USA. – Henry Kissinger celebrates his 100th anniversary this Saturday with his legacy as an international statesman who is permanently questioned

File – 31 January 2019, UK, London: Former US Secretary of State and former National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger arrives at Westminster Abbey to attend a ceremony of gratitude for the life and work of Lord Carrington, the former UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. P – Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/dpa – Archive

The diplomat, who was the icon of American “real politics” in the Cold War, brought pragmatism to the fore in his relations with the superpowers.


Former US diplomat Henry Kissinger celebrates 100 years this Saturday as the greatest representative of the dual facets of US international politics during the so-called “containment period” of the Cold War. Kissinger himself described it as part of the “axis of history” headed by China and Russia, and in Latin a covert policy against the expansion of the left in the southern hemisphere at the expense of tacit or explicit support for brutal dictatorships. South Asia ruled by the Americas (Chile, Argentina) and the Pakistani genocide.

Official documents compiled by non-governmental organizations such as the University of Washington-based National Security Archives clearly reveal Kissinger’s role in the covert bombing campaigns in Cambodia, his involvement in illegal espionage activities against then-President Richard Nixon, and his complicity in the overthrow of Cambodia. In Chile with the socialist government of Salvador Allende or with the Argentine dictator Rafael Videla.

Kissinger, like several other American diplomats, embodied the spirit of “reelpolitik” during his tenure as the architect of his country’s international policy—as Secretary of State or National Security Advisor—from 1969 to 1977. US officials began to feel that their understanding of what they understood as “incontrovertible facts” had no choice but to override respect for Human Rights and the rule of law.

If there is one exemplary example, it is Kissinger’s note on Chile on November 5, 1970: “The election of Allende as president represents one of the most serious challenges we face in this hemisphere.” Before describing Allende as a leader whose greatest goals were to “establish a socialist and Marxist state” and to develop “close relations and ties with Cuba, the Soviet Union and other socialist countries”, he said:

In the same text, Kissinger, unequivocally acknowledging the democratic legitimacy of the Allende government, eventually advises President Nixon to “decide to oppose Allende as vigorously as possible,” but “seems to frame these efforts”. reacting to any decision.

Official documents also attest to Kissinger’s knowledge and tolerance of Operation Condor, a campaign of political repression and State terror led by Latin American dictators in the mid-1970s. Harry Shlaudeman. On September 16, he gave instructions not to take any action in this regard. Five days later, agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet killed former Chilean ambassador and leading rival Orlando Letelier in Washington DC with a car bomb.

This complicit silence extended to South Asia and especially to one of the bloodiest episodes of the second half of the 20th century, the extermination campaign of Pakistani military dictator Yayha Jan against the people of Bengal in the east of the country. The Government of Bangladesh currently estimates the death toll at three million and waged a campaign of systematic rape against 200,000 to 400,000 Bengali women from March to December 1971.

Archer Blood, the consul-general of Pakistan, wrote a stern telegram on April 6 of that year, urging the White House to immediately condemn what he described as “genocide” as a military ally of Pakistan. “Our government has failed to condemn the suppression of democracy (…) it has not condemned the persecution (…) and has shown what many would understand as a moral bankruptcy,” the consul wrote. Nixon and Kissinger did not heed their plea. The president described the Pakistani general as a “good friend” and said he “understands the pain of the decisions he had to make”.


Kissinger’s advocates argue that the lessons taught by the former Secretary of State in great-power relations are still fully valid, emphasizing the success of his model of high-level negotiations, which reached its maximum expression with its 1975 signing with the Soviet Union. The Helsinki Final Act is a document on which 35 countries from both blocs have agreed on a wide range from arms control to territoriality principles; A golden age of bilateral rapprochement, which would decline again in the early 1980s.

Kissinger had received the Nobel Peace Prize two years ago for his work in the negotiations to end the Vietnam War. Experts such as Stephen Kinzer, a researcher at the Watson Institute for International Affairs, highlight the divergence of opinion that prevails around this award today.

“Some admire the ‘honorable peace’ Kissinger pursued, while others believe he prolonged the war by reaching a deal in 1973 that he could have ended four years earlier,” Kinzer said. A dichotomy, this time of a more personal nature, that marked the Kissinger era: the inability to both expand the capability of negotiating with the superpowers to a world where client countries have gained exceptional importance, and the inability to take on the emergence of international movements. protest, which he has always seen as a threat to global stability.

Colombian writer and Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel García Márquez refers to this question precisely in his article “Why Allende had to die” about the coup in Chile in 1974 for the ‘New Stateman’. Recovering a similar idea that Kissinger had conveyed to a group of Chileans, Márquez said, “Kissinger specifically said to a group of Chileans, ‘I am not interested in the south of the world down from the Pyrenees, or know nothing about it.'” Márquez said. Diplomats from Chile: “Nothing good comes from the south. The axis of history begins in Moscow, continues in Bonn, passes through Washington and ends in Tokyo. It doesn’t matter what happens in the south.”

Source: Noti Merica

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