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All Hail Hillary's Bud Henry K, Oldest Living War Criminal!

David Corn in "Hillary Clinton Praises a Guy With Lots of Blood on His Hands," Sept. 5, 2014:

Hillary Clinton often plays the hawk card: She voted for the Iraq war, dissed President Barack Obama for not being tough enough on Syria, and compared Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler. This is to be expected from a politician who has angled for a certain title: the first female president of the United States. Whether her muscular views are sincerely held or not, a conventional political calculation would lead her to assume it may be difficult for many voters to elect as commander-in-chief a woman who did not project an aggressive and assertive stance on foreign policy. So her tough talk might be charitably evaluated in such a (somewhat) forgiving context. Yet what remains more puzzling and alarming is the big wet kiss she planted (rhetorically) on former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger this week, with a fawning review of his latest book, World Order.

Sure, perhaps there is secretary's privilege—an old boy and girls club, in which the ex-foreign-policy chiefs do not speak ill of each other and try to help out the person presently in the post. Nothing wrong with that. But former-Madam Secretary Clinton had no obligation to praise Kissinger and publicly participate in his decades-long mission to rehabilitate his image. In the review, she calls Kissinger a "friend" and reports, "I relied on his counsel when I served as secretary of state. He checked in with me regularly, sharing astute observations about foreign leaders and sending me written reports on his travels." She does add that she and Henry "have often seen the world and some of our challenges quite differently, and advocated different responses now and in the past." But here's the kicker: At the end of the review, she notes that Kissinger is "surprisingly idealistic":

Even when there are tensions between our values and other objectives, America, he reminds us, succeeds by standing up for our values, not shirking them, and leads by engaging peoples and societies, the sources of legitimacy, not governments alone.

Kissinger reminds us that America succeeds by standing up for its values? Did she inhale?

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Re-Post from June 2, 2011:

I spent two hours last night protesting Henry Kissinger’s appearance at the 92nd St. Y in NYC. Kissinger is hawking his new 600-page book on American Chinese relations and in which he assuredly buffs, revises and rationalizes his lengthy and deadly role in global history. “Hawking” is the right verb for the aged but dangerous Mr. Kissinger.

There were about 60 of us. We caused a bit of a stir on a refreshingly mild and busy Tuesday evening as the pedestrian and vehicular traffic streamed along Lexington Avenue.

I held a sign that read “ARREST KISSINGER” and wore the small square orange pin “IMPEACH THE WAR CRIMINALS” that the back flap of my knapsack usually sports.

Some of our protesting chants decried Kissinger as a war criminal. Some chants decried the 92nd St. Y for enabling him with their celebrity speaker’s forum.

I am old enough to have demonstrated against Kissinger and his international war criminal cronies during the Vietnam War era. As did another then idealistic boomer, ambitious college woman Hillary Rodham. She has certainly changed her tune about Kissinger, now as Secretary of State and a colluding crony of Kissinger’s original playbook of American hegemony. Secretary Clinton, now full out participant in an administration that uses the same deranged “bomb the shit out of” countries M-O, defying their sovereignty and the safety of civilians for global control and resources. An administration willing to unleash the deadly military industrial security complex killing machine to satisfy its “addicted to killing for profit” realpolitik group-think, enabled by the jingoism-spinning ever-disinforming corporate media.

So 40-plus years later I am demonstrating against Kissinger again. He is the biggest and oldest living war criminal. Only now, with heartbreakingly far fewer Americans who are even conscious of let alone willing to protest the dark and powerful impact of his theories of relentless and amoral global military gamesmanship.

In a September 2010 article on Kissinger, Fred Branfman asserts that Kissinger’s mistake in Vietnam echoes the same mistake of the Obama/Petraeus policy in Afghanistan, enabling a corrupt and unpopular government that can’t stand on its own. Kissinger and his presidents Ford (Kissinger was Secretary of State) and Nixon (Kissinger was National Security Advisor), not Congress as Kissinger still maintains, brought about the fall of Saigon. Kissinger’s official reign in Washington lasted from 1969 to 1975.

Branfman asserts that Kissinger prolonged America war-making to such inhumane lengths that by the time Saigon fell, 20,853 Americans had been killed and 8 million murdered, maimed or homeless war victims in the Far East had been created. Almost as many Indochinese war victims as Lyndon Johnson during his reign. In 1969 Averill Harriman, Clark Clifford and Cyrus Vance lead those pressing for negotiations with the North Vietnamese. The US could have ended the war then with more dignity and saved countless -- COUNTLESS -- lives. Instead the war ended in 1975, six long years later. Kissinger violated the U.S. Constitution by secretly bombing Cambodia and Laos without the authorization of Congress. Kissinger’s representatives regularly perjured themselves before Congress. Branfman:

Kissinger orchestrated the most massive bombing in world history, dropping 3,984,563 million tons on an area inhabited by some 50 million people, twice the 2 million tons dropped on hundreds of millions through Europe and the Pacific in World War II. He dropped 1.6 million tons on South Vietnam, as many as Lyndon Johnson at the height of U.S. involvement; quadrupled the bombing of Laos, from 454,200 to 1,628,900 million tons; initiated widespread bombing of previously peaceful Cambodia, including B52 carpet bombing of undefended villages, for a total of 600,000-1 million tons; and vastly expanded the bombing of civilian targets in North Vietnam. Much of this bombing struck civilian targets throughout Indochina.

