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In April 2014, ESPN published a photograph of an unlikely duo: Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and former national security adviser and secretary of state Henry Kissinger at the Yankees-Red Sox season opener. In fleece jackets on a crisp spring day, they were visibly enjoying each other’s company, looking for all the world like a twenty-first-century geopolitical version of Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. The subtext of their banter, however, wasn’t about sex, but death.

As a journalist, Power had made her name as a defender of human rights, winning a Pulitzer Prize for her book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. Having served on the National Security Council before moving on to the U.N., she was considered an influential “liberal hawk” of the Obama era. She was also a leading light among a set of policymakers and intellectuals who believe that American diplomacy should be driven not just by national security and economic concerns but by humanitarian ideals, especially the advancement of democracy and the defense of human rights.

The United States, Power long held, has a responsibility to protect the world’s most vulnerable people. In 2011 she played a crucial role in convincing President Obama to send in American air power to prevent troops loyal to Libyan autocrat Muammar Gaddafi from massacring civilians. That campaign led to his death, the violent overthrow of his regime, and in the end, a failed state and growing stronghold for ISIS and other terror groups. In contrast, Kissinger is identified with a school of “political realism,” which holds that American power should service American interests, even if that means sacrificing the human rights of others.

According to ESPN, Power teasingly asked Kissinger if his allegiance to the Yankees was “in keeping with a realist’s perspective on the world.” Power, an avid Red Sox fan, had only recently failed to convince the United Nations to endorse a U.S. bombing campaign in Syria, so Kissinger couldn’t resist responding with a gibe of his own. “You might,” he said, “end up doing more realistic things.” It was his way of suggesting that she drop the Red Sox for the Yankees. “The human rights advocate,” Power retorted, referring to herself in the third person, “falls in love with the Red Sox, the downtrodden, the people who can’t win the World Series.”

“Now,” replied Kissinger, “we are the downtrodden” — a reference to the Yankees’ poor performance the previous season. During his time in office, Kissinger had been involved in three of the genocides Power mentions in her book: Pol Pot’s “killing fields” in Cambodia, which would never have occurred had he not infamously ordered an illegal four-and-a-half-year bombing campaign in that country; Indonesia’s massacre in East Timor; and Pakistan’s in Bangladesh, both of which he expedited.

You might think that mutual knowledge of his policies under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and the horrors that arose from them would have cast a pall over their conversation, but their banter was lively. “If a Yankee fan and a Red Sox fan can head into the heart of darkness for the first game of the season,” Power commented, “all things are possible.”

All things except, it seems, extricating the country from its endless wars.

Only recently, Barack Obama announced that U.S. troops wouldn’t be leaving Afghanistan any time soon and also made a deeper commitment to fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, including deploying the first U.S. ground personnel into that country. Indeed, a new book by New York Timesreporter Charlie Savage, Power Wars, suggests that there has been little substantive difference between George W. Bush’s administration and Obama’s when it comes to national security policies or the legal justifications used to pursue regime change in the Greater Middle East.

Henry Kissinger is, of course, not singularly responsible for the evolution of the U.S. national security state into a monstrosity. That state has had many administrators. But his example — especially his steadfast support for bombing as an instrument of “diplomacy” and his militarization of the Persian Gulf — has coursed through the decades, shedding a spectral light on the road that has brought us to a state of eternal war.

From Cambodia…

Within days of Richard Nixon’s inauguration in January 1969, national security adviser Kissinger asked the Pentagon to lay out his bombing options in Indochina. The previous president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, had suspended his own bombing campaign against North Vietnam in hopes of negotiating a broader ceasefire. Kissinger and Nixon were eager to re-launch it, a tough task given domestic political support for the bombing halt.

The next best option: begin bombing across the border in Cambodia to destroy enemy supply lines, depots, and bases supposedly located there. Nixon and Kissinger also believed that such an onslaught might force Hanoi to make concessions at the negotiating table. On February 24th, Kissinger and his military aide, Colonel Alexander Haig, met with Air Force Colonel Ray Sitton, an expert on B-52 bombers, to begin the planning of Menu, the grim culinary codename for the bombing campaign to come.

Given that Nixon had been elected on a promise to end the war in Vietnam, Kissinger believed that it wasn’t enough to place Menu in the category of “top secret.” Absolute and total secrecy, especially from Congress, was a necessity. He had no doubt that Congress, crucial to the appropriation of funds needed to conduct specific military missions, would never approve a bombing campaign against a neutral country with which the United States wasn’t at war.

