Posted by: bridget | 12 July 2007

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Calls for Bush’s Death

No, this elephant has not been hitting the vino early: it actually happened.

“Right now, I could kill George Bush,” she [Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams] said at the Adam’s Mark Hotel and Conference Center in Dallas. “No, I don’t mean that. How could you nonviolently kill somebody? I would love to be able to do that.”

This satarises itself – no pachyderm intervention necessary.

Hat tip: Ann Coulter.

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Responses

  1. Now that’s peaceful. She doesn’t mean it, yet she would love to be able to do that. Well, maybe she could get a hold of the President and starve and dehydrate him to death. According to the left, that’s real peaceful and loving.

  2. I almost had a post on this.It had so many places to take it my brain hurt. You took the classy approach,nice.
    “This satarises itself – no pachyderm intervention necessary.”

  3. Tammi,

    No kidding. Like In2theFray, there were too many places to go. I was thinking – what, is Bush now a 7-month old fetus? Or, if he’s murderous, can we treat him like the Left wants every other murderer treated (i.e. free cosmetic surgery)?

    In2theFray,

    Yeah, my brain hurt too. So many places – it just felt like taking one (or two or ten) of them would give the appearance that the other places it could go are irrelevant.

  4. Actually Bridget, I think the left now wants the taxpayers to foot the bill for criminals to have sex changes. Well, that was the last I heard.

  5. That’s what I heard, too.

    As I said, if you’re a murderer, you should get taxpayer-funded cosmetic surgery – whoops, sex changes. Meh. So that would presumably be the “non-violent” way to deal with Mr. Bush and his crimes?

  6. Tammi, shhhhh . . . don’t give them any ideas . . . do you realize how quickly they could just rationalize that it would be a 248th trimester abortion and that it would be protected by the Constitution?

    Bridget, you took the words out of my mouth. My first thought was, “self-parody.” Those poor SNL writers are going to be out of business.

    Nobel Peace Prize / murder fantasies. Check.

  7. Oops – that was Bridget’s comment I was referring to, not Tammi’s.

  8. (Snorts laughing.) Neil, that’s good.

    My first thought was, “self-parody.” Those poor SNL writers are going to be out of business.

    Nobel Peace Prize / murder fantasies. Check.

    You can’t even go anywhere with it. It’s manna from heaven.

  9. See Bridget, this is the stuff I was talking about.

  10. The left wants to provide cosmetic surgery for murderers? That sounds crazy.

    In fact, just as crazy as how the right adores Reagan despite the fact that he supported genocide in Guatemala…

  11. I guess both sides could stand to be a little sterner with killers.

  12. “Regan ended the Cold War.” haahhaaaaa right, and D-Day was the turning point of WWII.

    Yeah, Valdivieso is doing well down there in El Salvador. How about the rest of that country? Nicaragua is the poorest country in the hemisphere after Haiti. And Guatemala isn’t really flourishing either.

    Some numbers from Guatemala: 200,000 people slaughtered, 1.5 million displaced. The state was responsible for 93% of those killed. Sure, Reagan supported this in order to bring about democracy.

    Stalin also industrialized Russia. So let’s all praise him.

  13. Wow. Thing is, if many working-class Americans can’t afford it, how is it wrong to deny it to inmates? Your standard of living shouldn’t be substantially improved by incarceration.

  14. Someone else can help out with this… but Reagan also ended the Cold War. Russia and Germany are in much better shape. In case you forgot, communism killed 100 million people. Let me write that number out: 100,000,000 people.

    Now, about Central America:
    Admirers credit Reagan with changing the course of Central America and helping to nurture democratic governments and free-market systems across the region. Many said Reagan’s advocacy of open markets and U.S.-style capitalism sowed the earliest seeds of El Salvador’s adoption of the U.S. dollar as its official currency.

    “As time goes on, people are going to understand what he did for us,” said Valdivieso, 62, a hotel owner and coffee producer. “I remember the first time I heard him speak, I thought, perhaps things will be all right, maybe we’re going to be okay.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A29546-2004Jun9?language=printer

    There’s a myth running around your circles that justiable actions are bloodless. Consider, though, the Civil War:
    Union losses:
    Battle deaths: 110,070
    Disease, etc.: 250,152
    Total 360,222

    Confederacy losses:
    Battle deaths: 94,000
    Disease, etc.: 164,000
    Total 258,000

    The South still has not recovered; many areas are among the poorest in the country. Does that mean that Lincoln got us into some horrible war that resulted in the slaughter of innocent people and the decimation of a society?

