Nobel Peace Prize winner, Harold Pinter died on Christmas Eve 2008. A playwright of English-speaking theater classics, his political works also made a considerable impact on millions of people.
While American journalists continue to operate letters without a license, and as a result many Americans have no idea what is actually happening in the world or what has already been done “in our name”, the second half of Pinter’s 2005 Nobel Prize lecture is one of the most searing indictments of US foreign policy ever made:
“The majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.
“As every single person here knows, the justification for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein possessed a highly dangerous body of weapons of mass destruction, some of which could be fired in 45 minutes, bringing about appalling devastation. We were assured that was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq had a relationship with Al Quaeda and shared responsibility for the atrocity in New York of September 11th 2001. We were assured that this was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq threatened the security of the world. We were assured it was true. It was not true.
“The truth is something entirely different. The truth is to do with how the United States understands its role in the world and how it chooses to embody it….”