December 6th, 2013

Branson reflects on Mandela; says he was one flight away from trying to stop Iraq war

Sir Richard Branson reflected on Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy, saying that he had “a wonderful sense of humor” and didn’t want any conflict in the world. He said that Mandela was one flight away from trying to get Saddam Hussein to step down in an effort to prevent the invasion in Iraq. However, bombing started as “the plane was due to leave South Africa.”

Branson said, “The one word I think that sums him up the most is forgiveness. And I think that he would want all of us individually, in our own lives, to pick up the phone today. Talk to somebody that you’ve fallen out with. Invite them to lunch. Embrace them. Life is too short to have any enemies. On the bigger picture, he would have welcomed the talks with Iran. It’s so much better to try to become friends again with nations that you’ve once fallen out with, rather than drop bombs on each other. He was incredibly angry about the invasion of Iraq. I spoke with him before the invasion of Iraq. And actually sent a plane to take him to Iraq to see Saddam Hussein to try to persuade Saddam Hussein to step down. Him and Kofi Anon were going on a secret mission. The day the plane was due to leave South Africa, sadly the bombing started and they never had the chance to try to get Saddam Hussein to step down in the interest of his country and the people. He was trying all the time to try to resolve conflicts, rather than encourage the starting of conflicts to resolve problems.”