Instead, Kissinger, Haig, and Sitton came up with an ingenious deception. Based on recommendations from General Creighton Abrams, commander of military operations in Vietnam, Sitton would lay out the Cambodian targets to be struck, then run them by Kissinger and Haig for approval. Next, he would backchannel their coordinates to Saigon and a courier would deliver them to radar stations where the officer in charge would, at the last minute, switch B-52 bombing runs over South Vietnam to the agreed-upon Cambodian targets.

Later, that officer would burn any relevant maps, computer printouts, radar reports, or messages that might reveal the actual target. “A whole special furnace” was set up to dispose of the records, Abrams would later testify before Congress. “We burned probably 12 hours a day.” False “post-strike” paperwork would then be written up indicating that the sorties had been flown over South Vietnam as planned.

Kissinger was very hands-on. “Strike here in this area,” Sitton recalled Kissinger telling him, “or strike here in that area.” The bombing galvanized the national security adviser. The first raid occurred on March 18, 1969.K really excited,” Bob Haldeman, Nixon’s chief of staff, wrote in his diary. “He came beaming in [to the Oval Office] with the report.”

In fact, he would supervise every aspect of the bombing. As journalist Seymour Hersh later wrote, “When the military men presented a proposed bombing list, Kissinger would redesign the missions, shifting a dozen planes, perhaps, from one area to another, and altering the timing of the bombing runs… [He] seemed to enjoy playing the bombardier.” (That joy wouldn’t be limited to Cambodia. According to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, when the bombing of North Vietnam finally started up again, Kissinger “expressed enthusiasm at the size of the bomb craters.”) A Pentagon report released in 1973 stated that “Henry A. Kissinger approved each of the 3,875 Cambodia bombing raids in 1969 and 1970” — the most secretive phase of the bombing — “as well as the methods for keeping them out of the newspapers.”

All told, between 1969 and 1973, the U.S. dropped half-a-million tons of bombs on Cambodia alone, killing at least 100,000 civilians. And don’t forget Laos and both North and South Vietnam. “It’s wave after wave of planes. You see, they can’t see the B-52 and they dropped a million pounds of bombs,” Kissinger told Nixon after the April 1972 bombing of North Vietnam’s port city of Haiphong, as he tried to reassure the president that the strategy was working: “I bet you we will have had more planes over there in one day than Johnson had in a month… Each plane can carry about 10 times the load [a] World War II plane could carry.”

As the months passed, however, the bombing did nothing to force Hanoi to the bargaining table. It did, on the other hand, help Kissinger in his interoffice rivalries. His sole source of power was Nixon, who was a bombing advocate. So Kissinger embraced his role as First Bombardier to show the tough-guy militarists the president had surrounded himself with that he was the “hawk of hawks.” And yet, in the end, even Nixon came to see that the bombing campaigns were a dead end. “K. We have had 10 years of total control of the air in Laos and V.Nam,” Nixon wrote him over a top-secret report on the efficacy of bombing, “The result = Zilch.” (This was in January 1972, three months before Kissinger assured Nixon that “wave after wave” of bombers would do the trick).

During those four-and a half years when the U.S. military dropped more than 6,000,000 tons of bombs on Southeast Asia, Kissinger revealed himself to be not a supreme political realist, but the planet’s supreme idealist. He refused to quit when it came to a policy meant to bring about a world he believed he ought to live in, one where he could, by the force of the material power of the U.S. military, bend poor peasant countries like Cambodia, Laos, and North Vietnam to his will — as opposed to the one he did live in, where bomb as he might he couldn’t force Hanoi to submit. As he put it at the time, “I refuse to believe that a little fourth-rate power like North Vietnam does not have a breaking point.”

In fact, that bombing campaign did have one striking effect: it destabilized Cambodia, provoking a 1970 coup that, in turn, provoked a 1970 American invasion, which only broadened the social base of the insurgency growing in the countryside, leading to escalating U.S. bombing runs that spread to nearly the whole country, devastating it and creating the conditions for the rise to power of the genocidal Khmer Rouge.

…to the First Gulf War

Having either condoned, authorized, or planned so many invasions — Indonesia’s in East Timor, Pakistan’s in Bangladesh, the U.S.’s in Cambodia, South Vietnam’s in Laos, and South Africa’s in Angola — Henry Kissinger took the only logical stance in early August 1990, when Saddam Hussein sent the Iraqi military into Kuwait: he condemned the act. In office, he had worked to pump up Baghdad’s regional ambitions. As a private consultant and pundit, he had promoted the idea that Saddam’s Iraq could serve as a disposable counterweight to revolutionary Iran. Now, he knew just what needed to be done: the annexation of Kuwait had to be reversed.

