October 19, 2005


The Nobel Savage (Jacob Laksin and Patrick Devenny, 10/19/05, FrontPageMagazine.com)

Before the Nobel Prize for literature was announced last Thursday, the name Harold Pinter did not rate a mention on any shortlist of likely contenders. No minor figure in Britain’s literary world, the septuagenarian Pinter had nevertheless abandoned serious writing decades ago, devoting his talents to his lifelong affair with radical left-wing politics. As it happened, that was more than sufficient for the Swedish Academy, the body of scholars and critics tasked with awarding the prize each October, which long ago dispensed with the pretence that it was recognizing anything other than the proper (read: leftist) political dispensation.

In this respect, at least, Pinter is eminently qualified. Pinter’s political activism can be traced to the early 1970s, when the playwright, then a rising star in London’s literary firmament, emerged as a prominent backer of Chile’s socialist president Salvador Allende. After Allende was overthrown by General Augusto Pinochet 1973, Pinter read an account of the coup that convinced him the United States was to blame. Pinter “knew” the coup was engineered by the CIA, and the conviction, though false, set him on his lifelong course of anti-American politics. That did not go unrecognized last week. In paying tribute to Pinter’s attention to “threat and injustice,” and hailing him “a fighter for human rights,” the academy made certain to point out his efforts since 1973.

In the following decades, as the quality of his literary work depreciated, Pinter’s enthusiasm for leftist dictatorships continued undiminished. The late seventies and early eighties saw him take up the cause of Central America’s Communist Sandinistas. In 1979, the playwright traveled to Nicaragua, meeting with President Daniel Ortega on several occasions and acting as a propaganda tool for that regime. Pinter’s propaganda efforts in the 1980s, including dozens of salutatory articles on Communist activities, were designed to counter American policy in Central America, which he parodied as, “Kiss my arse or I’ll kick your head in.” To this day, Pinter has resisted coming to grips with the totalitarian nature of the Sandinista regime and the numerous atrocities it carried out. Still parroting Marxist spin doctors, Pinter contends that the Sandinistas were “a democratically elected government which originally led a popular revolution to overthrow a dictatorship based on slavery.”

Much of Pinter’s political energy over the years has been expended on behalf of Marxist Cuba. An unswerving believer in the Cuban revolution, Pinter has praised its “respect for human dignity,” claiming, “[i]ts achievements are remarkable.” Firmly in the Castro camp, Pinter is also an active member of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, a radical organization committed to portraying Cuba, against all evidence, as a democratic country. Proclaiming itself a champion of the “defense of Cuba and its peoples' right to self-determination and national sovereignty,” the group holds the American “Cold War” responsible for the repressive regime and campaigns for the repeal of the U.S. embargo. In this, it fully represents Pinter’s view. In 1996, for instance, Pinter sought to excuse the brutality of the Cuban government and its persecution of political dissidents as the ineluctable coefficient of an American-made “siege situation.” More recently, in March of this year, Pinter joined Rigoberta Menchu, a Marxist fraud and a Nobel laureate in her own right, in signing an appeal on behalf of the Castro regime. Among its more grotesque evasions was the following endorsement of the Cuban police state: “There has not been a single case of disappearance, torture or extra judicial execution (in Cuba) since 1959,” wrote the signatories.

Still another thug who has enjoyed Pinter’s favor is Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic.

It only seems fair to honor the award by dealing with Castro as we did with Allende, Ortega, and Milosevic.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 19, 2005 11:44 AM

Perhaps someone should do an allegorical work, "The Artist and His God", showing an artist worshipping an authoritarian dictator.

It should be an acclaimed work immediately because of its provocative nature.

Posted by: Mikey at October 19, 2005 12:40 PM

If it had only been more effective in its goal, the Nobel committee probably would have presented this year's prize for literature to Bill Burkett for his National Guard memo.

Posted by: John at October 19, 2005 12:55 PM

Hey, what about Lucy Ramirez?

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 19, 2005 2:21 PM

Uhh, I thought the CIA was directly involved in the Allenda assassination...and its been proven for years?

Posted by: Pablo at October 19, 2005 4:36 PM

He was actually overthrown and assassinated, so it's hard to believe the CIA was involved, but they claim they were.

Posted by: oj at October 19, 2005 4:40 PM

Harold Pinter is a shande fur die goyim.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 20, 2005 12:34 AM

The very definition.

His poor mother.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 20, 2005 11:36 AM

there was a report a few weeks back that it was his cuban advisors that actually shot allende

Posted by: anon at October 22, 2005 4:31 PM