Friday, April 29, 2022

Kissinger: The Arrogant German Wagnerian

Henry Kissinger believed that only the Western nations produce history and what happens in the rest of the world is of no consequence. He articulated this view in June 1969, when he got into a confrontation with Gabriel Valdes, the foreign minister in Chile's Christian Democratic government. The previous day, during a meeting in the White House, Valdes had said that it was difficult for the Latin American nations to deal with the United States. Nixon was irritated by Valdes's complaints. 

The next day, Kissinger confronted Valdes at a private lunch. 

Kissinger said: "Mr. Minister, you made a strange speech. You come here speaking of Latin America, but this is not important. Nothing important can come from the South. History has never been produced in the South. The axis of history starts in Moscow, goes to Bonn, crosses over to Washington, and then goes to Tokyo. What happens in the South is of no importance. You're wasting your time.” 

Valdes replied: "Mr. Kissinger, you know nothing of the South.” 

"No," Kissinger answered, "and I don't care." 

Valdes was shocked and insulted by Kissinger’s attitude. He told Kissinger: "You are a German Wagnerian. You are a very arrogant man.” 

In his book, The Price of Power, Seymour Hersh has described the tense exchange between Kissinger and Valdes.

No comments: