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 have determined to my own satisfaction that most anti-war talk is based on hypostatization or reification: "the treatment of something abstract as a material or concrete thing". ("reification." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 24 July 2006.)
The abstract something that Ms. Williams treats as concrete is the concept that Rodney King expressed so succinctly: "Can't we all just get along?" She treats it as concrete and uses it as the foundation for her anti-war stance; that is, if we could all just get along, then no one would be killed in war. This is embodied in the amazing 26-point "action plan" adopted by the "Earth Dialogs" forum:
"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."
Which sound just like one of Ben & Jerry's mission statements, the archetypal "visualize world peace" drivel:
We seek and support nonviolent ways to achieve peace and justice. We believe government resources are more productively used in meeting human needs than in building and maintaining weapons systems.
I'm sorry, but as for world peace, I believe in peace through strength. Anyone with an ounce of sense believes that as well. As far as "visualizing world peace", here's what I think: