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Torture and Misery in the Name of Freedom

Published on Friday, October 14, 2005 by the Independent/UK
By Harold Pinter

The following remarks were adapted during Mr. Pinter's acceptance speech on winning the Wilfred Owen Award earlier this year.

The great poet Wilfred Owen articulated the tragedy, the horror - and indeed the pity - of war in a way no other poet has. Yet we have learnt nothing. Nearly 100 years after his death the world has become more savage, more brutal, more pitiless.

But the "free world" we are told, as embodied in the United States and Great Britain, is different to the rest of the world since our actions are dictated and sanctioned by a moral authority and a moral passion condoned by someone called God. Some people may find this difficult to comprehend but Osama Bin Laden finds it easy.

What would Wilfred Owen make of the invasion of Iraq? A bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of International Law. 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 upon thousands of innocent people.

An independent and totally objective account of the Iraqi civilian dead in the medical magazine The Lancet estimates that the figure approaches 100,000. But neither the US or the UK bother to count the Iraqi dead. As General Tommy Franks of US Central Command memorably said: "We don't do body counts".

We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery and degradation to the Iraqi people and call it " bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East". But, as we all know, we have not been welcomed with the predicted flowers. What we have unleashed is a ferocious and unremitting resistance, mayhem and chaos.

You may say at this point: what about the Iraqi elections? Well, President Bush himself answered this question when he said: "We cannot accept that there can be free democratic elections in a country under foreign military occupation". I had to read that statement twice before I realised that he was talking about Lebanon and Syria.

What do Bush and Blair actually see when they look at themselves in the mirror?

I believe Wilfred Owen would share our contempt, our revulsion, our nausea and our shame at both the language and the actions of the American and British governments.

Harold Pinter recently won the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature.


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They're just a bunch of rag-heads and camel jockeys getting what they deserve for squatting and parking their sorry butts on top of OUR petroleum reserves.

Yew-Ess-Ay! Yew-Ess-Ay! We're number one! We're number one! Support our troops! More electrodes! More napalm! More DU! More cluster bomb "toys" for the kids! Nuke 'em all!

Do unto yourself before doing unto others.

Uh.....I suspect the "Who Cares" post above has a whole lot of
"tongue in cheek" in it. Things have gotten so unbelievable under this regime, sometimes utter sarcasm is the safest way to express the rage.....imo.

... is not now and never actually was a pillar of American geopolitical strategy. Deep down, most Americans really don't want it to be. The mandate (whether explicitly stated or tacitly implied) is to preserve and extend the resource-hungry "American Way" at whatever cost to other inhabitants of the planet.

Even many so-called liberals firmly believe in their heart-of-hearts that the "manifest destiny" of the Excited States of Amnesia entitles it to take whatever measures may be required worldwide -- not just to protect the USA itself, but to further and advance "U.S. interests", however those interests may be defined at any given time and place.

If you pay careful attention to the recent condemnations of George W Bush, you will easily discern that much of it is based, not on his illegal and immoral "shock and awe" invasion of another sovereign country that neither harmed nor even threatened the United States. The criticism may mention almost casually in passing the deaths and other horrendous consequences amongst the Iraqi victims. But, for the most part, it is based primarily on the lack of success and on the human and financial costs for Americans themselves.

Putting the base sentiment into such stark language may affront the "good guy" image Americans like to attribute to themselves. But it's clearly borne out by any unbiased review of America's historical role in world events -- and by its current and openly planned geopolitical actions, for that matter.

...behind the language might just be breaking through to some. The Pentagon's 'Irak and Roll' counter-Cindy demonstration didn't seem to bring about the backlash that was intended, and I have'nt seen as much of the singing fireman from NYC at all the National Passtimes lately.

Peace, R Ap

George W Bush follows the PNAC Statement of Principles and the philosophy of Leo Strauss , "noble lies". "W" is also a member of Skull & Bones and the Bohemian Grove.

PNAC Statement of Principles:

BBC films RE: Straussian philosophy>

Part I

Part II

Part III

Skull and Bones video:

Bohemian Grove video:

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