THE CRIMES OF HENRY KISSINGER
One should always say good about the dead.
Henry Kissinger is dead.
It’s too bad the motherfucking pig didn’t get his head blown off as an unsung “war hero” 80 years ago. Millions of other people might not have died had history followed that path.
Do you think I’m too harsh? Read on.
As Spencer Ackerman put it in Rolling Stone: “The infamy of Nixon's foreign-policy architect sits, eternally, beside that of history's worst mass murderers. A deeper shame attaches to the country that celebrates him.”
Do not speak ill of the dead. What of the truth? When a person dies, he should be remembered accurately.
Here is an accurate remembrance of the life of Henry Kissinger.
Henry Kissinger originally came to public notice in the early 1960s when he was a professor of international relations at Harvard, a leading “Cold War strategist.” He became so famous in certain circles as a promoter of the idea that a nuclear World War III could be “won” that he was caricatured by Walter Matthau in the Cold War thriller “Fail Safe” as the advisor to the president who comes up with the idea of the USAF dropping a nuclear weapon on New York City to “offset” the accidental nuclear bombing of Moscow, to “prevent World War III.”
Yes, Kissinger is indeed a monumental figure whose work shaped many of the world events of the past 50 years. He brokered the opening to China and pursued detente with the Soviet Union, which did indeed change history.
History, however, is insulted that he is not equally known and recognized for his many treacherous acts: secret bombings, coup-plotting, supporting military juntas, that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions.
Kissinger’s policies are far more noteworthy for his callousness toward the most helpless people in the world. How many of the Official Mourners will present his full record in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh, Chile, Argentina, and East Timor, not to mention Cyprus and ther places around the world?
Kissinger - allegedly Jewish - expressed indifference toward the repression of Jews in the Soviet Union, telling Nixon on tape in the Oval Office, “If they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”
In early 1969, early in the Nixon Administration, the president and Kissinger created a plan to secretly bomb Cambodia, to destroy “VC camps.” Writing in his dirary about the perversely-named “Operation Breakfast,” H.R. “Bob” Haldeman noted that Kissinger and Nixon were “really excited.” The action was illegal. The United States was not at war with Cambodia and Congress had not authorized the carpet-bombing, which Nixon tried to keep a secret. The US Air Force dropped 540,000 tons of bombs - more than was dropped on Germany by the Eighth Air Force between 1942-45. In December 1970, after Nixon complained the American air campaign was inadequate, Kissinger passed along an order for “a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia.” Ignoring the distinction between civilian and military targets, he said, “Anything that flies on anything that moves. You got that?” The estimates of Cambodian civilians killed in the bombing range between 150,000 and 500,000.
In 1970, when a political party advocating independence for East Pakistan won legislative elections, Pakistani military dictator General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan arrested the party’s leader and ordered his army to crush the Bengalis. At the time, Yahya was helping Kissinger and Nixon establish ties with China. Kenneth Keating, the U.S. ambassador to India, warned Kissinger to his face in June 1971 that “it is almost entirely a matter of genocide killing the Hindus.” Kissinger was recorded on the White House tapes scorning those empathetic Americans who “bleed for the dying Bengalis.” Briefing the White House staff about how Yahya Khan helped get him into China during his secret July 1971 trip—which was the reason for his unyielding support for Pakistan—he joked, “The cloak-and-dagger exercise in Pakistan arranging the trip was fascinating. Yahya hasn’t had such fun since the last Hindu massacre!” Kissinger and Nixon tacitly approved Pakistan’s genocidal slaughter of 300,000 Bengalis, most of them Hindus.
Throughout the crisis, Kissinger scorned Indians as a people. In a June 3, 1971 White House recording, he said, “Of course they’re stimulating the refugees,” and blamed the Indians for the Pakistani military crackdown. He castigated India as a nation, his voice oozing with contempt: “They are a scavenging people.” On June 17, again speaking about Indians, Kissinger told Nixon, “They are superb flatterers, Mr. President. They are masters at flattery. They are masters at subtle flattery. That’s how they survived 600 years. They suck up—their great skill is to suck up to people in key positions.” Although he concentrated his intolerance against the Indians, Kissinger expressed prejudices about Pakistanis too. He was an equal-opportunity bigot. On August 10, 1971, he was taped telling Nixon: “The Pakistanis are fine people, but they are primitive in their mental structure.”
Nixon and Kissinger plotted to covertly destroy the democratic election of socialist president Salvador Allende of Chile in 1970. Kissinger supervised clandestine operations to destabilize Chile, which resulted in the assassination of Chile’s commander-in-chief of the Army, who supported democracy and refused to mount a coup against Allende. The military junta led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet seized power, killed thousands of Chileans, and implemented a 30-year dictatorship. Following the coup, Kissinger backed Pinochet to the hilt. During a private conversation in 1976, he told Pinochet, “My evaluation is that you are a victim of all left-wing groups around the world and that your greatest sin was that you overthrew a government which was going communist.”