President George H.W. Bush soon launched Operation Desert Shield, sending an enormous contingent of troops to Saudi Arabia. But once there, what exactly were they to do? Contain Iraq? Attack and liberate Kuwait? Drive on to Baghdad and depose Saddam? There was no clear consensus among foreign policy advisers or analysts. Prominent conservatives, who had made their names fighting the Cold War, offered conflicting advice. Former ambassador to the U.N. Jeane Kirkpatrick, for instance, opposed any action against Iraq. She didn’t think that Washington had a “distinctive interest in the Gulf” now that the Soviet Union was gone. Other conservatives pointed out that, with the Cold War over, it mattered little whether Iraqi Baathists or local sheiks pumped Kuwait’s oil as long as it made it out of the ground.

Kissinger took the point position in countering those he called America’s “new isolationists.” What Bush did next in Kuwait, he announced in the first sentence of a widely published syndicated column, would make or break his administration. Anything short of the liberation of Kuwait would turn Bush’s “show of force” in Saudi Arabia into a “debacle.”

Baiting fellow conservatives reluctant to launch a crusade in the Gulf, he insisted, in Cold War-ish terms that couldn’t fail to bite, that their advice was nothing short of “abdication.” There were, he insisted, “consequences” to one’s “failure to resist.” He may, in fact, have been the first person to compare Saddam Hussein to Hitler. In opinion pieces, TV appearances, and testimony before Congress, Kissinger forcefully argued for intervention,including the “surgical and progressive destruction of Iraq’s military assets” and the removal of the Iraqi leader from power. “America,” he insisted, “has crossed its Rubicon” and there was no turning back.

He was once again a man of the moment. But how expectations had shifted since 1970! When President Bush launched his bombers on January 17, 1991, it was in the full glare of the public eye, recorded for all to see. There was no veil of secrecy and no secret furnaces, burned documents, or counterfeited flight reports. After a four-month-long on-air debate among politicians and pundits, “smart bombs” lit up the sky over Baghdad and Kuwait City as the TV cameras rolled. Featured were new night-vision equipment, real-time satellite communications, and former U.S. commanders ready to narrate the war in the style of football announcers right down to instant replays. “In sports-page language,” said CBS News anchor Dan Rather on the first night of the attack, “this… it’s not a sport. It’s war. But so far, it’s a blowout.”

And Kissinger himself was everywhere — ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, on the radio, in the papers — offering his opinion. “I think it’s gone well,” he said to Dan Rather that very night.

It would be a techno-display of such apparent omnipotence that President Bush got the kind of mass approval Kissinger and Nixon never dreamed possible. With instant replay came instant gratification, confirmation that the president had the public’s backing. On January 18th, only a day into the assault, CBS announced that a new poll “indicates extremely strong support for Mr. Bush’s Gulf offensive.”

“By God,” Bush said in triumph, “we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all.”

Saddam Hussein’s troops were easily driven out of Kuwait and, momentarily, it looked like the outcome would vindicate the logic behind Kissinger’s and Nixon’s covert Cambodian air campaign: that the US should be free to use whatever military force it needed to compel the political outcome it sought. It seemed as if the world Kissinger had long believed he ought to live in was finally coming into being.

…toward 9/11

Saddam Hussein, however, remained in power in Baghdad, creating a problem of enormous proportions for Bush’s successor, Bill Clinton. Increasingly onerous sanctions, punctuated by occasional cruise missile attacks on Baghdad, only added to the crisis. Children were starving; civilians were being killed by U.S. missiles; and the Baathist regime refused to budge.

Kissinger watched all of this with a kind of detached amusement. In a way, Clinton was following his lead: he was bombing a country with which we weren’t at war and without congressional approval in part to placate the militarist right. In 1998, at a conference commemorating the 25th anniversary of the accords that ended the Vietnam War, Kissinger expressed his opinion on Iraq. The real “problem,” he said, is will. You need to be willing to “break the back” of somebody you refuse to negotiate with, just as he and Nixon had done in Southeast Asia. “Whether we got it right or not,” Kissinger added, “is really secondary.”

That should count as a remarkable statement in the annals of “political realism.”

Not surprisingly then, in the wake of 9/11, Kissinger was an early supporter of a bold military response. On August 9, 2002, for instance, he endorsed a policy of regime change in Iraq in his syndicated column, acknowledging it as “revolutionary.” “The notion of justified pre-emption,” he wrote, “runs counter to modern international law,” but was nonetheless necessary because of the novelty of the “terrorist threat,” which “transcends the nation-state.”

