Once in office, Kissinger and Nixon proclaimed that they were seeking “peace with honour.” Abandoning their South Vietnamese allies would have seemed a dishonourable betrayal and would have undermined the United States credibility in the world. In the end there was not much honour in what followed: they did precisely the contrary of what they had proclaimed. Disregarding for a moment how events unfolded, the “peace with honour” formulation was riddled with flaws. And the South Vietnamese regime was known to have been inept and hopelessly corrupt. Writing about the importance of his allies in South Vietnam, (Ending the Vietnam War: A history of America’s involvement in and extrication from the Vietnam War, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2003), Kissinger gives minimal attention to the Vietnamese people but a great deal to South Vietnam’s Nguyễn Văn Thiệu – a general in the southern army who in 1965 became the head of a military junta, had himself elected as president and occupied that position until Saigon was liberated in April 1975. Kissinger refers to him as ‘a great patriot’ and a ‘dauntless leader.’
Perhaps some of Kissinger famous quotes would give the measure of the ‘Unmensch.’
Where to start?
On illegality and unconstitutionality: “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.” (from 10.03.1975 meeting with Turkish foreign minister Melih Esenbel in Ankara, Turkey).
Perhaps this brought a smile to his legions of elite media, government, corporate and high society admirers. Yet, it is unlikely that the descendants of his more than six million victims in Indochina, and people of conscience appalled by his murder of non-Americans, will share in the amusement. His illegal and unconstitutional actions had real-world consequences: the ruined lives of millions of Indochinese innocents in a new form of secret, automated U.S. executive warfare.
Kissinger has a history of saying outrageous things which reveal a dark callousness and hostility to the lives of innocent civilians. Here is a sampling:
On his own character: “Americans like the cowboy … who rides all alone into the town, the village, with his horse and nothing else … This amazing, romantic character suits me precisely because to be alone has always been part of my style or, if you like, my technique.” (04.11.1972 interview with Oriana Fallaci).
About Soviet Jews: “The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy. And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.” (27.05.1971).
On Daniel Ellsberg: “Because that son-of-a-bitch – First of all, I would expect – I know him well – I am sure he has some more information – I would bet that he has more information that he’s saving for the trial. Examples of American war crimes that triggered him into it…It’s the way he’d operate … Because he is a despicable bastard.” (Oval Office tape, 27. 07.1971).
On bombing Cambodia: “[Nixon] wants a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. He doesn’t want to hear anything about it. It’s an order, to be done. Anything that flies or anything that moves.” (Brainy Quote, Henry Kissinger quotes).
On bombing Vietnam: “It’s wave after wave of planes. You see, they can’t see the B-52 and they dropped a million pounds of bombs … I bet you we will have had more planes over there in one day than Johnson had in a month … each plane can carry about 10 times the load of World War II plane could carry.” (15.04.1972).
About Chile: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.” (Brainy Quote, Henry Kissinger quotes).
About Khmer Rouge: “How many people did [Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary] kill? Tens of thousands? You should tell the Cambodians [i.e., Khmer Rouge] that we will be friends with them. They are murderous thugs, but we won’t let that stand in the way. We are prepared to improve relations with them. Tell them the latter part, but don’t tell them what I said before.” (26.11.1975 meeting with Thai foreign minister).
On Robert McNamara: “Boohoo, boohoo … He’s still beating his breast, right? Still feeling guilty.” (Pretending to cry, rubbing his eyes.) (06.09.2002).
On assassination: “It is an act of insanity and national humiliation to have a law prohibiting the President from ordering assassination.” (Statement at a National Security Council meeting, 1975) (Talk: Henry Kissinger, Wikiquote, 31.03.2020). (The Top 10 Most Inhuman Henry Kissinger Quotes,by April 24, 2013February 12, 2016).
Collected by Frederick Robert Branfman, AlterNet , 24 April 2013 – 12 February 2016).
