NEW ORLEANS (AP)-In a speech to reporters while on tour of a refugee camp here on Monday, US President George Bush mixed up the hurricane-ravaged states of Louisiana and Mississippi with war-torn Iraq, and exhibited extensive confusion about the two different locations.
"We must send in more troops to Baghdad er, I mean New Orleans to save the oil wells and the Iraqi peoples, I mean the Louisiana and Mississippi peoples, and fight those terrorists, er, I mean those looters," he said while touring the northern part of the devastated Louisiana city and several refugee camps.
"Our soldiers must secure the oil facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi er, I mean, in Iraq, all along the Gulf of Persia er, I mean the Gulf of Mexico," he said in the unprepared speech. "What did I just say?" he asked an aide. "Did I really say that?"
Bush couldn't seem to get it right, and repeatedly had to flip through a world atlas helpfully supplied by a reporter so he could compare maps of the USA with Iraq.
"The horrible devastation experienced by the Iraqi people due to the hurricane er I mean the horrible devastation experienced by the darkies due to our invasion and bombing, and my negligence and delay in getting fast, fast relief to them .er, that doesn't sound right either."
Bush then conferred with his speechwriter to get things right.
"Anyway, I've ordered our soldiers to shoot everyone on sight who looks suspicious and who might be a road-side bomber," he added. "That goes for New Orleans and Baghdad likewise, too. I've declared martial law in both places and we'll be shipping the refugees from New Orleans to Guantanamo Bay to be tortured if they don't shape up."
"By the way, what are those Iraqis doing floating in the water over there?" he was overheard whispering to an aide by a reporter.
Bush then distributed free coffee mugs and pieces of White House cake to the refugees, and grinned to reporters as photos were snapped.
He concluded, "Now that we have troops streaming into the Deep South of Persia, I feel a lot safer and protected against a general uprising and civil war by the peoples of Louisiana, er, I mean the Iraqi peoples, er, I mean the Southern peoples whoever and wherever they are," he blurted as he hurriedly left in the presidential limo.