Why Henry Kissinger Matters in 2016 and Why Bernie is Right to Question Hillary on Embracing Him

By | February 12, 2016

Hillary Clinton has said the following on Henry Kissinger when reviewing his book, World Order:

Kissinger is a friend, and 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. Though we have often seen the world and some of our challenges quite differently, and advocated different responses now and in the past, what comes through clearly in this new book is a conviction that we, and President Obama, share: a belief in the indispensability of continued American leadership in service of a just and liberal order.


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 has always been someone that invokes strong emotions. It is true that he, through the policy of Realpolitik, opened diplomacy with China and assisted with easing the oil crisis by diplomatic means of having Israel partially withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula. He also, however, was a bit brutal and many feel he committed war crimes. But what do you expect from a man that said this about Soviet Jews after the Holocaust:

“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.”

Or on how horrible it is that we can’t use assassination:

“It is an act of insanity and national humiliation to have a law prohibiting the President from ordering assassination.”

On how high of regard he holds the military in:

“Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.”

On how to unite people behind George W. Bush, said in 2000:

“I can think of no faster way to unite the American people behind George W. Bush than a terrorist attack on an American target overseas. And I believe George W. Bush will quickly unite the American people through his foreign policy.”

On his willingness to do illegal and unconstitutional things:

 “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.”

On depopulation, which means reducing the population in an area by means I will leave to your imagination:

“Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries.”

On the willingness to take the rights of a foreign nation’s people to chose for themselves the government they wish to have:

“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.”

And showing contempt over the fall of the Pakistani army collapsing in Bangladesh:

“That means no one can bleed anymore about the dying Bengalis.”

Or his willingness to embrace the Cambodians, despite them being “murderous thugs,”:

“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.”

But have no worries. Kissinger himself was complicit in his own murderous acts. WarIsCrime explains this well:

Mr. Kissinger’s most significant historical act was executing Richard Nixon’s orders to conduct the most massive bombing campaign, largely of civilian targets, in world history. He dropped 3.7 million tons of bombs between January 1969 and January 1973 — nearly twice the two million dropped on all of Europe and the Pacific in World War II. He secretly and illegally devastated villages throughout areas of Cambodia inhabited by a U.S. Embassy-estimated two million people; quadrupled the bombing of Laos and laid waste to the 700-year old civilization on the Plain of Jars; and struck civilian targets throughout North Vietnam — Haiphong harbor, dikes, cities, Bach Mai Hospital — which even Lyndon Johnson had avoided. His aerial slaughter helped kill, wound or make homeless an officially-estimated six million human beings**, mostly civilians who posed no threat whatsoever to U.S. national security and had committed no offense against it.

There is a word for the aerial mass murder that Henry Kissinger committed in Indochina, and that word is “evil”. The figure most identified with this word today is Adolph Hitler, and his evil was so unspeakable that the term is by now identified with him. But that is precisely why it is important to understand the new face of evil and moral depravity that Henry Kissinger represents. For evil not only comes in the form of madmen dreaming of 1000 year Reichs. In fact, in our day, it is more likely to be committed by sane, genial and ordinary careerists waging invisible automated war in far-off lands against people whose screams we never hear, whose faces we never see, and whose deaths go unrecorded and unnoticed. It is critical to understand this new face of evil, for it threatens not only countless foreigners but Americans in coming years. And no one has embodied it more than Henry Kissinger.

And in tonight’s debate, Bernie Sanders brought up the spectre of Kissinger who Hillary embraced often in the past.

“I find it rather amazing, because I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country,” Sanders said. “I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend.”

Sanders went on to single out Kissinger’s widely condemned secret invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

“And in fact, Kissinger’s actions in Cambodia, when the United States bombed that country, overthrew Prince Sihanouk, created the instability for Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge to come in, who then butchered some 3 million people, one of the worst genocides in the history of the world,” Sanders said.

Now, tonight the pundits have laughed at this exchange and wondered why both candidates stayed on Kissinger for so long. I believe, however, it is vitally important. Hillary has long embraced a hawkish view of the world and foreign policy and her embrace of Kissinger is extremely troubling. The fact that Sanders is able to look at him and say that is not someone he would seek counsel from matters. As Sanders has stated, the US should not be the policemen of the world. Under Kissinger the US was often the bully and strongman.

Again, the stance Bernie takes here in contrast to Hillary is of paramount importance. She has the experience but we must question her judgement of embracing, let’s call it what it is, a horrible man that lacks morality in his decisions and judgement.

Hillary has already discussed in her book how she received guidance from Kissinger, stating:

“Henry Kissinger checked in with me regularly, sharing astute observations about foreign leaders and sending me written reports on his travels.”

Excerpt From: Hillary Rodham Clinton. “Hard Choices.”

The Nation also pointed out the similarity between Clinton and Kissinger:

Clintonism is largely an extension of Kissingerism, so Clinton’s cozy relationship to Kissinger shouldn’t come as a surprise. Both Clintons have excelled at exactly the kind of fudging of their public-private roles that Kissinger perfected. Kissinger, the private consultant, profited from the catastrophes he created as a public figure. Beyond his role in brokering NAFTA, in Latin America his consulting firm, Kissinger and Associates, was a key player in the orgy of privatization that took place during Clinton’s presidency, enriching itself on the massive sell-off of public utilities and industries, a sell-off that, in many countries, was initiated by Kissinger-supported dictators and military regimes. The Clintons, too, both as private philanthropists and private investors, are neck deep in corruption in Latin America (especially in Colombia and Haiti)–corruption made worse, à laKissinger, by the policies they put into place as public figures, including the free trade treaties and policies that Hillary helped push through, first as senator and then as secretary of state.

When it comes to coups and bombing, too, Clinton follows Kissinger’s lead. Clinton’s role in legitimating the catastrophic 2009 coup in Honduras was pure Machtpolitik, the kind Kissinger deployed in Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina, and elsewhere.

Then there’s Libya. Kissinger has long had the secular radical Muammar Qaddafi in his crosshairs (Kissinger, a close ally of Saudi Arabia, prefers to work with Wahhabi theocrats).

It should come as no surprise to anyone, then, when Kissinger himself embraced Hillary and her possibility of being president when he said:

I know Hillary as a person. And as a personal friend, I would say yes, she’d be a good president. But she’d put me under a great conflict of interest if she were a candidate, because I intend to support the Republicans. …

Yes, I’d be comfortable with her as the president.

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