Lots of nasty stuff has been written about Henry Kissinger over the many years since he left government service. For me, though, the most telling and direct lead to the essence of his character came in March 1973. He was meeting with President Richard Nixon at the White House and they were discussing an urgent request from Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir to exert pressure on the Soviets to allow Jews to emigrate from Eastern bloc nations. Kissinger, totally aware of Nixon’s ferocious anti-Semitism, might have offered up any number of titbits of advice, but instead our aphrodisiacal maniac offered up vile lickety-split.
“The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy,” a craven Henry tells Tricky Dick on a White House tape released in 2010. “And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern.”
While it might be tempting to call Henry a self-loathing Jew here, he’s far more twisted, in a Picasso-esque way, than that: his cubes have cubes. No, suspending a merely reactionary response for the moment, one sees Kissinger’s geopolitical realpolitik in a nutshell at work here. More important – far more so – than human rights, or popular systems of self-government, are the strategies and whims of the global elite powerbrokers.
Consequently, Kissinger and Nixon were not happy, a year later, when Sen. Henry Scoop Jackson and Rep. Charles Vanik got together to pass through Congress the human rights-respecting 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment that tied trade status to emigration policy. Vanik, one of the last genuine and outspoken critics regarding the influence on legislation by special interest groups, had proud roots in Czechoslovakia, from whence his grandparents had emigrated to the US, and who was a vocal critic of the Soviet silencing of the Prague Spring.
And, in his new book, World Order, Kissinger grumbles about contemporary European inter-State policies, seeing them as having been influenced too heavily by the kinds of humanitarian considerations that brought leaders like Vaclav Havel popular support and rejuvenated European statecraft after the fall of the Berlin Wall, albeit much of the goodwill energy has since dissipated or been co-opted by the commoditizers of everything.
For toads and toadies like Henry K, the middle classes are to be tolerated (though not really respected) because they are the ocean of will that can sink or float a ship of state, and so they must be carefully managed with propaganda and promises, while the indigent, the hoi polloi who make up the majority of the world’s population, are entirely disposable and of no importance beyond ravishment.
Kissinger is certainly not alone with his aphrosdiacs; one thinks of the “brilliant” former head of the IMF and French “socialist” presidential hopeful, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who one day, during a break in strategy meetings, tried to force his aphrodisium on a lowly maid from Guinea. Sex and violence meets at the center of the psyches of both of these otherwise closeted men. I’m sure there’s a psychosexual etiology attached to the condtion, but let’s not go there.
Readers expecting anything fresh from Kissinger’s new World Order will be disillusioned; there’s nothing here but the same old same old, with some minor updating to include the influence of ISIS, a reference to the Ukranian crisis, and a coded declaration that the two trade partnership agreements across the Atlantic and the Pacific – the TTIP and TTP – are the essential upgrade needed to the Westphalian principles that have provided “order” to the Western-controlled world since the 17th century.
And, on this latter point, certainly it is not inconsequential that Henry’s World Order arrives on the verge of Hillary Clinton’s coming out for the 2016 Democratic nomination for the presidency. That explains Hillary’s recent Washington Post review of Kissinger’s new book, in which she turns in her former loud and acerbic criticism of all things Henry in order to polish his German helmet to a fine sheen. Who better than a Clinton to see sovereignty-destroying trade legislation passed and then managed? They have been praising each other in public ever since. But when two old trolls make such love under the bridge, where all that blood flows, you can bet it ain’t the bed you hear creaking. And for those who see the Kissinger-Clinton connection as an anomaly, recall rigid Ann Coulter’s preference for Hillary of over John McCain – because “Hillary is absolutely more conservative.”
World Order itself is some 800 plus e-pages long. It contains 9 core chapters sandwiched between an Introduction and a Conclusion. Kissinger starts out by discussing the importance of the Peace of Westphalia in 1642 which brought stability to an old Europe following the Thirty Years War by a coming-to-terms on issues of sovereign territory and the balance of power. As Kissinger puts it, this was “a turning point in the history of nations because the elements it set in place were as uncomplicated as they were sweeping. The state, not the empire, dynasty, or religious confession, was affirmed as the building block of European order.” The procedures this agreement instituted made it portable and helped spread the Westphalian system throughout the world, but especially in the colonies of the Americas and Africa.
The first two-thirds of the book is a very readable lecture-like survey and summary of various kinds of political orders that have taken root throughout regions of the world, but especially Europe, the Middle East and Asia, where all the major players are situated. One notes rather quickly that Africa is not mentioned at all in the book, and South America is barely mentioned, and then only in the context of colonization. Nafissatou Diallo, the Guinean maid on whom the banker Straus-Kahn tried make a deposit, would understand this dynamic perfectly.
So, then, says Kissinger, Europe and her satellites have the Westphalian system. In the Middle East we find, obviously, a system of order that is religious in its appeal and metaphysical in its dimensions. Until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the region had no set boundaries, and it may be that such physical demarcations are proving incompatible with tenets of Islam, although the religion has global hegemonic aspirations. In Asia, there is a long tradition of empires built on introverted consolidation and inherited power, and a historical resistance to the impurities of Western cultures. The question Kissinger raises is whether it’s possible to bring these various spheres into a compatible world order. But he slyly suggests that ‘Ve have Vays’.
And chapters 7-9 of the book would seem to affirm the possibility – if, the chief arbiter of world order these last 50 years – oh, you know who: America, the exceptional and indispensable – were to oversee a new world order broken up into some five regions, like a Venn diagram. As Kissinger concludes, “To achieve a genuine world order, its components, while maintaining their own values, need to acquire a second culture that is global, structural, and juridical—a concept of order that transcends the perspective and ideals of any one region or nation. At this moment in history, this would be a modernization of the Westphalian system informed by contemporary realities.”
And that’s the essence of Kissinger’s World Order. Update Westphalia with its familiar rules and Western hegemony and bring in the now-incompatible regions, such as the Middle East and Asia, by granting them regional sovereignty that respects, say Islam and Confucianism, but uses treaties like the TTIP and TTP to harmonize, and, in essence, bring together a new league of nations. Since this would lead to global radical economic de-regulation, one imagines a single world currency developing out of this, with a view to ending currency wars and current creeps back to the gold standard that could de-stabilize the US dollar and bring about World Chaos. The question is how to make Russia and China give up their selfish spheres influence (Russia’s near-monopoly on the gas supply to Europe)l China’s export surplus and monetary deflation).
Are such notions enough to justify a rapprochement and détente with a war criminal, whose realpolitik deceptions and policies led to perhaps 8 million needless casualties? Well, the mainstream media sure seems to be partying. And the smell of aphrodisium is in the air.
John Kendall Hawkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org