pieinsky at igc.org
Tue Nov 26 09:28:34 MST 2002
REFLECTIONS: The War Against Reason
Nov 26, 2002
By Harold Pinter
There's an old story about Oliver Cromwell. After he had taken the Irish
town of Drogheda the citizens were brought to the main square. Cromwell
announced to his lieutenants: "Right! Kill all the women and rape all the
men." One of his aides said: "Excuse me, general. Isn't it the other way
around?" A voice from the crowd called out: "Mr Cromwell knows what he's
That voice is the voice of Tony Blair - "Mr Bush knows what he's doing."
The fact is that Mr Bush and his gang do know what they're doing and Blair,
unless he really is the deluded idiot he often appears to be, also knows
what they're doing. Bush and company are determined, quite simply, to
control the world and the world's resources. And they don't give a damn how
many people they murder on the way. And Blair goes along with it.
He hasn't the support of the Labour Party, he hasn't the support of the
country or of the celebrated "international community". How can he justify
taking this country into a war nobody wants? He can't. He can only resort to
rhetoric, cliche and propaganda. Little did we think when we voted Blair
into power that we would come to despise him. The idea that he has influence
over Bush is laughable. His supine acceptance of US bullying is pathetic.
Bullying is, of course, a time-honoured US tradition. Addressing the Greek
ambassador to the US in 1965, Lyndon Johnson said: "Fuck your parliament and
your constitution. The US is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a
flea. If these two fellows continue itching the elephant they may just get
whacked by the elephant's trunk, whacked good."
He meant what he said. Shortly afterwards the colonels, supported by the US,
took over in Greece and the Greek people spent seven years in hell.
As for the US elephant, it has grown to be a monster of grotesque and
obscene proportions. The terrible atrocity in Bali does not alter the facts
of the case.
The "special relationship" between the US and the UK has, in the last 12
years, brought about the deaths of thousands upon thousands of people in
Iraq, Afghanistan and Serbia. All this in pursuit of the US and UK "moral
crusade" to bring "peace and stability" to the world.
The use of depleted uranium in the Gulf War has been particularly effective.
Radiation levels in Iraq are appallingly high. Babies are born with no
brain, no eyes, no genitals. Where they do have ears, mouths or rectums, all
that issues from these orifices is blood.
Blair and Bush are of course totally indifferent to such facts, not
forgetting the charming, grinning, beguiling Bill Clinton, who was
apparently given a standing ovation at the Labour Party conference. For
what? Killing Iraqi children? Or Serbian children?
Bush has said: "We will not allow the world's worst weapons to remain in the
hands of the world's worst leaders." Quite right. Look in the mirror chum.
The US is at this moment developing advanced systems of "weapons of mass
destruction", and is prepared to use them where it sees fit. It has walked
away from international agreements on biological and chemical weapons,
refusing to allow any inspection of its own factories.
It is holding hundreds of Afghans prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, allowing them
no legal redress despite their being charged with nothing, holding them
captive virtually for ever.
It is insisting on immunity from the international criminal court, a stance
that belegers belief but which is now supported by the UK. The hypocrisy is
breathtaking. Tony Blair's contemptible subservience to this criminal US
regime demeans and dishonours this country.
Harold Pinter is a playwright, director, actor, poet and political activist.
This text was first delivered as a speech to an anti-war meeting at the
House of Commons.
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