Exclusive: Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffak Al-Rubaie responds to right wing and media misquotes... [VIDEO]

Mowaffak Al Rubaie, Iraq's National Security Adviser, seemed to tell CNN's Anderson Cooper in an interview on 3 January that Iraqis seen dancing around the body of Saddam Hussein were following some sort of tradition:


AL-RUBAIE: To the best of my knowledge and belief, and after I left the scene and came back, I was proud of what had happened, because we played by the book.
When the -- the video was released and -- or leaked -- I saw some untoward and wrongdoings. And this has to be addressed. And we need to do something about it.
COOPER: But you are proud of what you did witness? I mean, you -- I assume you heard the shouting. You heard -- you saw the dancing around his body, because I know you talked about that. Are you proud of that?
AL-RUBAIE: This is -- this a tradition of the Iraqis. When they do something, they -- they dance around the body, and they suppress their feeling.
Anderson, what is wrong with that? If that upset the feeling of some of the Arab nations and Arab rulers, I think that is tough luck to them.
Since then, numerous news outlets have interpreted his words to mean that dancing over a dead body is a custom. In the video above, it's clear that Al-Rubaie, whose native tongue is not English, could have said "body" but meant "thing." As in: They dance around the thing they're happy about.

It would be rather easy to misinterpret his words, but when your misinterpretation has HUGE implications for an entire people, you may want to, as a journalist, I don't know, check with an expert...

Al Rubaie responds...

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