"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Poker is a learning game

With great little bits of information like this:
(your game will improve no end)

Right wing academic turned Washington insider Henry Kissinger plumbed new depths of sleazy political behavior by helping Republicans destabilize the Paris peace talks during Richard Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign. Richard Holbrooke, then a senior negotiator with the Lyndon Johnson administration, recalled that "Henry was the only person outside of the government we were authorized to discuss the negotiations with.... It is not stretching the truth to say the Nixon campaign had a secret source within the U.S. negotiating team."

Kissinger advised the Nixon camp to derail talks by using a "back channel" to South Vietnam. Saigon authorities subsequently scuttled the deal with Johnson, believing Nixon's bogus promise of better terms. This effectively added four more years to the war; half the battle deaths in Vietnam took place between 1968 and 1972. As Nixon's Secretary of State, Kissinger was directly responsible for deliberate massacres of civilians, from the notorious "pacification" campaigns like Operation Speedy Express (in which at least 10,000 Vietnamese villagers were killed) to the secret bombings of Laos and Cambodia, which were given the code names "Breakfast," "Lunch," "Snack," "Dinner" and "Dessert." By conservative estimates, the U.S. killed 600,000 civilians in Cambodia and another 350,000 in Laos.

In another characteristic act of homicidal duplicity, Kissinger next ran cover for a bloody junta in Bangladesh to secure the much-lauded "opening" to China that Richard Nixon parlayed into a career as respected elder statesman. Using weapons supplied by the U.S., General Yahya Khan overthrew the democratically elected government of Bangladesh and murdered at least half a million civilians in 1971. The U.S. National Security Council wanted to condemn these actions. Kissinger refused, instead thanking Khan for his "delicacy and tact." Similarly, Kissinger helped rubberstamp the brutal regime of the Greek colonels who seized power in 1967, and approved Operation Condor, which helped military juntas in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay assassinate leftists.