Kissinger: ‘Gas Chambers Not American Concern’
Henry Kissinger is a foul human being, plain and simple. Let’s concede that he was a Jew seeking to ingratiate himself with the Republican powers that be beginning with Nelson Rockefeller, who was his mentor, and then with Richard Nixon. So in a sense he had to pretend to ignore any element of allegiance to his co-religionists. He didn’t want to be labelled an Uncle Tomashefsky.
But is there any possible justification for the horrible immorality of this statement reported in the NY Times?
An indication of Nixon’s complex relationship with Jews came the afternoon Golda Meir, the Israeli prime minister, came to visit on March 1, 1973. The tapes capture Meir offering warm and effusive thanks to Nixon for the way he had treated her and Israel.
But moments after she left, Nixon and Mr. Kissinger were brutally dismissive in response to requests that the United States press the Soviet Union to permit Jews to emigrate and escape persecution there.
“The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy,” Mr. Kissinger said. “And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”
“I know,” Nixon responded. “We can’t blow up the world because of it.”
This was precisely the attitude of the FDR administration toward Jewish victims during the Holocaust. It was no a strategic or military concern of the Allies in prosecuting the war. It was merely a humanitarian concern, with “humanitarian” falling very far down in the list of priorities. To a certain extent this approach still afflicts policymakers as reflected in western paralysis in the face of genocide in places like Rwanda, Bosnia, Congo and Sudan.
The plight of Soviet Jewry ended up becoming a political football and in a sense served as the genesis of the nascent neocon movement when Sen. Henry Jackson (the progenitor of neoconservatism) shepherded the Jackson-Vanik Amendment into law. That allowed Soviet Jews to become the cudgel with which U.S. anti-Russian hawks could beat the Soviet Union about the head. It became an example of humanitarianism exploited for political gain. Many of these same Russian Jews upon emigration to Israel served as the backbone of the Likud and Israeli far-right nationalism (Natan Sharanky, Avigdor Lieberman, etc).
The incredible irony of the Watergate tapes released yesterday is that they reveal a Nixon full of petty racist notions: among them that Jews, being the arrivistes that they are–are beset by tremendous insecurity. Now, we can argue about whether that’s true or not. But the notion reveals a Nixon utterly bereft of self-knowledge since of course, he was one of the most insecure personalities ever to inhabit the presidency. In a sense, you could argue that Nixon, seeing himself as an unappreciated, disrespected outsider, gravitated to Jewish advisors like Kissinger, who saw themselves similarly. They both had something to prove and hence were extremely ambitious. This ambition both fueled their legitimate achievements and defined their greatest weakness.
22 thoughts on “Kissinger: ‘Gas Chambers Not American Concern’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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This man swims in blood. At best he is a pulsing brain, a thinking excrescence, without soul, contemptuous of decency itself, simply a dark pit worthy of nothing but scorn, and to think that this offal is a Nobel laureate and that important people crawl over him like flies on a dung heap.
I’m not here to excuse that sort of vile speak, but merely provide one possible background (please don’t throw the messenger into the pit). Henry Kissinger was a fan of realpolitik. Realpolitik lacks emotion, humanitarian concerns, and ideological balance with ethics. In this day and age, the realpolitik is muddled in the news. If everyone was as straight forward as Kissinger, we would be at least more in tune with what the real intentions of, for instance, going into Iraq actually were. However, it would be less likely that here would be public support for such a war. In a Democracy, public support is necessary.
He did mention it was a humanitarian concern, which indicates he understood the universal nature of the crime, but then carves out how it’s not necessarily a strategic interest for the US in not-so-diplomatic terms. More like, he sounded like a speech writer for Adolf Hitler or something there. To be honest, I don’t know all of Kissinger’s real personality traits, like how he viewed his own Judaism, etc.
