It stands to reason he must have been doing something right to have stayed so close to the halls of power.

I was a toddler when he was carpet bombing Cambodia, never knew him as anything but “an important person” that was sometimes on the TV. Only learned of his crimes in the past decade.

How did an in-your-face war criminal retain such influence for so long?

  • @return2ozma
    link
    fedilink
    653 months ago

    He made the ruling class a ton of money. Here’s just a few things he did…

    Kissinger sabotaged peace talks in Vietnam: He leaked information to Nixon’s campaign in 1968 to prevent a deal between Johnson and Hanoi, prolonging the war for four more years and killing millions of people.

    Kissinger orchestrated the coup in Chile: He supported the overthrow of the democratically elected socialist president Salvador Allende in 1973, and backed the brutal dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who tortured and killed thousands of dissidents and implemented neoliberal policies that harmed the majority of Chileans.

    Kissinger enabled genocide and repression: He ignored or encouraged the atrocities committed by U.S. allies in Bangladesh, East Timor, Indonesia, Pakistan, and elsewhere, and participated in Operation Condor, a campaign of assassinations of left-wing activists across Latin America.

    Kissinger expanded U.S. bombing and intervention: He secretly bombed Cambodia and Laos, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and paving the way for the Khmer Rouge genocide. He also set the precedent for U.S. presidents to bomb countries without congressional or public oversight, as seen in the War on Terror.

    Kissinger was celebrated by the U.S. elite: He received praise and awards from presidents, politicians, journalists, and academics, who admired his geopolitical strategy and ignored or justified his crimes. He was also an informal adviser to several administrations, including Bush and Obama

    • Zerlyna
      link
      fedilink
      English
      19
      edit-2
      3 months ago

      And he was sold on Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. Karma. Not enough but it’s something.

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      18
      edit-2
      3 months ago

      Any source that he advised Obama? I’m curious because it sounds like Obama wasn’t a particular fan of his:

      "We dropped more ordnance on Cambodia and Laos than on Europe in World War II, and yet, ultimately, Nixon withdrew, Kissinger went to Paris, and all we left behind was chaos, slaughter and authoritarian governments that finally, over time, have emerged from that hell.”

      Mr. Obama noted that while in office he was still trying to help countries “remove bombs that are still blowing off the legs of little kids.”

      https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/30/us/politics/kissinger-biden-trump-nixon-presidents.html

      https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/

    • @shalafiOP
      link
      fedilink
      English
      93 months ago

      who admired his geopolitical strategy

      That’s very much what I’m asking! I’m well aware of his sins, but was his influence 100% from making the rich richer?

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        163 months ago

        His influence was largely because his geopolitical philosophy of Realpolitik was “effective” in that it ruthlessly pursued power over all else. For a series of presidents seeking hegemonic control that is valuable in and of itself.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        93 months ago

        Making the rich richer is what keeps most politicians in power. If you aren’t making lots of money you don’t matter.

      • Melkath
        link
        fedilink
        -23 months ago

        Large, robust response.

        This guy plucks out 5 words and completely misses the plot.

  • donuts
    link
    fedilink
    37
    edit-2
    3 months ago

    On one hand, Kissinger was undoubtedly effective at achieving America’s foreign policy goals and was undoubtedly one of the most influential Secretaries of State in US history. Unfortunately on the other hand, his brand of “realpolitik”–working pragmatically towards concrete policy objectives without concern for ethics or ideology–meant doing things that prolonged and worsened wars, knowingly propped up autocrats and dictators, etc.

    Objectively speaking, Kissinger was a powerful diplomat who accomplished a lot of what he set out to do. At the same time, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should, and a lot of us can only look back and judge him harshly for the long term effects of his decisions. Kissinger is the perfect example of a person who is highly intelligent and objectively effective at what they do, but because he had so little concern for simple human concepts like right and wrong, it’s hard to look back at any of his “achievements” today with anything other than harsh judgement and disdain for the soulless husk of a man.

  • @PrinceWith999Enemies
    link
    fedilink
    143 months ago

    There’s a very good podcast called Behind the Bastards that did an extremely expansive profile on him covering (iirc) his childhood to his retirement.

  • Stern
    link
    fedilink
    93 months ago

    I imagine the guys selling bombs and guns must’ve loved a fella who wanted to make use of them, for one obvious group.

  • livus
    link
    fedilink
    53 months ago

    Tl; dr: a number of people who achieved power owed that power to Kissinger. Power and money.

  • Endorkend
    link
    fedilink
    33 months ago

    His use was that by his nature of wanting to create as much misery and mayham around the world as one person could possibly do, he created a lot of wealth for a lot of people attached to the military industrial complex.

  • Talaraine
    link
    fedilink
    33 months ago

    While his later years were definitely marked with controversy and dumb to the point of evil decisions, he made decisions in earlier presidencies that without a doubt were helpful. You gotta understand this time period was what bought him the credence he used to get people to trust his later decisions.

    Decisions we now universally regret.

  • @[email protected]
    link
    fedilink
    23 months ago

    It was useful for the American Empire, which isn’t there to serve the American people, but their oligarchs instead: the people that own the oil companies and suppliers to the military. Whenever a country decided they wanted to control their own natural resources, a coup would happen.

  • @[email protected]
    link
    fedilink
    23 months ago

    I don’t even know who that is, and I was surprised to see so many posts seemingly celebrating someone’s death

    • @A_Union_of_Kobolds
      link
      fedilink
      15
      edit-2
      3 months ago

      Former National Security advisor and Secretary of State who, among other things, deliberately prolonged the Vietnam War just to get Nixon elected, drove policies which decimated Cambodia and Laos, and had ties to the Pinochet regime. Western Liberals prefer to remember him for setting up talks with China, and detente with the Soviets. The founder of realpolitik and symbol of Western imperialism over the last half of the 20th century.

      Many of us have been waiting a long, long time to piss on his grave, including (I’m sure) the families of the half-million or so people who died in Indochina because of the extended war and carpet-bombing.

      • @shalafiOP
        link
        fedilink
        English
        23 months ago

        remember him for setting up talks with China, and detente with the Soviets. The founder of realpolitik and symbol of Western imperialism over the last half of the 20th century

        Now we’re getting to my question!