One the first Christopher Hitchens book I've read was "The Missionary Position" where he argues strongly that Mother Theresa - a religious figure regarded by many as a symbol of love and charity - is nothing but a hypocrite and a fraud. Well, he gave a really strong argument indeed, in fact he kind of gets me. But I better not add further comment on that.
This time, I read Hitchens' takes on Henry Kissinger, a respectable United States diplomat, a former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under Nixon and Ford administration and a noble prize winner in peace for his involvement in Vietnam War.
Hitchens argue (again, strongly) that Kissinger is one of the biggest war criminals ever walk the face of the earth. With journalistic aproach and his usual passive-aggressive tone, Hitchens uncovered Kissinger direct involvement in: Indochina, where he's responsible for prolonging Vietnam War and dumping tons of arms on neighboring Cambodia and Laos; supporting military junta in overthrowing democratic leadership of Bangladesh, Chile and Cyprus; and last but not least, supporting Indonesian invasion of East Timor that leads to genocide.
"Another small but significant territory has the distinction of being ommited - entirely ommited - from Henry Kissinger's memoirs."
As an Indonesian, East Timor (now Timor Leste) chapter is the one that interest me the most. East Timor has been part of Indonesia for 25 years, but I know nothing about what happened there, or what's the meaning when Indonesia "free" East Timor.
After the fall of Portuguese colonialism, East Timor vacant government was filled with popular leftist movement FRETILIN. For some reason, Indonesia decided to claim East Timor as their "Nineteenth-province" and launch a military invasion under the order of General Suharto. Meets with local resistance, this leads to the death of about 200,000 Timorese. To launch this invasion, General Suharto needs permission from President Ford and Kissinger to use United States weapon, as International law only permitted the use of their arms for defense only. Ford and Kissinger, who happens to be on Jakarta the day before the invasion, give the permission under the circumstance that the Invasion has to wait until they were out of Indonesia.
Of course this is only one side of the story, but Hitchens back his arguments with numbers of declassified official documents and interviews with the people involved. I have to admit for now that Hitchens is my kind of dude, I'm mostly with him on this. But I'm also aware that there's always other posibilites and I will always keep my eyes open on them. Reply