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Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Tom Lehrer
On 13 January, George W Bush presented ‘presidential freedom medals’, said to be America’s highest recognition of devotion to freedom and peace. Among the recipients were Tony Blair, the epic liar who, with Bush, bears responsibility for the physical, social and cultural destruction of an entire nation; John Howard, the former prime minister of Australia and minor American vassal who led the most openly racist government in his country’s modern era; and Alvaro Uribe, the president of Colombia, whose government, according the latest study of that murderous state, is ‘responsible for than 90% of all cases of torture’.
As satire was made redundant when Henry Kissinger and Rupert Murdoch were honoured for their contributions to the betterment of humanity, Bush’s ceremony was, at least, telling of a system of which he and his freshly-minted successor are products. Although more spectacular in its choreographed histrionics, Barack Obama’s inauguration carried the same Orwellian message of inverted truth: of ruthlessness of criminal power, if not unending war. John Pilger, article New Statesman, ‘Come on Down for Your Freedom Medals’; viz also website
President Nixon and Mr Kissinger unleashed 100,000 tons of bombs, the equivalent of five Hiroshimas. The bombing was their personal decision. Illegally and secretly they bombed Cambodia, a neutral country, back to the stone age. John Pilger, Return to Year Zero
In the Spring of 1969 American B-52s had begun the secret bombing of neutral Cambodia ... The Cambodians who died were called collateral damage, and their burning villages were called friendly fire ... In 1970 the United States invaded Cambodia. ibid.
Of course If you’re in Geneva, New York or London you can’t hear the screams of the little boy I mentioned. ibid.
In every major deal Mr Kissinger has done in recent years food has been a decisive factor ... For prolonging the war in Vietnam the generals in Saigon got American food, which they sold for arms ... There is a new more powerful weapon – food. And this one is lethal. John Pilger, Zap! The Weapon is Food for Dictators
One of the weapons that brought down the democratically elected Allende government in Chile was food. On Dr Kissinger’s orders most American food aid to Chile was cut off, and hunger and disorder followed, leading to a military take-over which brought Chile back into the American fold. And of course once the generals and admirals were in power, Chile got its food back. ibid.
The President’s double act with Kissinger became one of the most extraordinary political relationships of the twentieth century. It would fuel Nixon’s rise but also his fall ... He and Nixon were in fact essentially similar. Ambitious loners obsessed about image and their place in history. And each was by nature deeply suspicious. David Reynolds, Nixon in the Den, BBC 2011
The appeasement was costly. Kissinger had set up a summit in Moscow essentially on his terms. The messenger was becoming the master ... Clearly his National Security Adviser saw their roles as being reversed. ibid.
Nixon and Kissinger turned their attention to global strategy. The American Experience: The Presidents: Nixon II: The Triumph, PBS 1990
The burden therefore rests with the American legal community and with the American human-rights lobbies and non-governmental organizations. They can either persist in averting their gaze from the egregious impunity enjoyed by a notorious war criminal and lawbreaker, or they can become seized by the exalted standards to which they continually hold everyone else. The current state of suspended animation, however, cannot last. If the courts and lawyers of this country will not do their duty, we shall watch as the victims and survivors of this man pursue justice and vindication in their own dignified and painstaking way, and at their own expense, and we shall be put to shame. Christopher Hitchens, The Trial of Henry Kissinger
Many if not most of Kissinger’s partners in crime are now in jail, or are awaiting trial, or have been otherwise punished or discredited. His own lonely impunity is rank; it smells to heaven. If it is allowed to persist then we shall shamefully vindicate the philosopher Anacharsis, who maintained that laws were like cobwebs; strong enough to detain only the weak, and too weak to hold the strong. In the name of innumerable victims known and unknown, it is time for justice to take a hand. ibid.
Kissinger is a stupendous liar with a remarkable memory. ibid.
