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Christopher Hitchens doesn't mince words when it comes to The Trial of Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state and national-security advisor: in his view, Kissinger deserves vigorous prosecution "for war crimes, for crimes against humanity, and for offences against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, and torture." The Trial of Henry Kissinger is a polemical masterpiece; even readers who don't agree that its target is an emanation of "official evil" will appreciate the verve and style brought to Hitchens's fiery brief. ("A good liar must have a good memory: Kissinger is a stupendous liar with a remarkable memory.")
The book is best understood as a document of prosecution--both because Hitchens limits his critique to what he believes might stand up in an international court of law following precedents set at Nuremberg and elsewhere, and also because his treatment of Kissinger is far from even handed. The charges themselves are astonishing, as they link Kissinger to war casualties in Vietnam, massacres in Bangladesh and Timor, and assassinations in Chile, Cyprus, and Washington, DC. After reading this book, one wants very badly to hear a full response from the defendant. Hitchens, a writer for Vanity Fair and The Nation, is a man of the Left, though he has a history of skewering both Democrats (he is the author of a provocative book on the Clintons, No One Left to Lie To) as well as Republicans (like Kissinger).
At the root of this latest effort is moral outrage, and a call for Americans, of all people, not to ignore Kissinger's record:
They can either persist in averting their gaze from the egregious impunity enjoyed by a notorious war criminal and lawbreaker, or they can become seized by the exalted standards to which they continually hold everyone else... If the courts and lawyers of this country will not do their duty, we shall watch as the victims and survivors of this man pursue justice and vindication in their own dignified and painstaking way, and at their own expense, and we shall be put to shame.--John J Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The arrest of Augusto Pinochet signaled a significant shift in enforcing international law, noticed by Henry Kissinger if not others. Vanity Fair columnist Hitchens (No One Left to Lie To, etc.), a self-described "political opponent of Henry Kissinger," writes to remedy the awareness gap, focusing on specific charges of Kissinger's responsibility for mass killings of civilians, genocide, assassinations, kidnapping, murder and conspiracy involving Indochina, East Timor, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Greece and Chile. If the book's title is direct, Hitchens's style is not. Indeed, so much attention is given to unraveling Kissinger's denials and cover stories that the underlying allegations recede into the background. Most of the material is known, but Kissinger's possible culpability has been overlooked for so long that Hitchens's stylish summation may be precisely what's required to bring resolution to a chapter in American foreign policy. Topics include what Hitchens casts as Kissinger's role in helping Nixon undermine the Paris peace talks on the eve of the 1968 election; the bombings of Cambodia and Laos, which killed roughly a million civilians; the assassination of Chilean chief of staff General Rene Schneider, whose loyalty blocked the planned coup against Allende; Kissinger's approval and support for Indonesia's invasion of East Timor and the resulting genocide; his support for the Pakistan military government's 1971 genocide in Bangladesh and for a bloody military coup in independent Bangladesh in 1975, and more. If America does not act promptly, Hitchens warns, others will, further eroding our claims to moral leadership. (May)Forecast: Hitchens's fame and reputation as a contrarian guarantee that his indictment will receive media attention (it's already been serialized in Harper's), and leftists will delight in his skewering of Kissinger.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product Description
A well-documented, most credible book. Kissinger emerges as an evil influence, with unrestricted power ceded to him by a weak president. Read morePublished on April 22 2012 by nicholas
What is a "war criminal"? For all practical purposes it means you lost so you are the criminal, we won we bring peace and freedom. Read morePublished on April 3 2004 by J. E. Robinson
In an ideal democratic society, no one is above the law. Crimes against humanity are a pretty serious business, and the international community are now beginning to take it very... Read morePublished on March 23 2004 by C. Middleton
One of the most memorable scenes in the original "Godfather' movie was a sequence in which Michael (played by Al Pacino), now firmly insinuated in the evil machinations of the... Read morePublished on March 19 2004 by Barron Laycock
In totality this book is excellent and covers aphoristically within small bounds many grounds with detailed/ specific support and reference to appropriate documents. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2004 by "aphorise"
I find that few authors are as fun to read as this one when it comes to non-fiction. Regardless if you agree or disagree with Hitchens, he always provides an interesting book that... Read morePublished on Dec 7 2003 by John G. Hilliard
Hitchens, known for great works like 'Cyprus' and his speech "is Islam the enemy"? has finally corssed the line with this slanderous not worthwhile, unnecesary book. Read morePublished on Sept. 14 2003 by Seth J. Frantzman
Christopher Hitchens' slender indictment of former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry A. Read morePublished on July 8 2003 by John Whitehead