<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: Nobel Prize winner says U.S. lied to justify war

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Nobel Prize winner says U.S. lied to justify war


In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize for literature, playwright Harold Pinter said the United States not only lied to justify war against Iraq but had also "supported and in many cases engendered every right-wing military dictatorship" in the last 50 years. Here are a few of his other comments:

• "The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them."
• "You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis."
• While drama represents the search for truth, politics works against truth, surrounding citizens with "a vast tapestry of lies" spun by politicians eager to cling to power.
• "I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road - brutal, indifferent, scornful, and ruthless it may be, but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self-love.
• American leaders use language to anesthetize the public. "It's a scintillating stratagem. Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words 'the American people' provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don't need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it's very comfortable.
• Accusing the United States of torturing terrorist suspects in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, Mr. Pinter called the invasion of Iraq - for which he said Britain was also responsible - "a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law." He called for Prime Minister Tony Blair to be tried before an international criminal court.
• Mr. Pinter said it was the duty of the writer to hold an image up to scrutiny, and the duty of citizens "to define the real truth of our lives and our societies. If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision, we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us - the dignity of man."

Mr. Pinter is correct on all counts, of course, but he has us a bit worried. Do you think he will make it onto Bill O'Reilly's blacklist?

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/08/international/europe/08pinter.html

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