In a debate last night where American presidential hopefuls from the Democratic Party faced-off, Bernie Sanders lambasted the United States of America’s former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger as “one of the most destructive Secretaries of State in the modern history of this country (USA)”.
Henry Kissinger was a close, personal friend of the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
Speaking to reporters at the wake of Mr Lee, Kissinger said, “he (Mr Lee) meant a lot to me. It was not a friendship of doing things for each other, it was of learning from each other, but it was not a friendship in which you ask favours …”
“What I liked most about Lee Kuan Yew was…When my wife and I came (for a visit)…you could see it gave him great joy, he never said it…it was an atmosphere,” he added.
Mr Lee had taught the former Secretary of State how “Asians think” and in doing that, shaped US’ thinking on China.
“He always urged us to understand China, and explained what the Chinese were doing…and so I found his advice extremely helpful but so did the succession of presidents and others,” Kissinger said in talking to the reporters at that time.
In the debate between Democratic Party’s presidential candidates, Sanders proudly said that Kissinger was not his friend and took Hillary Clinton (the other Presidential hopeful) to task for having Kissinger as her mentor.
Sanders said Kissinger flip-flopped on the US’ China policies resulting in many American companies moving their operations to China and causing great loss of jobs for US citizens.
Bernie Sanders competely tore apart Henry Kissinger's legacy.
Posted by Ezra Klein on Thursday, 11 February 2016
Transcript of exchange between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on Henry Kissinger:
Sanders: Where the secretary and I have a very profound difference, in the last debate and I believe in her book – very good book, by the way – in her book and in this last debate, she talked about getting the approval or the support or the mentoring of Henry Kissinger.
Now I find it kind of amazing. Because I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive Secretaries of State in the modern history of this country.
I’m proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend.
I will not take advice from Henry Kissinger. And in fact, Kissinger’s actions in Cambodia, when the United States bombed that country, over — through Prince Sihanouk, created the instability for Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge to come in who then butchered some 3 million innocent people – one of the worst genocides in the history of the world.
So count me in as somebody who will not be listening to Henry Kissinger.
Moderator: Secretary Clinton.
Clinton: Well, I know journalists have asked who you do listen to on foreign policy and we have yet to know who that is.
Sanders: Well, it ain’t Henry Kissinger, that’s for sure.
Clinton: That’s fine. I listen to a wide variety of voices. That have expertise in various areas. I think it is fair to say whatever the complaints that you want to make about him are, that with respect to China, one of the most challenging relationships we have, his opening up China and his ongoing relationship with the leaders of China is an incredibly useful relationship for the United States of America. So if we want to pick and choose, and I certainly do, people I listen to, people I don’t listen to, people I listen to for certain areas, then I think we have to be fair and look at the entire world because it is a big, complicated world out there.
Sanders: It is.
Clinton: Yes, people we may disagree with on a number of things, may have some insight, may have some relationship that are important for the president to understand in order to best protect the United States.
Sanders: I find a very different historical perspective here. Kissinger was one of those people during the Vietnam era who talked about the domino theory, not everybody remembers that. You do, I do. The domino theory.
You know, as Vietnam goes, China, da, da, da. That is what he talked about.
The great threat of China. And then after the war, this is the guy who, in fact, yes, you are right, he opened up relations with China. And now pushed various type of trade agreements resulting in American workers losing their jobs as corporations moved to China, the terrible authoritarian dictatorship he warned us about, now he is urging companies to shut down and move to China. Not my kind of guy.