Now Cough

Thursday, December 08, 2005

9/11 911

If it weren't so serious, I'd laugh...

Jon Stewart nails Bush and the ludicrous inactivity since 9/11...


My Bad

Pinter's Pique

Playwright Harold Pinter claimed his Nobel today and besides picking up the medal and the check, he delivered a blistering broadside at US foreign policy. ( See the video of his speech)

The US role in the world is now the fashionable pincushion and you can certainly make the case it should be. Pinter's fury is aimed at the whole post-war foreign policy of the US. Those who have read such revisionist texts as Free World Colossus and works by William Appleman Williams will hear echoes in Pinter's remarks:

"Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully documented and verified.

But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognized as crimes at all. I believe this must be addressed and that the truth has considerable bearing on where the world stands now. Although constrained, to a certain extent, by the existence of the Soviet Union, the United States' actions throughout the world made it clear that it had concluded it had carte blanche to do what it liked.

"The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War. I refer to Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, and, of course, Chile. The horror the United States inflicted upon Chile in 1973 can never be purged and can never be forgiven.

Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy. But you wouldn't know it."

And, Pinter accurately skewered President Bush's highly scripted, unimaginative political rhetoric:

"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."

Pinter at the end of his talk called on citizens to act:

"I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory."

Full speech here.