Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams came from Ireland to Texas to declare that President Bush should be impeached.
In a keynote speech at the International Women's Peace Conference on Wednesday night, Ms. Williams told a crowd of about 1,000 that the Bush administration has been treacherous and wrong and acted unconstitutionally.
"Right now, I could kill George Bush," she 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."
About half the crowd gave her a standing ovation after she called for Mr. Bush's removal from power.
"The Muslim world right now is suffering beyond belief," she said.
"Unless the president of the United States is held responsible for what he's doing and what he has done, there's no one in the Muslim world who will forgive him."
When an audience member told Ms. Williams that Vice President Dick Cheney would become president if George Bush were impeached, she said, "Can't you impeach them both?"
"It's twisted. It's all wrong," she said. "There are so many lies being told. It's hard to be an American and go out into the world right now."
Ms. Williams started her speech by asking every member of the audience to hug everyone around them. Then she cut to what amounted to both a call for peace and a stinging rebuke of the American government.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Never Miss a Beat.
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
Conference organizers have said that the conference is nonpartisan and that no one was invited to speak about the war in Iraq. After Ms. Williams finished her speech, conference chairwoman Carol Donovan took the podium to say that Ms. Williams did not speak for the conference -- only herself.
"It's important for us to separate the opinion of the person and the position of the conference," Ms. Donovan said.
Two other Nobel Peace Prize winners, American activist Jody Williams and Rigoberta MenchÃƒÂº Tum of Guatemala, will speak this week as part of the conference. Jody Williams, who was in the audience Wednesday, has also indicated she would speak about Mr. Bush.
"We believe very strongly it was important to have the opportunity to hear these three peace prize winners," Ms. Donovan said.
Betty Williams won the Nobel Prize in 1976 for creating a group that helped start peace talks in Northern Ireland.
In 1992, Texas Gov. Ann Richards appointed Betty Williams to the Texas Commission for Children and Youth.
Many in the crowd found out that Lady Bird Johnson had died when Jan Sanders, the wife of U.S. District Judge Barefoot Sanders and a close friend of the former first lady, gave an impromptu eulogy.
"She was a friend, a doer, an influencer of world events," Ms. Sanders said. "She lived a full life. If she were here, she would say to you, 'Keep on being women doers.' "
© 2007, The Dallas Morning News, Inc.