Oh Henry, the mistakes you’ve made

While I certainly have no love for the policies or people around him, I have no doubt about the sincerity of George W. Bush. I have no doubt he is a good man, and that, while I believe he is misguided, he would never do anything outright to harm U.S. citizens or citizens of other nations. For example, though it has been suggested by some, I have no doubt that Dubya had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks. I don’t see him as being evil enough to allow thousands of people to die needlessly.

However, I can think of another important American political figure who was fully complicit to the tragedy of Sept. 11. I’m speaking of Henry Kissinger and his help in planning the overthrow of the democratically elected government in Chile by right-wing general Augusto Pinochet on Sept. 11, 1973.

After his hostile takeover, Pinochet showed the world what a great guy he was, causing the “disappearances” of tens of thousands of his countrymen. The General had this nasty little habit of flying prisoners miles offshore and dropping them in the ocean to drown, ensuring there was no record of his atrocity.

Henry Kissinger is one of the worst war criminals from the past 40 years. His involvement in Chile is really only a fraction of the pain and suffering he has caused people worldwide.

Let’s start with his involvement in the Vietnam War. We all know a peace treaty was signed in 1973, but what most don’t realize is that it was nearly identical to a treaty that was on the table in 1968. What happened, you say?

Well, one of President Lyndon Johnson’s treaty negotiators was none other than Kissinger. In order to become a VIP in the Nixon Administration, he scuttled the 1968 talks, promising North Vietnam a “Republican alternative” if Nixon got in office. The failure of the peace talks made victory in ’68 certain for Nixon, who, instead of quickly providing that alternative, bombed the city of Hanoi back to the Stone Age and initiated bombing in the neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia.

Nearly half of the 58,000 U.S. soldiers who lost their lives did so in the time period from 1968-72.

But Kissinger’s trail of death doesn’t end there. The intensity of the bombing campaign in Cambodia was immense. It’s estimated 600,000 civilians were killed in carpet-bombing missions that were never divulged to the public or Congress. This intense bombing inadvertently led to the rise of the Khmer Rouge, who would go on to kill millions in the failed experiment of “peasant communism.”

Fast-forward a bit to 1975. Nixon is no longer in office, but Gerald Ford kept Kissinger on as his Secretary of State. On Dec. 6, 1975, while on a state visit to Indonesia, Ford and Kissinger met with President Suharto to discuss Suharto’s plans to attack the island of East Timor, a Portuguese colony. In declassified U.S. documents, Kissinger is quoted, in regards to the fact that American citizens could view the attack as a massacre, “it depends on how we construe it; whether it is in self-defense or is a foreign operation.”

The very next day, as Ford and Kissinger were flying back to the U.S., 20,000 Indonesian soldiers stormed into East Timor to annex the tiny island. By 1980, an estimated 100,000 East Timoreans had been killed by the Indonesian army or by starvation.

So, let’s review: Millions of foreign citizens have been killed as well as tens of thousands of U.S. citizens, and all under the watchful eye of Henry Kissinger. And yet he still walks free, and is considered an expert in international relations.I suppose this consideration is absolutely true, if one’s idea of good international relations is to kill anyone who might stand in your path. If so, then Henry, you’re a genius.

Joe Roma is a senior majoring in Political Science Rahner13@hotmail.com