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Top: Jewish Leaders: Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger: The Walking, Talking Conflict of Interest
http://www.fair.org/extra/best-of-extra/kissinger-conflict.html on July 11, 2022 Extra! (10-11/89), Best of Extra!
On Sept. 13, 1989, the day Henry Kissinger ended his tenure as a paid analyst for ABC News, he became the newest member of CBS's board of directors. Kissinger's ties to the TV networks have always been close; no other "expert" is as ubiquitous on TV, commenting on what U.S. policy should be toward countries from Eastern Europe to the Middle East to Latin America.
In recent months, Kissinger has used his high media profile in a spirited defense of China. In a Washington Post/L.A. Times column ("The Caricature of Deng as a Tyrant Is Unfair", 8/1/89), Kissinger argued against sanctions: "China remains too important for America's national security to risk the relationship on the emotions of the moment." He asserted: "No government in the world would have tolerated having the main square of its capital occupied for eight weeks by tens of thousands of demonstrators."
Kissinger's defense of China and other repressive governments has sometimes raised eyebrows. What it has not raised is tough questions from TV interviewers about Kissinger's business ties to these same governments. In a column alluding to FAIR's study that found Kissinger to be Nightline's most frequent guest, the Washington Post's Richard Cohen (8/29/89) sounded an urgent appeal: "Will someone please ask Henry Kissinger the 'C' question?" The "C" stands for conflict of interest.
When he's not pontificating in the media about foreign affairs, he's engaging in foreign financial affairs through his secretive consulting firm, Kissinger & Associates. The firm, representing some 30 multinational companies -- including American Express, H.J. Heinz, ITT and Lockheed -- earns profits by "opening doors" for investors in China, Latin America and elsewhere (New York Times, 4/30/89).
A Wall Street Journal article by John Fialka ("Mr. Kissinger Has Opinions on China -- and Business Ties", 9/15/89) reported that Kissinger also heads China Ventures, a company engaged in joint ventures with China's state bank. As its brochure explains, China Ventures invests only in projects that "enjoy the unquestioned support of the People's Republic of China." The Journal article was unusual in exploring the private business interests behind U.S. foreign policy, not the media's strong suit -- even when, as in Kissinger's case, they are rolled into one person.
In a letter to network TV news programs, FAIR urged that guest analysts be questioned about their financial links to the subjects they are discussing, and that such links be disclosed on the air: "Our society demands financial disclosure of politicians and government officials; shouldn't we expect the news media to disclose the financial interests of their guest experts when such interests are related to the issues under discussion?"
Mon, 16 Oct 95
On the Charlie Rose Show, Sept 14, 1995, Henry Kissinger argued for what would be in effect an ethnic-partition and religious apartheid in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Kissinger urged a dividing up the country between Croatia and Serbia and, in effect, forcing the Muslims (and any Bosnians who wanted a state not based on "ethnic-cleansing") into a ghetto in the center. The basis of Kissinger's argument was his claim that "There is no Bosnian culture."
Ironically, the person who has done most to disprove Kissinger's remark is none other than Serb General Ratko Mladic, who has spent four years busily trying to destroy the vast testimony to Bosnian culture.
He burned down the National Library in Sarajevo with three days of shelling by incendiary grenades--the largest book burning in modern history. Over a million books and 100,000 manuscripts and rare books were burned, including much of the ancient South Slavic heritage of Bosnia.
He selected out and shelled the Oriental Institute manuscript collection in Sarajevo, with its collection of 5000 Bosnian manuscripts in Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Adzamijski (Bosnian Slavic written in Arabic script).
He shelled repeatedly and deliberately the National Museum with its priceless collection of Bosnian art. A few objects, such as the Sarajevo Haggadah were saved by courageous Bosnians (Croat, Muslim, Serb, and Jewish) who risked their lives to save as much of their Bosnian cultural heritage as possible. One of his soldiers even lined up the Bosnian art collection of a Sarajevan artist (who was Serb) and "executed" them by drilling them with machine-gun fire.
Mladic's soldiers selected out artists, writers, teachers, and scholars for particularly brutal tortures and killings in his concentration camps.
Mladic's army joined irregular Serb militias in dynamiting over 600 mosques , including the masterworks of European architecture and Bosnian heritage: the Colored Mosque in Foca (built in 1551) and the Ferhadija Mosque in Banja Luka (1583). Mladic's men also dynamited Catholic churches throughout the area of occupation.
