Is Hengry Kissinger Guilty of War Crimes?
 Vigilance vs. Terrorism Story Synopsis:  Was Henry Kissinger a war criminal?   Did he plot to murder?  Did he cause the deaths of more than 20,000 Americans in the Vietnam War by sabotaging the 1968 peace negotiations?   Should he be served up to the International Criminal Court as an act of Vigilance by the United States?   These and many more questions are answered in today's story:  "War Crimes of Henry Kissinger."  


Monday--November 4
, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 418
War Crimes Of Henry Kissinger
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, Nov. 4 --I never liked Henry Kissinger.  I never trusted him.  He reminded me of Dr. Strangelove.  And he looked like a corpulent butcher with far too much power.  Plus, he sounded like a Nazi wrapped in an American Flag.  That was three and a half decades ago.   My opinions were all visceral, based solely on intuition, bad vibes, and a fairly good eye and ear for sizing up human beings on the prowl to unleash the Beast of Terror upon anything they considered fair game.

Marine Combat Correspondent McKenzie

        I was a U.S. Marine Combat Correspondent in Vietnam--one of the first to report the war.  My mission was to fight first and write secondly, and to insure I extolled the virtues of killing and maiming the "bad guys" so any blood woven in the seven red stripes symbolizing the sacrifices of those who died for Old Glory would not drip onto the six white stripes of its symbolic purity.
        This morning, when I awoke at 4:15a.m,. as I do most days to start my research for the day's article, I planned on a hefty article about the New York Marathon, and how it represented a global unification of athletic Vigilance.  I consider the marathon a symbol that our world can work together despite all the political, social, economic and religious firestorms that rage as we trudge forward into the 21st Century.
        But I made an error. I wasn't expecting the unexpected.   With my morning coffee I picked up a New Yorker Magazine.  It fell open to a review of documentary, "The Trials of Henry Kissinger."   It was all about an effort to indict him for war crimes.
        When you don't like somebody, you gravitate to the dung pile people shovel around that person's image.   The smell was sweet this morning.  My eyes couldn't stop racing over the pages.  My resentments against Mr. Kissinger were doused with fiery fuel as I caught myself nodding in agreement with what I was reading, and muttering to myself, "Right On!"
        I've never met Mr. Kissinger.   I have no personal right to think he's the "scum bag" I think he is.   It's all just sheer "gut feelings," the kind that can backfire because they are based on little facts, and illustrate your immaturity as an intellectual.  Such prejudice doesn't offer everyone the "right to be wrong."
       But I'm not an intellectual.  

Vigilance Bus rooting out terror

       I'm a Terror Hunter.  I have a nose for Terror as a bloodhound has a nose for catching the scent of game and hounding it to its grave.
      Chide me if you will, but my instincts have rarely been wrong--which is no justification for assuming I am right--except that it works for me.
      They want Henry for murder.   They want him for mass murder.   They want to show the world that guys like Kissinger can't hide behind a Nobel Peace Prize when they won it with bloody hands, at the expense of tens of thousands of lives.
       The documentary, "The Trials of Henry Kissinger," evolved from a book based on a two-part article published last year in Harper's.   It's author, Christopher Hitchens, is supported by British journalist William Shawcross and Seymour M. Hersch, who dig deep into Kissinger's political bowels to reveal a man possessed by power.

         The most startling fact that turned my stomach was Kissinger's role in sabotaging the 1968 peace talks with North Vietnam.   At the time, outgoing President Lyndon Johnson and Democratic presidential hopeful Hubert Humphrey, were in the thick of peace negotiations with North and South Vietnam.  Kissinger served as an unofficial advisor to the American negotiators.  
        Kissinger was sly and devious.  He was sending privileged information to Humphrey's presidential opponent, Richard Nixon, a man he is supposed to have hated.   Nixon channeled information to South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu that the Republicans could get him a "better deal."   Thieu broke negotiations three days before the election, just enough of a bombshell to give Nixon that extra voting push to make him president.    The tribute Kissinger sought from Nixon for helping win the presidency was his appointment to the all-powerful position of national security advisor.    Some now call his title--"National Terror Advisor."

