President Obama should heed the advice of top military advisers and send more troops to Afghanistan, but the United States needs to focus less on setting up a strong central government there, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said during an appearance at Heinz Hall Monday night.And this is how he's described:
Kissinger served as secretary of State to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford during one of the most tumultuous periods in recent U.S. history. From the Vietnam War to warming relations with the Soviet Union during the Cold War to opening relations with China, the Nobel Peace Prize winner played an integral role in world history during the last half of the 20th century.And here's how Patricia Sheridan describes him in the P-G:
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is best known for instituting the concept of "detente" with the former Soviet Union, which began the thaw of the Cold War between the United States and the U.S.S.R. He is credited with helping to open relations with communist China during the Nixon administration, and his many accomplishments include being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for his role in the Vietnam issue. He will be at Heinz Hall tonight for "A Conversation with Paul O'Neill and Henry Kissinger" to benefit Gilda's Club of Western Pennsylvania.Left out of both portraits, of course, are his alleged war crimes. As Christopher Hitchens wrote in 2002:
Here are some snapshots from the recent career of Henry Kissinger. In May last year, during a stay at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, he is visited by the criminal brigade of the French police, and served with a summons. This requests that he attend the Palais de Justice the following day to answer questions from Judge Roger Le Loire.Then there's this (still, from 2002):
The judge is investigating the death and disappearance of five French citizens during the rule of General Pinochet in Chile. Kissinger declines the invitation and leaves Paris at once.
In the same week, Judge Rodolfo Corrall of Argentina invites Kissinger's testimony in the matter of "Operation Condor" - codename for a state-run death squad, operated by the secret police of six countries - Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Ecuador - during the 1970s and '80s.
Its central co-ordination was run through a US base in Panama when Kissinger was the national security adviser and secretary of state (and chairman of the committee overseeing all US covert operations). Again, Kissinger declines to answer written requests for information.Later in the year, Judge Guzman in Santiago, Chile, sends a written summons to the State Department requesting Kissinger's testimony about the death and disappearance of an American citizen, Charles Horman, in the early days of the Pinochet dictatorship. (The Homan story was dramatised by Constantine Costa-Gavras in the award-winning movie Missing.) Once again, no reply is received to this request for testimony.
Earlier this month, a petition for Kissinger's arrest is filed in the High Court in London, citing the destruction of civilian populations and the environment in Indochina during the years 1969-75. The High Court rules in such a manner as to leave room for a further application.Then there's the "secret" bombing of Cambodia, the massacre in East Timor. The list goes on.
This is not a complete or exhaustive list of the difficulties now facing the United States' best-known former secretary of state. Recently, I was informed via the former Spanish ambassador to the US that Kissinger had approached the embassy asking whether he would be safe if he visited Spain. These days he does not travel without legal advice.
I wonder if Gilda's Club of Western PA had any inkling of the amount of blood on Dr Kissinger's hands.