There was, however, “another, generally unstated, reason for bringing matters to a head with Iraq”: to “demonstrate that a terrorist challenge or a systemic attack on the international order also produces catastrophic consequences for the perpetrators, as well as their supporters.” To be — in true Kissingerian fashion — in the good graces of the most militaristic members of an American administration, the ultimate political “realist” was, in other words, perfectly willing to ignore that the secular Baathists of Baghdad were the enemies of Islamic jihadists, and that Iraq had neither perpetrated 9/11 nor supported the perpetrators of 9/11. After all, being “right or not is really secondary” to the main issue: being willing to do something decisive, especially use air power to “break the back” of… well, whomever.

Less than three weeks later, Vice President Dick Cheney, laying out his case for an invasion of Iraq before the national convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars, quoted directly from Kissinger’s column. “As former Secretary of State Kissinger recently stated,” said Cheney, there is “an imperative for pre-emptive action.”

In 2005, after the revelations about the cooking of intelligence and the manipulation of the press to neutralize opposition to the invasion of Iraq, after Fallujah and Abu Ghraib, after it became clear that the real beneficiary of the occupation would be revolutionary Iran, Michael Gerson, George W. Bush’s speechwriter, paid a visit to Kissinger in New York. Public support for the war was by then plummeting and Bush’s justifications for waging it expanding. America’s “responsibility,” he had announced earlier that year in his second inaugural address, was to “rid the world of evil.”

Gerson, who had helped write that speech, asked Kissinger what he thought of it. “At first I was appalled,” Kissinger said, but then he came to appreciate it for instrumental reasons. “On reflection,” as Bob Woodward recounted in his book State of Denial, he “now believed the speech served a purpose and was a very smart move, setting the war on terror and overall U.S. foreign policy in the context of American values. That would help sustain a long campaign.”

At that meeting, Kissinger gave Gerson a copy of an infamous memo he had written Nixon in 1969 and asked him to pass it along to Bush. “Withdrawal of U.S. troops will become like salted peanuts to the American public,” he had warned, “the more U.S. troops come home, the more will be demanded.” Don’t get caught in that trap, Kissinger told Gerson, for once withdrawals start, it will become “harder and harder to maintain the morale of those who remain, not to speak of their mothers.”

Kissinger then reminisced about Vietnam, reminding Gerson that incentives offered through negotiations must be backed up by credible threats of an unrestrained nature. As an example, he brought up one of the many “major” ultimatums he had given the North Vietnamese, warning of “dire consequences” if they didn’t offer the concessions needed for the U.S. to withdraw from Vietnam “with honor.” They didn’t.

“I didn’t have enough power,” was how Kissinger summarized his experience more than three decades later.

Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

When it comes to American militarism, conventional wisdom puts the idealist Samantha Power and the realist Kissinger at opposite ends of a spectrum. Conventional wisdom is wrong, as Kissinger himself has pointed out. Last year, while promoting his book World Order, he responded to questions about his controversial policies by pointing to Obama. There was, he said, no difference between what he did with B-52s in Cambodia and what the president was doing with drones in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. When asked about his role in overthrowing Salvador Allende, the democratically elected president of Chile in 1973, he insisted that his actions had been retrospectively justified by what Obama and Power did in Libya and wanted to do in Syria.

Kissinger’s defense was, of course, partly fatuous, especially his absurd assertion that fewer civilians had died from the half-million tons of bombs he had dropped on Cambodia than from the Hellfire missiles of Obama’s drones. (Credible estimates put civilian fatalities in Cambodia at more than 100,000; drones are blamed for about 1,000 civilian deaths.) He was right, however, in his assertion that many of the political arguments he made in the late 1960s to justify his illegal and covert wars in Cambodia and Laos, considered at the time way beyond mainstream thinking, are now an unquestioned, very public part of American policymaking. This was especially true of the idea that the U.S. has the right to violate the sovereignty of a neutral country to destroy enemy “sanctuaries.” “If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven,” Barack Obama has said, offering Kissinger his retroactive absolution.

Here, then, is a perfect expression of American militarism’s unbroken circle. Kissinger invokes today’s endless, open-ended wars to justify his diplomacy by air power in Cambodia and elsewhere nearly half a century ago. But what he did then created the conditions for today’s endless wars, both those started by Bush’s neocons and those waged by Obama’s war-fighting liberals like Samantha Power. So it goes in Washington.

