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Henry Kissinger's Book "On China" is Just Pure Revisionist History

by Scott Rohter, June 2011 - Updated January 2014

Henry Kissinger's book "On China" is just pure revisionist history. It makes for novel reading if you’re not too fussy about the conclusions it draws. I have been hearing a lot from Mr. Kissinger on Conservative Talk Radio promoting his new book about China after being out of the public spotlight for almost thirty years. In the process of making the rounds from station to station and program to program, various talk show hosts ranging from Mark Levin to Laura Ingraham have been very deferential toward the elder statesman. They are reverently asking his opinions on matters ranging from current public policy to his personal assessment of the various leaders who are making those decisions that are guiding our Nation's future in the 21st Century.

Frankly I don’t know why they are even bothering to solicit Henry Kissinger's opinion on anything.  I am old enough to remember what it was like living under Dr. Kissinger’s leadership when he was still Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State and his National Security Advisor.  I am not so sure that he has any better grasp of the problems we are facing today than he had on the challenges of his own times. After all these years why is everybody being so deferential toward him now and treating him with so much reverence and undeserved respect?  After all wasn’t he the chief negotiator for the United States at the Paris Peace Talks that ended the War in Vietnam? Those Peace Talks basically allowed South Vietnam to fall into the hands of the Communist North Vietnamese after a long and bloody war, in which many of our own soldiers gave their lives. When we pulled our troops out of the country the Communist North Vietnamese just moved in and took over South Vietnam.  That is not a foreign policy success that deserves our respect. If the Vietnamese people just so happen to like America at all today then it has more to do with the growing power of their former ally China in the region than it does with anything that Henry Kissinger or Richard Nixon ever did.

It was Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon who opened the proverbial door to China or as I say, the ‘proverbial barn door to China’ that let all of the horses of American industry and manufacturing out of the stables, and which led to so many of our factories moving their manufacturing base of operations to China.  So why do so many members of the media still revere and honor this long time member of the Council on Foreign Relations?  Along with his friend and contemporary over there, Zbigniew Brzezinski, I’d say that these two men re-engineered American foreign policy to suit the C.F.R. They designed the one-two punch that socked America in the solar plexus and knocked the wind out of our sails after World War II. This was a punch to our gut that knocked us down a notch or two and elevated China to it’s current position of importance in world affairs. Their foreign policy agenda put China at the top of the financial world where they exert influence over every country in the world including the United States. This is nothing to celebrate or thank the good Doctor Kissinger for. So why does that kind of stunning foreign policy failure deserve any respect at all? 

As I listened to Kissinger’s remarks on the radio, I heard through his monotonous and emotionless rhetoric, a man who is trying to rewrite the history books.  He believes that there was nothing the United States and Europe could have done to prevent the eventual ascendency of China. What a load of horse manure.  It was western capital that actually financed China's rise to the top. His new book must read like a novel because its conclusions are pure fiction, but I won't take the time to find out because I’m not going to waste my money to buy his book.

If it wasn’t for western democracies providing aid and assistance in the form of capital and technological expertise to China in their long war with Japan both before and during WWII then China's star would have never risen. If it wasn’t for Western Bankers making international development loans available to the Chinese Communist Party after WWII then their two billion people would still be hunched over little wooden hoes barely scratching the surface of the ground for survival.  The truth of the matter is that China would not even have a functioning steel industry today if it wasn’t for the negotiated withdrawal of the Japanese armed forces from Manchuria at the end of the Second World War.

I wish that Henry Kissinger would stop claiming that there was nothing that we in ‘the West’ could have done to prevent the rise of China.  That conclusion is preposterous and it is simply not true.  The plain truth of the matter is that if it wasn’t for our intervention on behalf of the eventual leaders of Communist China before, during, and after World War II then China’s star would never have risen.   Our flawed foreign policy was largely responsible for creating the rise of the Communist Chinese giant, just as it was also responsible for re-creating a resurgent Japan from the ashes of their defeat following World War II, and a vibrant and healthy South Korea after the Korean War. Without Western financial aid and technological assistance neither China, Japan, nor South Korea would have ever risen, and this is not revisionist history. For additional information please read my article, First Chinese Rocket to the Moon.

"The truth, the political truth, and nothing but the political truth.
A journalist has no better friend than the truth."
- Scott Rohter

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