December 1, 2023
Henry Kissinger is dead at 100 years old. He was born Heinz Alfred Kissinger in Fürth, Germany, on May 27, 1923, and he immigrated to the United States in 1938, among a wave of Jews fleeing Nazi oppression. Kissinger was a was a consultant for the administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson before serving as national security adviser from 1969 to 1975 and secretary of state from 1973 to 1977 under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
Kissinger helped prolong the Vietnam War and expand the bombing into neutral Cambodia that paved the way for the genocidal Khmer Rouge, whose campaign of overwork, torture, and murder killed 2 million people, roughly 20% of the population. Kissinger also supported genocidal militaries in Pakistan and Indonesia. During his tenure, the United States dropped 9 billion pounds of munitions on Indochina. He 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.
In 1982, he founded Kissinger Associates, an international consulting group that became a revolving door refuge for top national security officials looking to cash in on their government service. After being tapped to head the 9/11 Commission, families of victims raised questions about potential conflicts of interest due to Kissinger’s financial ties with governments that could be implicated in the commission’s work.
Kissinger was never charged or prosecuted for deaths for which he bore responsibility. A biographer described him as “disturbed” and unbelievably adolescent”.
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