Niklas's blog

Henry Kissinger is dead

henry_kissinger_2008.jpg Henry Kissinger - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008. Used with permission from World Economic Forum under the CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Deed license.

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Finally. He's finally dead. I'm happy he's dead. Even though that might sound bad, he truly deserved to die earlier than he did. Why, you ask? Let's quote Anthony Bourdain about the matter:

Once you’ve been to Cambodia, you’ll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands. You will never again be able to open a newspaper and read about that treacherous, prevaricating, murderous scumbag sitting down for a nice chat with Charlie Rose or attending some black-tie affair for a new glossy magazine without choking. Witness what Henry did in Cambodia – the fruits of his genius for statesmanship – and you will never understand why he’s not sitting in the dock at The Hague next to Milošević.

Also courtesy of Bourdain:

“I’m not going to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” he said. “I don’t need to be laughing it up with Henry Kissinger.” He then launched into a tirade about how it sickens him, having traveled in Southeast Asia, to see Kissinger embraced by the power-lunch crowd. “Any journalist who has ever been polite to Henry Kissinger, you know, fuck that person,” he said, his indignation rising. “I’m a big believer in moral gray areas, but when it comes to that guy, in my view he should not be able to eat at a restaurant in New York.” I pointed out that Bourdain had made similarly categorical denunciations of many people, only to bury the hatchet and join them for dinner. “Emeril didn’t bomb Cambodia!” he said.8

Let's not forget a famous quote:

In 1970 U.S. National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger had ordered “a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves” – a call for genocide of a kind rarely found in the archival record.2

Another one, also from Noam Chomsky:

Let’s take a look at the worst international crime since the Second World War, the US invasion of Vietnam, then all of Indochina, leaving many millions of corpses and three countries in ruins. Sometimes the assault was undertaken with explicit directives reaching to such levels of criminality that they defy words, such as the infamous orders that Kissinger obediently transmitted to the US Air Force calling for “a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves” (Becker)—a call for genocide that is hard to duplicate in the historical record. Orders that were carried out, providing a major stimulus for the creation of the Khmer Rouge, as revealed by scholarship (Ben Kiernan and others) but hardly penetrates to common sense.5

How about what Kissinger thought about whistleblowers?

Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower of Pentagon Papers fame, stepped cautiously down a weathered staircase from a deck overlooking San Francisco Bay. Intent on his mission, he barely noticed the panoramic view. Ellsberg steered past a hot tub and opened the door to what “used to be an under-basement,” he explained when he gave me the tour. A lifetime’s accumulation of books and papers filled the subterranean office, a warren of interconnected rooms. There were wobbly stacks of file boxes, some topped with wire baskets holding still more files. Narrow aisles divided uneven rows of bookcases. The shelves were labeled thematically: “EVIL,” “GENOCIDE,” “BOMBING CIVILIANS,” “BUSH.” Ellsberg had lost none of his outrage at the news of the world, none of his appetite for political combat. At eighty-two, his face lined but unsoftened, he still had the bearing of a raptor on the hunt. In 1971, then a defense analyst with a Top Secret clearance, Ellsberg had sent a classified history of the Vietnam War to the New York Times and the Washington Post—seven thousand pages, enough to shatter the lies of two presidents about the war. He became an icon of dissent, the archetype of a leaker as agent of social change. Henry Kissinger, then Richard Nixon’s national security adviser, called him “the most dangerous man in America,” a badge that Ellsberg carried with fierce pride. Ellsberg became the first American ever charged with espionage for providing information to the press.6

Do we remember Kissingers words when he supported massacres against Kurds? From David Barsamian in interview with Noam Chomsky:

In Manufacturing Consent, you observe: “A propaganda system will consistently portray people abused in enemy states as worthy victims, whereas those treated with equal or greater severity by its own government or clients will be unworthy.” Then you give the example of the Kurds in Iraq and the Kurds in Turkey. The Kurds in Iraq first became victims of U.S. power in the 1970s, when the United States essentially sold them out to Saddam Hussein. In 1974, as a favor to Iran, Washington supported a Kurdish rebellion against Iraq. But a year later, Iraq and Iran made a deal, and the United States just stepped back, leaving Iraq free to massacre the Kurds. When Henry Kissinger was asked why we did that, he made his famous statement “Covert action should not be confused with missionary work.”7

The Intercept have written a brilliant article1 about Kissinger's death. From the article:

Kissinger helped to prolong the Vietnam War and expand that conflict into neutral Cambodia; facilitated genocides in Cambodia, East Timor, and Bangladesh; accelerated civil wars in southern Africa; and supported coups and death squads throughout Latin America. He had the blood of at least 3 million people on his hands, according to his biographer Greg Grandin. 

