The more I research Henry Kissinger the more damning the evidence against him gets. What say Pinetree, TWS30 and McTavish in defence of Kissinger?
Probably nothing. But at least I asked them.
Your position is given on the assumption that everyone plays by the rules, that the prevailing codes are one of decency, honour, chivalry etc. On the contrary, much of the world plays by whatever they can get away with and it is often vile, cruel and deceitful. Dr. Kissinger and the USA adapted and compensated for those rules, albeit too late for some, and those were still far more humane, compassionate and reasonable than those who were on the opposing side.
Dr. Kissinger and the USA often gets beaten up over the bombing of Cambodia. What is never mentioned is that China, the VietCong and North Vietnamese regulars used supply routes through Cambodia and Laos. They were the first to violate and to exploit the purported neutrality of these countries. China and Russia were instrumental in the creation of the Pol Pot regime of terror. The USA negotiated in good faith the Paris Peace Accords. It was North Vietnam and China which quickly broke the agreement. It was the North Vietnamese who shot down UN peacekeeper aircraft and it was the Viet Cong North Vietnamese army who ruthlessly kidnapped the Canadian UN peacekeepers.
Many of the arguments made against the USA and Kissinger are driven more by ideology rather than hard factual evidence. The fact remains is that the Nixon presidency with Kissinger laid the groundwork for a reduction in world hostility between the nuclear powers and gave us arms control treaties and the building of trust between these nations. I am grateful that the nuclear war threat was reduced in that period.
As an illustration of the impact of playing by your imagined code of ethics, one need only look at the turmoil of Lebanon of the early 1980's. Diplomats and journalists from many countries were kidnapped, tortured, murdered or held for ransom. The UK , USA, and France all suffered. The UK and USA "good boy" approach resulted in their nationals' deaths and a cycle of killings and kidnappings. The French paid ransoms and retrieved their people, and also indirectly encourage further attacks on French nationals. The one country who did not screw around was the Soviet Union. The Russians played hard. The turning point was in 1985 when 4 Soviet diplomats were kidnapped by Lebanese terrorists, with a cultural attache tortured and then murdered, the Russians communicated in a form that the arabs understood; The KGB engineered the kidnapping of the Hizbollah leader and started kidnapping various members of Hizbolla and Islamic Jihad, cutting off their fingers and sending the digits back to the organizations. Not nice, but effective. After this demonstration of what happens when you attack the Soviets, they were never bothered again. That is what real politik is. The Soviets also tried to explain to westerners what need to be done, but the arrogant west replied with the same arguments you offer and suffered the consequences.
Bombino: High-Energy Sounds From 'Agadez,' Niger
The Tuareg people have lived in the Sahara desert of Western Africa for thousands of years. The harsh desert environment gets woven into those who can adapt to it. So the Tuareg have long been protective of their independent, nomadic-herder culture and society. But not unlike the European Roma, Tuaregs have a tense — occasionally violent — relationship with central governments. As with the Roma, the Tuareg's modern music has become a prime vehicle for both defiance and unification.
In the early 1990s, during an armed struggle with the Niger government over water, land and independence, the child Omara Moctar, now known as Bombino, fled with his family from their home in the city of Agadez. While exiled in Algeria, the 12-year-old Bombino first heard electric guitar and was captivated. By 2010, guitar players were no longer considered symbols of insurrection and Bombino could return to Agadez and play openly. Based on his new album, he is clearly a young performer with the charisma and probing imagination to become the first Tuareg star. And he addresses the oldest theme of all in "Tar Hani," which means "My Love."
It may sound peculiar to suggest that could be the hit single from the album Agadez, but currents of blues and rock run through Bombino's guitar work, picked up from Jimi Hendrix records combined with influences from the group Tinariwen, the founders of electric Tuareg music, and guitarists from Mali like Ali Farke Toure. Bombino is another example of a player who seems to plug in himself when he plugs in his guitar. Still, he can cast a charming trance on acoustic, particularly resonator guitar, which he often reserves for folk tunes such as one dedicated to "The Desert, My Home."
The Tuaregs are Muslims most in tune with the Sufi tradition that treasures poetry — music that draws the community together in festivals of culture. Often, Bombino offers a stripped-down, garage-band treatment of the tradition, with only a second guitar and some gourd percussion and handclaps to back him up. At times, I miss the richness of the Tinariwen band, and its album Aman Iman remains the ideal introduction to Tuareg electric. But if you enjoy the style at all, Agadez has to be part of the package. Bombino makes for a strong frontman — he feels less like a collective than Tinariwen does — and there's no resisting his headlong, six-string rave-ups.
Bombino's future is open. He says he's as happy to celebrate peace with his music as he is to use it as a Tuareg call to arms. He'll spread the word this summer on his first extended American tour. In the meantime, you can visit YouTube for some hi-energy performance selections from the recent documentary about Bombino, also called Agadez. The clip that's listed as "Bombino Concert, Agadez" captures the essence of his populism and joy.
Bombino with Her Tenere (My Love) off of his 2011 Agadez album.