Our interventions could not be covered up as theevent was being beamed by satellite to several venues and the host of the show, Tom Kaplan, had to admit on the air that there were some protests.
This report was also picked up by The News Dissector in his blog which goes further into the demonstration. Here is the rest of the blog by Danny Schechter.
War Criminals There and Here.
It’s been a long time since I have been at a protest or in a protest against Henry Kissinger, or as we called him (when we weren’t cursing him) “Henry The K”. The great man has a new book out on China to trumpet his brilliance, and he spoke last night at the 92nd Street Y for $29 a ticket. Typically, a former New York Times reporter was the warm-up act.
Judging by the well coiffed/dressed crowd on the Upper East Side, he still has celebrity appeal. His presence, on the very day that Serbia’s appropriately named RATko Mladic was being transferred to a cell in the Netherlands to await trial on war crimes charges, went unnoticed in a city of short memories. The man who made Mladic’s crimes look like misdemeanors was being fêted at New York’s leading forum for the culturati.
On hand to greet him, in a replay of the era in which Kissinger strutted on the world stage, was a small army of activists denouncing him for crimes against many peoples and countries from Cyprus and China to South Africa and India, not to mention Indonesia and Vietnam. There were chanted demands that he be arrested, but certainly not by the NYPD, who would have much preferred to have a go at the gang of Kissinger critics screaming on the sidewalk. Scroll down for more on the NYPD’s real preoccupation.
I was hoping for more creative posters to play off the Mladic Moment as in “THEY GOT HIM, YOU’RE NEXT” or a challenge to the venue like “Y, WHY?” But that was not to be. There was more serious work of denunciation on the agenda, with the signs listing the death counts in the interventions he encouraged.
Sadly, there were only handful of younger people among the gray heads like me or the green hats of the National Lawyers Guild on hand to monitor any clashes that did not occur. There was no violence but also not much attention to his presence.
The last time I was at that Y, it was for a conference on the wonders of Twitter. That was packed with 20 somethings and their Macs.
In my own case, in an incident that did draw some notoriety and press, I challenged the grandee at a dinner of the Nieman Foundation, the press institute at Harvard which closed the event to the press. That was back in ’77 when recollections were fresher. Kissinger was not pleased with my allusion to war crimes, and he stormed out of the dinner in protest. I was first exposed to the details of U.S. war crimes charges in Vietnam at the Bertrand Russell Tribunal in Stockholm in ’69. There is a strong case, but those in power look the other way–as did the government in Belgrade.
When I disrupted the fancy dinner to question K, I thought my media career was done right then in a media suicide; but when the NY Times wrote up the event, I went from being a zero to a Hero. I have thanked him for that ever since. Thanks also to the World Can’t Wait group, for inviting me, and for trying to keep his crimes in public view.
See one set of Fickr photos here and another set of Flickr photos here.
From LibbyLiberal's Blog | Original Article
I spent two hours last night protesting Henry Kissinger’s appearance at the 92nd St. Y in NYC. Kissinger is hawking his new 600-page book on American Chinese relations and in which he assuredly buffs, revises and rationalizes his lengthy and deadly role in global history. “Hawking” is the right verb for the aged but dangerous Mr. Kissinger.
There were about 60 of us. We caused a bit of a stir on a refreshingly mild and busy Tuesday evening as the pedestrian and vehicular traffic streamed along Lexington Avenue.
I held a sign that read “ARREST KISSINGER” and wore the small square orange pin “IMPEACH THE WAR CRIMINALS” that the back flap of my knapsack usually sports.
Some of our protesting chants decried Kissinger as a war criminal. Some chants decried the 92nd St. Y for enabling him with their celebrity speaker’s forum.
I am old enough to have demonstrated against Kissinger and his international war criminal cronies during the Vietnam War era. As did another then idealistic boomer, ambitious college woman Hillary Rodham. She has certainly changed her tune about Kissinger, now as Secretary of State and a colluding crony of Kissinger’s original playbook of American hegemony. Secretary Clinton, now full out participant in an administration that uses the same deranged “bomb the shit out of” countries M-O, defying their sovereignty and the safety of civilians for global control and resources. An administration willing to unleash the deadly military industrial security complex killing machine to satisfy its “addicted to killing for profit” realpolitik group-think, enabled by the jingoism-spinning ever-disinforming corporate media.
So 40-plus years later I am demonstrating against Kissinger again. He is the biggest and oldest living war criminal. Only now, with heartbreakingly far fewer Americans who are even conscious of let alone willing to protest the dark and powerful impact of his theories of relentless and amoral global military gamesmanship.
