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
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.
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.
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
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
Prize along with
Le Duc Tho
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
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
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."
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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