There was a brief moment, after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, when even Bill Clinton recognized what had been done to Haiti in the name of ‘free trade’: the destruction of local markets and rice production.
The Romans thought of themselves as the chosen people, yet they built the greatest army on Earth by recruiting warriors from any background.
Most students of Kissinger find it hard to say anything about Kissinger that isn’t about the man himself. He is such an outsize figure that he eclipses his own context, leading his many biographers, critics, and admirers to focus nearly exclusively on the quirks of his personality or his moral failings.
I see my upbringing as a great success story. By disciplining me, my parents inculcated self-discipline. And by restricting my choices as a child, they gave me so many choices in my life as an adult. Because of what they did then, I get to do the work I love now.
Kissinger’s unusually high body count and singular moral imperiousness has the effect, among his critics, of obscuring his didactic utility. An outsized personality who has committed outsized mayhem, Kissinger eclipses his own context. Yet, as animals were to the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, Kissinger is good to think with.
Starting in the early 1800s, Southerners in the United States began to defend slavery as their ‘peculiar institution,’ and northerners didn’t mind, since the phrase suggested that chattel bondage was quarantined from the rest of the nation: that it was, or soon would be, a relic of its past and would not define its future.
Within days of Richard Nixon’s inauguration in January 1969, national-security adviser Kissinger asked the Pentagon to lay out his bombing options in Indochina. The previous president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, had suspended his own bombing campaign against North Vietnam in hopes of negotiating a broader cease-fire.
I am not one of those people who believe that MLK achieved more in martyrdom than he could have if he’d lived: imagine what a guiding influence he could have on the world were he still among us.
Some parents let their kids sleep at other people’s houses, where they drink alcohol, watch TV for hours and God knows what else. But if you say you have to get all A’s and practice the violin for two hours, then they consider that abusive. That upsets me.
Such is the nature of the ‘unity government’ Clinton helped institutionalize. In her book, ‘Hard Choices,’ Clinton holds up her Honduran settlement as a proud example of her trademark clear-eyed, ‘pragmatic’ foreign policy approach. Berta Caceres gave her life to fight that government.