       In the four years that passed after the sabotage of peace negotiations, another twenty-thousand Americans died, plus countless Vietnamese and Cambodians.   When Kissinger finally worked out a peace agreement, it was almost identical to the one he booby trapped in 1968.  He was awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize along with Le Duc Tho of Vietnam, for his work on the Vietnam peace accords. Tho refused the prize rather than share it with Kissinger..
        The five nations seeking to summons Kissinger for questioning include a host of accusation.  They include not only the expansion of a brutal war for self gain, but also creating the coup that toppled Chilean President Allende, Kissinger's engineering of the secret bombing of Cambodia and his approval of Indonesian president Suharto's use of U.S. arms to massacre 100,000 East Timorese.  Also, Kissinger has been directly linked to complicity in the murder of General Rene Schneider, Commander in Chief of the Chilean Army who refused to stop a coup against newly elected President Salvador Allende.
        Kissinger "Terror Hunters" tracked down one of Kissinger's buddies in 1998, General Augusto Pinochet, Chile's former dictator Kissinger helped to power.  He was arrested in London and charged with human rights violations at the request of Spanish authorities.
        Kissinger's mouth doesn't help his image.  One of his more infamous quotes that angers those seeking to make him pay for his abuse of power is:  "The illegal we can do right now; the unconstitutional will take a little longer."

Author Christopher Hitchens

        Alex Gilbney, one of co-producers of the film documenting the "Trials of Henry Kissinger," says Kissinger's "capacity for self-deception is enormous.  He can convince himself that the end justifies the means.   But I think there's a battle going on inside his soul, that maybe he didn't live his life as justly as he might have, that his life might have been too much about power and too little about morality and American democracy."
        That same comment might also be said of Hitler, or Saddam Hussein, or perhaps bin Laden. Former Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, felt remorse when he cried tears of remorse for his inept handling of the Vietnam War.   In his book, Retrospect, he confessed to mishandling the Vietnam war and broke 27 years of silence on the subject.  McNamara's mea culpa evidences the flaws in the Nixon Administration's handling of Vietnam.  It suggests egomaniacs like Kissinger could ran rampant without check.
       But there is a danger in trying to lynch Kissinger just because he's an arrogant, intellectual scum bag.  Terror Hunting can flip from Vigilance to vigilantism in a heartbeat.   There is always a thin, fragile line between justice and retribution.   Because I never liked Kissinger,  I would have to remove myself from the "impartial jury" that might one day review his "crimes against humanity."
       But, caution doesn't stop me from believing that Vigilance is not something worth dishing out to those who abused their power.  One day America will have to stand in the witness box along with those it indicts for "crimes against humanity" if it seeks to be just in role as "sheriff of the world."  One who throws rocks at glass houses has to take his when that time comes.
      If America denies its flaws in leadership, we're just another tyrant, issuing out proclamations of injustice while shielding ourselves from our own dirty laundry.   Two-faced statesmanship will crumble any "good intentions" we might have of being the world's democratic leader.    

      That's why I opt to serve up Henry Kissinger today to the five nations who have summoned him.   I understand the fear our political and governmental leaders have of opening the door to criminal prosecution by entities such as the International Criminal Court.   I understand our thirst to protect our constitutional rights by disavowing the power of other nations over ours.
      Yet at the same time I recognize the need for our world to have one Standard of Vigilance, not so many that one nation can do this and another nation do that, hiding, as America, behind its "sovereign shield."  When Pinochet was arrested in London, the magistrate told defense layer Michael Tigar, "one law for one world."
       Ultimately, America will have to kneel to the power of one world.  Otherwise, it can never be knighted as "Lord Protector of Vigilance."   Whether we serve up Kissinger as our "head on a plate," or we wait until the pressure mounts and someone else's head is offered, we must humble ourselves to the other nations at some point in history to gain their full respect.  Now, I believe, is as good a time as any.
       Even the mafia serves up criminals to justice.    The gang lords know that someone has to be sacrificed to prove the vulnerability of the bad.  We should take a lesson from our criminals.   Handing over Kissinger will take the pressure off America's "invincibility to be wrong."  Otherwise, the pressure will continue until the dam bursts. 
         At some point in time, America will have to muster the courage to admit that its power can be just as corrupted as the smallest underdeveloped nation in the world.   The penalty for such crimes cannot go unpunished for a number of reasons.  If they are, then the next person who steps into the driver's seat will corrupt more power, and what could once have been stopped, will grow cancerous.

        This is especially true if America continues its role a the "Terror Hunter."   If we righteously flex all our muscles to smash Terrorism's head, then we must be prepared to deliver our own Terrorists to the courts of "human justice."
       Ergo, Henry Kissinger should be our first capo to stand before the courts of international human rights.  He should take the bullets he was willing to discharge at others.  I believe it's called "equal strokes for all folks."
       I believe in the Shield of Vigilance--that its Courage, Conviction and Right Actions demand that one who is accused of wrongs by the world be willing to defend his or her "rightness."   To use the Shield of Vigilance to hide behind Fear, Intimidation and Complacency is not a lesson we want the children, and their children's children's children to learn.
      Right now, however, as long as Henry Kissinger is only being tried in movie theaters, the Parents of Vigilance will have to duck our children's piercing question:  "How come we chase bad guys abroad and ignore our bad guys at home?  Mommy? Daddy?"

Nov 3--Day Of The Dead "Vigilance Dancers"

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