February 2013 – Henry.A.Kissinger. A household name which have gained popularity among many americans (yet the whole world) since he served concurrently as a national security advisor and secretary of state under Nixon’s and Ford’s administration. In american political chessboard, his name never fades away, even until today. Everytime people hear his name being mentioned, the image of a brilliant statescraft and a highly credible policymaker always come to mind.
But now, a harsh indictment against Henry Kissinger have arisen and sprung up. Plenty of accusations have emerged and partially “wrecked” his worldwide good reputation.The inclusion are a case for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Indochina, Chile, Cyprus, Bangladesh and East Timor, in which all of the conflicts were ‘handled’ under his instruction, as he served in the white house who was yet at the same time a recipient of nobel peace prize.
So, who is Henry.A.Kissinger?
THE DARK SIDE OF HENRY.A.KISSINGER
Henry Kissinger was born in Bavaria, Germany in 1923. Later their family fled to United States when Nazi party took over in 1938. Their family eventually settled in New York City, where little henry (around 15 y.old then) grew up and joined the US army. During the world war 2, he flew back to germany to fight over totalitarian society in Nazi-Germany. According to Walter Isaacson, a writer who made a biographical account of Henry Kissinger, henry’s rough past on holocaust experience really had him realized that nothing else that matters but power (referring to the mixture of most extreme pithy that occurs among survivors in post-holocaust : “never again” and the realism of wielding political influence, is the perspective what kissinger have come to terms with)
Power. It is what Kissinger have always pursued throughout his life. After he graduated from Harvard College, his interest on international diplomacy brought him into the attention from one of america’s wealthiest family : Rockefeller, whose one of their member was a governor of new york city, Nelson Rockefeller. But when he run for a presidential nomination from republican party, he lost it to Richard Nixon. Kissinger later steered his way into Nixon’s, who had initially offered him a position which kissinger turned down, and begun to serve a full-time profession in american diplomatic business.
During his term, Kissinger was accused of having conducted a cunning, vile and duplicitous policy in order to retain a strategic goal and secure american interest in foreign soils. Even before he was assigned as a national security advisor under Nixon’s administration, he already winded his way through opportunistic and underhanded tactics to get into power.
- One of the most irrefutable case was his callous role during presidential election 1968. At that time, a negotiation was gonna be held in Paris that involved both parties, south vietnamese and it’s enemy, national liberation front (vietcong). Kissinger previously had stated to President Johnson that the war is unwinnable but also he refused to pull troops out of south vietnam because that would damage US’s credibility. On the other hand Nixon, who worried about The Peace Paris Accord that would cost his presidential campaign, also planned out to sabotage the event that would take place in september 1968.
- Later, after Kissinger flew to Paris in september 1968, he secretly contacted Nixon’s campaign team to share the progress in the talk process. So, While Lyndon.B.Johnson’s representative had set out for peace talks with north vietnamese, Nixon and his team talked to south vietnamese’s president and offered them a “better deal” under republican government, if nixon was elected. Apparently the tactic succeeded to abort south vietnamese’s participant in the negotiation, which led to the collapse of the peace talks. His two-faced character and cunning tactic were a self-explanatory to what end he ambitiously pursued : whoever become the president, he’ll follow them.
So, as Nixon and Kissinger succesfully delayed the Peace talks in Paris, in a way they also had prolonged US military offensive in Indochina that led to the amount of war victims to balloon which cost both sides : south vietnamese civillians and american soldiers and servicemen.
Enough said? Unfortunately, not yet!
ENUMERATION FOR ACCUSATIONS AGAINST HENRY KISSINGER
His crafty tactic to attain power doesn’t stop there. As he took position in washington, he was immediately given an unprecedented power by Nixon. In many cases, he always created a “major plank”, which oftentimes he impudently shred the US constitutional law and abused the international jurisdiction to hound a strategic goal and so does personal interest. In the book “The Trial of Henry Kissinger” (2001), columnist and journalist, Christopher Hitchens, wrote a list of his unchecked crimes as well as his ‘unfettered’ status. Two of which might be his most infamous accusations.
