Henry Kissinger died in his Connecticut home on Nov. 29
, according to a statement by his consulting firm
. The former US Secretary of State has been a polarizing figure for many due to his foreign policy decisions throughout the years. He was described by the Rolling Stone as “Henry Kissinger, war criminal beloved by America’s ruling class.”
has advised 12 presidents, from John F. Kennedy to Joe Biden. He was credited with the diplomatic opening of relations between China
and the U.S., as well as improving relations with the Soviet Union
at the height of the Cold War via several arms deals. In a July meeting
hosted by Xi Jinping, the Chinese president remarked: “China and the United States’ relations will forever be linked to the name ‘Kissinger.’”
However, he has also been involved in the dropping of
500,000 tons of US bombs on neutral Cambodia between 1969 to 1973 during the Vietnam war as an attempt to exhaust Viet Cong forces in the country’s east. This bombing campaign later paved the way for the brutal Pol Pot-led Khmer Rouge regime, which murdered nearly 1.7 million people during their bloody rule of Cambodia.
Kissinger is also linked to the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide
through his advice to Richard Nixon to side with Pakistan’s military dictator, General Yahya Khan, in his war with Bangladesh. Due to Kissinger’s advice, the US equipped Pakistan with US-made tanks, weapons, and ammunition against the Bengalis.
Kissinger was also awarded the controversial 1973 Nobel Peace Prize
alongside Le Duc Tho "for jointly having negotiated a ceasefire in Vietnam in 1973". Le Duc Tho declined the award.
Further advised by Kissinger, Nixon
also backed the military overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende who was replaced by the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.
“A man has died whose historical brilliance never managed to conceal his profound moral misery,” Chile’s ambassador to the United States, Juan Gabriel Valdes
, posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Mehraneh Saffari is Senior News Editor. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.