... Two million people in Khmer Rouge zones, as estimated by the U.S. Embassy, were driven underground by massive U.S. bombing that featured regular B52 carpet-bombing of undefended villages.

In North Vietnam, Kissinger conducted the most savage B52 bombing of urban targets in history, as the New York Times reported in 1972: "United States military leaders are being permitted to wage the air war as they want in Indochina. There appears to be less concern with the civilians this time in view of the freedom given the air commanders and the attempt to cut off food, clothing and medical supplies."

Human lives, even American soldiers’ lives, obviously had little priority in Kissinger’s arrogant sense of illegitimate patriarchal colonialism.

I was relieved that there were not more of the hard-faced police present. They were dressed in regular blue uniforms. No intimidating Star Wars paramilitary gear. I remembered how alarming it was when paramilitaries with AK-47s turned up at the front of the 92nd St. Y during that year after 9/11. So many NYC institutions put in scanning devices and set up vigilant security entry rituals.

Before I arrived the cops had attempted to move the protest area across the street in front of Dunkin’ Donuts, but the protesters held their permit-legal mid-block ground. I hadn’t known what to expect as I hastened to the demonstration. These are unpredictable times. The youtube videos I recently blogged about, of the hard-armed police force on a flash mob event at the Jefferson Memorial or a paramilitary force over-reaction and rough treatment of Daniel Ellsberg, Retired Lt. Col. Ann Wright and demonstrators for Bradley Manning had been chilling and worrisome. Apparently their assembling to protest the denial of Manning's due process, his enforced-nudity ritualized torture and, the apparent huge trigger, their wanting to lay commemorative flowers on a public-accessible Iwo Jima statue at the entrance of Quantico were too great threats for our nation’s security.

It seems whistleblowers and protesting people of conscience are now regarded as true domestic enemies of the Obama state. The people who call out criminality happening in the corporate or military worlds a/k/a accountability-free zones, thanks to this and the last president and a corporate-captured U.S. Congress.

Ellsberg, once heralded as the most feared man in America by Frontline, now ignored by the corporate media. Even or especially when roughed up by overzealous US paramilitaries.

Then there is the lionization, coddling and uber security by both the media and the police state extended to supercilious Henry Kissinger who has the blood of millions on his hands. Kissinger, about to rake in millions of dollars for a book of his psuedo-wisdom. One would never know that there exists an international arrest warrant from France and Spain for Kissinger for war crimes during the war in Chile.

Most people in the cars looked rather blankly on the bunch of us as they drove by. Once in a while a foreign-looking cab driver honked at us and nodded, which made a fellow protester remark that most of the foreign cabbies undoubtedly knew first-hand the devastating power of Henry Kissinger on their homelands.

No longer a driver since living in Manhattan, it was novel to take serious notice of the cars passing. So many were upscale. There seemed a lot of limos mixed with the yellow taxis and buses. I assumed one of those limos had recently left off Mr. Kissinger at a side entrance down 92nd St. I thought of the cost in human lives to empower all those cars whizzing by with gasoline. How irrelevant or unconsidered that was to the vast majority of their owners or passengers. Dots that never get connected by us citizen benefactors of US hegemony.

When I moved nearer to the sidewalk to hold up my sign to the pedestrians I found it hard to discern which of them might soon turn right up the steps into the 92nd St. Y. Most people looked confused or deliberately dog-faced blank as they passed us. The New York standard-operating-posture, unless one is on a cell-phone in his or her own little animated orbit. A few faces were clearly annoyed and contemptuous. Not many nods or thumbs up. Especially among the young people. One protester implored the younger pedestrians to google Kissinger and read about his history.

The corporate media treats and has always treated Kissinger with such reverence. He was even considered a sex symbol in his prime. All that power and arrogance. Rank and age apparently have their privilege and have given him even more cachet thanks to the obsequious anointers and enablers of political celebrity such as Charlie Rose and David Gregory. As Gore Vidal once said, “We are the United States of Amnesia.” The overblown funeral accolades for Ronald Reagan certainly intensified media’s putting celebrity over reality and integrity.

Kissinger had been on Charlie Rose the day before to discuss the new book. Charlie could have used a drool towel. Kissinger, one more aging American daddy “bastard of the universe”. Incidentally, another war-mongering Nobel Peace Prize winner. As with Alan Greenspan and so many other long-time faux-paternal mass betrayers, the corporate media refuses to acknowledge not only grotesque amorality but massive failure. Most of the American citizenry trust said media. Are we smarter than fifth graders? I say no. Once again in America, sociopathic ego-maniacal abusers are celebrated and rewarded. The law-abiding and the moral are degraded, ignored and/or punished. Sadly, it’s now the American way.