  15. Hey Eric,

    You mock the idea of Reagan ending the cold war, yet offer no other explanation as to what happened. What gives? Bridget is definitely on the mark with valid, well substantiated points. She is correct when she points out that all justifiable acts are not bloodless. You can mock our great nation, but many have paid for the freedom we enjoy with their blood, and we are thankful.

  16. The Cold War ended due to stagnant grain production and the drop in price for oil. Reagan really had very little, if anything, to do with it. The USSR would have self-destructed even if they had stopped military spending altogether.

  17. Those Reagan supporters would do well to take note of the fact that no real changes occurred in the Soviet Union during the first four years of the Reagan administration (and 6 years, I believe, of Thatcher). Then Gorbachev came to power and, lo and behold, everything started changing.

    The words “glasnost” and “perestroika” may be helpful.

    By the way, wytammic, you write that I “mock the idea of Reagan ending the cold war, yet offer no other explanation as to what happened. What gives? Bridget is definitely on the mark with valid, well substantiated points.”

    Well, it seems that you are referring to theobromophile, not Bridget. And theobromophile offers no substantiation to her claims that Reagan ended the Cold War. So I don’t know what your point is.

    Regardless, this is all meaningless distraction from the point I made about Reagan supporting unimaginable atrocities in Guatemala. Oh, but I forgot, theobromophile provided a quote from one wealthy Salvadoran. I guess that makes it all okay.

    For more perspective, the population of Guatemala in 1980 was 7,011,610. Estimates of the death toll under Reagan are generally cited around 100,000. That means that 1.426% of the population was killed. In the US, this would currently mean the slaughter of 4,311,927 people. In less than a decade. But I suppose it was all for the sake of bringing freedom and democracy to Guatemala, so yeaaaaa Reagan! Just like the overthrow of Arbenz in 1954 and subsequent support for decades of dictatorship (that took another 100,000 lives) was all aimed at the betterment of Guatemalan society.

    theobromophile, do you really believe Reagan’s policies towards Guatemala were beneficial? If so, I hope you base such an assessment on far more than some Salvadoran’s opinion, especially an upper-class Salvadoran that owns a hotel and a coffee plantation.

  18. Interesting. David, you must be an expert. I think I’ll rely on the testimonies of people involved, and the facts of history. http://www.slate.com/id/2102081/
    You cite two facts as completely dispositive of the issue, as if those two facts could be removed from their context. As if they arose independently of the Cold War and intervened to make Reagan’s (and Thatcher’s, and brave dissidents’) immense undertakings moot, like a hurricane might destroy property being disputed by neighbors. Weak, weak, weak.

    I notice that your approach–isolating facts favorable to your predispositions, to the exclusion of all unfavorable facts–doesn’t work any better in geopolitical analysis than it does in deconstructing Christian doctrine.

  19. No, Lewd, you are right — I am not a historian nor an expert on the Cold War. The true experts, however, are largely in agreement about this issue. I suggest you do some research and find out for yourself. Here may be a good place to start:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_post-Soviet_Russia
    http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2007/06/why_did_the_sov.html
    http://www.hubbertpeak.com/reynolds/SovietDecline.htm
    http://politicsplusstuff.blogspot.com/2007/06/why-did-soviet-union-fall.html
    http://faculty.goucher.edu/history231/Laqueur.htm

    Good luck!

  20. David,

    I’ve no problem with people backing up their facts; I encourage it, actually, as it makes for better (or real?) debate.

    Nevertheless, a quick perusal of your sources doesn’t really prove your point. It would be helpful to 1) cite to something besides blogs and wiki; and 2) include a parenthetical afterwards explaining why you are including the cite. If necessary, direct us to one part of the article or cite.

    Now, y’all can go back to ignoring me. I’m spectating now. :)

  21. Theo,

    I agree. I’m sorry, I’m here at work and don’t have much time to find relevant sources. The fall of the Soviet Union is complex, and saying that Reagan alone was responsible for it is quite a stretch. There are a number of factors responsible — but the price of oil and grain production are perhaps the most important.

    Here’s a great article by Yegor Gaidar, published by the American Enterprise Institute, that explains this history much better than myself:

    http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.25991,filter.all/pub_detail.asp

  22. theobromophile, do you really believe Reagan’s policies towards Guatemala were beneficial? If so, I hope you base such an assessment on far more than some Salvadoran’s opinion, especially an upper-class Salvadoran that owns a hotel and a coffee plantation.

    Frankly, I don’t know enough to offer an opinion. I do, however, think that Reagan was a fantastic president for other reasons. Often, people will try to discredit such a position by bringing up every possible negative thing.

    My position was not that Reagan was perfect; merely that he was an excellent President. He revoluntionised the conservative movement; appointed (for the first time in decades) reliably conservative jurists; did wonders for Victim’s Rights; and worked with Gorbachov to end the Cold War.