East Timor: The day after Kissinger left Djakarta in 1975, the Armed Forces of Indonesia employed American weapons to invade and subjugate the independent former Portuguese colony of East Timor. Isaacson gives a figure of 100,000 deaths resulting from the occupation, or one-seventh of the population, and there are good judges who put this estimate on the low side. Kissinger was furious when news of his own collusion was leaked, because as well as breaking international law the Indonesians were also violating an agreement with the United States ... Monroe Leigh ... pointed out this awkward latter fact. Kissinger snapped: ‘The Israelis when they go into Lebanon – when was the last time we protested that?’ A good question, even if it did not and does not lie especially well in his mouth. Christopher Hitchens
So many of the professional foreign policy establishment, and so many of their hangers-on among the lumpen academics and journalists, had become worried by the frenzy and paranoia of the Nixonian Vietnam policy that consensus itself was threatened. Ordinary intra-mural and extra-mural leaking, to such duly constituted bodies as Congress, was getting out of hand. It was Kissinger who inaugurated the second front or home front of the war; illegally wire-tapping the telephones even of his own staff and of his journalistic clientele. (I still love to picture the face of Henry Brandon when he found out what his hero had done to his telephone.) This war against the enemy within was the genesis of Watergate; a nexus of high crime and misdemeanor for which Kissinger himself, as Isaacson wittily points out, largely evaded blame by taking to his ‘shuttle’ and staying airborne. Incredibly, he contrived to argue in public with some success that if it were not for democratic distempers like the impeachment process his own selfless, necessary statesmanship would have been easier to carry out. This is true, but not in the way that he got newspapers like Rees-Mogg’s Times to accept. Christopher Hitchens
Bangladesh.... In 1971 ... Kissinger overrode all advice in order to support the Pakistani generals in both their civilian massacre policy in East Bengal and their armed attack on India from West Pakistan ... This led to a moral and political catastrophe the effects of which are still sorely felt. Kissinger’s undisclosed reason for the ‘tilt’ was the supposed but never materialised ‘brokerage’ offered by the dictator Yahya Khan in the course of secret diplomacy between Nixon and China ... Of the new state of Bangladesh, Kissinger remarked coldly that it was ‘a basket case’ before turning his unsolicited expertise elsewhere. Christopher Hitchens
Kissinger approved of the preparations by Greek Cypriot fascists for the murder of President Makarios, and sanctioned the coup which tried to extend the rule of the Athens junta (a favoured client of his) to the island. When despite great waste of life this coup failed in its objective, which was also Kissinger’s, of enforced partition, Kissinger promiscuously switched sides to support an even bloodier intervention by Turkey. Thomas Boyatt ... went to Kissinger in advance of the anti-Makarios putsch and warned him that it could lead to a civil war. ‘Spare me the civics lecture,’ replied Kissinger, who as you can readily see had an aphorism for all occasions. Christopher Hitchens
In the fall of 1968, an election year, candidate Richard Nixon and three of his senior associates evolved a plan to win the election by sabotaging the official US government negotiating position in Paris … by the simple method of opening an illegal back channel … to the South Vietnamese military junta. Christopher Hitchens, interview TVO April 2001
The subversion and tainting of an American presidential election and the extension of a war for four years and this extension of two neutral countries which can be described as one single action would count as the wickedest thing I know of in American history. ibid.
The bombing of Cambodia was likewise concealed from Congress. ibid.
The gigantic lie that constitutes his reputation: he’s a thug and a crook, a liar, a pseudo-intellectual and a murderer: all of those things are factually verifiable. ibid.
This is a vandal, a barbarian, a crook, a man who thinks only in the short term and who’s mainly preoccupied with the promotion of himself and his extremely crooked boss. So it doesn’t deserve the name of realpolitik. ibid.
‘I think he’s a war criminal. I think he’s a liar. I think he’s responsible for kidnapping, for murder.’ The Trials of Henry Kissinger, director Eugene Jarecki, Christopher Hitchens, 2002
What are we to make of these accusations? Henry Kissinger is the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and the most famous American diplomat in history. Yet armed with recent evidence critics claimed that some of his past actions amounted to Crimes against Humanity. In a new climate of international justice a re-examination of Kissinger’s career may be in order. ibid.
‘I realised that he [Henry Kissinger] was a frightened man. Because I became aware that he was personally frightened by the consequences of the arrest of General Pinochet. When the news of that hit he instantly thought, Could I be next?’ ibid. Hitchens
‘What I yearn for is some quality time with him.’ ibid. Hitchens
Kissinger’s critics charge that his world view blinded him to the human cost of the Cold War. Recently released documents reveal episodes in Indo-China, Indonesia and Chile when Kissinger may have needlessly sacrificed human lives to pursue strategic goals. ibid.