PINTER, Harold. "The invasion of Iraq was a criminal act"

Harold Pinter (1930-2008) was a major British playwright and won the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature. His best-known plays include “The Birthday Party”, (1957), “The Caretaker” (1959), “The Homecoming” (1964), and “Betrayal” (1978) (see: ).

Harold Pinter statement for Brussells Tribunal Messages for the People on the 5th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, (March 2008) : ““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.” [1].

Harold Pinter 2005 Literature Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech (2005): “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'. 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… When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimetre and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us. 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. If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us the dignity of man.” [2].

[1]. Harold Pinter, statement for Messages for the People on the 5th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, Brussells Tribunal, March 2008: .

[2]. Harold Pinter, “Art, truth and politics”, 2005 Literature Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech (2005): .