Nixon, on the other hand, trusted his advisor too much. I would have pushed back and said, “Why is it not a US interest? Did we not storm the beaches at Normandy and lose countless serviceman? Did we not make sacrifice upon sacrifice to end the German campaign, and along with it, stopped their merciless campaign against the Jews? The capital that was spent — both human and fiscal — creates a vested interest in the elimination and prevention of Jewish genocide.” Kissinger may have had an answer, but it’s sure better than, “You’re right, we can’t just blow up the world for that.”
One also would have to look up the context of this dialogue to see what the Soviet stances were at the time. Did they threaten war if we interfered with their anti-Semitism? Also, more importantly, I’d like to hear the tapes myself before I trust anyone else. I’ve learned over time that the truth is not what people tell you it is; the truth is what they SHOW it to be.
And finally, history silently vindicates the Russian Jews who were actually persecuted against Nixon in indirect ways. His legacy is forever tainted, and he is a running gag. Put two peace signs in the air and let everyone know, “I am not a crook!”
Good try, PersianAdvocate, but there is NO vindicating Kissinger and/or his pipsqueek puppet of a president. The slimy anti-Semitic statements they threw around in private are only the least of their evils. Think Chile; think bombing of Cambodia; think Israel/Palestine peace talks; think etc., etc., etc. Realpolitik my butt. Kissinger only had one criterion for all of his actions: How does it further Kissinger? No other president ever had such an evil string-puller manipulating him until GWB found Dick Cheney, or vice-versa.
Truth is not only what people tell you it is, nor show it to be. Truth is what it is, and it is up to you to have know enough (experience) to recognize it. Richard is gets it right.
*climbs back out of the pit* hehe 😉
I like your definition of truth. I shall revise mine accordingly. I’m not exactly wearing a Henry Kissinger jersey rooting for team Nixon over here myself. Like I said, I’m not Kissinger expert and obviously you and Richard know him far better than I. I’ll gladly defer to you.
Personally, I think the guy masterminded and laid the plans to push out the Shah in 1979 in line with the thinking that an Islamic government would impede Iranian progress, and also because the Shah was not following US orders on oil and the opium trade. One oil producing country would have to stop production for a while to attain a price. The Shah even reveals this in many interviews towards his demise, a man who was a friend of Israel and the US.
Check this out 😉 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kySR3fpa5s
Should clarify, US/UK demands. I know you’ve likely seen this all already, Gene, but for others, some very interesting revelations directly from the Shah (who just couldn’t keep a secret apparently..):
A smart man shows naivety in some sense when he thinks he’s a bulletproof human being and draws ire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N95jAvKliJU
His last interview with David Frost (part 1 – other parts have links therein – check out Part 2 especially) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1006p0NO6w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imil1iIpIYA&feature=related -openly saying things that led to his demise
with Bawbawa Walters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrCK6CD1dKM&feature=related
Mike Wallace telling the Shah that he has a CIA profile: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCMftp2bdJA
(WikiLeaks-ish) Watch the voice over narrating a lie lol
Much as I despise the Mullah regime, I’ve no regrets for the Shah. Friend of Israel and U.S. or not. Do I smell a royalist in you? He did seem to have a jump on everyone about the emerging Israel (Jewish) Lobby that Mike Wallace raises his eyebrows about in your youtube link.
While pictures like this are truly majestic: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/shows/iran/images/photo5.jpg
They also look like they’re from 1000 years ago or Grim’s Fairy Tales. If the above videos show anything, it’s that one man cannot run Iran. His SAVAK betrayed him, and look at the cost.
I thoroughly reject this monarchy and the royal attitude. It doesn’t mean I don’t seek reform in Iran. I think the Green Movement is a sham. Witness Mousavi sitting in his mouse hole, while assistants update his Facebook statuses, urging young Iranians to gallop, dance and protest in the streets without much more instruction, right into the hands of a HYPERPARANOID government (let’s dispose of the word “regime”) WITH GUNS. And they have many justifications for the suppression of dissent, including Operation Ajax and the many successive Shah overthrows.