There were “few people who have had a hand in as much death and destruction, as much human suffering, in so many places around the world as Henry Kissinger,” said veteran war crimes prosecutor Reed Brody.


As National Security Adviser, Kissinger played a key role in prolonging the U.S. wars in Southeast Asia, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of American troops and hundreds of thousands of Cambodians, Laotians, and Vietnamese. During his tenure, the United States dropped 9 billion pounds of munitions on Indochina.

In 1973, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Kissinger and his North Vietnamese counterpart Le Duc Tho “for jointly having negotiated a cease fire in Vietnam in 1973.”

As secretary of state and national security adviser, Kissinger spearheaded efforts to improve relations with the former Soviet Union and “opened” the People’s Republic of China to the West for the first time since Mao Zedong came to power in 1949. Kissinger also supported genocidal militaries in Pakistan and Indonesia. In the former, Nixon and his national security adviser backed a dictator who — according to CIA estimates — slaughtered hundreds of thousands of civilians; in the latter, Ford and Kissinger gave President Suharto the go-ahead for an invasion of East Timor that resulted in about 200,000 deaths — around a quarter of the entire population.

In Latin America, Nixon and Kissinger plotted to overturn the democratic election of Chile’s socialist president Salvador Allende. This included Kissinger’s supervision of covert operations — such as the botched kidnapping of Chilean Gen. René Schneider that ended in Schneider’s murder — to destabilize Chile and prompt a military coup. “You did a great service to the West in overthrowing Allende,” Kissinger later told Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the leader of the military junta that went on to kill thousands of Chileans. In Argentina, Kissinger gave another green light, this time to a terror campaign of torture, forced disappearances, and murder by a military junta that overthrew President Isabel Perón. During a June 1976 meeting, Kissinger told the junta’s foreign minister, César Augusto Guzzetti: “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly.” The so-called Dirty War that followed would claim the lives of an estimated 30,000 Argentine civilians.

Jacobin on Kissinger

The news outlet Jacobin deserve a special mention because of how they've reacted to Kissinger's death:

I just ordered the book. Get your copy here. About it:

If the American foreign policy establishment is a grand citadel, then Henry Kissinger is the ghoul haunting its hallways. For half a century, he was an omnipresent figure in war rooms and at press briefings, dutifully shepherding the American empire through successive rounds of growing pains.

Approx. 200-page book published with Verso Books. Expected ship date December 2023.

Speaking of Jacobin, they've released a spate of articles all related to Kissinger's warmongering romps throughout the world, not least Latin America:

English media coverage of Kissinger's death

Actually, the Rolling Stone Magazine title is Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America's Ruling Class, Finally Dies10.

Swedish media coverage of Kissinger's death

My being Swedish, I had to check out what the big Swedish news wrote about Kissinger's death:

Aftonbladet: "Kissinger was Secretary of State under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Le Duc Tho for having negotiated the peace agreement that ended the Vietnam War. [...] In addition to having negotiated the peace agreement in the Vietnam War, he opened up to the United States: s relations with China, forged ties between Israel and several Arab nations, and thawed relations between the United States and the Soviet Union."

Expressen: "After the death sentence, former President George W Bush called Kissinger 'one of the most reliable and distinctive voices in foreign affairs' and says he will miss 'his wisdom, charm and humor'."

Svenska Dagbladet: "Kissinger was a real politician who tried to achieve concrete goals without letting himself be hindered by moral concerns. According to his critics, human rights often came under pressure. They blame him for the death of hundreds of thousands of people by ordering secret bombings of Laos and Cambodia. His legacy is also tarnished by support for Indonesia's brutal invasion of East Timor in 1975 and Augusto Pinochet's military coup in Chile in 1973."

