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Author: Christopher Hitchens Verso: £7.99 Published: 2001 The premise of smearing weary authoritarian's reputations through the corrugated mesh of articles, books, caricatures, and film isn't avant-garde at all. Power in a democratic state is audaciously primed and available for ridicule and eventually expulsion via democratic process; it goes hand in hand with success. Usually when a pinnacle of a public career is realized the hierarchy aristocrats tinker with minutiae plots and undercurrents to warp the foundations of his or hers credibility to serve the public. Some do succeed, a buoyant few 'skeleton in closet' scenarios are a storm in a tea-cup and barely touches the surface of high office, several actually enhance social standing, and Henry Kissinger was the latter. He had immunity in regards to scandals, if anything he meandered on the cusp of greatness for longer than most, as the 'hearsay vultures' hovered over Kissinger, they then fled off as if startled. Kissinger was highly informed and intellectually tuned-in to political battlegrounds, especially foreign affairs. He was renowned for being a phone call ahead of the American state. Intelligently seconded guessed what was rhetoric what wasn't. His political wizardry aura never wilted or faded, while being the Secretary of State (1969 - 75) and Nobel Prize winner - such high accolades and honours irked Hitchens; especially during a period whereby the Kremlin spies were immensely active, deploying seismic fear tactics concerning the notorious 'Cold War' - a form of war like no other had flooded the media and the west. At a time pre information technology advancement and universal internet access, Hitchen's logical, honest, antennae twitched towards, Henry Kissinger, in a bid to reveal secret liaisons, war criminalities, and covert rogue dealings ran under the radar of the 'Cold War' rhetoric, enough ingredients to 'literary speaking', puts Henry Kissinger on trial. The Trial of Henry Kissinger Christopher Hitchens American journals and columns in 'The Nation' publication usual stances are anti-Democrats. By Hitchen's pen, William Jefferson Clinton got the same treatment in his publication 'No One Left to Lie to' - facts built on the infamous Monika S Lewinski dalliance Clinton had; Hitchens questioned the former President's moral compass as well as divulging myopic deficiencies. I felt due to the short time frame Hitchens delved head first into 'The Trial of Henry Kissinger' I initially pondered the impetus and motive; I needn't have. The book is far well-known compared to its predecessor; the journals are compelling, concise, and argumentative with unnerving precision. Hitchens uncaps areas of intrigue and unearths factual threads - the damnations are valid without a fatal cobra bite. You're left wondering if the audience/readership was listening; Hitchens nailed it, but everyone appears to be engrossed in other trivial matters, Americanisms, or celebrity, lord knows. In this account 'truth' and 'honesty' plays a role, an ethical one, one that has evidently not stuck, but to be sure, it exists. These are terminologies that Americans aren't succinct at, especially those occupying power. Their bubble rarely bursts and even if such scandal destroys a career, they've celebrity to fall back on, or get obscure positions of power via default, for example: 'UN's Special Envoy to Haiti' - William Jefferson Clinton is a fine example, albeit, Henry Kissinger is a different case, his generation was to drift off quietly into obscurity, and that's where he is today, nearing ninety years - an icon emerged in the American politics of last century. Why is the Trial of Henry Kissinger relevant today? For a new generation it has no direct relevance whatsoever to their lives, well being, safety, or even political allegiances. The dinosaur Kissinger is locked away in American political history - now he is a permanent footnote in American modern history reference books - his relevance today echoes that of the newly deceased John Demjanjuk, an ex-Nazi officer who recently was found guilty for Nazi war crimes, against humanity. Kissinger walked similar paths, but instead as an aristocrat; a ferocious Machiavellian who deceivingly changed the course of political tides - actions that caused wars, deaths, and fear. In the dark corridors of power, dim light would reside in the slim crevasse of Kissinger's office door, and there he plots, engineers the 'secrets of 68'. Coercing in covert talks, and signing the death warrants to many thousands of Vietnamese, Cambodian tribesmen, and US service men; and doing so as a flourishing statesman under the umbrella of National Security Advisor: other such conspiracies derived incredulous slander against his own highest in office, that aided him to be the ultimate instigator in the darkest days during the 'Cold War' - Kissinger installed disingenuous rhetoric, as fact, back to the Soviets(in 1969), claiming that President Nixon was of disjointed character, perhaps demented, and suffered with paranoia. Albeit threaded with laces of truth, as discovered years later - he instructed his spokesman Garment to infiltrate these beliefs back to Brezhev's security advisor - inadvertently making the Soviets believe the US was governed by a rogue state. As mentioned in the Kissinger memoirs, he didn't hold back in claiming his hunch when it came to Richard Nixon's demise; that originated by his own premise. A master manipulator, conspirator, covertly Machiavellian - Hitchens remarks on Kissinger's 'Arrogance of power' and the grotesque means by which Kissinger had used his positions that nevertheless results with him being the prime benefactor, whether its through documents being deemed as 'classified' for anyone except the security chief i.e. himself (Heinz Alfred Kissinger); promotion via the ranks of high office to Secretary of State; or the dishonor in discrediting a president without any come-backs. Still Kissinger today commentates. He gets exhumed from his luxury dwellings to convey his opinion whenever dire events occur relating to American foreign policy (and even today his security firm still refrains anyone from viewing his covert associates). Hitchen's quest is fiercely well directed for charges of human right violations, conspiracy to murder, (assassination of a Chilean General in 1970) - the use of Inflammatory American foreign policy which for years massacred thousands in the Vietnam conflict; due to his covert involvement during peace talks. Ironically, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Whether or not the trial of Henry Kissinger is 'founded or non-founded' or has any public backing or worth; I doubt it. There is no glamour such as an O J Simpson type, or anything that the media can grab and sell stories about. Plus, Henry K knows that in American 'free speech' is part of democracy, regardless how corrupt, and evil your portrayed. Only Hitchens could flush out such incredulous content and make it stick and in fact he did - because in 2002 a docu-styled film was produced, this in effect could've struck down Kissinger if it went to trial, which it nearly did. A trial date was to be posted in the 'New York Times' on September 11th 2001; problem was a gargantuan event vibrated the globe, that changed American priorities. I think Hitchens had a point. Highly recommended.
With the detention of Augusto Pinochet, and intense international pressure for the arrest of Slobodan Milosovic, the possibility of international law acting against tyrants around the world is emerging as a reality. In this incendiary book, Hitchens takes the floor as prosecuting counsel and mounts a devastating indictment of a man whose ambitions and ruthlessness have directly resulted in both individual murders and widespread, indiscriminate slaughter.