THE US ELEPHANT
Literature and Politics: A Text of the British Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter from 2002
[This article published in: Freitag 42, 10/21/2005 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.freitag.de/2005/42/05420801.php
There is an old story about Oliver Cromwell. After he captured the Irish city Drogheda, the citizens were brought to the town square. Cromwell ordered his lieutenant: “Kill all the women and rape all the men.” One of Cromwell’s advisors remarked: “Excuse me, general. Shouldn’t that be reversed?” A voice from the crowd exclaimed: “Mr. Cromwell knows what he does.”
That is the voice of Tony Blair: “Mr. Bush knows what he does.”
The fact is: Mr. Bush and his gang know what they do and Tony Blair – as far as he isn’t really a misguided idiot which he often seems to be – also knows what they do. Bush & Co. are simply determined to control the world and its resources. They don’t give a damn how many people they murder. Mr. Blair follows.
The Labor party doesn’t support him, the country doesn’t support him and the celebrated “international community” doesn’t support him. How can he justify leading his country into a war no one wants? He actually can’t do this; he can only take refuge in rhetorical clichés and massive propaganda.
When we voted Blair into office, we hardly thought we would despise him as intensely as we do. The idea he could influence Bush is ridiculous. His feeble approval of brute US power politics is pitiful.
This power politics is America’s venerable tradition. Turning to the Greek ambassador to the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, US president at that time, said: “To hell with your parliament and your constitution. The US is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea and Greece is a flea. If these fellows bite the elephant, they can quickly be given a sound trashing with the trunk.”
He meant what he said. Shortly afterwards, the colonels staged a coup in Greece with American support – and the Greek people spent seven years in hell. The US elephant has grown into a monster of grotesque and obscene proportions.
The “special relations” between the US and the United Kingdom in the last years have led to the deaths of thousands upon thousands of people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Serbia. All this happened under the sign of a “moral crusade” to bring “peace and stability” to the world.
The use of uranium munitions in the Gulf war of 1991 was very effective and the degree of radioactive contamination in Iraq was horrible. Babies were born without brains, without eyes and without genitals. If they had ears or mouths, only blood streamed from these openings.
Blair and Bush are obviously completely indifferent to these facts. The charmingly grinning, seductive Bill Clinton who received standing ovations at a labor party convention is not forgotten. What was the applause for? Because he killed Iraqi children or Serbian children?
George W. Bush declares again and again: “We will not allow the worst weapons in the world to remain in the hands of the worst leaders of the world.” Completely right. Look in the mirror, friend! You are one of those leaders.
The US is developing advanced systems of “weapons of mass destruction” and is ready to use them where this seems fitting. The US pulled out of international agreements on biological and chemical weapons and blocks all controls on production of these weapons. The US holds hundreds of Afghans imprisoned, denies them legal assistance and obviously wants to keep them imprisoned forever – without trials and without verdicts.
The Americans insist on immunity from the International Criminal Court and are supported in this by the United Kingdom. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.
That Tony Blair submits to this criminal US regime in a contemptible way humiliates and dishonors our country.