SVT: "He came to be seen as one of the 20th century's most famous diplomats and security advisers, but also attracted international condemnation and was accused of several war crimes."

Dagens Nyheter: "He was known for, among other things, having been involved in opening up the diplomatic relations between the United States and China, the disarmament talks with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and the peace agreement with Vietnam in 1973. For the latter, in his capacity as the United States' peace negotiator, he received Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, an award he shared with his North Vietnamese counterpart Le Duc Tho, who refused to accept the prize."

Naturally, this is shameful stuff.

A tiny list of media coverage on Kissinger, pre-death


While most people don't deserve despise, Kissinger is a true exception. His memory should live on as a mark of cain, a completely damaged person who carried indifference to love and empathy, a person who bowed down to power, one who said 'the first 9/11 was nothing of great consequence'11.

We can learn from Kissinger. He was a person who affected the lives of millions of people, leading to the death of millions of people. Is this a democratic conclusion? Of course not. It's fascism, the structure of which is capitalism.

Let's choose a better future than what Kissinger intended for the 0.00001% of humankind.

  1. Nick Turse, ‘Henry Kissinger, Top U.S. Diplomat Responsible for Millions of Deaths, Dies at 100’, The Intercept, 30 November 2023,

  2. Noam Chomsky, ‘Anniversaries From “Unhistory”’, Truthout, 6 February 2012,

  3. A notable quote from the article: 'Rogers proposed reasonable diplomatic solutions to the Israel-Arab conflict. Kissinger, whose ignorance of the region was monumental, insisted on confrontation, leading to the 1973 war, a close call for Israel with a serious threat of nuclear war.' 

  4. A notable quote from the article: 'The commitment to maintain the Atlanticist order in Europe, in which the U.S. reigns supreme, has had policy implications that reach beyond Europe itself. One crucial example was Chile in 1973, when the U.S. was working hard to overthrow the parliamentary government, finally succeeding with the installation of the murderous Pinochet dictatorship. A prime reason for destroying democracy in Chile was explained by its prime architect, Henry Kissinger. He warned that parliamentary social reforms in Chile might provide a model for similar efforts in Italy and Spain that might lead Europe on an independent path, away from subordination to U.S. control and the U.S. model of harsher capitalism. The domino theory, often derided, never abandoned, because it is an important instrument of statecraft.' 

  5. Noam Chomsky and Marv Waterstone, Consequences of Capitalism (Haymarket Books, 2021),

  6. Barton Gellman, Dark Mirror, 2021,

  7. David Barsamian and Noam Chomsky, Global Discontents, 2018,

  8. Patrick Radden Keefe, Rogues, accessed 30 November 2023,

  9. The fun bit: '“99 years old, but still, still pushing out the kind of platitudes that not only can be used to excuse the most evil people in the history of the species but that are designed to do exactly that… This rhetoric-as-strategy is obvious right from this book’s cast of characters…A reader might first wonder what Konrad Adenauer is doing drawn among these heartless hinds, but eyebrows might raise at de Gaulle and even Sadat as well… A moment’s thought reveals the beady-eyed rationale behind this grouping; it’s not to pull down good men, it’s to raise up genuine fire-eyed black-pelted yellow-fanged monsters… Henry Kissinger might not be able to climb a flight of stairs anymore, but he’s still capable of telling a lie before he’s even finished his Table of Contents… As he’s winding up this ghastly, conscienceless book, Kissinger contentedly admits that his subjects weren’t always popular… Not everyone admired them or ‘subscribed to their policies’… Sometimes, in fact, they faced resistance, and their separate memories still sometimes face such resistance… Almost like there might be debate about their legacies, or something… Leadership might very well be Kissinger’s most mandarin-hateful book, even surpassing 2014’s truly odious World PowerIt’s his 19th book… Here’s hoping it’s his last.” ' 

  10. Ackerman, Spencer. ‘Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America’s Ruling Class, Finally Dies’. Rolling Stone (blog), 30 November 2023.

  11. Noam Chomsky, ‘The Responsibility of Intellectuals, Redux’, Boston Review, 1 September 2011,