    You are the one who posited that Reagan’s policies were not beneficial. As a legal concept, one that is instituted on this blog’s comment sections, is that someone who posits something has the burden of proof. It’s not my job to say otherwise; if I chose to, that’s just being nice, but is not my job.

    (If you want the layperson example of this, there was a Boston Legal episode where one of the attorneys was assigned to a pro bono case. She just sat in her chair and refused to defend her client or cross-examine him or the opposing witnesses. Ultimately, she won: the other side had not proved its point.)

    Here’s comment No. 14:

    “Regan ended the Cold War.” haahhaaaaa right, and D-Day was the turning point of WWII.

    Yeah, Valdivieso is doing well down there in El Salvador. How about the rest of that country? Nicaragua is the poorest country in the hemisphere after Haiti. And Guatemala isn’t really flourishing either.

    Some numbers from Guatemala: 200,000 people slaughtered, 1.5 million displaced. The state was responsible for 93% of those killed. Sure, Reagan supported this in order to bring about democracy.

    Back it up.

  23. Going by your principle, I’ll leave you to prove that Reagan ended the Cold War and that it wasn’t actually the reformist policies of Gorbachev and other inside the Soviet Union that really brought about its demise.

    As for needing to prove that Reagan’s policies weren’t beneficial to Guatemala…

    I suppose we’ll start with the genocide of the Mayan indians. It began in March 1981. Reagan, of course, became President in January 1981. But he had actually had significant contact with the Guatemalan right wing prior to his electoral victory and promised them a “180 degree” turn in regards to Carter’s so-called human rights policy. Once elected, and as the genocide began, Reagan pushed aggressively to end the arms embargo imposed on Guatemala during the Carter administration because of its human rights record. (FWIW, the Carter administration continued to arm Guatemala through Israel and Argentina, not to mention through arms that were “already in the pipeline”). By lying about the Guatemalan military’s human rights record, Reagan eventually succeeded in getting the embargo lifted and promptly sent $6 million in military supplies to the Guatemalan military at the height of the genocide in January 1983. It is also worth noting that the victims were routinely raped, tortured, and mutilated along with being killed. Cannibalism was also commonly used as an initiation rite for new soldiers. For more information, this site provides a good summary: http://www.yale.edu/gsp/guatemala/TextforDatabaseCharts.html

    A lot of the information on that site comes from the Guatemalan Truth Commission. If you can read Spanish, you can access its report online here: http://shr.aaas.org/guatemala/ceh/mds/spanish/toc.html

    As for post-Reagan Guatemala:

    You can see World Bank estimates for Guatemala’s per capita GDP from 1976-2005 here:
    http://unstats.un.org/unsd/cdb/cdb_years_on_top.asp?srID=29922&Ct1ID=&crID=320&yrID=1976%2C1977%2C1978%2C1979%2C1980%2C1981%2C1982%2C1983%2C1984%2C1985%2C1986%2C1987%2C1988%2C1989%2C1990%2C1991%2C1992%2C1993%2C1994%2C1995%2C1996%2C1997%2C1998%2C1999%2C2000%2C2001%2C2002%2C2003%2C2004%2C2005

    If you calculate the % change, you will see that from 1976-1981 Guatemala’s GDP per capita growth rate was generally between 10-11%. Then Reagan came to power and the genocide began. A near 8% growth rate from 1980-1981 drops to a point of essential stagnation (0.13%) from 1981-1982. As the genocide intensified under Rios Montt (described by Reagan as “a man of great personal integrity and commitment… I know he wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to promote social justice.”) in 1982, the economy began contracting, suffering a -1.25 growth rate. The following years saw growth rates of 2.5%, -0.44%, and 1.23% before finally reaching a point at which it consistently remained between 3% and 5% (not good growth rates for a developing country) beginning in the late Reagan years and continuing until 2000. Since then, growth has been even poorer, crawling along between 1.5% and 2.5% for the next four years, before finally reaching back up to its common and unimpressive growth rate of almost 3.5% in 2005.

    So Guatemala’s economy was growing quickly and then as soon as Reagan was elected and the genocide began it essentially stopped growing and even contracted. The post-Reagan years have seen unimpressive to poor growth rates for a developing country as poor as Guatemala.

    As for El Salvador, whose Reagan supported right-wing paramilitary groups killed an estimated 70,000 (mostly civilians) in the 1980s, is the well-off Mr. Valdivieso quoted in the WP article you sited an meaningful example? Is El Salvador as a whole flourishing like Mr. Valdivieso? Hardly. Here are the UN stats on the per capita GDP growth rate of El Salvador for the past seven years, starting in 2001: 0.229%, 0.336%, 0.453%, 0.006%, 1.029%, 2.446%, 2.783%.

