(RepublicanJournal.org) – Henry Kissinger, who served as secretary of state under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and was an advisor to numerous other officials, has died at the age of 100. The German-American diplomat heavily influenced foreign policy throughout the decades, earning a name for himself as a talented strategist.
Depending on the source, Kissinger was either a visionary or a master manipulator. He’s credited with helping end the 1973 conflict between Israel and neighboring Arabs. He also assisted the United States in ending its involvement in Vietnam. His negotiations in the effort, known as the Paris Peace Accords, gained him a Nobel Peace Prize.
Critics say Kissinger was anything but a hero. They focus on numerous questionable actions he made behind the scenes throughout his career, some of which may have amounted to war crimes. The Huffington Post writes that in one instance, the diplomat launched a secret war against Cambodia — a neutral country he believed was a source of troops and supplies to the Viet Cong — in his effort to end the conflict in Vietnam. The move led to the deaths of over 50,000 civilians and the displacement of millions more.
Additionally, Kissinger oversaw illegal weapons sales to Pakistan in 1971 in an effort to help crush the Bengali population. He also was supportive of a military coup in Chile in 1973, which overthrew its elected government for being socialist. In 1975, he gave the blessing for Indonesia to invade East Timor, and he backed Argentina’s dictator in 1976, when the oppressive leader waged war against their country’s leftists. In all, according to his critics, Kissinger oversaw millions of human rights abuses throughout his career.
Public opinion aside, Kissinger was a real power player who rubbed elbows with some of the biggest political names, remaining active on the scene nearly until his death. One of his final efforts, according to Fox News, was to find a way to end the war between Russia and Ukraine, warning leaders that any further escalation would lead to “a war against Russia itself.”
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