Many of these stem from the fact that there are so many foreign plans to usurp Iran’s natural resources. This was true and apparent during Mossadegh’s time, true and apparent during the Shah’s time, and reoccurs now. Why is it we see a cyclical history here? It appears only one government finally got a clue.
I’m not saying I agree with many of the government’s policies, but there are ways of reforming it within the system. The first thing is to remove all of the justifications for the suppression of dissent. Then, what reason would the government have to behave that way?
You know why the “Green Movement” dissipated? Iranians everywhere clued in really fast that there was something fishy going on. Groups like United Against a Nuclear Iran sprang up, movies like “300” came out, our Persian Gulf was again in danger of renaming, and the youtube invites Obama sent for hot dog BBQs made us laugh.
BTW, how wise is it to offer Muslims hot dogs, generally a pork product? I know there are Halal ones, just sayin… shoulda said burgers… lol
Today the man would be barbecued and had for breakfast alive…
scoop jackson was a conservative?
do you also believe (like republicans do) that kennedy was a conservative?
Scoop Jackson was a proto-neocon & Democratic hawk. Kennedy too was a military security hawk, which was how we got into the dreadful Bay of Pigs fiasco & Vietnam. But unlike Jackson, Kennedy had other redeeming features politically.
so by your reasoning…fdr was a conservative
i suggest you look at jackson’s voting record…he was a liberal who was strong on defense, and was a good friend to the jews…that doesnt make him a neocon
“Conservative” because he implemented the most far reaching social justice agenda in American history? If that’s conservative then he was a flaming fascist (but only by yr standards). You don’t seem to recall that there was a World War going on in the world & as president he had no choice but to be primarily a military commander for five of the 13 yrs he was president.
Jackson was a neocon something akin to a Joe Lieberman. He was a mouthpiece for Aipac & errand boy for the Israelis. Good friend to the Jews? You mean water boy for Israel I think. All of the neocons esp. the Jews acknowledge Jackson. Guess you missed that.
scoop jackson was a strong supporter of the civil rights movement, authored the enviromental rights act, sponsored the jackson-vanik amendment (restricting trade with those countries that abused the human rights of its peoples), etc.
show me one neo-con today who would support any of those things
I wouldn’t say he was a strong supporter of the civil rights movement. He lived in a liberal, mostly white state (where I now live) which supported civil rights so he did. He was never known as an advocate of environmental rights & I’m fairly sure yr description is either wrong or attenuated. The Jackson Vanik Amendment was aimed purely & soley at Russia though it may’ve had nice window dressing lang. making it appear to be aimed at all human rights abusers.
And of course as usual you leave out the crowning feature of his entire Senate careeer, a strong unremitting hatred of the Soviet Union & Communism which was exploited by Soviet Jewry advocates (or he allowed to be exploited) on behalf of Soviet Jewry. Alongside this was a strong unremitting advocacy for the military industrial complex since the primary employer in Washington State at the time was Boeing.
It is just possible that H.K.’s “And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern.” was spoken in an ironical sense but taken literally by Nixon. I don’t believe someone of Kissinger’s background, who escaped the Nazi Holocaust, would have spoken these words seriously. About Cambodians, Laotions, Vietnamese … possibly, but about Jews?
I don’t want to draw attention to Israel. It’s in Israel’s and world jewry’s interest to take a low profile. Don’t let this latest news blow up. All this talk about ‘antisemitism’ will blow up and backfire.
Then you picked the wrong blog. That’s what we do here.
I was referring to other things such as the Israeli government’s recent invitation to the Chilean miners to visit Jerusalem for Christmas as a PR move. This will all backfire…
“To a certain extent this approach still afflicts policymakers as reflected in western paralysis in the face of genocide in places like Rwanda, Bosnia, Congo and Sudan.”
Oh, I wouldn’t say that the US is always paralyzed in the face of genocide. Sometimes we facilitate it. There was the Iraqi sanctions, and Guatemala and East Timor, for example.