Go, Pinter! I love how even weakened by illness, he has the guts to give it to the powers that be.
He returned to the theme of language as an obscurer of reality, saying that American leaders use it to anesthetize the public. "It's a scintillating stratagem," Mr. Pinter said. "Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words 'the American people' provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don't need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it's very comfortable."UPDATE: You can read the entire text of Pinter's speech here
Accusing the United States of torturing terrorist suspects in Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, Mr. Pinter called the invasion of Iraq - for which he said Britain was also responsible - "a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law." He called for Prime Minister Tony Blair to be tried before an international criminal court.
Mr. Pinter said it was the duty of the writer to hold an image up to scrutiny, and the duty of citizens "to define the real truth of our lives and our societies."
"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," he said.