This story, from The Australian, struck me as funny at first.
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 initial reaction was, "How bad do you have to suck before Nobel Peace Prize Laureates want to kick your ass?" It's about there that the funny stops, so savor it.
She spoke about visiting a hospital in Iraq where 200 children were suffering with cancer, which she said were caused by munitions from the earlier Gulf War. "As I was leaving the hospital, I said to the doctor, 'How many of these babies do you think are going to live?'" Williams told the audience, "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."
Delegates to the forum later agreed on a 26-point action plan. The Australian sums the agreement up this way:
"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."
Further info about the forum is available here. Sounds like a plan.