In a September 2010 article on Kissinger, Fred Branfman asserts that Kissinger’s mistake in Vietnam echoes the same mistake of the Obama/Petraeus policy in Afghanistan, enabling a corrupt and unpopular government that can’t stand on its own. Kissinger and his presidents Ford (Kissinger was Secretary of State) and Nixon (Kissinger was National Security Advisor), not Congress as Kissinger still maintains, brought about the fall of Saigon. Kissinger’s official reign in Washington lasted from 1969 to 1975.
Branfman asserts that Kissinger prolonged America war-making to such inhumane lengths that by the time Saigon fell, 20,853 Americans had been killed and 8 million murdered, maimed or homeless war victims in the Far East had been created. Almost as many Indochinese war victims as Lyndon Johnson during his reign. In 1969 Averill Harriman, Clark Clifford and Cyrus Vance lead those pressing for negotiations with the North Vietnamese. The US could have ended the war then with more dignity and saved countless -- COUNTLESS -- lives. Instead the war ended in 1975, six long years later. Kissinger violated the U.S. Constitution by secretly bombing Cambodia and Laos without the authorization of Congress. Kissinger’s representatives regularly perjured themselves before Congress. Branfman:
Kissinger orchestrated the most massive bombing in world history, dropping 3,984,563 million tons on an area inhabited by some 50 million people, twice the 2 million tons dropped on hundreds of millions through Europe and the Pacific in World War II. He dropped 1.6 million tons on South Vietnam, as many as Lyndon Johnson at the height of U.S. involvement; quadrupled the bombing of Laos, from 454,200 to 1,628,900 million tons; initiated widespread bombing of previously peaceful Cambodia, including B52 carpet bombing of undefended villages, for a total of 600,000-1 million tons; and vastly expanded the bombing of civilian targets in North Vietnam. Much of this bombing struck civilian targets throughout Indochina.
... Two million people in Khmer Rouge zones, as estimated by the U.S. Embassy, were driven underground by massive U.S. bombing that featured regular B52 carpet-bombing of undefended villages.
In North Vietnam, Kissinger conducted the most savage B52 bombing of urban targets in history, as the New York Times reported in 1972: "United States military leaders are being permitted to wage the air war as they want in Indochina. There appears to be less concern with the civilians this time in view of the freedom given the air commanders and the attempt to cut off food, clothing and medical supplies."
Human lives, even American soldiers’ lives, obviously had little priority in Kissinger’s arrogant sense of illegitimate patriarchal colonialism.
I was relieved that there were not more of the hard-faced police present. They were dressed in regular blue uniforms. No intimidating Star Wars paramilitary gear. I remembered how alarming it was when paramilitaries with AK-47s turned up at the front of the 92nd St. Y during that year after 9/11. So many NYC institutions put in scanning devices and set up vigilant security entry rituals.
Before I arrived the cops had attempted to move the protest area across the street in front of Dunkin’ Donuts, but the protesters held their permit-legal mid-block ground. I hadn’t known what to expect as I hastened to the demonstration. These are unpredictable times. The recent youtube videos I recently blogged about, of the hard-armed police force on a flash mob event at the Jefferson Memorial, or a paramilitary force over-reaction and rough treatment of Daniel Ellsberg, Retired Lt. Col. Ann Wright and demonstrators for Bradley Manning had been chilling and worrisome. Apparently their assembling to protest the denial of Manning's due process, his enforced-nudity ritualized torture and, the apparent huge trigger, their wanting to lay commemorative flowers on a public-accessible Iwo Jima statue at the entrance of Quantico were too great threats for our nation’s security.
It seems whistleblowers and protesting people of conscience are now regarded as true domestic enemies of the Obama state. The people who call out criminality happening in the corporate or military worlds a/k/a accountability-free zones, thanks to this and the last president and a corporate-captured U.S. Congress.
Ellsberg, once heralded as the most feared man in America by Frontline, now ignored by the corporate media. Even or especially when roughed up by overzealous US paramilitaries.
Then there is the lionization, coddling and uber security by both the media and the police state extended to supercilious Henry Kissinger who has the blood of millions on his hands. Kissinger, about to rake in millions of dollars for a book of his psuedo-wisdom. One would never know that there exists an international arrest warrant from France and Spain for Kissinger for war crimes during the war in Chile.
Most people in the cars looked rather blankly on the bunch of us as they drove by. Once in a while a foreign-looking cab driver honked at us and nodded, which made a fellow protester remark that most of the foreign cabbies undoubtedly knew first-hand the devastating power of Henry Kissinger on their homelands.