    Abysmal. Here is a list of the four poorest countries (IMF, 2005) in the hemisphere other than Haiti: Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador.

    The Reagan administration was heavily engaged with the brutal right-wing regimes in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. And of course there’s the terrorist war in Nicaragua. While bloodshed may be justified in certain circumstances, I think it is pretty tough to justify it in regards to Reagan’s policies in Central America.
    It is also worth noting that, despite what may be claimed in that WP article, Reagan did nothing to help bring about democracy in Central America. The fact that the wars in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala came to an end in the years after his presidency is meaningless. The only way Reagan sought to resolve the conflicts in these countries was through force. The diplomatic solutions that eventually emerged are opposed to the policies pursued by the Reagan administration and likely never would have been achieved had Reagan still been in office.

    Of course everyone does good and bad things in their life and, as you said, “often, people will try to discredit such a position by bringing up every possible negative thing.” But it is not just genocide in Guatemala, widespread slaughter in El Salvador, and terrorism in Nicaragua (total death toll was likely more than 200,000, an enormous number in its own right and even more enormous considering the tiny populations of these countries and the fact that the vast majority of the victims were innocent civilians). The Reagan administration prolonged the Iran-Iraq war for many years, supplied Saddam Hussein with the components needed to build chemical weapons, and provided diplomatic cover when he used these weapons in what many consider to be genocidal actions against the Kurds.

    I really don’t think I’m just picking a couple tiny issues to harp on.

    I knew when I brought this up that you didn’t “know enough to offer an opinion.” I don’t say that arrogantly, but rather to make a point. The reality is that very few Americans know anything about any of this. Our citizenry is indoctrinated with one-sided histories all written to glorify our nation. (like the end of the Cold War, like the significance of D-Day, like the unassailable nobility of our foreign policies…).

  24. Bridget – I responded to your comment on my blog, but figured I’d post one briefly here in case you don’t read it, as well as for the sake of your other visitors.

    My initial comment about Reagan was a response to the notion that leftists don’t care about prosecuting murderers and only want to provide them with cosmetic surgery. Now, while some here did note how the left wants to provide criminals with sex changes (certainly true and, I agree, totally ridiculous), no one insinuated that the left doesn’t care about stopping killers. I really don’t know how I came up with that. Let’s say I was drunk. Hopefully my totally out-of-context remark is a bit more forgivable now.

    It is not my intention to terrorize (unfairly, at least) all you readers here on this blog. We lefties have a tendency to seize on any excuse to ramble on and on about the crimes of the US empire and its allies. I promise not to be that annoying.

    In conclusion, sorry for my off-topic comment.

  25. Bridget……..

    ““No, I don’t mean that. How could you nonviolently kill somebody?”

    At least she is a quick thinker. She obviously realized mid sentence that she was skating seriously close to a crime itself by referencing his murder in the affirmative sense. Whewwww…. close one. Good thing she thought to clean up that sentence with the Microphone on…….steve

  26. Eric, you got a lot of stats above. Don’t really know about them or even care. What is clear is that you are living in a dreamworld if you don’t think Reagan is responsible for the collapse of the Iron Curtain. That alone is enough to at least call your stats into doubt. …….steve

  27. My stats are from the World Bank. And I think it is very sad that you care so little about the devastation that Reagan is highly responsible for in Central America. So much for compassionate conservativism.

    As for his responsibility in causing the Soviet Union to collapse, perhaps you could use your expertise on the history of the Soviet Union to enlighten us all.

  28. Eric,

    It is clear you need more than a post to get to speed……steve

  29. EriC……….I read over your Yale Report. You said:

    “I suppose we’ll start with the genocide of the Mayan indians. It began in March 1981. Reagan, of course, became President in January 1981. But he had actually had significant contact with the Guatemalan right wing prior to his electoral victory”

    However the Yale report states these conditions:

    1) There was Genocide in Guatemala.
    2) It occurred in the framework of the Guatemelan Government employing a new National Security Doctrine against insurgents.
    3) After a coup where General Mott came to power in March of 1982

    Not 1981. Reagan would have been in office over one year before the date of the coup. What would have been the necessity of making “pre electoral” ex-officio contacts before January of 2001.

    I would like your reference or link to the evidence that Reagan even conducted such pre-inagural contact which I suppose would not have been after December of 1980, and who this contact was and why those dates and cause would be in variance with he Yale Report. …….steve

  30. […] For some shameless self-promotion, check out the newest form of the hypocrisy: https://helvidiuspachyderm.wordpress.com/2007/07/12/nobel-peace-prize-laureate-calls-for-bushs-death/ […]


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