Kissinger’s realpolitik: a legacy of strife and misery

Kissinger’s realpolitik: a legacy of strife and misery

As published in the Hill Times: Dec. 6, 2023

The recent death of Henry Kissinger will undoubtedly inspire grand efforts to sanitize his record of cynically fomenting conflict at the behest of U.S. imperialism.

For example, Kissinger was a key player in exaggerating the Cold War Soviet military threat, assisting Indonesia’s 1965 peasant genocide, planning the 1970s carpet-bombing of Cambodia and Laos, advising the brutal Shah of Iran and helping General Pinochet destroy Chilean democracy 1973.

For these and numerous other outrages, Kissinger was ever-wary of international arrest and extradition warrants that could place him before national courts or the International War Crimes Tribunal. Only U.S. power has protected him from prosecution for war crimes and human rights abuses.

Kissinger’s so-called peace deals were never designed to create just solutions; rather, he dedicated himself to empowering the powerful at the expense of working people across the globe. His so-called realpolitik has been an abject failure if human dignity counts as a measure of success.