Archive for December 18th, 2006

Gunslinger in the Vatican?

December 18, 2006

According to the Italian newspaper La Stampa,(Nov.4,2006) Pope Benedict XVI has invited Henry Kissinger the 83-year-old former adviser to Richard Nixon to be a political consultant and Kissinger has accepted. Can this horror scenario possibly be true?According to the far-right Catholic paper National Catholic Register which carried the story at the end of November with nary a negative caveat, the Nobel laureate and war criminal is to form part of a papal “advisory board” on foreign and political affairs.

The question remains: Can this pope be that stupid and insensitive?

The answer is yes. The recent gaffe vis a vis Islam indicates that this scholarly cleric does not get out much into the real world or he would not have made such an extraordinary boner. To hire Kissinger would be a mistake of even greater magnitude than his Islamic misadventure. But then you can see how such mistakes are made—particularly if you take advice from the Michael Novaks and John Neuhauses of the world. You may remember this pair, along with George Weigel tried to convince John Paul ll to park his visceral anti Iraq war war stance. They are all Republican neocons and if they have had any shame about Iraq, I have not yet heard of it.

Let’s outline in the briefest terms the sordid career of this venal man, Kissinger. And since Pinochet has gone to his reward, heavenly or otherwise, let’s begin with Chile and his role in orchestrating the murder, first of René Schneider, the head of the Chilean military who would not play hard ball and trash the constitional role of the army. Then segue to the subversion of the Allende government, and the subsequent killing of over 3,000 Chileans and the fall of democracy there. Following the 1998 arrest of Augusto Pinochet, in England at the request of Spanish judge Balthazar Garzon, Kissinger is no longer apt to be shielded behind sovereign immunity.

Let’s then go back to Vietnam and read Seymour Hersh’s (The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House 1983) account of the cynical prolongation of the war which claimed over one million Vietnamese civilian lives, not to mention 58,000 American soldiers. Four more years of death because he was able to convince the Vietnamese that they would get a better deal from Nixon than either Johnson or Humphrey; then we have the illegal bombing of Laos and Cambodia (Only 500,000 app. killed). We are talking literally thousands of deaths because of this man’s geopolitical pawn games. Investigative reporter John Prados gives us a good flavour of the man’s absolute amorality. He quotes from a secret 1975 meeting when Gerald Ford was president. “It is an act of insanity and national humiliation to have a law prohibiting the President from ordering assassination.” Maybe that’s where Israel learned about extra-judicial asassinations. So much for the rule of law and the high moral ground.Then we could cite the go ahead he gave to Suharto’s invasion of East Timor in that dark period of Indonesian and East Timorese history.Bishop Carlos Belo might have something to tell Benedict about this.

Enough. Gore Vidal’s witty remark suffices. Watching Kissinger contemplating the famous Last Judgment scene on the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, the former cracked, “Look Henry’s apartment hunting.”

Benedict XVl needs to get real if there is a scintilla of truth about hiring Kissinger. What’ll he advise Benny to do? Proscribe all Catholics who think differently? Stage a coup, hire informers and replace any bishop who has an independent thought? Hell, that’s all been done. Simply stated, there’s just too much blood on Kissinger’s hands for employment in the Vatican. Benedict has already alienated the Muslim world. Expect another uproar among serious Christians and folks of conscience if this nightmare scenario proves to be true.