An article which appeared on 10 April 2020 is the example of a multifaced Kissinger. (The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order, The Wall Street Journal, 3 April 2020).
As a frequent advisor to President Trump, he began by saying that: “The U.S. must protect its citizens from disease while starting the urgent work of planning for a new epoch.”
And then he proceeded to reminisce: “The surreal atmosphere of the COVID-19 pandemic calls to mind how I felt as a young man in the 84th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge. Now, as in late 1944, there is a sense of inchoate danger, aimed not at any particular person, but striking randomly and with devastation. But there is an important difference between that faraway time and ours. American endurance then was fortified by an ultimate national purpose. Now, in a divided country, efficient and farsighted government is necessary to overcome obstacles unprecedented in magnitude and global scope. Sustaining the public trust is crucial to social solidarity, to the relation of societies with each other, and to international peace and stability.”
He went on to remind Americans that: “Nations cohere and flourish on the belief that their institutions can foresee calamity, arrest its impact and restore stability. When the COVID-19 pandemic is over, many countries’ institutions will be perceived as having failed. Whether this judgment is objectively fair is irrelevant. The reality is the world will never be the same after the coronavirus. To argue now about the past only makes it harder to do what has to be done.
The coronavirus has struck with unprecedented scale and ferocity. Its spread is exponential: U.S. cases are doubling every fifth day. At this writing, there is no cure. Medical supplies are insufficient to cope with the widening waves of cases. Intensive-care units are on the verge, and beyond, of being overwhelmed. Testing is inadequate to the task of identifying the extent of infection, much less reversing its spread. A successful vaccine could be 12 to 18 months away.
The U.S. Administration has done a solid job in avoiding immediate catastrophe. The ultimate test will be whether the virus’s spread can be arrested and then reversed in a manner and at a scale that maintains public confidence in Americans’ ability to govern themselves. The crisis effort, however vast and necessary, must not crowd out the urgent task of launching a parallel enterprise for the transition to the post-coronavirus order.
Leaders are dealing with the crisis on a largely national basis, but the virus’s society-dissolving effects do not recognize borders. While the assault on human health will – hopefully – be temporary, the political and economic upheaval it has unleashed could last for generations. No country, not even the U.S., can in a purely national effort overcome the virus. Addressing the necessities of the moment must ultimately be coupled with a global collaborative vision and program. If we cannot do both in tandem, we will face the worst of each.”
After a rather long introduction, Kissinger recommends: “Drawing lessons from the development of the Marshall Plan and the Manhattan Project, the U.S. is obliged to undertake a major effort in three domains.
First, shore up global resilience to infectious disease. Triumphs of medical science like the polio vaccine and the eradication of smallpox, or the emerging statistical-technical marvel of medical diagnosis through artificial intelligence, have lulled us into a dangerous complacency. We need to develop new techniques and technologies for infection control and commensurate vaccines across large populations. Cities, states and regions must consistently prepare to protect their people from pandemics through stockpiling, cooperative planning and exploration at the frontiers of science.
Second, strive to heal the wounds to the world economy. Global leaders have learned important lessons from the 2008 financial crisis. The current economic crisis is more complex: The contraction unleashed by the coronavirus is, in its speed and global scale, unlike anything ever known in history. And necessary public-health measures such as social distancing and closing schools and businesses are contributing to the economic pain. Programs should also seek to ameliorate the effects of impending chaos on the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Third, safeguard the principles of the liberal world order. The founding legend of modern government is a walled city protected by powerful rulers, sometimes despotic, other times benevolent, yet always strong enough to protect the people from an external enemy. Enlightenment thinkers reframed this concept, arguing that the purpose of the legitimate state is to provide for the fundamental needs of the people: security, order, economic well-being, and justice. Individuals cannot secure these things on their own. The pandemic has prompted an anachronism, a revival of the walled city in an age when prosperity depends on global trade and movement of people.
