Ryle Dwyer’s accusations against Henry Kissinger are old and not very fair

Ryle Dwyer (‘US foreign policy under Kissinger cost thousands of lives’, Irish Examiner, March 16) presents an interesting case for the prosecution against the former US Secretary of State.
Ryle Dwyer’s accusations against Henry Kissinger are old and not very fair

Unfortunately, the accusations against him are both old and not very fair.

It is disingenuous to say the United States simply aborted a North-South Vietnam unification referendum in 1956; the North, which had a bigger population, had been taken over by a Communist dictatorship, and so a nationwide referendum would have been heavily loaded in its favour.

Dwyer says that Kissinger and President Nixon ruined Cambodia during the Vietnam War but this ignores the fact that the North Vietnamese for years had violated Cambodian neutrality and used the country as a base against South Vietnam and American forces.

As for Chile, it is a myth that the United States helped topple a ‘democratic government’ under Salvador Allende in 1973. Although Allende had been elected in 1970, over the next three years he abused his power, trying to turn Chile into a Marxist state which would have been catastrophic for the country in the long run.

Mr Dwyer says nothing of Kissinger and Nixon’s positive achievements such as integrating China into international affairs, key arms control and trade agreements with the Soviet Union, making peace in the Middle East after the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and finally disengaging form Vietnam without a right-wing backlash at home.

Dr Frank Giles


Dublin 4

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