This morning on ABC’s This Week, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley repeatedly confused Tibet and Nepal while discussing President Bush’s decision to attend the Olympics. At least 8 different times, Hadley said “Nepal” when talking about the human rights abuses that have taken place in Tibet. A portion of the interview:
HADLEY: The president is going to the Olympics. The president is going to — thinks that the way to deal with the issue of Nepal is not by a statement that you’re not going to the opening ceremonies and say therefore, I’ve checked the Nepal box…
STEPHANOPOULOS: So he may not go to the opening ceremonies. You just don’t want to say it.
HADLEY: No, the president is going to the Olympics. What he’s doing on Nepal is what we think the international community ought to be doing, which is approaching the Chinese privately, through diplomatic channels, and sending a very firm message of concern for human rights, concern for what’s happening in Nepal, urging the Chinese government to understand that it is in their interest to reach out to representatives of the Dalai Lama, and to show, while the whole world is watching China, that they are determined to treat their citizens with dignity and respect. There is an opportunity here. And if countries are really concerned about Nepal, we shouldn’t have this sort of non-issue of opening ceremonies or not.
Nepal is not Tibet. Nepal is an independent country that is holding elections this week, while Tibet is a land occupied by the Chinese. They are separate geographical regions — see map below:
On Fox News — which was taped before This Week — Hadley correctly referred to Tibet (see the video here).
,President Jimmy Carter was on ABC before Hadley, discussing the fact that he is in Nepal to monitor elections. Hadley’s Tibet/Nepal confusion appears to have stemmed from listening to Carter talk about Nepal.