The world’s democracies need to defend and sustain their Enlightenment values. A global retreat from balancing power with legitimacy will cause the social contract to disintegrate both domestically and internationally. Yet this millennial issue of legitimacy and power cannot be settled simultaneously with the effort to overcome the COVID-19 plague. Restraint is necessary on all sides – in both domestic politics and international diplomacy. Priorities must be established.
We went on from the Battle of the Bulge into a world of growing prosperity and enhanced human dignity. Now, we live an epochal period. The historic challenge for leaders is to manage the crisis while building the future. Failure could set the world on fire.”
Kissinger believes that President Trump’s “America First” rhetoric has undermined foreign relations and weakened U.S. hegemony. He believes that the Trump Administration’s isolationist policies have created a leadership vacuum that China has quickly filled. He is right, of course. After all, while China sent medical teams and vital supplies to countries hard-hit by the virus, the United States was busy tightening sanctions on Cuba, Iran and Venezuela. Such action prevented infected civilians from receiving the medications they need to survive. Naturally, China’s humanitarian contributions have been widely applauded while Washington’s conduct has been denounced as petty, vicious and vindictive. There’s no doubt that the Trump Administration has ceded the moral high-ground to its competitor, China. As Kissinger had said: “Now, in a divided country, efficient and farsighted government is necessary to overcome obstacles unprecedented in magnitude and global scope. Sustaining the public trust is crucial to social solidarity, to the relation of societies with each other, and to international peace and stability.”
Of course, when Kissinger talks about “public trust” and “social solidarity” what he really means is that the government needs to settle on an effective public relations strategy that will cause a distract or compliant electorate to fall in line. What Kissinger really means is that his view of solidarity is narrowly defined as ‘public support for elitist projects’ like globalisation, open borders and the free movement of capital. These are the principles which guide Kissinger’s recommendations. Not for nothing did he recommended Americans that: “Nations cohere and flourish on the belief that their institutions can foresee calamity, arrest its impact and restore stability. When the COVID-19 pandemic is over, many countries’ institutions will be perceived as having failed. Whether this judgment is objectively fair is irrelevant. The reality is the world will never be the same after the coronavirus. To argue now about the past only makes it harder to do what has to be done.”
Kissinger’s real concern is about the post-coronavirus world order. He believes that it will mark the beginning of an entirely new era, an era in which governments will have to respond to unexpected crises, bitter political polarisation and the growing prospect of social unrest. Kissinger seems to grasp all of this, but instead of offering a new vision for the future, he clings to the battered remains of a failed system that has exacerbated the wealth gap, triggered one economy-crushing financial meltdown after the other, and widened the arc of instability from North Africa, through the Middle East and into Central Asia. This is the world order that Kissinger wants to preserve, an America-centric imperium ruled by establishment elites, brandy-drooling plutocrats and the banksters. Is it any wonder why the proles are demanding change?
Here is more: “The world’s democracies need to defend and sustain their Enlightenment values. A global retreat from balancing power with legitimacy will cause the social contract to disintegrate both domestically and internationally.”
And what are such “Enlightenment values”, one may ask. Is that what one saw in the photos from Abu Ghraib, or the footage from all but destroyed Fallujah, or the countless reports of ‘black-sites’ where kidnapped victims were taken by American ‘intelligence agents’ and beaten into submission? Are such values those expressed at Guantanamo, or at Bagram Air base or in the destruction of Mosul – an unarmed city which was reduced to rubble by American heavy artillery and bombers? Kissinger can talk and write about ‘Enlightenment values’ all he wants, but he knows from personal experience that those values are piled over mountains of corpses – all sacrificed in the name of the ‘liberal world order.’
Further: “Enlightenment thinkers [argued] that the purpose of the legitimate state is to provide for the fundamental needs of the people: security, order, economic well-being, and justice. Individuals cannot secure these things on their own. The pandemic has prompted an anachronism, a revival of the walled city in an age when prosperity depends on global trade and movement of people.”
