Monday, 19 March 2012 08:20

Henry Kissinger: Men of Ideas

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Henry Kissinger (1923- ) is a German- Jewish-American. His parents, along with him, fled Nazi Germany and settled at New York, USA. He served in the US army as an interpreter of German language during the Second World War. At the termination of the war he completed his education at Harvard and obtained a doctorate degree in political science. Thereafter, he embarked on teaching the nature of political realism at Harvard University.

Kissinger's path to fame is his emphasis on political realism and geopolitics. For him, nothing should be done out of sentimental reasons but from pure calculation of self and national interests. Everything should be done for his and his master's interests, including killing their perceived enemies.

Kissinger served as Richard Nixon's National Security advisor and later as the US Foreign Secretary. In those positions he implemented his understanding of real politics, and that allegedly included engineering the death of Salvador Allende, the socialist president of Chile, supporting apartheid South Africa, ignoring the rest of Africa because it was of no strategic interest to the USA, negotiating with the Vietcong to end the Vietnam War.

Kissinger made his mark in secret diplomacy with the Soviet Union and China. With the USSR, he negotiated the reduction of strategic nuclear weapons and negotiated the opening of diplomatic channels with Communist China.

Kissinger can be summarized as a man who ingratiated himself to those in power and advised them to be realistic in their relationship with other nations. Other than his political realism he does not seem to have any particular talent that he could be admired for. He has no original idea, for everything he said in his numerous books, books of many pages, are elaboration of the gospel of political realism, a gospel that many other writers have taught, and written about. From ancient Egypt to Greece, Persia, Rome, to modern nation-states it has always been understood that power is what rules the world, not emotionalism and feelings of love for mankind.

To the brutal go the spoils of war. However, whether the brutal are peaceful and happy persons is a different question. Is Henry Kissinger a happy person? But, as he may ask: does it matter if people are happy or not; by the way, what is happiness, is that not a subjective variable that we can debate until infinity? Forget it and concentrate on power; power yields positive results, does it not?

REFERENCE

Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy. (1994)

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176