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"A man has died whose historical brilliance never managed to conceal his profound moral misery."

--- Juan Gabriel Valdés, Chile's ambassador to the U.S..

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"There are few people who have had a hand in as much death and destruction, as much human suffering, in so many places around the world as Henry Kissinger."

--ICC war crimes prosecutor Reed Brody

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I like this by Professor Uju Anya: “I speak ill of the dead. If you made life choices that harmed people and caused destruction, I’ll praise your death. I don’t care if your family or people you didn’t choose to wound loved you and are sad you’re gone. I will dance on your grave singing. Don’t speak ill of the dead is a weapon of the powerful to silence the disaffected. The tone police is more interested in maintaining or hiding an unjust status quo (that usually favors them) than actually solving problems.”

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This has been quoted in several places: In the Sistine Chapel, [Gore] Vidal once came upon Henry Kissinger “gazing thoughtfully” at the Hell section of Michelangelo’s Last Judgment. “Look,” said Vidal to a friend, “he’s apartment hunting.”

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I just submitted to the Orange County Register the following LTE, in response to an AP article from Nancy Benac <<<https://www.ocregister.com/2023/11/29/henry-kissinger-former-secretary-of-state-dead-at-100>>>

Ms. Benac's article about the passing of Henry Kissinger exemplifies misleading both-sides-ism. It leaves the reader wondering why Mr. Kissinger was dogged by critics for decades. Non-controversial facts supported by primary documentation prove that Kissinger promoted the idea that World War III could be won. He expressed callous indifference to the violent repression of Jews in Russia. He directed secret carpet-bombing of Cambodia leading to the deaths of up to 500,000 civilians. He tacitly approved and even joked about Pakistani genocide of 300,000 Bengalis. He was deeply involved in the Chilean coup of 1970 in which the elected president Salvador Allende died, and he never distanced himself from the murderous Augusto Pinochet, who implemented a vicious, corrupt dictatorship. There are many additional examples in the Nov 29 Rolling Stone article by Spencer Ackerman (East Timor, Khmer Rouge, illegal wiretaps, etc.). Never turn away from the truth, which is its own justification.

Editors: Sources of non-controversial facts about Kissinger are detailed in numerous highly-respected books, including Legacy of Ashes, by Tim Weiner, and The Price of Power, by Seymour Hersch, Overthrow by Stephen Kinzer, and the legendary Manufacturing Consent, by Noam Chomsky, which explained in granular detail how Kissinger mislead the American public by engaging in “blatant deception” regarding the negotiations ending the Vietnam War, to protect Nixon’s reputation, which the traditional media in the U.S. accepted without scrutiny or challenge.---------------------------------------

I encourage responding to AP articles; one technique is to do a search for the article title, which locates media outlets that have incorporated it - LTEs can then be directed to that outlet without need of a subscription. Just search <<<submit letter to the editor [outlet name]>>>. I also recommend sending the LTE to the journalist, as an FYI, since they likely won't see it unless it is published.

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While at the time I deplored American support for these atrocities, I wasn’t aware in detail how Kissinger was behind it all. I didn’t like him at all, but more on general principles. Thanks for the cogent X-ray that shows what a cancer he was

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Nov 30, 2023·edited Dec 1, 2023Liked by TCinLA

I wish there was an option other than "Like."

His life reads too much like the unaccounted for costs of unbridled pursuit of unchecked national interest. When I heard of his death and his role in forming our 20th century foreign policy, I could not but note to myself that his policies, for their lack of concern for humanity, were soo like the imperial and colonial polices of European nations justifying their wars of expansion, conquering, and suppressing nations throughout the world in the 19th century. Henry was truly a man of his time, 19th century Europe, not America. He was the right man for Nixon and the rest of that lot driving America's reputation down the tubes. Without him, I think there may not have been a Viet Nam War, merely a policing action to gauge the actual threat from Communism in the Pacific Rim, whether deriving from China or Russia.

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Thank you for this roundup. HK was a thoroughly despicable man and should have been punished years ago. That he is exalted in many circles is also despicable. May he rot in whatever form he is in.

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The Crimes ... let's see ... Cambodia, Laos, Chile, Indonesia & thousands more dead in Vietnam on both sides why HK dithered In Paris Talks for starters.

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Thanks for the litany of truths TC. HK embodies true evil in his plotting, actions and total disdain for others and disregard for truth.

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Nov 30, 2023·edited Nov 30, 2023Liked by TCinLA

What especially struck me about the Ackerman piece was the comparison with Timothy McVeigh. I had never thought about it that way, and I SHOULD think about it that way.

For years I have referred to Kissinger as my favorite war criminal because he has a sense of humor. This has prompted people to attack me for saying something nice about him. I think they are ignoring the part about him being a war criminal. He was.

I also raised my eyebrows at the Kenneth Keating reference. First, Keating was a republican in the days when you might find the occasional republican with a conscience, so good for him for saying that to Kissinger (note I said occasional, and that that day is past; I'm looking at you, Mitt Rmoney and Liz Cheney--you stood with them for too long to win our admiration now). Second, my favorite writer, Russell Baker, was sitting in the Senate press gallery one day, looked down, and said, "There's Ken Keating, wearing Charles Bickford's old hair."

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From "Today's Worldview" in the Washington Post:

Though most Americans have little recollection or awareness of it, Kissinger is remembered keenly in South Asia for the part he and Nixon played during the bloody period that led to the emergence of the independent nation of Bangladesh in 1971.

At the time, the state of Pakistan, carved out by the departing British, existed as a two-winged artificial entity, split in between by a thousand miles of India. The army generals from West Pakistan, mostly ethnic Punjabis, disdained the ethnic Bengalis from the east of the country. After 1970 elections yielded a democratic victory for Bengali nationalists, a crisis ensued that culminated in a vicious crackdown by the Pakistani military on East Pakistanis — a campaign that turned into a mass slaughter of minority Hindus, students, dissidents and anyone else in the crosshairs of the army and collaborator-led death squads.

Sydney Schanberg, the New York Times’s South Asia correspondent at the time, described the month-long Pakistani crackdown in March 1971 as “a pogrom on a vast scale” in a land where “vultures grow fat.” Hundreds of thousands of women were raped. Whole villages were razed, and cities depopulated. An exodus of some 10 million refugees fled to India. When all was said and done, hundreds of thousands — and by some estimates, as many as 3 million — were killed, their bodies left to rot in the rice paddies or flushed into the ocean down the region’s many waterways.

The carnage horrified onlookers, and hastened an Indian intervention. The White House, though, stood on the side of Pakistan’s generals — clear Cold War allies who also helped facilitate Kissinger’s secret mission to China in April that year. Kissinger did not trust the Indians, who leaned toward the Soviet Union, and did not care about the national aspirations of the Bengalis of East Pakistan. Crucially, as outlined in Gary Bass’s excellent book, “The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide,” he also ignored messages and dissent cables from U.S. diplomats in the field, warning him that a genocide was taking place with their complicity.

Neither Nixon nor Kissinger exercised any of their considerable leverage to restrain Pakistan’s generals.

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In all of the hagiographies masquerading as obituaries, it fails to mention his 'investment' in Elizabeth Holmes' scam, Theranos. He was an equal opportunity womanizer. I met his niece.

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This is all to much. Just reading Robert Reich last put me into a blue rage that I have not felt since the coup in Chile. It's time to put on some of Victor Jara!

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I'm sure the man knew whereof many bodies were "buried" - which caused the silence of detractors. He reminds me of the former Nazis that somehow managed to a part of OUR "war machine.

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I don't believe in Hell, but in case I'm wrong I hope nobody gave him coins for the ferryman

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