Why was Henry Kissinger so hated?

Why was Henry Kissinger so hated?
Henry Kissinger, singular US diplomat, dead at 100
FMM - F24 Video Clips / VideoElephant

Henry Kissinger, former Presidents Nixon and Ford's Secretary of State and National security Advisor, has died at the age of 100. And the obituaries are far from favourable - but why?

A headline from Rolling Stonereads "Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America's Ruling Class, Finally Dies", a quite scathing way to report his death. But Kissinger has been hated for decades, for his conduct towards the Vietnam War and ordering the carpet-bombing of Cambodia and Laos, amongst many other things.

So despite being awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, he has long been a divisive figure in US politics

Vietnam and Cambodia

It is estimated that Kissinger's foreign policy decisions resulted in the deaths of 3 to 4 million; and the 350,000 to 500,000 Cambodians killed by American bombs are almost entirely directly connected to him. These bombs, including cluster bombs, continue to claim civilian lives due to remnants plaguing the country.

Kissinger's carpet-bombing of Cambodia, is increasingly viewed as an inhumane tactic, was reportedly titled "Operation Menu" by Kissinger. It was intended to disrupt communist North Vietnamese operations along the Ho Chi Minh Trail - which cut across Cambodia's east.

As foreign policy advisor to Nixon and Ford, Kissinger's actions led to the prolonging of the Vietnam War for five years. A war that was greatly opposed by the end of it.


After Chilean Socialist Party presidential candidate Salvador Allende was elected, the Nixon administration, with heavy input from Kissinger, authorised the CIA to encourage a military coup, which ultimately failed. Until in September, 1973 when a military coup occurred.

Two months before the election of Allende during an intelligence meeting Kissinger reportedly said: "I don't see why we need to stand idly by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people."

During Pinochet's murderous reign in Chile, Kissinger visited him in 1976, informing the general that he had to criticise his reign of terror but added, according to declassified cable, "my evaluation is that you are a victim of all left-wing groups around the world."

The CIA were also responsible for involvement in the kidnapping of Chilean general René Schneider.


Similarly to Chile, Kissinger gave the green light to the Argentinian dictatoship's murderous crackdown against dissidents, also known as the "dirty war". The crackdown saw thousands kidnapped, tortured and killed.

The above mentioned actions by Kissinger are hardly an exhaustive list, but some of his most notable.

Kissinger had always been unapologetic in his crimes, declaring "a country that demands moral perfection in its foreign policy will achieve neither perfection nor security.

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