Sunday, September 17, 2006

PeaceJam Saturday: Tutu tut-tuts too

Uncharacteristcally reluctant to do so earlier, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu joined his fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureates in criticizing the U.S. Saturday during a speech at PeaceJam:

"You are some of the most incredibly generous people," [he] told an audience of 7,000 at the University of Denver's Magness Arena. "Your philanthropy is fantastic. How about exporting your generosity instead of your bombs?"

The man who helped abolish apartheid in his native country echoed advice offered earlier in the evening by fellow laureate Betty Williams, who sought to end the violence in Northern Ireland: "Take your country back!"

As part of this weekend's PeaceJam youth conference, the Nobel winners unveiled a United Nations-style "global call" to fight what they identified as the core evils of the world - poverty, racism, a lack of clean water, the degradation of the environment and the obsession with nuclear weapons.

The failure to address those evils, they said, are the root causes of suicide bombers and hijackers of airplanes.

Betty Williams had the worst case of BDS:
Williams, the Northern Ireland peace activist, paused during her talk to single out a PeaceJam participant sitting near the arena's rafters: a Peruvian girl working to eradicate hunger at an orphanage.

"A child of 11 has more intelligence than the president of the United States," she said, drawing cheers.
Iranian judge (and first Muslim to win the Nobel Peace Prize) Shirin Ebadi said she was "'very sorry about the sad events of Sept. 11' but wished that the United States had built a school in Afghanistan for each victim instead of going to war."

And told a lie:
"Fundamentalism does not only belong to Islam, it exists in all religions," she said through an [sic] Farsi interpreter. "When someone claims that he has a mission from God to bring war to Iraq and kill the people of Iraq, this is a kind of terrorism and a kind of fundamentalism."
Even the revered exiled religious leader of Tibet--of whom commenter Caz said yesterday, "The Dalai Lama, bless his little cotton socks, never talks about anything. It's a real skill"--volunteered a little (bad) advice:
In a discussion taped for the BBC, the Dalai Lama said the United States and Israel "should not rule out" talks with Hamas and al-Qaeda . . . . He stopped short of criticizing the president, whom he called a close friend, about the war in Iraq.

"That's his business," the Dalai Lama said with a smile, drawing laughs.

The Rocky adds:

One after the other Saturday night, the laureates thanked the crowd that rose to its feet before and after each speech . . .
Poor kids. One lost weekend and their little lives are blighted forever.

Update: Where's my favorite laureate, fake-but-accurate Guatemalan memoirist Rigoberta Menchu?

Update II: High school blogger Rose Green:

I’m exhausted, so I’m going to have to save all the details until tomorrow night. It was incredible, Demond [sic] Tutu is hilarious, the Dalai Lama and I shared a moment, and Betty Williams helped us hug the world . . . .

Update III: Broncos fans! Check out South African Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu ("hilarious"--Rose Green) modeling a Broncos Super Bowl hat!

Update IV: Christopher Hitchens gave the Dalai Lama a touch of the Mother Teresa treatment back in 1998.

Update V (Monday): I really wanted to title this post, "Tutu tut-tuts, says goodbye." But Tutu didn't leave until yesterday and thus hadn't yet said "goodbye." The D-blog is scrupulous that way.

No comments: