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Farewell anti-war hero & Literature Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter who slammed US, UK war crimes in Iraq

by : Dr Gideon Polya
Saturday December 27, 2008 - 01:50

Farewell to pro-Peace, pro-human rights, anti-war hero and Literature Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter 1930-2008 who exposed the human soul in his brilliant plays and also exposed huge Anglo-American crimes against Humanity in Occupied Iraq (post-invasion violent and non-violent excess deaths now total about 2 million, refugees total 6 million).

Outstanding Jewish British playwright, humanitarian and 2005 Literature Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter died on Christmas Eve, 2008 at the age of 78. He had been battling throat cancer. The World has lost an outstanding playwright and a courageous spokesperson for peace, human rights and the non-European victims of genocidal, Anglo-American, Bush-ite and Zionist savagery, the millions murdered in UK- and Zionist-promoted, US-imposed wars or civil wars in Central America, South America, Africa and Asia .

His outstanding literature aside, Harold Pinter is remarkable as a rare example of a leading Western writer actually SPEAKING OUT about Western atrocities, notably Anglo-American “war crimes” in Occupied Iraq and Zionist war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

These continuing genocidal crimes are made possible by a Culture of Ignoring in the Western Murdochracies. Thus Mainstream media , politcians, academics and journalists generally IGNORE past Anglo atrocities (e.g. the 1943-1945 Bengali Holocaust, the British atrocity in which Churchill deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to deaths (see “Media lying over Churchill’s crimes. British-Indian Holocaust”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/267... ) and present, continuing Anglo atrocities, most notably the continuing Palestinian Genocide, Iraqi Genocide and Afghan Genocide ( post-invasion excess deaths 0.3 million, 2 million and 4-6 million, respectively; post-invasion under-5 infant deaths 0.2 million, 0.6 million and 2.1 million, respectively; refugees totalling 7 million, 6 million and 4 million, respectively) (see MWC News for “9-11 excuse for US global genocide. The real 9-11 atrocity: millions dead (9-11 million) in Bush Wars”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/251... ).

For a detailed obituary, including analysis of Harold Pinter’s over 30 plays, see that by Mel Gussow and Ben Brantley in the International Herald Tribune entitled “Harold Pinter, Nobel-winning Playwright, dead at 78”: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12... . For a further obituary see “Harold Pinter 1930-2008. Death of outstanding humanitarian & Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter “: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/275... . For an outline of Harold Pinter’s enormously productive, humanitarian and inspiring life see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold... .

Harold Pinter was famous for his plays that captured the uncertainty, ambiguity and inner fears of Anglo-Celtic lives in the post-war era and which earned him the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005 and gave rise to the adjective “Pinteresque”. He is particularly famous for the use of the powerful “pause” in his plays.

Harold Pinter was also famous as a courageous, forthright and articulate spokesperson for the cause of peace and for the human rights of Palestinians, Iraqis, Latin Americans and others trampled by violent US imperialism. His Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech in 2005 (see: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/... ) excoriated Anglo-American war crimes and demanded the arraignment of the main perpetrators, Bush and Blair, before the International Criminal Court.

On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the illegal and war criminal Anglo-American-Australian invasion of Iraq I was privileged to have been invited by the prestigious BRussell’s Tribunal to comment on this ongoing , genocidal Anglo atrocity. 94 other writers, including Harold Pinter, gave succinct comments and my comments, entitled “Iraqi Genocide” (see: http://www.brusselstribunal.org/Mes... ) and detailing the horrendous loss of life in that atrocity, followed (in alphabetic sequence) immediately after those of Harold Pinter (see: http://www.brusselstribunal.org/Mes... ).

While my contribution to the BRussells Tribunal Statements dealt with detailed, documented, authoritative assessments of how many people had died due to the US-UK-White Australian invasion of Iraq (2 million, so far), Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter’s statement was simple and blunt, QUOTE: “The invasion of Iraq was a criminal act. The occupation of Iraq remains a criminal act. The British government under Blair and the United States administration are war criminals. It’s as simple as that.” END QUOTE.

Nine months after my summation in the BRussells Tribunal Statements, the PRESENT estimate in late 2008 is of 2 million violent and non-violent excess deaths in post-invasion Occupied Iraq; 0.6 million post-invasion under-5 infant deaths; and 6 million refugees. Indeed excess deaths in Iraq in the period 1990-2008 now total about 4 million and under-5 infant deaths total 1.8 million. This is an ongoing Iraqi Holocaust and indeed an Iraqi Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention (see: http://www.edwebproject.org/sidesho... ).

In his 2005 Nobel Prize Acceptance Lecture entitled “Art, Truth and Politics” Harold Pinter stated: “How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would have thought. Therefore it is just that Bush and Blair be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice.”

The violent and non-violent avoidable deaths associated with the Bush Wars 1990-2008 now total 9-11 million (see MWC New “9-11 excuse for US global genocide. The real 9-11 atrocity: millions dead (9-11 million) in Bush Wars”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/251... ).

We can accordingly ask Harold Pinter’s question again with the above horrifying statistics in mind: “How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal?” 2 million (Iraq, 2003-2008)? 4 million (Iraq, 1990-2008)? 9-11 million (Bush Wars, 1990-2008)? More than enough, I would have thought.

Edmund Burke, who excoriated 18th century Anglo crimes of Warren Hastings and fellow East India Company blood-sucking “nabobs” in British-occupied India (see: “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ), famously stated “Evil happens when good men do nothing” . The Holocaust-dimension carnage of the Bush Wars has happened (and CONTINUES to happen ) because of mainstream media, academics, politicians, journalists and writers simply IGNORING and looking the other way – but Harold Pinter was a tremendous, notable EXCEPTION in this Culture of Ignoring.

Below is a statement from the Brussell’s Tribunal on the occasion of the death of this outstanding writer and humanitarian Harold Pinter, QUOTE:

“We are sad to learn that Harold Pinter, honorary member of the BRussells Tribunal, died today, Christmas day 2008, at the age of 78. The last thing he wrote was a contribution for the 95 Statements commemorating five years of war in Iraq (10 March 2008) - http://www.brusselstribunal.org/Mes... :

“The invasion of Iraq was a criminal act. The occupation of Iraq remains a criminal act. The British government under Blair and the United States administration are war criminals. It’s as simple as that.”

The BRussells Tribunal is very sad to lose one of its most outspoken and courageous members. Harold Pinter could have joined the “silent choir” of politicians, journalists, artists, writers who did nothing to prevent the US invasions in Afghanistan, Iraq….. But he did speak, and his Nobel Lecture when he received the Nobel Prize in 2005 , shows a great writer with a conscience, a human being with an aspiration to justice seldom seen.

The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading – as a last resort – all other justifications having failed to justify themselves – as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people. We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it ’bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East’. Harold Pinter, honorary member of the BRussells Tribunal - Nobel Lecture - 07 Dec 2005

It couldn’t be clearer. The Iraqi people, the peace movement worldwide and every honest man who wants to see justice prevail, will remember Harold Pinter not only as one of the greatest authors of his generation, but also as a beacon of wisdom and sanity. Harold Pinter did what every intellectual ought to do: stand against the imperial aspirations of the USA and part of Europe.

We will always remember him, and so will the Iraqi people.

For the BRussells Tribunal committee Dirk Adriaensens.” END QUOTE.

Harold Pinter was one of relatively few famous intellectuals who stood up publicly for human rights and peace and who protested the carnage of America in its appalling global wars and the continuing carnage of Anglo-American war in Occupied Iraq.

We must all follow Harold Pinter’s courageous example. Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. We cannot walk by on the other side. Inspired by the humanitarian example of Harold Pinter, tell everyone you can.



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