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Great Moments in Politics: Water Joke Faux Pas

I’ve been accused of tactlessness on occasion but even I wouldn’t have repeated this one! However, since U.S. National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones (Ret.) already did (while giving the key note speech at a Washington Institute For Near East Policy dinner in April) we’ll simply forward the flub for it’s water humor newsworthiness.

From blog.foreign policy.com (with more blow-by-blow details of the ensuing kerfuffle here)

Telling the following joke in public, at a meeting of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy no less, was not National Security Advsor Jim Jones’ finest moment in public service:

I’d like to begin with a story that I think is true, a Taliban militant gets lost and is wandering around the desert looking for water. He finally arrives at a store run by a Jew and asks for water. The Jewish vendor tells him he doesn’t have any water but can gladly sell him a tie. The Taliban, the jokes goes on, begins to curse and yell at the Jewish storeowner. The Jew, unmoved, offers the rude militant an idea: Beyond the hill, there is a restaurant; they can sell you water. The Taliban keeps cursing and finally leaves toward the hill. An hour later he’s back at the tie store. He walks in and tells the merchant: “Your brother tells me I need a tie to get into the restaurant.”

The White House clearly felt uncomfortable with the joke, and edited it out of an official transcript of the event.