The Bodies Politik

In many ways, Henry Kissinger, who died at 100, acts as a litmus test for the way people, from academics to journalists to politicians, view America and its role in the world. Many leaders lauded Kissinger and invited him to chime in on international matters right up until the end of his life. Others viewed him as a war criminal who held a dignified position in American politics only because something is deeply broken in our system. David E. Sanger in the NYT (Gift Article): Henry Kissinger Is Dead at 100; Shaped the Nation’s Cold War History. “Few diplomats have been both celebrated and reviled with such passion as Mr. Kissinger. Considered the most powerful secretary of state in the post-World War II era, he was by turns hailed as an ultrarealist who reshaped diplomacy to reflect American interests and denounced as having abandoned American values, particularly in the arena of human rights, if he thought it served the nation’s purposes.”

+ “When Kissinger entered government as Richard Nixon’s national security adviser, he espoused a narrow perspective of the national interest, known as ‘realpolitik,’ primarily centered on maximizing the economic and military power of the United States. This power- and transactionalist-oriented approach to foreign policy produced a series of destructive outcomes. They ranged from fomenting coups that put in place murderous dictatorships, as in Chile, to killing unarmed civilians, as in Cambodia, and alienating potential allies, as in India.” The Conversation: A tortured and deadly legacy: Kissinger and realpolitik in US foreign policy.

+ Vox: What Henry Kissinger wrought. “One of America’s most important statesmen gave the world a series of diplomatic breakthroughs, and hundreds of thousands of bodies.”

+ Spencer Ackerman was not a fan. Rolling Stone: Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America’s Ruling Class, Finally Dies.

+ If you want to go deeper, you can always check out Christopher Hitchens’ The Trial of Henry Kissinger.

+ Whatever your view, Kissinger was very powerful for a very long time. And he definitely got around. Henry Kissinger: a life in pictures.

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