CounterPunch - Henry Kissinger, Secretary Of State Under Richard Nixon, Alleged To Have Stolen An Imperial Vase During China Visit - Kissinger Threatens To Sue Over This Claim, But Does Not Defend Against Charges Of Mass Murder - To The Sociopathic Elite, Cultural Artifacts Are More Valuable Than Human Life

Political Letters - March 27, 1999



I found myself laughing this morning as I did the laundry.  Once again Alexander Cockburn's "CounterPunch" [pdf] delivers vital, outrageously subversive, essential information.  Henry Kissinger, the United State's Secretary of State during the Nixon administration in the early 1970s, threatened to sue the newsletter regarding its allegation that he had stolen an imperial vase from China during one of his early trips there.  This is hilarious because there have been countless times where CounterPunch has -- rightly -- called Kissinger a mass-murderer, responsible for much of the bloodshed during the Vietnam War.  Apparently, there were many covert operations, all of them stinking and corrupt, with which Kissinger was involved up to his ears.  Cockburn wrote that just as the Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, should be tried internationally for "crimes against humanity," so it is that Kissinger should be tried in an international court.  But for these allegations that Cockburn has made, Kissinger never threatened to sue: either they are true, or for Kissinger to defend himself would make more problems for himself than it would solve.  So it appears that, in Kissinger's mind, he may be a murderer, but he is certainly no thief.  Morally, this is an absurd distinction.  But I guess that the Secretary of State must have some principles to live by.  It appears that in Kissinger's estimation, the Chinese leadership views mass murder less serious than thefts of cultural antiquities.  Only a despot believes in the value of this distinction.  Hooray for CounterPunch!  They made an allegation that got the better of a powerful politician.  The allegation of thievery he simply could not live with.  Though it is likely that Cockburn cannot force Kissinger to be held accountable for his many murderous crimes, he can at least taunt and torment him from a distance; and in so doing, instill a value in honesty and perseverance in the newsletter's readership; and perhaps, though this is a long-shot, re-awaken the natural senses of fairness and compassion that have laid dormant inside Kissinger -- and others like him -- for so many decades.






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