Also available at the New York demonstration yesterday were copies of a recent speech by our old chum, British playwright Harold Pinter, a cheerleader, it sometimes seems, for any tyranny so long as it is opposed to the US. He recalls having emerged from a “private nightmare” (he has been very ill) into “an infinitely more pervasive public nightmare – the nightmare of American hysteria, ignorance, stupidity and belligerence; the most powerful nation the world has ever known effectively waging war against the rest of the world.”
To believe that requires either a remarkably low IQ or quite astonishing malevolence. Harold Pinter is not a stupid man.
Pinter is also interviewed in this weekend’s Financial Times. The interviewer writes, “It is not necessary to agree with [Pinter] to see that he speaks from the heart.”
From the heart?
I would choose another part of the body, but read this extract from the FT piece and judge for yourself:
“[Pinter] last visited the US in July 2001, for a festival of his work in New York. While there, he met an old friend from 30 years ago. “It was very nice to see her again. We had lunch. Then I came back, and my birthday was in October – and October follows September, right? – and she left me a message on my answering machine wishing me a happy birthday. I thought: “That’s very nice.” I rang her number in New York, to thank her, and she wasn’t there. So her answering machine came on and said: “I am out, I’ll be back at four o’clock” – or whatever it was – “God bless America.” When I heard those words, I looked at the receiver and put it very slowly down.” He didn’t call her again. “God, of course, is on the American side. And blessing America. I find it stultifying and pathetic.”
Simply put, here we see yet another example of an anti-Americanism that has tipped over into the pathological. It’s no surprise that Pinter was at yesterday’s protests in London. His comment?
The US is “a country run by a bunch of criminals…with Tony Blair as a hired Christian thug.”
Harold Pinter, clearly, is in no position to criticize anyone for “hysteria, ignorance and belligerence.”