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Henry Kissinger: Peace Maker Or War Monger?

2089 words - 8 pages

The Nobel Peace Prize is a prestigious grant awarded to those who exemplify the pursuit of peace and coexistence of all races and cultures. The prize was created after the death of multi-millionaire and inventor Alfred Nobel who amassed a great fortune through the creation and manufacturing of dynamite for use in transportation, farming and building (Kushner p. 444 – 45). Alfred was criticized, however, for his invention due to its application in war. He must have taken these criticisms harshly for on his deathbed Alfred asked those around him to use his great wealth to create five individual prizes to be awarded to those who have promoted great progress in the fields of science, literature and peace (Kushner p. 444 – 45). Previous winners of the prize have been: the Doctors without Borders organization in 1999 for their charity medical treatment in impoverished countries and for speaking out at times when medical relief is not enough to end suffering or save lives, and, individual winner, Martin Luther King Jr. in 1974 for his work in ending oppression in America and elsewhere through public speaking (Kushner p. 444 – 45).

Secretary of State and National Security Advisor of the Nixon administration, Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese diplomat Le Duc Tho were given this prestigious award one year earlier than Dr. King for the ceasefire they negotiated between the U.S. and South Vietnam and Communist North Vietnam ("The Trials of Henry Kissinger"). The Vietnam War of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s remains the longest declared conflict, foreign or domestic, that the United States (U.S.) military has ever taken part in, and in the final years of the Johnson Administration’s second term, support for both the War and the President who initiated it were slipping dangerously into the red. (Delaney)

Henry Kissinger was undeserving of the Nobel Peace prize; not only did he obstruct previous opportunities for peace in Vietnam, but he also orchestrated several offensive missions against North Vietnamese agents in neutral Cambodia to force the ceasefire of ‘73 which ended up being too fragile to protect the Southern Vietnamese people ("The Trials of Henry Kissinger"). At the 1973 Nobel Prize award ceremony Henry Kissinger’s co-recipient refused to attend claiming that the war would resume (Slattery p. 13). The policies of Henry Kissinger gave rise to a damaging modus operandi that has become popular among figures of power and political influence, such as Donald Trump and Dick Cheney.

Henry Kissinger was born in Fürth, Bavaria, Germany on May 27th, 1923 to Jewish Parents Louis Kissinger and Paula Stern ("The Trials of Henry Kissinger"). His family escaped the Nazi regime and fled to New York where Kissinger became a naturalized citizen in 1943; the same year he was attending college and was drafted into the U.S. military to be shipped off to the war that drove him from his home (Suri 203 - 204). He returned home after the fall of...

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