No longer a driver since living in Manhattan, it was novel to take serious notice of the cars passing. So many were upscale. There seemed a lot of limos mixed with the yellow taxis and buses. I assumed one of those limos had recently left off Mr. Kissinger at a side entrance down 92nd St. I thought of the cost in human lives to empower all those cars whizzing by with gasoline. How irrelevant or unconsidered that was to the vast majority of their owners or passengers. Dots that never get connected by us citizen benefactors of US hegemony.
When I moved nearer to the sidewalk to hold up my sign to the pedestrians I found it hard to discern which of them might soon turn right up the steps into the 92nd St. Y. Most people looked confused or deliberately dog-faced blank as they passed us. The New York standard-operating-posture, unless one is on a cell-phone in his or her own little animated orbit. A few faces were clearly annoyed and contemptuous. Not many nods or thumbs up. Especially among the young people. One protester implored the younger pedestrians to google Kissinger and read about his history.
The corporate media treats and has always treated Kissinger with such reverence. He was even considered a sex symbol in his prime. All that power and arrogance. Rank and age apparently have their privilege and have given him even more cachet thanks to the obsequious anointers and enablers of political celebrity such as Charlie Rose and David Gregory. As Gore Vidal once said, “We are the United States of Amnesia.” The overblown funeral accolades for Ronald Reagan certainly intensified media’s putting celebrity over reality and integrity.
Kissinger had been on Charlie Rose the day before to discuss the new book. Charlie could have used a drool towel. Kissinger, one more aging American daddy “bastard of the universe”. Incidentally, another war-mongering Nobel Peace Prize winner. As with Alan Greenspan and so many other long-time faux-paternal mass betrayers, the corporate media refuses to acknowledge not only grotesque amorality but massive failure. Most of the American citizenry trust said media. Are we smarter than fifth graders? I say no. Once again in America, sociopathic ego-maniacal abusers are celebrated and rewarded. The law-abiding and the moral are degraded, ignored and/or punished. Sadly, it’s now the American way.
By Thomas Good
From Next Left Notes | Original Article
NEW YORK — June 1, 2011. A variety of activists protested the appearance of the “oldest U.S. war criminal” at the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday evening.
Veteran Bill Steyert calls for Kissinger’s arrest
(Photo: Ruth Benn / NLN)
The man whom activists said “Was responsible for crimes against humanity in VietNam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Chile, Iraq and many other countries,” is on a book tour. Henry Kissinger, who served as Nixon’s National Security Advisor during the U.S. war in Vietnam, spoke at New York’s 92nd Street Y on Tuesday. Charging $29 a seat, Kissinger was on hand to sign his new book, On China.
Not everyone was pleased to see the former diplomat.
Joyce Horman’s husband was murdered in Chile
(Photo: Ruth Benn / NLN)
Kissinger’s appearance was met by a variety of local activists who haven’t forgotten or forgiven the peace movement’s longtime foe. Holding the former Secretary Of State and National Security Advisor responsible for U.S. atrocities in Vietnam and the CIA-backed coup that resulted in the overthrow and suicide of Chile’s Salvador Allende, the activists formed a cordon outside the Y as police and legal observers looked on.
Protesters provide a list of Kissinger’s alleged war crimes
(Photo: Ruth Benn / NLN)
Protesters’ signs calling for Kissinger’s arrest chronicled his role in some of the sadder chapters in U.S. history: U.S. support for South African apartheid and South Africa’s war on Angola, the illegal bombing of Cambodia and Laos by U.S. forces, the carpet bombing of North Vietnam by the U.S. Air Force, CIA support for Chilean dictator and death squad leader Augusto Pinochet — whose intelligence services murdered U.S. citizens — and U.S. support for the Bangladeshi military that was responsible for mass murder and rape. One activist from the Granny Peace Brigade carried a sign that read “Spain and France have arrest warrants for Kissinger.” Kissinger’s alleged war crimes “Have at times inconvenienced his travels” according to Wikipedia. The Wikipedia piece noted that, “Kissinger has evaded legal summons by investigators in France, Chile and Argentina seeking to question him regarding his role in the disappearances of numerous citizens of the U.S. and other nations.”
“Spain and France have arrest warrants for Kissinger”
(Photo: Ruth Benn / NLN)
When Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, American singer-songwriter Tom Lehrer said that, “Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Despite the controversy surrounding his past Kissinger continues to work as a political consultant — according to Bob Woodward’s State Of Denial, published in 2006, Kissinger had advised then president George W. Bush on how to conduct the Iraq War.
Prior to Kissinger’s appearance activists called on the 92nd Street Y to cancel the event. When this initiative failed, organizers called the protest. Organizations participating in the demonstration included the War Resisters League, the World Can’t Wait, War Criminals Watch, Veterans For Peace, Code PINK and Movimiento la Pena del Bronx.
View Photos From The Event…