TODAY'S QUESTION: Is there any legitimacy to Kissinger's 'unconcerned' mindset?

Friday, December 17, 2010 | 11:04 a.m. CST; updated 1:56 p.m. CST, Friday, December 17, 2010

A batch of tapes from the days of the Nixon administration were released this week, revealing a hateful and apathetic attitude from Henry Kissinger, former President Richard Nixon's national security adviser, according to the New York Times.

In a conversation with the president, Kissinger said he considers the Holocaust "not an American concern," wrote Jeff Jacoby in a Boston Globe column.

Jacoby considers this attitude reflective of previous decisions related to U.S. foreign policy. He cites the Armenian Holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda as events in which that the U.S. failed to intervene.

According to Jacoby's column, Barack Obama said at one point that America “cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there."

According to the New York Times article, American Jews have responded to Kissinger's statements in outrage.

What do you think? Is there any legitimacy to Kissinger's "unconcerned" mindset?


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Paul Allaire December 17, 2010 | 4:10 p.m.

For my homework assignment I will now step up and make some weak attempt to defend someone who I don't like.

The context should be considered, and of that, time. While there were extensive human rights violations being conducted in the Soviet Union, there had been a long history of greater rights violations in the Soviet Union. Some violations are said to continue to this day. However, this was not today. This was during the cold war, at a time when we felt that we were in danger of losing both the space race and the arms race to the superpower, a country several times our size and with a reputation for being merciless on the battlefield.
The phrase "pick your battles" comes to my mind. I believe we were, at that time, attempting to extricate ourselves from a battle with a country about a hundredth the size of the soviet union, who was supplying it successfully with weapons to use against us. We were not going to go against the soviet union at that time on the behalf of anybody, be they the majority of it's citizens or a minority that someone in government had chosen to abuse.
And someone is so outraged at the allowance of abuse of one select group of people why aren't they outraged that we allowed the country a free hand in abusing ALL of it's citizens?

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