Posted January 19, 2023
The Old Worm Turned
- Last year, Kissinger called for peace in Ukraine to avoid a world war.
- Saying the situation has changed, Kissinger now calls for Ukraine to join NATO.
- Is it realpolitik or worrying about his legacy that made him change his mind?
Good morning from the top of the boot.
I shouldn’t be surprised now.
The surprise came last year when ace warmonger Henry Kissinger called for peace and advocated a way for Russia to get back into the good graces of the West.
“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”
The quote is often attributed to John Maynard Keynes. But Paul Samuelson, another famous economist, said it.
And yes, dislike it though I may, even old Hank Kissinger has the right to change his mind.
But I wonder if Kissinger is changing his mind for genuine political reasons or is just worried about preserving his legacy.
Those WEF folk were pretty upset at their shindig last year when Kissinger, in a speech beamed in from New York City, wasn’t “full speed ahead” in a crusade to topple Russia.
To be fair to Kissinger, he’s been clear for the past few years that fighting Russia is a fool’s game and that Ukraine should be a bridge between east and west.
But that didn’t calm the globalists, who think we must teach Russia a lesson it’ll never forget!
And here we are.
Kissinger now says Ukraine entering NATO is an “appropriate outcome” of the war.
How did it get to this?
Let’s Go Way Back
Last May, I wrote a Rude piece called “An Old Man Desperate to Get Into Heaven.”
It was about Kissinger when he called for peace with Russia.
Though I shouldn’t have been shocked at the time - for years, Kissinger has advocated reproach with Russia - I lambasted Kissinger’s record.
And for a good reason.
Kissinger’s actions in Southeast Asia as a member of the US government were reprehensible.
But what annoyed me most was his eagerness to give away American technology to the Chinese in exchange for their “friendship.”
Old Hank hated the Russians so much that he thought he could bribe the Chinese into siding with America against the Russians.
At the time, the Russians, through diplomatic back channels, told the Americans this was an enormous mistake because the Chinese were untrustworthy.
(You may recall the Sino-Soviet split that divided the communist world at the time.)
In the Rude’s brother publication, the Daily Reckoning, the brilliant Jim Rickards wrote yesterday:
One of the keys to U.S. foreign policy in the last 50 or 60 years has been to make sure that Russia and China never form an alliance. Keeping them separated was key.
In 1972, Nixon pivoted to China to put pressure on Russia. In 1991, the U.S. pivoted to Russia to put pressure on China after the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Unfortunately, the U.S. has lost sight of this basic rule of international relations. It is now Russia and China that have formed a strong alliance, to the disadvantage of the United States. The war in Ukraine only intensified it as the U.S. has tried to destroy Russia economically through sanctions.
One leg of the China-Russia relationship is their joint desire to see the U.S. dollar lose its status as the world’s dominant reserve currency. They chafe against the ways in which the U.S. uses the dollar as a financial weapon. Again, the U.S. sanctions have only accelerated these efforts.
But ultimately, this two-against-one strategic alignment of China and Russia against the U.S. is a strategic blunder by the U.S.
It’s astounding that the USG has been stacked with such incompetence.
Not only did Kissinger give the Chinese our tech, which took at least 30 years off China’s journey toward modernity, but the USG wound up losing them as an ally anyway.
And with Russia, the US had the chance to get Russia onside in the 90s but squandered that opportunity to satisfy our homegrown arms dealers.
Now, those two are working together to rewrite the international order in their image.
Kissinger and Crimea
Realizing the US had made a generational, or even an existential, blunder with Russia in the 90s and beyond, Kissinger adopted a more pragmatic approach to Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014.
Kissinger wrote in a March 2014 WaPo op-ed piece:
Far too often the Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West. But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other — it should function as a bridge between them.
Russia must accept that to try to force Ukraine into a satellite status, and thereby move Russia’s borders again, would doom Moscow to repeat its history of self-fulfilling cycles of reciprocal pressures with Europe and the United States.
The West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country. Russian history began in what was called Kievan-Rus. The Russian religion spread from there. Ukraine has been part of Russia for centuries, and their histories were intertwined before then.
So old Henry had good form when urging peace between Ukraine, Russia, and the West.
Kissinger Last Year
In light of the above, I thought I was unduly harsh on Kissinger when he called for peace after the Russian invasion.
From my earlier piece:
In a speech [broadcast at the WEF] that nearly floored me, Kissinger said:
“Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome.
Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante. Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself.”
Doubtless, ace neocon Victoria Nuland hit the roof.
“Parties should be brought to peace talks within the next two months. Ukraine should've been a bridge between Europe and Russia, but now, as the relationships are reshaped, we may enter a space where the dividing line is redrawn, and Russia is entirely isolated.
We are facing a situation now where Russia could alienate itself completely from Europe and seek a permanent alliance elsewhere. This may lead to Cold War-like diplomatic distances, which will set us back decades. We should strive for long-term peace.”
I thought he was just trying to get into heaven.
It turns out he’s more than happy to change his tune.
Kissinger Just Now.
Whether it’s the facts that have changed or Kissinger wants to keep his standing at the World Economic Forum, Kissinger delivered these words this time.
From the Agence France Press:
But speaking virtually to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Kissinger said that NATO membership for Ukraine would be an "appropriate outcome."
"Before this war, I was opposed to membership of Ukraine in NATO because I feared that it would start exactly the process that we have seen now," Kissinger said.
"Now that this process has reached this level, the idea of a neutral Ukraine under these conditions is no longer meaningful," said Kissinger, speaking before a bookcase with a framed picture of President Richard Nixon, under whom he served.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had described Ukraine's NATO aspirations as a threat as he justified the invasion launched on February 24 last year.
Well, Putin has been proven correct.
As for Kissinger?
It looks like he thinks Ukraine can’t serve as a bridge anymore. I don’t blame him per se, but I’m disappointed, nonetheless.
He’s probably right. But I think this will mean the end of Ukraine as a nation-state in its present form. And that’s certainly not what the USG wants.
Henry Kissinger is back to his old self. At 99 years old, we shouldn’t expect anything else.
But seeing him as a peacenik was refreshing for that moment.
Now, let the dice fall where they may.