News Release

· Responses to Pinter’s Nobel Speech · Murtha: Insurgents not Terrorists · Iraq Elections and Oil


In his Nobel Prize lecture on Wednesday the playwright Harold Pinter stated: “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. … Therefore it is just that Bush and Blair be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice.”
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Falk is an emeritus professor of international law at Princeton University, currently visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of the book The Great Terror War. He said today: “The conclusions are fully consistent with those reached by the World Tribunal on Iraq in Istanbul earlier this year, which held a serious inquiry into the legal status of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the tactics used during the ongoing occupation. It is legally persuasive to suggest that if there was effective criminal jurisdiction exercised globally by the International Criminal Court, Bush and Blair would be properly and persuasively indictable.”
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Beinhart, author of Wag the Dog, The Librarian and Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin, said today: “The silence. The silence has been the most remarkable thing about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. About the 100,000 dead civilians. About aggressive war being, what it was called in Nuremberg, the ‘supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.’

“I live in an arts colony, Woodstock, New York. We have a fun art show every year, called the 5×7 show, in which all the pieces are postcard size. It’s fun and charming. There were 152 entries this year. As I looked, what I became aware of was that not one of them was about war crimes or torture or, indeed, anything political at all. Not one.

“I realized that the silence is symptomatic of the Fine Arts. While the black arts, the advertising arts, the PR business, the government spin machine, all make full use of all the techniques that supposedly belong to the artists. They are not silent at all.

“So we must be grateful to Harold Pinter for using his moment to break the silence.”
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Grosscup is author of The Newest Explosions of Terrorism and the forthcoming Strategic Terror: The Politics and Ethics of Aerial Bombardment. He is professor of international relations at California State University in Chico. Grosscup said today: “In his press conference responding to President Bush’s speech on Iraq Wednesday, Rep. John Murtha correctly pointed out Bush’s constant use of the word terrorism (‘Every other word was “terrorism”‘) for political gain. To his credit, Murtha noted the difference between terrorist acts such as 9-11, Madrid and London and the home-grown Iraqi insurgency which has a small foreign terrorist component. “More importantly he admitted … the way the U.S. military fights: ‘They send in massive force. They use artillery, they use air and mortars. And they kill a lot of people…’ Whether intended or not, Murtha supported the position of many anti-war critics that in fighting its so-called ‘war on terror,’ the Bush administration is conducting a ‘war of terror,’ a policy that is morally, strategically and politically bankrupt and doomed to fail.”

Khadduri edits the “Free Iraq” blog and is author of the book Iraq’s Nuclear Mirage: Memoirs and Delusions. He worked on the Iraq nuclear weapons program beginning in 1981 and left Iraq in the late 1990s. Khadduri said today: “Iyad Allawi has been talking about the heinous actions of the U.S. military; but he backed the assault on Fallujah and the attack on Sadr. It’s clearly an election ploy on his part and the Iraqis are too politically aware to fall for it. The fact that an opportunist like him is doing this is just one indicator about what Iraqis think of the U.S. occupation. “But now U.S. plans are focusing on the oil and getting a ‘sovereign’ Iraqi government to sign contracts right after the elections with terms very favorable to big U.S. oil companies. To achieve this goal, the Bush administration is happy to make common cause with thugs and zealots in order to prevent the establishment of a strong national government which could stand up on behalf of the Iraqis to the big oil companies.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167