Henry Kissinger. Photo: Bert Verhoeff/CC
Henry Kissinger. Photo: Bert Verhoeff/CC

Scott Jones

Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state, diplomat and advisor to numerous US presidents and governments, has died at the age of 100. He leaves behind a bloody legacy of 60 years of coups and wars.

As national security advisor to Richard Nixon he was influential in the secret bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War, which paved the way for the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. He stood firmly behind the slaughter in Bangladesh by Pakistani forces which killed up to three million. He encouraged coups and invasions in Cyprus and East Timor. During the latter, he visited Jakarta in Indonesia, and told President Suharto, a brutal dictator, that he understood his reasons, advising him to get it over and done with quickly. The next day, Suharto moved in with his US-equipped army, killing 200,000 East Timorese.

Kissinger also forged ties with and supported the military dictatorship in Argentina, the Israeli government’s war against Palestine and the apartheid government in South Africa. But probably most infamously of all, he was a key figure behind US support for and involvement in the coup against democratically elected socialist Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, which resulted in the defeat of the revolution, repression of the Chilean working class and the start of a 17-year neoliberal, murderous dictatorship.

In later years, he spent his ‘retirement’ supporting the US invasion of Iraq and continuing his malign influence by advising Donald Trump and other US presidents. The fact that he once received a Nobel Peace Prize was like a sick joke. Kissinger’s time as a bagman for US imperialism may be over, now we must bury his legacy and the bloody capitalist system he served.