Greg Grandin, a TomDispatch regular, teaches history at New York University. He is the author of Fordlandia , The Empire of Necessity, which won the Bancroft Prize in American history, and, most recently, Kissinger’s Shadow: The Long Reach of America’s Most Controversial Statesman.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: History • Tags: American Military, Henry Kissinger, Vietnam 
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  1. Kiza says:

    This is a good article but it states something that only the North Americans need explaining to. Where I come from, we have a saying (just like in Bronx): “the same cock, different packaging” (and it does not mean a rooster).

    Jewish monster and Irish skunk, the ball pitch angle changes, a little but it is all the same killing by the same scum. Both only make you wish there was Hell with eternally burning fire under such monsters’ feet.

  2. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Ah yes, America and it’s love affair with all things that go ‘boom’. It worked really well for it in WWII and it’s been on a tear ever since. The list of countries who have been on the receiving end of our bombing runs to date is fairly long last time I checked. This is what’s known as spreading ‘American values’. ‘Humanitarian ideals’ attained through cluster bombing, what could go wrong? They hate us because of our ‘values’, because we’re so beautiful.

    • Replies: @Gerry1211
  3. Bliss says:

    And this ruthless war criminal was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Straight out of Orwell’s 1984.

  4. Rehmat says:

    Air war is more expensive than ground invasion, but produces least body-bags and kill more innocent civilians. Non-White population control has been hallmark of Kissinger’s political career. Who would know better than Christopher Hitchens, who wrote a book on Kissinger’s sick mind.

    Samantha Power used to be an outspoken journalist who cried for the fate of Palestinians and other victims of western colonial powers. But since she married Henry Kissinger’s duplicate academic, professor Cass Sunstein in 2008, her changed to a AIPAC poodle, but her career took a boost. Her evil nature came out when she couldn’t control her joy over the retirement of professor Richard Falk as UN special envoy for occupied Palestine.

    “His publication of bizarre and insulting material has tarnished the U.N.’s reputation and undermined the effectiveness of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The United States welcomes Mr. Falk’s departure, which is long overdue,” Said Power.

  5. Giuseppe says:

    What a powerful refutation of the idea that an amorphous and faceless government is behind decisions to bomb other countries. Those decisions are made by individuals, and the responsibility, or the guilt as the case may be, is personal and not collective. He cannot hide behind government, Kissinger is personally responsible for bombing the hell out of SE Asia, causing the deaths of at least a hundred thousand civilians, and loving it, personally loving it for the deep craters that were made. He writes columns for the WSJ today. In another place or time he would be behind bars, or executed for war crimes.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  6. Gerry1211 says:

    Having been the recipient of THREE different incidents of American “booming” in March 1945 of the incendiary kind, supposedly because of a faulty atlas, I learned recently, that is, about 5 years ago, that nothing we were taught about WW2 is in fact true. It was Wall Street and every American who had a dime to spare (including the Roosevelt Foundation) that funded and created Hitler. The Dulles brothers actually spent lots of time in Berlin in the early 1930 and were instrumental in getting Hitler elected. He was hugely popular here as he was anti-commi…..Hitler was “Man of the Year” front page of Time Magazine in 1938 (google it) Hitler called Henry Ford “My mentor”. The Dulles brothers also made oodles of money from Auschwitz slave labor. They should have been hanged, instead one became the Sec of State under Eisenhower and the other CIA Director. The Soviets decimated the German Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe at the cost of 27 billion Russian lives. It was only AFTER the Soviets destroyed the Germans that we had the allied landing for the mop up action and to prevent the Soviets from overrunning Europe. As if they would. America has never left any country they ever set foot in. So I don’t want to hear anymore that Americans liberated me.
    Recently some Dutch rumblings are that the allies/Americans caused far greater damage and destruction in the Netherlands with their bombings than the Germans ever did. I lived close to the German border, but why bomb Rotterdam about 11 times? Why bomb the dikes? It’s a war crime. In Germany people died of disease (Typhus) as well as starvation. In the Netherlands, the West was starving, boiled tulip bulbs to eat as well as tree bark…Eventually food packages were dropped but not before 20,000 Dutch civilians died of hunger.
    In the East we still had access to farms who would still accept money which was by and large useless. No one accepted it for there was nothing to buy. Bartering was the way to get things.
    There was no logic behind the American bombings (they only bombed during daytime)
    I saw every bomb drop. I attended school in a bombed out building…It was not until 1957 that we got a new High School.

    In Kosovo we bombed with depleted uranium armaments (against the law), the result of which are a gigantic number of birth defects. Sociopaths in Washington.