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ps. David Corn's bullet points on ONLY SOME of Kissinger's war crimes:

Chile: Nixon and Kissinger plotted to thwart the democratic election of a socialist president. The eventual outcome: a military coup and a military dictatorship that killed thousands of Chileans.

Argentina: Kissinger gave a "green light" to the military junta's dirty war against political opponents that led to the deaths of an estimated 30,000.

East Timor: Another "green light" from Kissinger, this one for the Indonesian military dictatorship's bloody invasion of East Timor that yielded up to 200,000 deaths.

Cambodia: The secret bombing there during the Nixon phase of the Vietnam War killed between 150,000 and 500,000 civilians.

Bangladesh: Kissinger and Nixon turned a blind eye to—arguably, they tacitly approved—Pakistan's genocidal slaughter of 300,000 Bengalis, most of them Hindus.

[cross-posted on open salon]

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McDee's picture
Submitted by McDee on

I can hear the Dembots already. She has to say/do these thing "in order to get elected. After she's in office we'll see the real progressive Hillary." Yeah, right.

Bill had to come home from the campaign trail in '92 to preside over an execution,IIRC, of a mentally disabled man. He had to do that "in order to get elected. Once in office we'll see the real progressive Bill." Yeah, right. There's no delusion like liberal self-delusion.

What I'd love to see in '16 is a 4 way race for the White House. Credible candidates to the right of the Republican nominee (I know, I know) and the left of the Democratic nominee (won't be difficult). That would be verrrrry interesting.

Submitted by lambert on

Please tell me they aren't.

I'd love to see a four-way race too, though frankly Rand Paul seems a little too hungry for office, and the rest of 'em (Rubio, Ryan) just suck. Heck, maybe Pat Buchanan in a last hurrah? The loveable old codger; I have a soft spot for him the same way I have a soft spot for Nooners; we shall not see their like again.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

and thank you for your service back on May 31, 2011.

President Nixon and Henry Kissinger, 3 Aug. 1972

President Nixon: Let’s be perfectly cold-blooded about it. If you look at it from the standpoint of our game with the Soviets and the Chinese, from the standpoint of running this country, I think we could take almost anything, frankly, in my view, that we can force on [South Vietnamese president Nguyen van] Thieu. Almost anything; I just come down to that. You know what I mean?

Because I have a feeling that we would not be doing, like I feel about the Israelis, I feel that in the long run we’re probably not doing them an in—a disfavor due to the fact that I feel the North Vietnamese are so badly hurt that the South Vietnamese are probably going to do fairly well.

Also due to the fact—because I look at the tide of history out there, South Vietnam is probably never gonna survive anyway. I’m just being perfectly candid. I—

Henry Kissinger: In the pullout area—

President Nixon: There’s got to be—if we can get certain guarantees so that they aren’t . . . as you know, looking at the foreign policy process, though, I mean, you’ve got to be—we also have to realize, Henry, that winning an election is terribly important. It’s terribly important this year.

But can we have a viable foreign policy if a year from now or two years from now, North Vietnam gobbles up South Vietnam? That’s the real question.

Kissinger: If a year from now or two years from now North Vietnam gobbles up South Vietnam, we can have a viable foreign policy— if it looks like as if a result of South Vietnamese incompetence. If we now sell out in such a way that, say that in a three- to four-month period, we have pushed President Thieu over the brink, we ourselves—I think there is going to be—even the Chinese won’t like that. I mean, they’ll pay verbal—verbally, they’ll like it—

President Nixon: But it will worry them.

Kissinger: But it will worry everybody. And domestically, in the long run it won’t help us all that much, because our opponents will say we should have done it three years ago.

President Nixon: I know.

Kissinger: So we’ve got to find some formula that holds the thing together a year or two, after which—after a year, Mr. President, Vietnam will be a backwater. If we settle it, say, this October, by January ’74 no one will give a damn.

Submitted by lambert on

And he shouldn't be able to travel internationally without fear of arrest.

That said, Kissinger -- heck, James Baker; heck, Hillary Clinton -- looks good beside Kerry, who's not only a war criminal (like all of them) but a bumbler as well. It stuns me that I can even think we dodged a bullet in 2004, but maybe we did.

Kissinger was a monstrous sinner, unlike the grey and hollow creatures of today.

Adding, and what CMike said.

Submitted by lambert on

... and 2016 is two years away. It could well be that Hillary ends up "The First Woman To Be The Annointed Frontrunner in Two Presidential Elections And Fail." We just don't know.

I'm also vaguely musing -- contradicting the above, somewhat -- that the extreme form of optimization that we're seeing in electoral politics these days is the sign of a very rigid and brittle system (for example, Nate Silver is able to be so successful as a result of a system whose variations are well controlled from the outside -- his success is more like like betting on the turn of a bicycle wheel and not a roulette wheel).