Harold Pinter, the finest English dramatist of his generation, died on Christmas Eve. He was a tireless fighter against injustice and political oppression, and penned many angry, campaigning articles for and letters to the Guardian newspaper. One of his bêtes noires was American foreign policy. He wrote this in an open letter to the Prime Minister after Tony Blair's election in 1997:
We have been reminded often over the last few weeks of Saddam Hussein's appalling record in the field of human rights. It is indeed appalling: brutal, pathological. But I thought you might be interested to scrutinise the record of your ally, the US, in a somewhat wider context. I am not at all certain that your advisors will have kept you fully informed.
The US has supported, subsidised and, in a number of cases, engendered every right-wing military dictatorship in the world since 1945...
... Oh, by the way, meant to mention, forgot to tell you, we were all chuffed to bollocks when Labour won the election.