Nobel laureate Doris Lessing: 9/11 'wasn't that terrible' compared to IRA attacks

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Doris Lessing, photographed in 2006.

British writer Doris Lessing, recipient of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, has said in an interview that the terrorist attack on September 11 "wasn't that terrible" when compared to attacks the Irish Republican Army (IRA) made on Britain.

"September 11 was terrible, but if one re-examines the history of the IRA, what happened in the United States wasn't so bad," Lessing told leading Spanish daily publication El Pais. "Some Americans believe I'm crazy. Many people died, two prominent buildings fell, but it was neither as terrible nor so extraordinary as they think.

"Do you know what people forget? That the IRA attacked with bombs against our government; it killed several people while a Conservative congress was being held and in which the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, was (attending). People forget," She says, adding a comment that the Americans are "a very naive people, or they pretend to be."

The IRA spent decades in armed guerrilla warfare against the United Kingdom, but officially ended its militaristic practices in 2005, after a lengthy peace process. The violence in Northern Ireland killed approximately 3,700 people and horrendously injured tens of thousands. By way of comparison, about 3,000 people were killed during 9/11.

She goes on to criticize former prime minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair and his ally current President of the United States of America George W. Bush. "I always hated Tony Blair, from the beginning. Many of us hated Tony Blair, I think he has been a disaster for Britain and we have suffered him for many years. I said it when he was elected: This man is a little showman who is going to cause us problems and he did."

"As for Bush, he's a world calamity," Lessing continues "Everyone is tired of this man. Either he is stupid or he is very clever, although you have to remember he is a member of a social class which has profited from wars."

Iran also comes in for criticism. Lessing's parents currently reside in Bakhtaran, Iran. "I hate Iran, I hate the Iranian government, it's a cruel and evil government. Look what happened to its president in New York, they called him evil and cruel in Colombia University. Marvelous! They should have said more to him! Nobody criticizes him, because of oil."


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