It was only a matter of time. While speaking in India prior to departing for Pakistan, Bush revealed his lack of familiarity with South Asia:
“I believe that a prosperous, democratic Pakistan will be a steadfast partner for America, a peaceful neighbor for India and a force for freedom and moderation in the Arab world,” the president added.
Later, White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters that Bush meant to say Pakistan would be a force for freedom and moderation in the Muslim world. Pakistan is not an Arab country.
QUESTION: Can you name the general who is in charge of Pakistan?
BUSH: Wait, wait, is this 50 questions?
QUESTION: No, it’s four questions of four leaders in four hot spots.
BUSH: The new Pakistani general, he’s just been elected–not elected, this guy just took over office. It appears this guy is going to bring stability to the country, and I think that’s good news for the Subcontinent.
QUESTION: Can you name him?
BUSH: General. I can’t name the general. General.
In the global war on terror, Bush needs to win the support of countries like Pakistan. The first step is to learn something about them.