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#152 – Henry Kissinger

#152 – Henry Kissinger published on No Comments on #152 – Henry Kissinger

In early 1969, Kissinger was opposed to the plans for Operation Menu, the bombing of Cambodia.1 p. 591 Kissinger would play a key role to disrupt raids into South Vietnam from Cambodia, as well as the 1970 Cambodian Incursion and the subsequent widespread bombing of Khmer Rogue targets in Cambodia.

In 1973, Kissinger did not feel that pressing the Soviet Union concerning the plight of Jews being persecuted there was in the interest of U.S. foreign policy. In conversation with Nixon shortly after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir on March 1st, 1973, Kissinger stated; “The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective American foreign policy, and if they put Jews into gas chambers into the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”2

Henry Kissinger is a proponent of Realpolitik, he played a dominant role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977. In that period, he extended the policy of détente. The policy led to a significant relaxation in US-Soviet tensions and played a crucial role in 1971 talks with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. The talks concluded with a rapprochement between the U.S and the People’s Republic of China, and the formation of a new strategic Anti-Soviet Sino-American alignment. He was jointly awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize with Lê Đức Thọ for helping establish a ceasefire and U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam. The ceasefire, however, was not durable.3 Thọ declined to accept the reward4, and Kissinger appeared deeply ambivalent about it. He donated his prize money to charity, and did not attend the award ceremony, and later offered to return his prize medal.