The playwright led mounting opposition to war in the Gulf at a meeting of dissident Labour MPs at Westminster, as Cardinal Basil Hume, the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, released a letter to Mr Blair expressing "strong doubts" over whether military targets could be hit without causing "disproportionate harm".
Mr Pinter, a long-term critic of American aggression, told The Independent that the close Anglo-American relationship forged between Mr Blair and Mr Clinton was "shameful and pathetic". He said: "The USA is a monster. It's actually the USA that needs to be stopped.
"Everyone knows that war is appalling but what we lose sight of is that it's been abstracted now and sanitised to such a degree . . . I said in my speech that Mr Clinton has killed children and he hasn't even noticed it, because they are actually abstractions - they are children dying by his sanctions."
War had been "sanitised by political propaganda from government with a certain kind of complicity in the media. That was certainly the case in the Gulf war." Mr Pinter added: "I am not a pacifist. I am rational." Addressing an anti-war meeting at Westminster, Mr Pinter said: "Despite continual references to the solidarity of `the international community', the United States has in fact held international law in contempt for so long it has succeeded in rendering the concept meaningless.
"Madeleine Albright [the US Secretary of State] said the other day `our patience is running out'. I remember a man who used to say very much the same thing in the 1930s. The USA is now a bovine monster out of control.
"That this government can so glibly ally itself to such a pointless, utterly irresponsible and profoundly dangerous enterprise is lamentable."
Iraq crisis, pages 12, 13