Peace prize winner ‘could kill’ Bush
July 25, 2006
NOBEL peace laureate Betty Williams displayed a flash of her feisty Irish spirit yesterday, lashing out at US President George W.Bush during a speech to hundreds of schoolchildren.
Campaigning on the rights of young people at the Earth Dialogues forum, being held in Brisbane, Ms Williams spoke passionately about the deaths of innocent children during wartime, particularly in the Middle East, and lambasted Mr Bush.
“I have a very hard time with this word ‘non-violence’, because I don’t believe that I am non-violent,” said Ms Williams, 64.
“Right now, I would love to kill George Bush.” Her young audience at the Brisbane City Hall clapped and cheered.
“I don’t know how I ever got a Nobel Peace Prize, because when I see children die the anger in me is just beyond belief. It’s our duty as human beings, whatever age we are, to become the protectors of human life.”
Ms Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 30 years ago, when she circulated a petition to end violence in Northern Ireland after witnessing British soldiers shoot dead an IRA member who was driving a car. He veered on to the footpath, killing two children from one family instantly and fatally injuring a third.
Ms Williams’s petition had tens of thousands of Protestant and Catholic women walking the streets together in protest. Now the former office receptionist heads the World Centres of Compassion for Children International, a non-profit group working to create a political voice for children.
“My job is to tell you their stories,” Ms Williams said of a recent trip to Iraq.
“We went to a hospital where there were 200 children; they were beautiful, all of them, but they had cancers that the doctors couldn’t even recognise. From the first Gulf War, the mothers’ wombs were infected.
“As I was leaving the hospital, I said to the doctor, ‘How many of these babies do you think are going to live?’
“He looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘None, not one’. They needed five different kinds of medication to treat the cancers that the children had, and the embargoes laid on by the United States and the United Nations only allowed them three.”
Wrapping up the three-day forum yesterday, delegates agreed to a 26-point action plan.
“There can be no sustainable peace while the majority of the world’s population lives in poverty,” they said.
“There can be no sustainable peace if we fail to rise to the global challenge presented by climate change.
“There can be no sustainable peace while military spending takes precedence over human development.”
2006-08-06 04:10:47 UTC
Mar 12 2008