Why Henry Kissinger Matters

The debate on Thursday night between Clinton and Sanders didn’t address the progressive/establishment argument that was a point of contention in at least one earlier debate. But there was one part of the debate where that progressive/establishment schism was illustrated better than maybe any other issue could bring it into focus.

Only establishment Democrats, like the “Morning Joe” contributors, the DLC, the Clintons, do not consider Henry Kissinger a war criminal. The Nation and other progressives have thought, and said he was one since 1973. Pretty clearly, if you won’t say Kissinger was a war criminal and his brand of realpolitik a nightmare for the country then you are part of the chummy establishment. Period.

Henry Kissinger’s War Crimes are Central to the Divide Between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders

But Kissinger is reviled by many left-leaning observers of foreign policy. They consider him an amoral egotist who enabled dictators, extended the Vietnam War, laid the path to the Khmer Rouge killing fields, stage-managed a genocide in East Timor, overthrew the democratically elected left-wing government in Chile, and encouraged Nixon to wiretap his political adversaries.

This is a must read, especially if you aren’t familiar with Kissinger and Nixon’s horrendous continuation and expansion of the disastrous foreign policy proscriptions of intervention, both covert and overt (in conflicts and countries they didn’t really understand), and a philosophy that concluded “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” (even if they’re a monster).

These establishment foreign policy “experts” operated for decades never understanding (or wanting to understand)  the concept of blowback and unintended consequences. This is what progressives have been arguing since the 50’s. It was typified by the arrogance of the Iraq war, entered into by people who didn’t know, and evidently didn’t care about, the difference between Sunni and Shia.

A poster at Daily Kos as an important point – You Can’t Admire Both Henry Kissinger and Martin Luther King Jr.

Part of that is a link to a David Corn article that asserts that the Clintons and Kissinger are pretty chummy. Like vacationing together annually in the Dominican Republic.


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