July 19, 2024

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Henry Kissinger’s Century – WSJ

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No U.S. secretary of state ever achieved such celebrity while in office as Henry Kissinger. A 1974 Newsweek cover depicted him as “Super K,” a comic-book hero. Time called him “the world’s indispensable man.” Gallup ranked him America’s most admired man. A 1972 Life magazine spread pictured him with a bevy of actresses, including Jill St. John.

Yet no former secretary of state has been more vehemently criticized. Of the many anti-Kissinger books, the most influential was Christopher Hitchens’s “The Trial of Henry Kissinger” (2001), which explicitly accused Kissinger of responsibility for “war crimes and crimes against humanity in Indochina, Chile, Argentina, Cyprus, East Timor, and several other places”—although the book mentioned only one other supposed crime scene, Bangladesh, and mentioned the Soviet Union a mere three times. These accusations stuck like mud—late in life, Kissinger regularly faced protests at his public appearances—yet they are at odds with the historical record.

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2023-11-29 21:33:00

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