The Trial of K Continues


After taking his mallet to a dour, sour David Broder (and several pieces after his brilliant demolition of Lewis Lapham's attempted demolition of the right-wing "propaganda mill"), Jack Shafer has returned to a favorite bete noire, Henry Kissinger. The gist of his latest Slate piece is that Dr. K inevitably makes scarce when asked about his onetime shenanigans in Latin America, particularly in Chile.

We knew that, didn't we? But more interesting is how tough a sell is Kissinger's brand of "realist" politics today--whereby high national interest mandates, for example, an utter disregard for human rights. I recall that when I was studying politics in grad school almost 20 years ago, one was either a realist or a sappy liberal idiot. That's one reason why people end up libertarian, perhaps, but it's also worth reflecting on how the otherwise much-derided American neoconservative movement sought to bridge that yawning gap. The fact that Kissinger has to hide from the New York Times can be partly (and I do stress only partly) put at the door of the neocons.

After all, one of those who opposed Dr. K's foreign policy approach in the past was Paul Wolfowitz.