I never met Henry Kissinger, but once underwent a days-long training in political negotiations by two of his deputies who were involved in a decade-long negotiation on the arms reduction treaty with the Soviets. According to them, Heinz Kissinger was “a performer” – as opposed to being real. A German Jew who fled the Nazi Germany to the USA changed Heinz to Henry to make it sound “Christian”.
Equally important, Heinz changed his personality depending on the power equations he found himself in. “He assumed different personas in different negotiations”, said one of my trainers from the United States Institute of Peace back in 2004.
What stood out with Kissinger was this: he was a man with no principles to speak of, or personal integrity. He believed in Power, nothing but Power, hence his reference to Power being the greatest aphrodisiac.
Kissinger was a contemporary with my close intellectual mentor, the late Robert L. Koehl, at Harvard who was studying with the leading American sociologist Talcott-Parson (considered founder of Structural Functionalism).
While both had served in the US Army in Germany, my dear teacher, Robert L. Khoel, a German American from Kenosha, Wisconsin, they were cut from two different cloths. Professor Koehl subsequently became a life-long anti-Imperialist, opposing US carpet bombing of Indochina, which set the stage for Khmer Rouge genocide in 1975-79 during which 1/3 of Cambodia’s population perished.
In the Khmer Rouge Tribunal held in the old military command headquarters on the outskirt of Phnom Penh, I heard in real time & space, Brother Number Two specifically raised “what about the Americans?” Question – mass evacuation or mass population movement, at gun point, was done on the pretext of anticipated carpet-bombing of Phnom Penh. Fair enough.
But the American leaders and senior state officials never face justice or accountability. For imperialism or Power is both above Law and below Humanity, at one and the same time. The father of my close activist friend, the late John Rosen, at the University of Wisconsin was a career diplomat – an old China hand – who worked under Kissinger.
According to Rosen Sr., Kissinger would be overheard laughing out loud at any mention of “human rights”, even while standing at the urinal inside State Department. Such a vile and callous character.
One would feel tempted to compare him with Machiavelli, the Florentine scholar who served as adviser to what really was the greatest Italian mafia clan who built the modern banking system and bought all positions of influence in Rome – the Medicis.
But the Italian adviser was a moral man who couldn’t see a way to conduct politics of power morally, and his controversial treatise “The Prince”. In sharp contrast, Kissinger was simply immoral as an intellectual and embodied the ugly mix of Immorality, Criminality and Inhumanity. Therefore, though glorified, and widely admired among Imperialist worlds, including the Economist, Washington Beltway and the Communist Party of China, in the eyes of those who saw the underbelly of American fight jets which dropped bombs and survived napalm, Kissinger was a piece of shit.
Alas, in the circles of Power, shit always floats to the top, and could not die fast enough.
Burn in Hell, Mr. Kissinger.
Read: “Henry Kissinger, 1923-2023. War criminal” but Robert Reich: https://robertreich.substack.com/p/henry-kissinger-1923-2023
Kissinger obituary from Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/henry-kissinger-american-diplomat-nobel-winner-dead-100-2023-11-30/