Well, at least this Bush-hater is not in America. (See update below: She does live in America, this speech was just not in America.)
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. When I read that last line it made me wonder which George Bush she wanted to kill. If children in Iraq have cancer as a result of the first Gulf War isn’t someone else to blame, besides George Bush? I wonder if the children in the audience were as confused as I am.
Update: The article did not mention it, but a reader alerted me that Betty Williams lives in Florida and has for a while. I should have guessed as much.
Update 2: This is hardly new sentiment for Williams. She’s been repeating the same line since at least 2003…