johannesburg attacked the Bush administration more forcefully than he had ever done in the past. Maybe the fearless former South African president can shame so many others who could make a difference but have been timid or silent in the face of American power gone insane. Can we and the world still be saved from the sleazy junta in Washington?
"What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no foresight and who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust.A man who should know racism when he sees it, Mandela asks whether the American president and the British prime minister (to whom he refers, with contempt, as "the foreign minister of the United States") are behaving as racists in their relationship with the UN.
"Why does the US behave so arrogantly? Their friend Israel has got weapons of mass destruction. But because it's their ally they won't ask the UN to get rid of them."
He said: "Both Bush and Tony Blair are undermining an idea (the UN) sponsored by their predecessors.Like many of those who oppose this war and see it as part of a much larger record of violence, Mandela addresses the world's historical experience with the nation which threatens another conflagration. The article in London's Mirror continues:
"Is this because the Secretary General (Kofi Annan, from Ghana) is now a black man? They never did that when Secretary Generals were white...
"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?"
The world statesman went on to launch a withering attack on America's human rights record.
Referring to the US wartime atom bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagaski, he said: "Because they decided to kill innocent people in Japan, who are they now to pretend they're the policeman of the world?
"lf there is a country which has committed unspeakable atrocities, it is the US...they don't care for human beings."
He went on to appeal to the American people to vote Mr Bush out of office and protest at his policies.