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Henry Kissinger, R.I.P.

Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under two Presidents, died yesterday (November 29) at his Connecticut home, at the age of 100.

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Henry Kissinger, R.I.P.

Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State and Presidential National Security Adviser, died yesterday at his Connecticut home. He was 100 years old.

Henry Kissinger, his life and his times

Born Heinz Alfred Kissinger on May 27, 1923, the young Henry Kissinger fled Nazi Germany in 1938. He attended, and later taught at, Harvard University.

Kissinger exploded into prominence in 1969, as President Richard M. Nixon’s National Security Adviser. He later became the first and only official ever to hold that post, and that of Secretary of State, at the same time.

People remember him best for lessening tensions with the old Soviet Union – a policy he called détente. They also remember him for negotiating the end of U.S. involvement in the War in Vietnam. (For which he shared the Nobel Peace Prize.)

But hidden in an otherwise storied career are his questionable actions in negotiating an end to the Third Arab-Israeli War. Author and Ministry of Tourism employee Susan Marcus explained the Israeli perspective to this correspondent on the occasion (May-June 2011) of his journey to Israel. Henry Kissinger, in remonstrating with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, wanted her to give up the Golan Heights. He described the Heights as a “pimple” on the map of the region. Instead of answering him directly, Meir arranged for him to take a helicopter overflight of the Heights. From that vantage point he saw the position of the Heights, the captured Syrian fortifications that stood since the Second Arab-Israeli War of 1967 (which fortifications stood even in 2011 and presumably stand to this day), and how it guards Israel’s frontier. And he gave up trying to convince Meir to give that up.

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More recently, Henry Kissinger recommended to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he give up the Donbass to Russia to have permanent peace. Zelensky has adamantly refused – at least until now.

In 1972, back when Time called its annual honorees “(Wo)Men of the Year,” Kissinger made Man of the Year. His Vietnam diplomacy probably occasioned that award.

Kissinger has often expressed pithy opinions most people would as soon forget. For example, Bradlee Dean remembers him saying,

Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.

On another occasion, Bradlee Dean remembered Kissinger for saying this:

It is not a matter of what is true that counts, but a matter of what is perceived to be true.

Which is right up there with Uncle Joe Stalin saying,

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It’s not who votes that counts; it’s who counts the votes.

Or this aphorism:

Possession is nine points of the law.

NewsMax remembers many more controversies, in which antiwar college students blamed him for escalating matters in Southeast Asia. (Of course, college students then were not so much anti-war as pro-Communist.) Erick-Woods Erickson remembers him as “a realist,” not an ideologue.

A few more accolades poured in from X:

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

CATEGORY:Human Interest
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