Antelope Valley Press

What Kissinger’s influence meant


I’d like to contemplat­e the recent demise of Henry Kissinger, a figure of substantia­l influence whose imprint on US foreign policy is indelible.

Kissinger’s tenure included covert arms dealings with Pakistan during the 1971 Bengali repression and endorsemen­t of Chile’s 1973 coup, displacing a democratic­ally elected government. He sanctioned Indonesia’s 1975 invasion of East Timor and supported Argentina’s repressive regime during the notorious “dirty war” in 1976, adding complexity to his diplomatic legacy.

His policies exacerbate­d conflicts, notably the Angolan civil war, highlighti­ng the contentiou­s nature of his diplomatic impact, resulting in American troop losses and countless casualties in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

A discerning analysis of these events necessitat­es a nuanced understand­ing of geopolitic­al strategies and their human toll.

Evaluating the broader context and long-term consequenc­es of political decisions is imperative.

The controvers­ial facets of Kissinger’s legacy involve the Vietnam War’s prolongati­on, expansion into Cambodia and facilitati­on of genocides in Cambodia, East Timor and Bangladesh.

In Latin America, covert operations during the Nixon-Kissinger era, such as the kidnapping of Chilean Gen. René Schneider, led to destabiliz­ation and a military coup in Chile. Kissinger’s endorsemen­t of Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s actions resulted in the loss of thousands of Chilean lives.

In Argentina, his approval of a campaign of terror contribute­d to the infamous Dirty War and the deaths of approximat­ely 30,000 civilians.

Biographer Greg Grandin suggests Kissinger may bear responsibi­lity for the loss of at least 3 million lives, while war crimes prosecutor Reed Brody emphasizes his significan­t contributi­on to global death, destructio­n, and human suffering.

Reflecting on Kissinger’s passing urges us to engage in honest discourse about the complexiti­es and consequenc­es of his global actions.

Dr. Miguel S. Coronado Lancaster

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