In November 1975, after the Khmer Rouge victory in Cambodia, when it became known they had begun mass exterminations of civilians, Kissinger asked Thailand’s foreign minister to relay a message. “You should also tell the Cambodians that we will be friends with them. They are murderous thugs, but we won’t let that stand in our way.” If you want to see exactly what that meant, go re-watch “The Killing Fields.” Estimates of final total from the Khmer Rouge genocide is over 2,000,000 dead.
In December 1975, President Suharto of Indonesia was planning to invade East Timor, a former Portuguese colony that was moving toward independence. On December 6, President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger, en route from a visit to Beijing, stopped in Jakarta and met Suharto, who intended to send troops into East Timor and integrate the territory into Indonesia. Ford and Kissinger did not object. Ford told Suharto, “We will understand and will not press you on the issue. We understand the problem and the intentions you have.” Kissinger added, “It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly,” pointing out Suharto would be wise to wait until Ford and Kissinger returned to the United States, where they “would be able to influence the reaction in America.” The invasion began the next day. The “green light” from Kissinger and Ford resulted in 200,000 deaths.
In March 1976, a fascist military junta overthrew President Isabel Perón and began what would be called the Dirty War, torturing, disappearing, and killing (throwing people out of airplanes over the ocean) political opponents it branded as terrorists. Once again, Kissinger provided a “green light”during a private meeting in June 1976 with the junta’s foreign minister, Cesar Augusto Guzzetti. According to a memo obtained in 2004 by the National Security Archive, Guzzetti told Kissinger, “our main problem in Argentina is terrorism.” Kissinger replied, “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly.” Estimates are that The Dirty War saw 30,000 Argentine civilians killed.
In 1976, Kissinger was briefed on Operation Condor, a secret program created by the intelligence services of the military dictators of South America to assassinate their political foes inside and outside their countries. He then blocked a State Department effort to warn these military juntas not to proceed with international assassinations. The National Security Archive points out in a dossier it released this week on various Kissinger controversies, “Five days later, Condor’s boldest and most infamous terrorist attack took place in downtown Washington D.C. when a car-bomb, planted by Pinochet’s agents, killed former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier and his young colleague, Ronni Moffitt.”
Throughout his career, Kissinger was an unprincipled schemer who engaged in multiple acts of treason. During the 1968 presidential campaign - while he was advising the Johnson administration at the Paris peace talks - he passed information on the talks to Nixon’s campaign, which was plotting to sabotage the negotiations in order to harm the prospects of Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Nixon’s opponent. Following the revelation of the Cambodian secret bombing by the New York Times in 1971, Kissinger, acting at Nixon’s request, urged FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to wiretap his own aides and journalists to discover who was leaking. This failed to uncover who had outed the covert bombing; however, as historian Garrett Graff detailed in his book, “Watergate: A New History,” this seeded “the administration’s taste for spying on its enemies—real or imagined.”
While Official America will cast Kissinger as a master geostrategist in the game of nations, you can do the math.
Hundreds of thousands dead in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and East Timor, perhaps more than a two million in total. Tens of thousands dead in Argentina’s Dirty War. Thousands killed and tens of thousands tortured by the Chilean military dictatorship, and a democracy destroyed.
Kissinger was routinely called a “war criminal” by his critics, though he was never held accountable for his misdeeds. Over the past 40 years, he was very careful in his international travels to never go near any of the countries who held warrants for his arrest and transfer to the International Court in the Hague to face charges as a war criminal. David Corn recalled a Manhattan cocktail reception where he scoffed at the “war criminal” label and referred to it almost as a badge of honor, joshing that “Bill Clinton does not have the spine to be a war criminal,” to laughter from those gathered.
Kissinger expressed few, if any, regrets about the results of his actions. When Ted Koppel interviewed him for a program celebrating his 100th birthday and gently questioned him about the secret bombing in Cambodia, Kissinger took enormous umbrage and shot back: “This program you’re doing because I’m going to be 100 years old. And you are picking a topic of something that happened 60 years ago? You have to know it was a necessary step.” He went on regarding those who still protest him for that and other acts: “Now the younger generation feels if they can raise their emotions, they don’t have to think.”
Whatever his accomplishments, the legacy of Henry Kissinger sits on top of an enormous pile of corpses.
The uncomfortable question is why so much of American polite society - both Republicans and Democrats - have been so willing to dote on him, rather than honestly confront what he did.
Back when I was in college, a sociology professor made the observation that, for every ethnic slur, there is a real world example of the term. Henry Kissinger is what is meant by the four letter “K-word.”
If there was any actual honesty in the American government, they would wrap him in a pigskin and bury him upside-down.
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