180 Comments

You are right, but you are also wrong. Before you yell at me, Mr Ritter: yes, I did meet Kissinger, once. I dined with him one evening as a college student in the mid-90s. I was enchanted. I was studying International Relations (Communist and Post-Communist Studies) and Kissinger was way up there on my list of heroes of diplomacy.

However, the cordiality of Kissinger is not an issue. Not to anyone. Evil is not a cartoon villain, twirling his baroque mustache while slyly smirking. Evil is not always Benjamin Netanyahu.

Evil is almost invariably regular people, or even particularly intelligent and kind people, doing what they believe, deeply and sincerely, is what is best.

But anyway, the fundamental error which people seem to be making, in their jubilation over Kissinger's death. is that they buy into the Great Man of History framework of historical analysis a little too hard (Kissinger himself was not immune to this, if you read his work, as I know you have, Mr Ritter), and, as a consequence, they rain upon one man all the impotent hatred and frustration that should be directed at the Imperial American Project instead.

The man was a functionary, a guide, a result of the position of his country in world history. The United States would have murdered its millions of victims without him. He was, nevertheless, a talented, thoughtful, and expert caretaker of American Imperialism, and his realist values of maintaining the balance between Great Powers (something he consistently insisted was a result of his experience of the Second World War) created what could be argued were... favorable outcomes. For the Empire.

I think the best defense of Kissinger is that, well, it could have been a lot worse, couldn't it? Look at those running the show today. Look at our "caretakers". They claim to admire him and to have learnt from him, but they learnt naught but the cruelty and violence. Hillary Clinton claimed him as a mentor, but she destroyed Libya without knowing why, or thinking of what would come of it. These people are toddlers, breaking other children's toys as they laugh.

Oh, and go easy on the Germans: They are an occupied people, militarily and spiritually. An American cannot comprehend this level of epic cuckoldry.

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I always love the things you think and say and write Scott, and this is certainly a lovely piece of memory and writing. But my take on it is that there were many people who found Hitler charming and courteous and brilliant too. The only thing missing apparently was a conscience.

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sure, war criminal and slippery little devil Kissinger brought the US being a more unhinged state than ever via his lunactic hegemonic policies that brought more enemies into the mix and now Americans are reaping what he sowed. plus you can't forget his body counts from:

1. Cambodia bombing: 500,000 killed.

2. East Timor invasion support: 200,000 deaths.

3. Chile government overthrow: Us backed Pinochet's dictatorship.

4. Bangladesh killings: 3 million deaths.

5. Argentina's 'Dirty War': 30,000 killed and 30,000 disappeared.

6. Laos bombing: 200,000 deaths.

7. Vietnam War toll: 2.5-3 million deaths.

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Love you Scott, but could it be that we would never have needed the nuclear treaties if Kissinger and his ilk weren't such warmongers?

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> Without Henry Kissinger, there would very likely have been a nuclear war.

Really? Would the U.S. have dared take on the more numerous Russian nukes?

You are ignoring the principle of MAD, Mutual Assured Destruction. That was always the bottom line, all those treaties notwithstanding.

Without Kissinger millions of lives would not have been wasted around the world.

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Dec 1, 2023·edited Dec 1, 2023

Scott, I find that in this case you have been taken in by notoriety. The fact that you fail to see that Kissinger was more of a deliberate, calculating killer than even Netanyahu is tragic. At least Netanyhau is emotional about his brutality whereas Kissinger couches his barbarity behind the cold but gentile ways of the intellectual diplomat. Just revisiting the slaughter that he and Ford did to the E. Timorese is enough to make one puke. According to Dana Milbank: Kissinger told Suharto: "It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly." He also urged Suharto to wait until he and Ford returned to the United States. "The president will be back on Monday at 2:00 PM Jakarta time," he said. "We understand your problem and the need to move quickly but I am only saying that it would be better if it were done after we returned."

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A good take on Kissinger. Favorable almost . My impression is that his life is not black and white and there are shades of gray depending on the circumstance. All that said, I have come to greatly respect Scott Ritter and what he stands for. To me, Ritter belongs in the White House sooner rather than later in some capacity in foreign policy.

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Scott is of course ntitled to his opinion of Kissinger, but he has lost my respect doe him as a journalisst and trust in his judgement . I lived through Vietnam, Laos camobida, Chile, Argentina, etc all had Kissingere's fingerprints all over them. Perhaps a listen To Glenn Greenwalds take on Kissinger on System Update will give a more realistic view of this hideous man.

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Sympathy for the devil

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If it weren’t for him, many of them would be here today.

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Provocative title and provocative article!

The only place where everything is black-and-white is on TV.

When you think about the amazing work that Scott did around the INF treaty and nuclear disarmament, that was because of Henry Kissinger, it seems !

I don’t see Scott excusing Kissinger for his crimes .

It’s definitely a real politic kind of situation

And if you weren’t directly involved in the kind of real things that Scott did, it would take a strong mind to understand.

