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Bush confuses APEC with OPEC, Australia with Austria

White House photo Oops, Bush did it again. After telling Australia’s deputy prime minister that “We’re kicking ass” in Iraq, U.S. President George W. Bush made two more of his characteristic verbal blunders at the APEC summit in Sydney. In a speech this morning, Bush welcomed business leaders to the OPEC meeting, not the APEC meeting. ...

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White House photo

Oops, Bush did it again. After telling Australia’s deputy prime minister that “We’re kicking ass” in Iraq, U.S. President George W. Bush made two more of his characteristic verbal blunders at the APEC summit in Sydney.

In a speech this morning, Bush welcomed business leaders to the OPEC meeting, not the APEC meeting. Apparently, he got his PECs confused, referring to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries instead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. He made a quick save, though, by smiling and saying that he planned to attend an OPEC meeting next year. (The meetings section of OPEC’s Web site, however, doesn’t yet have anything listed for 2008.)

As he continued his speech, Bush recalled how Australian Prime Minister John Howard had gone to Iraq last year to visit “Austrian troops.” Actually, there are no Austrian troops in Iraq, but there are 1,500 Australian military personnel in and around Mesopotamia.

You gotta give the prez credit for adding some comic relief to what might otherwise be a no-nonsense meeting of government officials and business leaders.

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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