In places he couldn't occupy, Mladic deliberately shelled hundreds of other Bosnian architectural treasures . The famous Ghazi Husrev Beg Mosque in Sarajevo (1531) was repeatedly targeted. In Mostar, Mladic's army shelled the cathedral in Mostar, the Karadjoz Bey Mosque, entire historical districts, as well as the regional archives of Herzegovina. The Jewish graveyard in Sarajevo was dug up and scattered all over by Mladic's troops. Mladic's troops annihilated, systematically, the ancient heritage of Trebinje, another city in Herzegovina. These shellings and demolitions were not the result of collateral damage. The targets were selected carefully and the areas around them were left unscathed./1/
Why would General Ratko Mladic spend four years destroying a culture that didn't exist in the first place?
No possible reason. The idea is absurd. Mladic's four years of frantic destruction was an attempt to destroy something that very much existed and very much still exists.
Mladic targeted the vibrant, powerful, and beautiful testimonies to Bosnian culture so that some day, advocates of religious apartheid in Bosnia, such as Henry Kissinger, could declare: "there is no Bosnian culture." People looking at the parking lots where mosques and churches and art museums and music schools and libraries and manuscript collections once stood would say: "I guess Kissinger is right."
And if there is no Bosnian culture, why not divide Bosnia, as Kissinger and General Mladic wish, between Croatia and Serbia, and herd the Muslims into a central ghetto? (How many non-Christian ghettoes have survived in Europe since 1096, the first crusade?)
The same Kissinger-type reasoning was used by advocates of apartheid in South Africa. There was no "African culture", they said, so why not put Africans on reservations called homelands and have apartheid?
The same approach was used during the extermination of the American Indian nations. There was no Native American Culture so why not put the American Indians on reservations or "ethncially cleanse" those who refuse to go to the reservations?
There is only one problem with Kissinger's statement and his plan. As with South Africa and the American Indians, so with Bosnia, cultures are hard to kill.
You can kill people and you can dynamite mosques or desecrate cemeteries. You can build the concentration camps and killing centers that are now being exposed before the world at the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. After the people have been "cleansed" (killed or driven into refugee camps) and their monuments have been destroyed, you can, like Kissinger, claim these the culture never existed in the first place.
But you cannot kill the spirit of a great culture. Present-day South Africa is testimony to that. The very survival of the American Indian culture is testimony to that. And the perseverance and survival of Bosnians, rooted in their ancient and powerful culture that was made up of a variety of religions and cultural influences powerfully blended into a great culture, gives the lie to Kissinger.
All the bombs, shells, concentration camps, rapes, and mass-killings of General Mladic have only served to do one thing: to put Bosnian culture into the fire and steel it into purer and more resilient metal /2/.
And at a time when extremists of all sides in the U.S. are demanding apartheit, separation of races and religions, and religious and racial wars--at a time when some people are saying "American culture doesn't exist"-- Bosnian culture survives the overwhelming destructiveness of the Serb army, the betrayal by Croat extremists, the collaboration with the genocide by the NATO nations which could have stopped it in 1992, and the lie by the likes of Henry Kissinger.
Bosnian culture is sending us a message.
In the United States, if we want a society where people of different races, religion, and backgrounds share a common culture and build a united nation, then we are Bosnians. If we insist that cultures are not made by "ethnic cleansing" or apartheid and if we insist that division of people into ethnic, religious, and racial ghettoes is not a solution, we are Bosnians. If we insist that people of different races, religions, and background can work together and build a common culture, then we are Bosnians.
And if we sit back and allow the authors of genocide like General Mladic and the apostles of apartheit like Henry Kissinger to triumph in Bosnia, we will not likely be able to save our own culture /3/.
1 This piece was originally posted on the internet newsgroup alt.current-events.bosnia on October 14, 1995. For information on the war on Bosnian culture, see Andras Riedlmayer, "Erasing the Past: The Destruction of Libraries and Archives in Bosnia-Herzegovina MIDDLE EAST STUDIES ASSOCIATION BULLETIN, vol. 29 no. 1 (July 1995), pp. 7-11" and "Killing Memory: Bosnia's Cultural Heritage and its Destruction" VHS videocassette, 41 minutes (Haverford, PA: Community of Bosnia Foundation, 1994). Also see Rabia Ali and Lawrence Lifschultz, WHY BOSNIA (Pampleteer's Press, 1993). For a historical overview, see Noel Malcolm, BOSNIA: A SHORT HISTORY (New York University Press, 1994).
2 For one example of the Bosnian response to destruction, see Sarajevo Expo 92, an exhibit of seventeen works by major Sarajevan artists created during the worst period of the shelling of Sarajevo. The exhibit is being displayed at various places in the U.S. by Aida Musanovic, one of the artists.
3 This short article is dedicated to the hundreds of Bosnians who have been killed while risking their lives to save art, manuscripts, and other testimonies to their cultural heritage.
