The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Tributes to a Monster

Dec 11, 2023

This article is translated from the December 6 issue, #2888 of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers Struggle), the paper of the revolutionary workers group of that name active in France.

The entire political class paid tribute to the butcher of American imperialism, Henry Kissinger, on the occasion of his death, from Trump and Biden to Zelensky and Macron.

During the 1970s, as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State, he was the man most responsible for American foreign policy and all the wars and atrocities that accompanied it.

It began with the Vietnam War, where he torpedoed peace negotiations in 1968 to weaken President Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats, only to hammer out a similar agreement in 1973 when Nixon was in office. In the meantime, tens of thousands of American soldiers and almost two million Vietnamese died in an atrocious war in which the American military used all kinds of weapons of mass destruction such as napalm. At the same time, to prevent supplies to the Vietnamese resistance from transiting through Cambodia, Kissinger ordered bombing raids on this neutral country, resulting in hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties.

All this did not prevent him from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the 1973 agreements with Vietnam! It’s true that Kissinger was not against peace if it served the interests of the U.S. bourgeoisie. Indeed, it was for this reason that he renewed relations with Mao Zedong’s China in 1972, as a means of better isolating the USSR.

This is also why he massively armed the Israeli state against the Arab states during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and not because it would have been part of his ideals due to his Jewish origins. At the same time, he made this cynical statement privately: "If they [Russian leaders] put Jews in gas chambers in the Soviet Union, [which they didn’t!] it’s not an American concern. Maybe it’s a humanitarian concern."

In Latin America, Kissinger fiercely pursued the U.S. policy of treating the region as its own preserve. After leftist Chilean President Allende came to power in 1970, Kissinger was the architect of the coup d’état led by his friend General Pinochet in 1973. He supported and even installed other anti-labor and anti-communist dictatorships, such as the one in Argentina. He was also one of the architects of the “Condor Plan,” a kind of international torture and repression plan for six South American dictatorships.

Before and after him, the imperialist bourgeoisie has been able to count on the services of many monsters. Kissinger was a first-class, unscrupulous, and brilliant one. And that’s why so many politicians are paying tribute to him today.