Do I have anything good to say about Henry Kissinger? Not really. I chose to reference his 1974, NSSM 200 policy paper as something that was probably one of the most evil documents and policies of the United States.

But I do see Scott’s point and I think it’s valid and I’m still grateful.

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for those mourning the death of Henry Kissinger, like Ritter here, let's not forget his infamous throw-away about the fate of Marshall Islanders impacted by the 67 US nuclear tests at Bikini and Enewetak atolls: "There are only 90,000 people out there. Who gives a damn?"

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founding

Scott is an even handed impartial assessor of truth. Makes me trust him more. Yes, Kissinger is truly a war criminal which Scott does not deny, but he also recognized Kissinger's contribution to history and our species survival, which I would never have credited but for Scott's assessment and endorsement.

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The interaction described was between two experts in the complex and esoteric field of arms control. Kissinger may have been an amoral practitioner of realpolitik, but even in the context of realpolitik, war with the Soviet Union and blowing up the world needed to be prevented. Much of the mechanics of that prevention is of a technical nature--and as such, is an area where two intelligent experts might indeed enjoy and learn from each other in an exchange of thoughts and ideas. And it is easy to see why they might appreciate each other's perspectives: Henry coming from the world of high level politics, diplomacy, and raw national interest, and Scott coming from the world of practical implementation and verification. Certainly some credit is due to those at every level--even HK--who succeeded in engineering a delay in our trip to oblivion. Thanks for an exceptional piece, Scott Ritter.

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First of all, may I say how much I admire you Mr Ritter for speaking out. Respectfully, however your assessment of Kissinger's role in preventing a nuclear war is overstated. Mutually Assured Destruction is the theory underlining my argument. The USSR and US was close to nuclear warfare but pulled back several times because of the dire consequences for both states. The Cold War was played out in proxy warfare in poor countries in S America, Africa, Asia, Middle East, where millions died in those wars . Today the US pulled out of most of those treaties Mr K carefully chartered. Yet as we see from Ukraine war, the US is loathe to challenge a big nuclear armed superpower and vice versa. Today, the threat of a nuclear war is most likely to emanate from that small, maniacal, irrational, genocidal actor, Israel which has nuclear weapons, sanctioned by the US. Kissinger was an uncritical Zionist, boosting US support for Israel..Today, S Asia is the most peaceful region in the world. Why? Because as I wrote i n my substack, China and the US brokered a peace deal 30 odd years ago at the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement, which ended the Cambodian–Vietnamese War and the Third Indochina War. Kissinger was not in government then, but he'd done his worse , as you say.https://philippajanewinkler.substack.com/p/the-secret-to-the-south-east-asia

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Dec 1, 2023·edited Dec 1, 2023

To read authentic personal accounts like Scott's is always profoundly insightful not only of those written about but also of the writer who presents so well the humanity in another with which he connects so profoundly with. Clearly, Kissinger was a great man of wisdom and compassion.

However, the biggest questions I have about Kissinger has to do with what he truly believed and desired to achieve for humanity and what he thought was the best way to achieve this.

These questions bring me to ask about Kissinger's very long term involvement with global interests that long ago sought to extend their influence and control far beyond the politics and actions of the US but who have used the US since before the start of the twentieth century. The most prominent face of these interests today is the World Economic Forum and it's corporate interests that increasingly wield the vast bureaucratic framework of the United Nations to extend corporate and private influence and control over sovereign nations and cultures.

The merger of the World Economic Forum with the United Nations was officially finalised in the signing of the UN-WEF Strategic Partnership Agreement on June 13 2019. This merger of two organisations, created by the same global interests at different times in the twentieth century, caused global condemnation that was never reported upon in the mainstream media:

https://www.tni.org/en/article/end-the-united-nationsworld-economic-forum-partnership-agreement

https://www.fian.org/en/press-release/article/wef-takeover-of-un-strongly-condemned-2273

https://www.weforum.org/press/2019/06/world-economic-forum-and-un-sign-strategic-partnership-framework/

Kissinger was deeply involved with people who hold an acute belief in the critical need to establish a bureaucratic global governance framework through which to govern and regulate the entire planet. A global vision now being executed through the Great Reset, Agenda 2030 and a multitude of compliant and agreeable government and corporate bureaucracies on an unwitting world population:

https://unlimitedhangout.com/2022/08/investigative-reports/the-kissinger-continuum-the-unauthorized-history-of-the-wefs-young-global-leaders-program/

Klaus Schwab honoured Kissinger in a public address to a room full of Davos devotees on June 2017:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Apjzjsa8AIg

The global security state is unfolding to wrap humanity and protect it from the very conditions of chaos, violence and suffering being perpetrated by entities acting on behalf of these interests pushing this new governance and control framework.

Where there is a will there is a way and clearly the will is intent on rolling out a global solution to a global state of chaos and suffering created by these same interests. To me Kissinger represents a very, very clever play by those interests to provide a global solution.

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