The Daily Mail recently reported on inflammatory statements made by ex-US secretary of state Henry Kissinger about North Korea. But a chef, a tweet and 45,000 people swiftly disgraced the tabloid over its reporting on the “mass murderer“.
Kissinger hit the headlines at the end of January for saying that the “temptation” to hit North Korea with a nuclear first strike was “strong”. He also asserted that the argument for doing so was “rational”.
The Daily Mail covered Kissinger’s comments on 2 February. But it relayed the remarks from the “legendary U.S. diplomat” to its readers without essential context. Namely, it failed to provide any background information about Kissinger that might explain why he appears so eager to start a nuclear war.
Well-known US chef Anthony Bourdain, however, did offer up such information via Twitter. And over 45,000 people have liked his brief but powerful account on Kissinger:
Frequently, I’ve come to regret things I’ve said. This, from 2001, is not one of those times: pic.twitter.com/1NiHlupJkL
— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) February 5, 2018
As Bourdain’s statement suggests, Kissinger is an infamous architect of war. The former official was a supporter of, and in some cases a co-conspirator in, installing military dictatorships across Latin America in the 1970s. And Kissinger propped up the Shah of Iran until his ousting in the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
He also executed Richard Nixon’s bombing campaign in Cambodia. That secret and illegal campaign potentially claimed millions of lives. Many of these people died as a result of the estimated 500,000 tonnes of bombs Kissinger had dropped on the country. 1.7 million others perished under the brutal, genocidal regime – the Khmer Rouge – that prospered in the chaos the US bombers left behind. After that regime seized control of Cambodia, Kissinger said:
tell the Cambodians [Khmer Rouge] that we will be friends with them. They are murderous thugs, but we won’t let that stand in our way.
Given that Kissinger has made a career out of taking action that resulted in the deaths of huge swathes of people, it’s no wonder he thinks nuking North Korea is “rational”. But The Daily Mail doesn’t divulge this to its readers. Instead, it portrays Kissinger as “legendary” and a “veteran diplomat”. And in doing so, it makes readers think that Kissinger is providing prudent reasoning that shouldn’t be ignored.
But Kissinger’s history shows he’s the last person people should listen to on matters of such momumental importance. Because as Bourdain says, he’s a “treacherous, prevaricating, murderous scumbag” to whom we shouldn’t give the time of day.
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Featured image via Kerry-anne Mendoza