    • Agree: SolontoCroesus
  7. FineSwine says:

    If Nixon had tried to suddenly pull all 500,000 Americans out of Vietnam in 1969, the U.S. would have found itself at war with South Vietnam as well as the North.

  8. annamaria says:

    A little cherry on a pie of modern-day warfare. Perhaps, the wave of oncological problems among the leaders of South American states was not accidental.
    “NSA makes medical intelligence operations a priority:”

  9. JackOH says:

    Never quite understood so-called strategic bombing, which, as I understand it, is bombing without military invasion and conquest imminent or in near prospect, and decoupled from ground operations. America enjoyed and enjoys air supremacy (or nearly so) in Gulf I and II, in Afghanistan, in drone strikes over at least a handful of countries. Are there victories there, or did I miss that memo?

    The Marine Corps pilots I served with in the 1970s had a high regard for the NV fighter pilots and NV anti-aircraft batteries. Marine Corps aviation is tactical. The millions of tons of bombs dropped by strategic B-52s—did they result in an American victory?

    I know a woman who narrowly escaped death as a baby in Germany when her pediatrician’s office was hit by American bombs. Her mom had been running late for the appointment. So her town was then occupied by the American conquerors? Nope, the NE German city was surrendered to the Soviets.

    My point, of course, is that the whole doctrinal basis of strategic bombing really ought to be looked at to see if there’s something there that actually detracts from successful military operations.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  10. joe webb says:

    so the piece is about the jew Kissinger, but not about the last 20 years of the Jewish Wars (wars for Israel fought by US boys, etc.)

    OK .

    I have been trying to bring back an old memory of a talk back about 2003 in SF by one of the then current smarties from the left. It might have been Cockburn of Counter Punch, but don’t think so. It was a guy with good credentials more from the center but fun and entertaining. Not Hersch either.

    He was asked about Kissinger and Palestine, and did he have any great dirt on K. He said, well, K. was pulled aside for a private chat and was asked what should be done by the Israelies; K. said they should take the intifada kids into private and beat them within inches of their lives… No cameras, etc.

    Just a story, but it sounds like Jehovah or Maimonides, worried about goyem finding out. Just a story. JW

  11. @Giuseppe

    What a powerful refutation of the idea that an amorphous and faceless government is behind decisions to bomb other countries. Those decisions are made by individuals, and the responsibility, or the guilt as the case may be, is personal and not collective.

    I disagree, Giuseppe.

    See Gerry1211’s comment @6.

    Kissinger did not introduce carpet bombing to the US war making psyche.

    USA is spending this 70th anniversary year engaging in yet another round of self-congratulations on its triumphs in WW2.

    Here’s a discussion about what Americans should teach their children about that evil enterprise:

    In introductory remarks, the moderator praised Gen. Zhukov for his courage in conquering Berlin. (No mention of the rapes of 2 million German women incited by Ilya Ehrenberg and carried out by Zhukov’s men, nor of Zhukov’s practice of driving his troops until they dropped in their tracks, and of shooting any of his soldiers who did not fight to Zhukov’s demands.”

    @30 min in the video, David Kennedy, a highly regarded historian, began his talk this way:

    Aug 17 1942, first all- US strategic bombing mission, over Rouen France — 12 B17s US Army Air Corp left England & bombed a marshaling yard. It was the first all-American air raid on Nazi-occupied Europe. It was a Successful raid, no damage to planes or crew, targets hit.

    [This date is] Important because it marked the implementation of a decision made about a decade earlier, in the early 1930s [for the chronologically impaired, that would be ~1932 – 1933: Stalin was killing people by the millions; Hitler was “quelling physical violence against Jews.” NSDAP was busy building worker’s housing, roads, cars, and planning an Olympics. Germany did not begin arming in earnest until ~1937. ] that in the event of a future war the US would place its principle bet on creating and using a new weapons system, a whole new form of warfare, strategic bombing. A doctrine developed by Italian Julio Douhet after WWI, idea is new air technology promised to work a revolution in the nature of warfare, the ability to “deliver your blow not against the enemy’s troops in the field or at sea but instead against his civilian heartland.”
    This accomplished two objectives: so disrupt the enemy’s economy and infrastructure that he could no longer sustain his force in the field, and, Douhet thought, “so terrorize –Douhet’s word –the enemy’s civilian population that they would sue their government for peace and the war would be over in a hurry.”

    That is to say, even before war was contemplated by NSDAP (tho it was being planned and prepared for by Jews & other American elites as early as a “fortnight after der Fuhrer assumed the chancellorship”, according to Louis Brandeis & Rabbi Stephen Wise), the USA had already made the strategic decision to ‘win’ a war by incinerating the adversary’s civilians.

