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Nobel Peace Prize Winner: “I Would Love To Kill George Bush”

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Nobel Laureate Betty Williams, winner of the Peace Prize in 1976 for co-founding Ireland’s peace movement, on Monday told hundreds of school children in Brisbane, Australia that “I would love to kill George Bush.” Ms. Williams’ statement was greeted with applause and cheers from the audience.

Perhaps the most notable part of her speech, however, was a story she relayed regarding what she mentioned was a “recent” trip to Iraq. “My job is to tell you their stories,” Ms. Williams was quoted as saying during her speech at Brisbane’s City Hall.

“We went to a hospital where there were 200 children; they were beautiful, all of them,” she said. “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.’ [The doctors] 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,” she concluded.

However, if Ms. Williams’ visit to Iraq was recent, then there would have been no issues regarding an embargo as they were all lifted in fairly short order after Saddam was ousted in April of 2003. And it was President Bush who pushed for their removal.

In an article dated May 8 of 2003, the Washington Post reported that the “Bush administration announced yesterday it is easing certain provisions of a 1990 law that imposed US sanctions against Iraq, even as US officials stepped up efforts to urge the United Nations to lift its own economic and trade embargo against Baghdad.” One day before the Post article appeared, USA Today reported that the US would “press the U.N. Security Council to immediately lift sanctions against Iraq and phase out the oil-for-food humanitarian program over the next four months.”

During her speech, Ms. Williams also claimed that she visited 200 children, all of whom had cancers, and that the mothers who bore these children had wombs which were infected from the first Gulf War. But the first Gulf War was 17 years ago, and any children born shortly after that war would now be young adults.

In addition, economic sanctions which might have led to such diseases were imposed by the UN at the behest of previous US administrations, not the current Bush Administration. The lifting of those sanctions by the President in 2003 has likely proven helpful in ameliorating such problems, as has the tens of billions of dollars the US has poured into Iraq in medical aid and other infrastructure improvements.

About David

  • Rackham

    It is sad that this unfortunate comment born of a passionate moment is being highlighted and vilified, at the expense of the real message. Let us not forget what else she said there:

    “There can be no sustainable peace while the majority of the world’s population lives in poverty,”

    “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.”


  • Dave Nalle

    Nice to see you posting again, David. Excellent article. I’m surprised she took the Nobel Prize considering Nobel’s role in the development of the munitions industry. She must feel sick every time she spends that money. I wonder how much she donated to groups doing charitable and medical work in Iraq?


  • Heloise

    Hi David,

    Good article but bad news for education. As an educator this article is only another nail in the liberal coffin of public education. There is little outcry from the parents these days. Why? Because the conservative parents are all home-schooling their children. Sounds like this woman has a lot in common with Jane Fonda, who was not awarded a peace prize.


  • David Flanagan

    Thanks for your comments. As you can see, I was reacting a bit in the moment after reading the article.

    Most of the time I don’t get so angry over this kind of thing, but I think Ms. Williams’ decision to say whatever she felt, never mind the facts, and offer up hate-filled words to young people really pushed my buttons. I truly do believe that she should step down from her position with “World Centres of Compassion for Children International.”

    How is confessing the desire to murder someone a compassionate stance?



  • JP

    This sickened me too–it’s the kind of rhetoric I’d expect from Ann Coulter.

  • Truth Teller

    Good for her. She speaks wisely.

  • David Flanagan

    Truth Teller,

    Are you really saying that it is a wise thing to tell hundreds of school children that you want to murder someone? And her motives are suspect as well!

    There are NO economic sanctions right now in Iraq. Removing Saddam, at least, allowed this to happen.

    This is the exact opposite of wisdom.

  • Lady Dragonfyre

    I agree with David. The comment was out of line. Besides, ad hominem attacks rarely gain someone credibility.

  • Betty Williams for President

    I guess the Secret Servix won’t be getting a
    Nobel Peace Prize

  • Laura

    Oh dear.

    Thank you for reminding me why conservatives fill me with such revulsion. You’ll rationalise anything if it means avoiding taking responsibility for your actions.

    I’d point out all the errors in your piece but it would only be a waste of my time and energy.

    Just remember: Reality has a liberal bias.


    P.S. Wasn’t Stephen Colbert’s speech at the White House amazing?

  • Court Jester

    It is wrong to inspire hatred in children. Betty Williams made a big mistake, but seeing as she’s done more to directly help suffering than anyone who’s involved in the Iraq war ever has, maybe she can be forgivin for speaking impulsively.

    Compared to President Bush, Betty is a saint.

    (P.S. It’s pointless to try and defend what has been done to the citizens of Iraq!)

  • Dave Nalle

    God forbid I should find myself forced to defend the horrors of free elections, free speech and freedom of movement, not to mention the evil of no longer being dragged off to rape rooms.


  • STM

    She lives in a free society and can say whatever she likes, within reason. However, suggesting to schoolkids that she would “like to kill” someone might well be regarded as some sort of crime, possibly even under the Queensland Child Protection Act – if the authorities ever chose to pursue it, which they won’t. But the rest of it’s her business, I guess.

    I know there was a mini-uproar over it here in Australia, so it didn’t go unnoticed.

  • alyssa bardwell

    hey im doing a project on her can yall help out leaving behind the criticism???

  • alessandro Nicolo

    Forget Imus, this was a direct threat regardless of context. Unbelievable. If my child was present I would have words with her myself. Seriously I would. Imagine that. You leave your kids in trust with “adults” who won lousy fricken prizes and this is what you get?

    This has nothing to do with right or left. It’s about right or wrong and this was plain wrong and I pray to God that Truth Teller (now there’s an oxymoron) is not an educator. And I fail to see Laura’s point. A woman got on stage, threatened a life in front of kids. She politcized morality. Because sanctions were placed on a madman this justifies her words? What kind of nonsense is this? Are you people raising children?

    How would you have proposed to deal with Saddam? As far as I know, sanctions do not include food and medical equipment/medicine. Did it ever occur to anyone that it was Saddam who prevented food and medical supplies to get to his own people? Have you not been reading the UN scandal? The only fools are not conservatives (because they saw right through the sham) but that some people who bought Saddam’s ploy and who come on here write pure rubbish. Imus elicits a massive outrage but a direct threat on a life is met with a smiling shrug. Utter madness.

    This anti-Bush thing is becoming a disease of the mind. Voice your oppostion to him but for crying out loud keep things in perspective.

    Last, wasn’t Iraq was still trading with the four major economies of Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy) during the sanctions?

  • Jack Kuechler

    Success in one area no matter how laudable the cause does not mean the brain functions perfectly in all arenas. It can lead to ego malfunction which results in less than stupid emanations from a mouth running much faster than the brain.

  • Doug Hunter

    “Thank you for reminding me why conservatives fill me with such revulsion. You’ll rationalise anything if it means avoiding taking responsibility for your actions.”

    Like saying you would kill the president of the United States and then playing down the statement?

  • sr


  • Jeremy

    Great article. It is to bad that “Passionate” remarks get a cheer from the crowds, but when the facts are given they are ignored. Why is it that if one of us were to make that kind of statement about her we would be in jail, but she can say it and it is all peachy keen because she is “Passionate”. Horse Pucky!

  • Judith M.

    From the mission statement of Ms. Williams “peace” organization:

    “We want to live and love and build a just and peaceful society.”

    Just how does publicly saying you want to kill another human being, no matter how much you hate him, accomplish that goal?