Conservatives vs. Pinter

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Steve Burton, on Right Reason, quotes selectively from Pinter’s speech to demonstrate how “absurd” Pinter is. Here is my response (see if you can tell how pissed off I am):

Mr. Burton does a fine job of pulling some quotes that make Harold Pinter sound like a ridiculous old Commie, which he may well be. But let us turn to two paragraphs that I think have a bit more bite, and are more relevant to the issues of the day:

“Political language, as used by politicians, does not venture into any of this territory since 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.”

“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.”

These passages, it seems to me, raise issues worthy of thoughtful conservatives. First the issue of political language corrupting our quest for truth. Second, and not unrelated, the ever shifting justifications for the invasion of Iraq, (I have found it disturbing to watch conservatives do the “party line” dance that I previously associated more with old Stalinists). Though the passages I have selected do not afford the partisan heckling that Mr. Burton’s do, I, for one, am finding partisan heckling increasingly tiresome.

3:50 pm on December 8, 2005