Henry Kissinger (1923- ) was the American secretary of state (foreign minister) from 1973 to 1977 under Presidents Nixon and Ford.
He was good at getting enemies to talk and strike deals. He got Nixon to China, he got the Soviet Union to agree to put limits on the arms race. He got America and North Vietnam to end their war, for which he won a Nobel Peace Prize, and is responsible for the peace that held after 1973 between Israel and Egypt.
But Kissinger is also responsible for the bombing of Cambodia in 1971, the overthrow of democracy in Chile in 1973 and America turning a blind eye to the bloodshed in Bangladesh in 1971 and East Timor in 1974 by US allies.
Kissinger made his peace with evil a little too easily. Too often it seemed that the ends justify the means.
Christopher Hitchens, who calls Kissinger a liar, thinks he should be held accountable for the evils he has brought on the world.
When Kissinger was a boy his family fled Germany in 1938. They were Jews and Hitler would have sent them to their deaths had they stayed. This gave Kissinger an understandably dark view of the world.
For Kissinger, as for most Republicans, the purpose of American power is not to bring peace and justice to the world, but to protect America and its friends.
Kissinger was a professor at Harvard University where he taught political science. He was an expert on the use of the atom bomb as an instrument in foreign affairs.
As a student Kissinger had studied Prince Metternich, who put the balance-of-power system in place in Europe after the fall of Napoleon.
Nixon read his books and wanted him as an adviser. In 1969 Nixon made him the head of the National Security Council and, in 1973, secretary of state. But even before 1973 he was all but the secretary of state. It was he and Nixon that mapped the course America would take.
Kissinger thinks that if Iran gets the bomb, it will be in the next year or two or not at all. And if it does get the bomb, then Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia will want one too. The Middle East would become uncontrollable and descend into a deadly arms race.
He does not think President Bush will be able to bring democracy to the Middle East. It is no where close to being ready for that.
He thinks that Bush is right about the threat that Osama bin Laden and his like present to America, but not that he has necessarily gone about it the right way.
Power is the great aphrodisiac.
Next week there can’t be any crisis. My schedule is already full.
Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.
Even a paranoid can have enemies.
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.