The United States still practices the evil spawned by Henry Kissinger: endless wars and imperialistic diplomacy by air power.
Greg Grandin, author of “Kissinger’s Shadow,” tells the theme of his book in a news analysis for TomDispatch. Kissinger was national security adviser and secretary of state under President Richard Nixon.
“Within days of Nixon’s inauguration in 1969, Kissinger asked the Pentagon to lay out his bombing options in Indochina,” Grandin writes. “The previous president, Lyndon Johnson, suspended the bombing campaign against North Vietnam in hope of negotiating a broader cease fire.”
But Nixon and Kissinger were eager to re-launch the campaign. They ordered bombing across the border in Cambodia after cooking up a rational that they sought to destroy North Vietnam supplies, depots and bases.
They wrongly believed such an onslaught might force Hanoi, capital of North Vietnam, to make concessions at the negotiating table. It was the beginning of monstrous “killing fields” genocide ordered by Kissinger in Cambodia.
Nixon had been elected to end the Vietnam War but, fearful of an adverse reaction from Congress for bombing a neutral nation, Nixon labeled the plan top secret and resorted to deception. He had the B-52 runs over South Vietnam switched to Cambodian targets.
Kissinger directed the sites to be bombed while thoroughly enjoying the role of bombardier. He beamed at reports of huge bomb craters. Dr. K approved 3,875 Cambodia bombing raids in 1969 and 1970.
The U.S. military dropped 6 billion tons of bombs on Southeast Asia by order of “bombardier” Kissinger. His order to blast “anything that flies or everything that moves” was carried out. The Finnish Government Committee of Inquiry put the Cambodian deaths at 600,000.
John Pilger, reporting for Truthout, said “the Nixon-Kissinger bombing of Cambodia unleashed a torrent of suffering from which the country has never recovered”.
Dr. K’s most recent apologia for his crimes was a book ironically entitled “World Order.” Tell that to the people of Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Chile and East Timor victimized by his “statecraft.”
They were crimes undertaken at a great distance by an imperial power. The nations victimized were helpless to strike back. This horrible truth was missing from most journalistic reports, assuring the unawareness of most Americans.
MAKING ABORTIONS EASIER
Laws in California and Oregon will soon allow pharmacists to prescribe pills, patches and rings for birth control without having a doctor’s prescription. Patients in those states need only be screened for risk factors such as smoking and blood clots.
The pills and devices are safe. Therefore, 48 other states should pass similar legislation. As the New York Times editorialized recently, “such legislation would help many women get the contraceptives they need.”
Oregon’s new law takes effect in January, California’s in April. A pharmacy chain is seeking a similar law in Nevada. A drive is underway for such legislation in New Mexico.
DOWN WITH MONARCHY
Jeremy Corbyn, staunch republican who is the leftist leader of the British Labor Party, refused to sing “God Save the Queen” at a recent Buckingham Palace ceremony. He also refused to speak to Queen Elizabeth II on bended knee.
Traditionalists were shocked. Apparently they never heard of the French Revolution.
The monarchy is not just centuries obsolete, it costs millions to the few nations that still have them. They are used merely for pomp and circumstance that pleases the hoi polloi. Sensible nations long since have shed such antiquities.
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. (firstname.lastname@example.org)