Pinter blasts 'Nazi America' and 'deluded idiot'
The playwright Harold Pinter last night likened
George W Bush's administration to Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany, saying the US was
charging towards world domination while the American public and Britain's "mass-murdering"
prime minister sat back and watched.
Pinter, 72, was at the National Theatre in London to read from War, a new
collection of his anti-war poetry that had been published in the press in
response to events in Iraq.
In conversation on stage with Michael Billington, the Guardian's theatre critic,
Pinter said the US government was the most dangerous power that had ever existed.
The American detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where al-Qaida and
Taliban suspects were being held, was a concentration camp.
The US population had to accept responsibility for allowing an unelected
president to take power and the British were exhausted from protesting and being
ignored by Tony Blair, a "deluded idiot" Pinter hoped would resign.
After a big operation for cancer, Pinter returned to public life last year to
speak out against American belligerence. He called it a return from a "personal
nightmare" to an "infinitely more pervasive public nightmare".
The playwright said: "The US is really beyond reason now. It is beyond our
imagining to know what they are going to do next and what they are prepared to
do. There is only one comparison: Nazi Germany.
"Nazi Germany wanted total domination of Europe and they nearly did it. The US
wants total domination of the world and is about to consolidate that.
"In a policy document, the US has used the term 'full-spectrum domination', that
means control of land, sea, air and space, and that is exactly what's intended
and what the US wants to fulfil. They are quite blatant about it."
Pinter blamed "millions of totally deluded American people" for not staging a
mass revolt. imlive
He said that because of propaganda and control of the media, millions of
Americans believed that every word Mr Bush said was "accurate and moral".
The US population could not be let off scot-free for putting the country under
the control of an "illegally elected president - in other words, a fake".
He asked: "What objections have there been in the US to Guantanamo Bay? At this
very moment there are 700 people chained, padlocked, handcuffed, hooded and
treated like animals. It is actually a concentration camp.
"I haven't heard anything about the US population saying: 'We can't do this, we
are Americans.' Nobody gives a damn. And nor does Tony Blair." Pinter added:
"Blair sees himself as a representative of moral rectitude. He is actually a
mass murderer. But we forget that - we are as much victims of delusions as
In a British society where people were increasingly encouraged not to use their
brains, the only way to protest was by "thought, intelligence and solidarity".
· Michael Billington was last night voted theatre critic of the year in a survey
of theatregoers for the website whatsonstage.com.