Update to ‘Christopher Hitchens Debate Reviews: The Good’

I am re-reading and re-viewing Hitchens’ writings and public speakings against former US Secretary of State under Presidents Nixon and Ford, Henry Kissinger, and have recently come across the above C-SPAN discussion from 2001.  I have added it to “The Good” section of my anthology of his contested debates and have this to say of it:

Morris/Armstrong/Kutler/Rubin, “Was Henry Kissinger a war criminal?”, National Press Club, Washington DC, 22 February 2001 (Video).  Hitchens leads a Press Club discussion with a former government aide and two law professors following the publication of his two articles in Harper’s magazine indicting the former US Secretary of State and one of the most famous diplomats in history for murder, kidnapping, war crimes and crimes against humanity.  The debate is well worth seeing in conjunction with the aforementioned articles as well as Hitchens’ subsequent book-length polemic and film documentary.  While Hitchens is predictably damning in his assessment of Kissinger, the other panellists persuasively argue that Kissinger was no “lone wolf”, but acted openly and with the assistance of numerous government aides, not to mention President Nixon, in his the execution of his Realpolitik and aversion of the Cold War turning hot.

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3 Responses to “Update to ‘Christopher Hitchens Debate Reviews: The Good’”

  1. Dan Says:

    The bigger question for me is how leftie discourse fails to point out that Vietnam was started by Democratic bigwigs continued by those bigwigs and then shut down by nasty nasty Republicans.

    Kissinger is more guilty for things he did in Africa than anything else.

    Hitchens himself is a at criminal btw. His Iraq apologetics are astonishing.

    • manicstreetpreacher Says:

      Dan

      It looks like I will get through all of your comments before the Horlicks kicks in and the sandmen enter.

      Johnson and Humphrey were trying to bring an end to the Vietnam War at the Paris Peace Talks in 1968 before the election, which Hitchens alleges Kissinger sabotaged for his own power-mad ends.

      The result was over twice the number of deaths of US troops from 1968 until the war ended than there had been from the start of the war up until the ’68 talks as well as countless deaths of Vietnamese and Cambodian civilians.

      What did Kissinger get up to in Africa then? Hitchens hints at several more deadly shenanigans in the opening to his book, but says he didn’t have enough evidence before him to indict Kissinger for all of them.

      Hitchens is no war criminal for supporting the Iraq War. I well understand his reasons, but ultimately it is the one subject on which I could never quite agree with him.

      The official Iraq War was over in a matter of weeks once US troops took Baghdad and “Comical Ali” ceased to appear on our TV screens.

      The vast majority of Iraqi deaths have been through the Islamist insurgency since the war ended.

      Hitchens and Bush are not responsible for that.

      Before the Iraq War, Saddam was hated throughout the Muslim world for being a secularist and a tyrant who committed genocide against his own people and those within his borders i.e. the Kurds.

      However, Islamists hate nothing more than the existence of non-Muslims and are prepared to kill innocent people while killing themselves in the process for this belief.

      Bloody ungrateful of them if you ask me.

      MSP

      • Dan Says:

        All of the breakdowns in Iraq were predicted by the French and Germans. One happy side effect of the war for Hitchens must have been the near extermination of the remnant Christian population in Iraq. Again another predictable consequence of the invasion. Hitchens spectacular hostility toward Christianity is nothing short of a marvel.

        On Kissinger, he was just keeping in good with Katrina Van Den Heuvel as he drifted into the embrace of neoconservative orthodoxy.

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