PERHAPS, only a fellow Ivy League academic laureate could do justice to Henry Kissinger (the former American foreign policy supremo, who died, aged 100, on 29 November 2023. And such a laureate was not lacking, as the following quote shows:
QUOTE: The Yale University historian, Greg Grandin, author of the biography Kissinger’s Shadow, estimates that Kissinger’s actions from 1969 through 1976, a period of eight years (when Kissinger made Richard Nixon’s and then Gerald Ford’s foreign policy, as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State) meant the end of between three and four million people.
“That includes ‘crimes of ‘commission,’ he explained, as in Cambodia and Chile, and ‘omission’, like greenlighting Indonesia’s bloodshed in East Timor; Pakistan’s bloodshed in Bangladesh; and the inauguration of an American tradition of using and then abandoning the Kurds. UNQUOTE
What? Between three and four million people? That’s worse than Pol Pot, is it not? Or Joseph Stalin?
And yet in the ``united States, “home of human rights”, “liberal democracy” and a whole host of evocative phrases originating from the West’s so-called “humanistic tradition,” Henry Kissinger was respected and even revered till the day of his death. He won the Nobel Prize in 1972 and was TIME Magazine’s co-“Person of the Year” (with President Richard Nixon) in 1973.
I have personal experience of the influence Kissinger exerted on the modern American mind. Once, an American friend wrote to me, basking in the glory of Kissinger’s triumphant construction of the new US China policy that resulted in President Richard Nixon visiting Beijing in 1974: “What do you think of our Kissinger arranging a handshake between President Nixon and Mao Tse Tung?” [now Mao Tsedong]
My answer was this: ”Isn’t that wonderful? So, what was a mind like that doing, getting involved in the horror show that has taken place in Chile?” I never heard from my friend again!
The thing about America is that it does know what is good, but very often prefers to do what is bad. At least, when the interests of humanity (as against those of a particular US administration) come up against each other.
In the case of Chile, this is how Wikipedia describes what happened:
QUOTE: “Allende's involvement in Chilean politics spanned a period of nearly forty years, during which he held various positions including senator, deputy, and cabinet minister. As a life-long committed member of the Socialist Party of Chile, whose foundation he had actively contributed to, he unsuccessfully ran for the national presidency in the 1952, 1958, and 1964 elections. In 1970, however, he won the presidency, as the candidate of the Popular Unity coalition, in a close three-way race.
“He was elected in a run-off by Congress, as no candidate had gained a majority. In office, Allende pursued a policy he called "The Chilean Way to Socialism"... As president, Allende sought to nationalise major industries, expand education, and improve the living standards of the working class. He clashed with the right-wing parties that controlled Congress and with the judiciary. On 11 September 1973, the military moved to oust Allende in a coup d'état supported by the CIA. which initially denied the allegations.
“[But] in 2000, the CIA admitted its role in the 1970 kidnapping of a top general who had refused to use the army to stop Allende's inauguration. declassified documents showed that US president Richard Nixon, his national security advisor Henry Kissinger, and the United States government, which had branded Allende as a dangerous communist, were aware of the 1973 coup d'état and its plans to overthrow Allende's democratically-elected government. “UNQUOTE
Allende was killed in the 1973 coup. Wikipedia continues:
QUOTE: “The exact circumstances of [Allende’s] death are still disputed. Following his death, General Augusto Pinochet refused to return authority to a civilian government… Chile was later ruled by [a] military Junta, ending more than four decades of uninterrupted democratic governance.
“The military dictatorship of Pinochet only [ended in 1989]. [The military Junta had, meanwhile carried out ] in a programme of persecuting alleged dissidents, in which at least 3,095 civilians disappeared or were killed.” UNQUOTE
Africa was not spared Kissinger’s anti-Communist campaign. He evolved a racist policy aimed at perpetuating minority white rule in South Africa and Rhodesia. The racist policy was unashamedly dubbed “Operation Tar Baby” The idea was to camouflage white racist rule by offering meagre reforms (such as “Bantustans) to racist policies in the two countries, whilst ruthlessly hunting down the African freedom fighters. A military alliance was secretly formed between CIA-front African organisations, such as – in Angola – (UNITA) and – in Mozambique – (RENAMO).
These armies were trained and armed by underground Western experts operating as “mercenaries” and deployed against the South African, Rhodesian and freedom fighters, as well as the Angola and Mozambique freedom fighter organisations (MPLA and FRELIMO).
Portuguese participation in the secret warfare ended when a “Carnation Revolution” occurred in Portugal in April 1974.
The Portuguese revolution was followed by the independence of Angola and Mozambique. Rhodesia gained its independence as Zimbabwe; South-West Africa became Namibia, and to crown it all, South Africa became a non-racial democracy in 1994.
Kissinger was thus defeated by history, as far as Africa was concerned. It is up to the Americans to decide whether he was as successful in Asia, as he’s hyped to have been! But may God spare the world such a man, in such a powerful position to do evil, ever again.