    US strategists have not yet come to grips with the fact that:

    –USA played the coward’s role in WW2

    –terrorizing a civilian population to force capitulation — or to use the more sanitized term, regime change, does. not. work. It never has. Human nature suggests that it never will.

    Why keep harping on this, and keep putting it out there that the goddamm holocaust is a fraud and a hoax?

    Because the USA & Anglo-zionists keeps repeating the strategy.

    Jeffrey Engel researched George H W Bush’s decision-making process in taking US to Kuwait to “oust Saddam.” Here’s what Engel said about the key drivers of that decision, and also, why G H W Bush did not march to Baghdad to take down Saddam:

    I ARGUE BUSH TOOK THE DRAMATIC STEP into the Gulf Crisis BECAUSE HE Saw IT AS A BRIDGE TO A BETTER WORLD. HIS New WORLD ORDER, a phrase unveiled in response to Hussein’s invasion, WAS NOT JUST A CATCHY PHRASE; it was rather THE CULMINATION OF LONG AND DIFFICULT JOURNEY of intellectual discovery. . . .

    Bush saw in the Gulf War AN OPPORTUNITY as well as in invasion, a point that I will make by way of conclusion. .. He saw within it a chance to demonstrate that Washington would continue to lead. Leading it in particular towards the kind of world promised to His generation as their reward for service in World War II. It would be a world he said, Quote “Where the United Nations freed from Cold War stalemates is poised to fulfill its historic vision of its founders” End Quote
    Ultimately this vision of a new world order based on sovereignty and stability is what drove his thinking when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. In a similar vein he said, “The prospect of a global peace continues to depend on an American forward presence. ” End quote.” . . .

    [and to the second question, Why did Bush 41 NOT go to Baghdad?]

    BUT there’s a very important distinction here which I would like to make which I think was a REVELATION TO ME within the archives and THAT THERE has always been a question when the decision comes — when the study of the decision comes up about whether or not AMERICAN FORCES SHOULD HAVE CONTINUED ON TO BAGHDAD in 1991. This was not a discussion within the White House FOR a VERY IMPORTANT REASON: THE ULTIMATE GOAL or one of the the ultimate goalS BEYOND THE LIBERATION OF KUWAIT WAS THE REMOVAL OF SADDAM HUSSEIN FROM POWER. THERE WAS A 100 PERCENT CERTAINTY on the part of high level American officials THAT THIS was going to HAPPEN ANY WAY.
    Saddam HUSSAIN had been EMBARRASSED; HIS OWN PEOPLE rising up against him, HIS OWN ARMY was out to get him. If he lived weeks it would have been a shock instead of days. 999 TIMES OUT OF 1,000 I think THAT IS exactly HOW THINGS WOULD HAVE PLAYED OUT, THAT Saddam WOULD NOT HAVE SURVIVED.

    Unfortunately FROM THE Bush administration’s PERSPECTIVE, GEORGE H. W. BUSH’s perspective, Saddam rolled the dice and made it. But I think that GIVEN THE QUESTION AND Those ODDS again I suspect THEY WOULD TAKE THE SAME bet again.

    USA and Anglo-zionist ghouls have used economic destabilization; starvation; planned and remotely-conducted attacks on civilians, all with the purpose of forcing the capitulation of a government that does not comply with US wishes, or that, having been set up by the Znglo-zionist sphere — as Saddam was, and as bin Laden was, and as it is argued elsewhere that Hitler was, has outlived his usefulness and must be taken out.

    The same scheme is being deployed against Assad and against Iran.

    If the American people hope to save their nation, it is a moral imperative that they refute the lie of the holocaust, the smokescreen that for nigh on a century has hidden the truth of Anglo-zionist crimes against humanity.

    • Replies: @Sherman
    , @Giuseppe
  12. @JackOH

    Never quite understood so-called strategic bombing, which, as I understand it, is bombing without military invasion and conquest imminent or in near prospect, and decoupled from ground operations.

    As Jörg Friedrich explains here and here, the point of firebombing of civilians is to use their suffering to force the capitulation of their leadership

    — just as Georg H W Bush and his team were convinced that the Iraqi population would overthrow Saddam and welcome US liberators (see Jeff Engel quotes, above),

    and just as Ed Royce and numerous other US Congresscriminals have declared that the point of sanctions against Iran is to cause so much suffering among the Iranian population that Iranian citizens will overthrow their government.