Kissinger’s favourite theme, again, is “global trade and movement of people,” the two crumbling pillars of a globalisation project which is now on life-support waiting to be euthanised by the millions of unemployed around the world who saw their jobs, their factories and their hopes for the future all go up in smoke due to neo-liberalism: outsourcing, off-shoring and Kissinger’s glorious “liberal world order.” Denying the obvious reality of the situation, Kissinger continues to preach the wonderful ‘new world order’ which has greatly enhanced “security, order, economic well-being, and justice.”
The only point with which one may agree with Kissinger is that the post-COVID world order will be significantly different from the world which preceded it. More realistically, the U.S.-dominated system is coming apart because the people of the world don’t want to ruled by force, because American leaders are incompetent, or lead by an ignorant man-child un-chained, un-leashed – and demonstrably un-hinged.
Before it turned vast areas of the Middle East and Central Asia into uninhabitable wastelands the United States had a chance to show the world it could be a reliable steward of global security, and they blew it. Kissinger’s previous advices largely contributed to that ultimate failure. No new suggestions may change that fateful conclusion. (M. Whitney, Henry Kissinger Calls for a New Post-Covid World Order, 06.04.2020).
As already noted, in 1974 Kissinger, then Secretary of State, delivered the National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests (NSSM200). Commissioned in substance by the Rockefeller brothers, it was adopted as official U.S. policy by President Gerald Ford in November 1975. (National Security Study Memorandum, PDF file, THE KISSINGER REPORT).
The basic thesis of the memorandum was that population growth in the least developed countries – and NSSM200 named 13 of them: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil – is a concern to United States national security, because it would tend to risk civil unrest and political instability in countries which had a high potential for economic development. The policy gave “paramount importance” to population control measures and the promotion of contraception among those thirteen countries to control rapid population growth that the United States deemed inimical to the socio-political and economic growth of those countries and to the national interests of the United States since the “U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad” and those countries could produce destabilising opposition forces against, and “national security threat” to, the United States.
At the same time the memorable dictum that he shared with David Rockefeller was re-affirmed, almost as a statement of the Weltanschauung of the two – a shared world view.
According to NSSM200, depopulation should be “the highest priority in US foreign policy towards the Third World”, … because “the US economy needs large and growing amounts of raw materials from overseas, especially from the less developed countries” (M. Eggert, The planned epidemics AIDS – SARS and military genetic research, Munich,2003, at 64).
In an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal Kissinger called for “a first step to develop ‘new techniques and technologies for infection control and appropriate vaccines for large populations’. … In a second step, the focus should now be on ‘healing the wounds of the global economy’.” (quoted in RT Deutsch).
The citizens of the world should therefore – whether they want to or not – be vaccinated and, in addition, it should be checked whether they have complied with this vaccination obligation.
Kissinger and William Henry Gates III, an American business magnate, software developer, the founder of Microsoft, investor, and a philanthropist through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation seem to agree on the question of “mass protection vaccination.” On 31 March 2020 The Washington Post published an opinion article by Gates (Bill Gates: Here’s how to make up for lost time on Covid-19) in which he describes his vision to vaccinate people around the world:
But creating a vaccine is only half the battle. To protect Americans and people around the world, we’ll need to manufacture billions of doses. (Without a vaccine, developing countries are at even greater risk than wealthy ones, because it’s even harder for them to do physical distancing and shutdowns.)
We can start now by building the facilities where these vaccines will be made. Because many of the top candidates are made using unique equipment, we’ll have to build facilities for each of them, knowing that some won’t get used. Private companies can’t take that kind of risk, but the federal government can. It’s a great sign that the administration made deals this week with at least two companies to prepare for vaccine manufacturing. I hope more deals will follow.” (Bill Gates: Here’s how to make up for lost time on covid-19, The Washington Post,31/03/2020).
Bill Gates was not new to this kind of talk. Neither was he the first.
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