Henry Kissinger is one of the most celebrated statesmen whose ideas and influence still shape and impact modern American policy discussion. A certain side often presents him as an ideal labeled as the ‘wizard of the western world’ by the British foreign policy office. The historian Barry Gewen best articulates this side of thought: “He is more than a figure out of history. He is a philosopher of international relations who has much to teach us about how the modern world works—and often doesn’t. His arguments for his brand of Realism—thinking in terms of national interest and a balance of power—offer the possibility of rationality, coherence, and a necessary long-term perspective at a time when all three of these qualities seem to be in short supply.”
Is Henry Kissinger worthy of all that praise and worthy of being given the Nobel Peace Prize and countless other medals? Well, actions speak louder than words, so let's have a brief look at his track record. Firstly, let's look at Chile; it is known that Kissinger was a prominent advocate of overthrowing the democratically elected Allende government and assisting in giving power to a dictator in Chile -Pinochet. The Pinochet regime's severe human rights violation is known to have caused a record 230,000 casualties. Records show that Kissinger knew the fact and stated, "I think we should understand our policy - that however unpleasant they act, this government is better for us than Allende was”. The reason for overthrowing Chile’s Salvador Allende is that if successful, he would have nationalized all-natural resources and imposed protectionist policies; this would serve as a contagious model for other countries in Latin America like Salvador, conflicting with USA's interest
Another major war crime was Kissinger and the Vietnam war. Tapes show that Kissinger transmitted to the USA army air force ‘A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves”. He and Richard Nixon steered the last six years of the war in which more than 800,000 people were killed, participating in what the Asia-Pacific Journal called, “one of the most heavily-bombarded countries in history”. Another is Kissinger’s 1971 backing of the Pakistan war against Bangladesh, even though the massacre and rape cases were pretty evident.
There are plenty of other acts of horrific violence in which you’ll find a role for Henry Kissinger. Oddly, he is often labelled as an intellectual, yet he was a servant of power whose only role was to turn the interest of the elite into actual policies, which is the complete opposite role of the intellectual who is supposed to challenge and keep power in check. To see Henry Kissinger still praised and present in meeting with presidential administrations and to read articles titled “It is time to ask what Kissinger would have done?” seem to demonstrate further the true nature of American foreign policy, which is extreme ‘self-interest’ dressed up with moral rhetoric.