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Friday, November 18, 2005
Vonnegut Lauds Terrorists

What a maroon!

Vonnegut, 83, has been a strong opponent of Mr Bush and the US-led war in Iraq, but until now has stopped short of defending terrorism.

But in discussing his views with The Weekend Australian, Vonnegut said it was "sweet and honourable" to die for what you believe in, and rejected the idea that terrorists were motivated by twisted religious beliefs.

"They are dying for their own self-respect," he said. "It's a terrible thing to deprive someone of their self-respect. It's like your culture is nothing, your race is nothing, you're nothing."

Asked if he thought of terrorists as soldiers, Vonnegut, a decorated World War II veteran, said: "I regard them as very brave people, yes."

He equated the actions of suicide bombers with US president Harry Truman's 1945 decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

On the Iraq war, he said: "What George Bush and his gang did not realise was that people fight back."

Vonnegut suggested suicide bombers must feel an "amazing high". He said: "You would know death is going to be painless, so the anticipation - it must be an amazing high."

Vonnegut is horribly overrated as a writer. He wrote wry books with very short sentences, and was lauded beyond measure for writing an antiwar book in the 1960s (gee, that was courageous). And his admiration for suicide bombers may be related to his own suicide attempt in 1984 and his mother's more successful effort in 1944.
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