Well fix it, dear Henry!
Many years ago, the name of Henry Kissinger came up during an interview with a Cypriot politician. "Kissinger!" he hissed with great venom. "I'd like to drink his blood. He drained ours."
There's an old Norfolk (England) folk song, long since transplanted to American country. It runs: "There's a hole in the bucket, dear Eliza, dear Eliza," to which Eliza responds with increasing frustration as the song runs on: "Well, fix it, dear Henry! Dear Henry, fix IT! "
Henry Kissinger's globe has been full of holes that needed fixing, but from the bottom of our own bucket - we see only one. Thus, after the 1974 war in Cyprus, Kiss- inger was the demon conspirator who allowed the CIA in Athens to plot with the dictator colonels to stage a coup in Cyprus which led to the Turkish invasion.
The Cypriots underscored their case by accusing him of destroying President Salvador Allende in Chile and bringing another hated general, Augusto Pinochet, to power.
In 1974, the same Mr. Fixit was making himself into a hero and a lifetime legend by negotiating the first ever disengagement treaty between Israel and Syria-Egypt. Of that, more later.
"The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a bit longer, " wrote Kissinger in Law and Politics, delighting both people with a sense of humor and conspiracy theorists who have none.
Such musings drove me to consult the modern Delphic Oracle (the Internet) in advance of Kissinger's visit to Israel this week, when he delivered the first Rabin Lecture for the new Rabin Center - the shortest item in a packed schedule.
At a chat in his hotel with a few of us columnists, he grumbled that the Rabin Center organizers had been horrified to find that he had a whole half hour free one morning and rushed to plug it (dear Henry).
This is from the man you can find in the modern quote books for saying: "There can't be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full."
The Kissinger visit provided a good opportunity to measure the man against the legend - and to carry out an updated check on the research value of the Internet, which we journalists now shamelessly plunder for fresh ideas and old scandals.
For those not yet familiar with this technological miracle, let me compare searching the Internet's World Wide Web to swimming through a sewer with your mouth open, hoping to catch the good bits. Instead of one's mouth, one can now use a sort of scoop called a search engine. That finds not the good bits (whoever saw a scoop with value judgment), but the big bits.
The search for "Henry Kissinger" delivered a fine cross section of Internet usefulness, uselessness, infantility, and obsession. No, there were no offers among the 2,000 to 10,000 references for Kissinger blow-up dolls or nude pictures - but yes, he did star in a site for love lives of the famous.
We always knew there are a lot of wackos "out there." Now they all have web sites.
More interestingly, there was even a Henry Jewish joke (on a Jewish site, so it's mishpacha, not neo-Nazis.) A mother brings her child to his first day of Hebrew school. "What's his name?" asks the teacher.
"Henry Kissinger Goldberg," the mother replies.
"Isn't Henry Kissinger an odd name to give to a child, Mrs. Goldberg?"
"It's Ms. Goldberg. I thought that Henry Kissinger would be the perfect name to give to a bastard."
Now that's interesting, not because it's a good joke, but because of the background to it. This was the widespread belief current after the Yom Kippur War that Henry Kissinger knew about the Arab attack four days in advance, but refused to warn Israel. That was fuelled by the other urban legend - or conspiracy theory, take your pick - that Kissinger delayed the resupply airlift to pressure the government into accepting a cease-fire.
Say thank you
This was put to Kissinger again at his meeting with the journalists on Wednesday, citing Bill Quant as one source of the rumor. Quant claimed to be a senior member of Kissinger's staff during the Yom Kippur crisis. Here is Kissinger's response:
"In 1973, Bill Quant was in the underbrush somewhere. I never saw Bill Quant, if you look at my record.
"The Israelis wanted me to convey a request for a cease-fire and I didn't want to ask for a cease-fire at a time that they had lost territory. The war started on Saturday and until Tuesday morning we believed Israel was winning very rapidly.
"Tuesday morning was the first time we heard Israel was in need of resupply. Tuesday evening, we told Israel all its losses would be replaced. Wednesday we started exploring the flight chartering. By Friday - 48 hours - the regular American airlift was started.
"To wait 48 hours before you put your military airlift at the disposal of a foreign country is not a great delay. In fact, most countries would consider that moving with great rapidity. That is the actual sequence of events.
"What Quant thought is of indifference to me. What we wanted to see was a cease-fire along pre-war lines and did not want a cease-fire in place in which Israel lost territory."
Now there's the ring of truth from a man who consistently expresses fears for Israel's territorial security and says there must be no return to the 1967 borders. The least we could do, Ms. Goldberg, is thank Henry for fixing that one.
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