  13. The author of this article fails to mention the influence of Israel even once despite the fact that it was the primary proponent of both Iraq wars.

    Another interesting event that the very politically correct Tom’s Dispatch author fails to mention is that during the 1973 Arab Israeli war, Kissinger essentially became the defacto president of the United States. According to historian Robert Dallek, Kissinger took over the entire foreign policy of the USA during this period by essentially bypassing and ignoring President Nixon and his Secretary of State William Rogers ans thereby totally determining the US’s response to this war. He did this by totally stripping military units in Europe and the US of their military equipment and shipping it en mass to a beleaguered Israel. There is also the continuing rumor that active duty US military pilots were assigned by Kissinger to fight on the Israeli side during this conflict but only after their planes’ insignias were painted over and replaced by Israeli insignias. If the USSR had suddenly decided to attack the US during this period it would have encountered a now stripped US military so deficient in basic military supplies that it wouldn’t have been able to resist. Do I also have to mention that Israel rewarded the US for this largess by selling he newly acquired equipment to pariah countries like South Africa. Israel was only able to do think because Kissinger had by this point deposed the prior Secretary of State was was more than willing to look the other way when Israel decided to enrich itself instead of returning these now excess material to its rightful owners, the US taxpayers).

    When it came out as to what Kissinger had done, Henry claimed that he did this because Nixon was was incapacitated because he drinking too much because of the every expanding Watergate investigation. He has been unable so far to also explain why he had also kept the then current Secretary of State Rogers just as much out of the loop.

    Kissinger couldn’t have done this all by himself. He could only have subverted the entire political hierarchy of our elected government during this period by also having a coterie of fellow Zionists within the White House and state department that were so well entrenched within the power structure that they were able to form what amounted to a secret parallel government on what amounted to instant notice.

    1973 was an interesting year. Israel gets attacked and the ongoing hubbub about Watergate allows Kissinger to totally push aside Nixon and assume dictatorial control of our government. . This might make a cynic think that Watergate and the 1973 Arab Israeli war were somehow intertwined. I wonder if Nixon signed his own death warrant by previously voicing reluctance about supporting Israel in an upcoming war he undoubtedly already knew about because of the legendary porousness of Arab intelligence.

    Reporter Carl Bernstein (of Woodward and Bernstein fame) in particular would have especially relished deposing Nixon because Bernstein had been a “red diaper baby” whose Stalinist parents had a particular enmity towards “the rabid antisemite Nixon” because of his early anti communism activities. These very same blacklisted parents were, interestingly enough, apparently avid supporters of Israel by the time of the 1973 war.

    All of these factors make me believe that Henry Kissinger, not Mark Felt, was “Deep Throat.” After all, only Kissinger got away from Watergate absolutely blame free. Cui bono.

    • Agree: Kiza
    • Replies: @annamaria
  14. JackOH says:

    Thanks, SolontoCroesus, but I’ve known of Douhet’s ideas for decades. I’m downright baffled that his thinking ever made it past a frat-house bull-session level of examination by military and political thinkers.

  15. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Excellent analysis, but Grandin overlooked Kissinger’s enormous treason of his persuading Nixon to abandon of hundreds of American POWs held by Hanoi. Johnny McInsane (McCain) to this day is complicit in this horrendous crime. God Bless the souls of the brave men they betrayed.

  16. Sherman says:

    And I thought your parents taught you to like Jews…. 🙂

  17. Giuseppe says:

    I don’t think you understand the idea I was trying to get across, if you even bothered to read it, that there is no such thing as a “government generic entity” that can be blamed collectively. Government functions through the actions of individuals, and each one is individually responsible.
    Therefore, Kissinger is guilty of his war crimes, they cannot be erased in the fog of government as it were. They rest of your response is just all over the place without a coherent trajectory other than extreme right looniness, although not without it’s few cogent points.

  18. annamaria says:

    “Kissinger couldn’t have done this all by himself. He could only have subverted the entire political hierarchy of our elected government during this period by also having a coterie of fellow Zionists within the White House and state department that were so well entrenched within the power structure that they were able to form what amounted to a secret parallel government on what amounted to instant notice.”

    Is has become impossible for the “chosen” to claim victimhood. When having the chance & means, the “chosen” behave in no way different than the savages of any other ethnicity (or maybe worse). The blackmailing (and other deeply immoral things) will continue uninterrupted, but the claims on special status derived from victimhood and from some special moral qualities, have effectively become invalid. The loudest tribe, that used to quetch about its special sufferings and used to receiving, for a long time, the sympathy of the civilized world, is now looked upon universally with disgust. Very sad.

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