MILITARY COUP D’ETAT AGAINST SALVADOR ALLENDE (CHILE / 1973)
Back in 1973 the victory of socialist candidate in chile, Salvador Allende, brought a “grave concern” among US elites, including Henry.A.Kissinger and President Richard Nixon. Salvador is widely known as the first marxist to have democratically elected in south america. When he assumed power as a president, it was marked as the triumph for labour union and workers in chile. But on the other hand, for a handful of trans-national corporations and their stooges in white house, it was definitely not a good news at all. The winning of Allende would be a giant wallop for the source of american major profit in foreign soil.
Then later on, General Augusto Pinochet entered the picture. He was readily set to cater US interest and execute their foul plan : bring down Allende! Prior to that, Pinochet had been doing business with plenty of international (western) corporations and cooperated with them to secure both side’s interests. Soon on september 1973, a political unrest ensued as General Pinochet wielded in a military coup de’tat to overthrow Allende, took over chilean leadership and eventually established military junta.
And who was the white house chief that had commanded the covert action? Henry Kissinger. His major role in the violation for democratic values was completely despicable. Chile was not at war with United States and have an open society and democratic system but nevertheless, US still supported General Pinochet who was renowned internationally as dictator and had conducted countless violations against human rights.
THE SECRET BOMBING OF CAMBODIA (INDOCHINA / 1969 – 1970)
In 1969, after the collapse of negotiation in Paris, military conflict in indochina was escalated by operation menu or widely recognized as the secretive (and illegal) military operation in eastern cambodia and laos under Nixon’s policy. The whole operation was lasted for over a year and have destroyed the whole region as well as claimed hundred thousand of innocent civilians. The main target of this extensive and heavy attack was the secret base for People’s Army of Vietnam and armed fighters of Vietcong (National Liberation Front) in cambodia, which eventually failed to weaken their strength.
Prior to the covert action, Kissinger had said to President Nixon – who publicly had delivered a speech about his purpose of bringing the war to the end – that the only peaceful and just end for this war is through military forces. So, by all means, the withdrawal was completely off the table.Previously, the aerial attacks over cambodia and laos had been conducted under Johnson’s administration before it was expanded under Nixon. The operation was entirely supervised by Kissinger.
Following the failure of operation, both the purpose and it’s moral justification, it sparked a wider protest from anti-war activist, negative report in media and yet debate in US congress. Avowed non-combatant country which maintaned it’s neutrality, Cambodia (under the rule of then-prince Norodom Sihanouk) had to suffer a massive destruction from mega-tons of bombs being dropped for over a year. One of the mastermind for this controversial policy was Kissinger.
INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL IS RESERVED FOR HENRY KISSINGER
Beside those incidents, another case for war crime and state-terrorism have allegedly also been conducted by Kissinger. In Bangladesh, Cyprus, East Timor and even in Washington where he had been indicted to have authorized kidnapping, murder and torture.
In here, we can clearly see the reality of judicial law : “too strong to detain the weak but too weak to hold the strong”. The core for system of justice and law are not just evidently ‘wishy-washy’ but extremely corruptible as well. In addition, this case also explicitly shows the contemptful and despicable act against democracy, which basically uphold the principle of human rights and safeguard the peaceful state in the world.
Instead of leading america in accordance with what it suppose to function, Kissinger had done plenty of vile, underhanded and brutal tactics and operation that remains undisclosed and sealed under the cloak of national security. Now, the stark contrast between his outward image and his actual reputation makes Kissinger as a recipient of Noble Peace Prize an absolute paradoxical. His great career as an academia and later as a respectful and brilliant statesman were tarnished by his obssessive and ambitious pursuit of dominion and his shamelessly opportunistic approach.
As what former staff of national security council under Nixon’s administration Roger Morris said, “my own view is, if we held henry kissinger to the standard that we’ve begun to hold other leaders, other policymakers in germany and in japan after world war 2, Yes! Kissinger is ought to be the subject of international tribunal, ought to be the subject of legal process in the united states and elsewhere”
So, who actually is Henry Kissinger?
(based on the book “the trial of henry kissinger” (2001) and documentary-feature with same name (2002))
Written by DHANA