A regular spot to share some ideas about what’s good and what’s not on the interwebthingy. But, you know, it’s your life, so feel free to agree, disagree or ignore what follows.
What caught my attention last week
“an odious shlump who made war gladly”
Michael O’Donnell at the Washington Monthly goes to work on Niall Ferguson’s first volume of the authorised biography of Henry Kissinger.
He shows us Kissinger moralizing against the use of “small countries as pawns” in the game of global strategy. Ferguson even quotes Kissinger privately scolding the Kennedy administration (those “unscrupulous pragmatists”) for tacitly authorizing the assassination of South Vietnam’s Ngo Dinh Diem: “The honor and the moral standing of the United States require that a relationship exists between ends and means.… Our historical role has been to identify ourselves with the ideals and deepest hopes of mankind.”
Horseshit. By reproducing these quotations with a straight face, Ferguson has made himself a hypocrite’s bullhorn.
For the unofficial, but much more entertaining and persuasive, version you can’t go past Christopher Hitchens’ The Trial of Henry Kissinger. It was an avowed attempt to seduce Kissinger into court to argue libel. Kissinger, ever the pragmatic coward, unfortunately did not rise to the bait.
The First Lady of A Genocide
In a coincidental reminder of some of Kissinger’s awful consequences, Ieng Thirith died this week. She was the highest ranking woman in the Khmer Rouge regime and was subsequently charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. Her trial was suspended due to her poor health.
Behind Every Great Woman
As Mrs Windsor prepares to become the longest reigning British monarch, let’s not forget that that makes Phil the Greek the longest running support act in show business. That’s a hell of a gig, and a few years ago the Mirror pulled together 65 of his most excellent observations.
People think there’s a rigid class system here, but dukes have even been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans.
What I’m Trying To Ignore Next Week
Graphic videos about American murders. It’s rubber necking at a tragedy, folks.