You're Viewing the Archives
Return to IVN's Frontpage

Top Four Foreign Relations Gaffes

by Faith Eischen, published

Here is a list of top four absurd, yet humorous foreign relations gaffes to date. Enjoy! 

Geraldo Rivera’s Drawing Lesson Translates To Treason:

In 2003, amidst the US-Iraq War, American journalist Geraldo Rivera was traveling with the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq. During one of his segments for a live Fox News broadcast, Rivera began divulging an upcoming military operation on air. In attempts to better explain the classified operation, Rivera went as far as to draw a map in the sand to offer visuals and details of the 101st Airborne Division’s location to the audience. The military immediately “issued a firm denunciation of his actions, saying it put the operation at risk, and nearly expelled Rivera from Iraq.” The military then escorted Rivera to Kuwait. Two days after the debacle, Rivera made a public statement saying he would be reporting on the Iraq conflict only from Kuwait.


George H. W. Bush Inspires Japanese Slang:

In 1992 President George H.W. Bush attended a state dinner held in Tokyo. While dining at the event, the former President went “white as a sheet,” and shockingly vomited in the lap of Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa. He then fell out of his chair, sliding underneath the table. In honor of this incident, the Japanese came up with a term – Bushusuru – meaning, “to do the Bush thing” – which is Japanese slang for vomiting.


Michelle Bachmann Slanders Again:

Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn) stated to her audience in Cedar Rapids, Iowa:

"So of course when you’re 90 miles offshore from Florida, you don’t want to entertain the prospect of hosting bases or sites where Hezbollah can have training camps or perhaps have missile sites or weapons sites in Cuba. This would be foolish."

Huffington Post issued an analysis of Bachmann’s fictitious statement:

“This statement was entirely untruthful because Hezbollah is a Lebanese, anti-Israli militant group that observes Shia Islam. Cuba is a Caribbean, Soviet-style communist island nation that is avowedly atheist. Hezbollah wants to 'resist' Israel and play a larger role in Leabanese politics. Cuba mostly wants to avoid collapsing. The two appear to share exactly zero common interests or points of contact. But that didn’t stop Bachmann from citing ‘reports’ (no word on what reports or where from) that Hezbollah is now setting up camps in Cuba – maybe they confused nearby Miami for an Israeli settlement? – and could potentially aim missiles at the U.S. from there.”

This statement is just one of the many foreign relations gaffes Bachmann has issued. Most recently, she accused Huma Abedin, Hilary Clinton’s long time aide, of having inappropriate ties and connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.


Chelsea Clinton Exchanged For Goats?

In 2000, Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgor, an elected city councilor of Kenya, wrote to President Bill Clinton through Kenya’s foreign minister, asking President Clinton for his daughter Chelsea Clinton’s hand in marriage in exchange for forty goats and 20 cows.

At a town hall meeting in Kenya in 2009, a reporter asked U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton if the Clintons had made any decisions in regard to Chepkurgor’s dowry offer.

Hilary Clinton answered, "My daughter is her own person, very independent, so I will convey this very kind offer."

In 2005 Chepkurgor stated in an interview with the East Africa Standard newspaper, "Had I succeeded in wooing Chelsea, I would have had a grand wedding, I would have invited South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu to preside at the ceremony."

By Kenyan standards, Chepkurgor’s dowry offer was considered a steep and generous proposal.

What are your favorite foreign relations gaffes? Let us know! 

About the Author