While the Ivory Coast nation is embroiled in election fraud and other voting practice controversy, the U.S. Department of State offered up one of their most experienced mediators to help bring closure to the conflict. Thanks to overly brief text messages read from a moving vehicle, the mediator hastily and embarrassingly flew to the wrong part of the world.
Demanding a closed door meeting of all principles involved in the controversy, conflict resolution specialist, Harry Milkmann, met with leaders from both Proctor & Gamble and Dial Corporations in an attempt to understand the baseline issues and lay the foundation for productive negotiations. Though executives from P&G, (makers of Ivory Soap), and Dial, (makers of Coast Soap) weren't too sure why they were summoned by the government for the "sit down", both reportedly acted in good faith throughout the process. It was not until his first press conference late in the day did Milkmann realize his mistake.
"We are hoping to wash away the stench that separates these two great companies, so that we can start fresh down the path of a squeaky clean negotiation", said Milkmann over the snickers of the foreign press. One spoke up in the front row, "You DO know that you were supposed to be going to Africa, right mate?"
Realizing the mistake, Milkmann quickly checked his BlackBerry, cleared his throat and continued. "Yes of course, but what better way to clean up election issues than to show up with a metaphorical solution like these fine soap products to drive the point home". Asked if that gesture might be considered an insult and if he was really that stupid, Milkmann replied, "Yes, quite possibly".
Milkmann was also the primary mediator in the Enron / State of California energy dispute, who cleared Enron of all energy market manipulation charges. His intellect appears to be consistent.