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Kissinger out of MIT and Boston!
February 28, 2019 @ 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
“THE ILLEGAL WE DO IMMEDIATELY. THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL TAKES A LITTLE LONGER.” – Henry Kissinger, in a meeting with Turkish foreign minister Melih Esenbel in Ankara, Turkey. March 10, 1975
We condemn the invitation of the genocidal war criminal Henry Kissinger to MIT to present as a part of the opening of the Schwarzman School of Computing. Throughout his many years in the US foreign policy establishment (most prominently as Secretary of State to Presidents Nixon and Ford) Kissinger has proven to be a resolute enemy of the people. The imperialist crimes he has planned and promoted should disqualify him from speaking at any public event, but especially not this one, where he has the opportunity to influence the minds of students of government. MIT should not afford Kissinger any such platform. Doing so implies that his legacy is normal, acceptable, and expresses a program that deserves an equal place in public discussion. But this is NOT just another point of view in a casual “conversation,” or a conversation about “AI and ethics”, as the MIT event name suggests.
In the early 2000s, Kissinger regularly consulted the Bush administration on the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Kissinger also criticized the Bush administration for dedicating too few troops to a war that caused the death, displacement, and destruction of millions of Iraqi civilians.
In 1972 and 1973, Kissinger advised the CIA as it sought to overthrow the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile. After electoral attempts to depose Allende failed, a military coup replaced him with the dictator Augusto Pinochet, a Chilean general. Backed by the US and in communication with the CIA, the Pinochet government killed, tortured, and jailed tens of thousands of Chilean citizens.The actions of the US during Kissinger’s tenure were flagrant violations of Chilean sovereignty that forced the nation into years of rule by a right-wing military dictatorship.
Kissinger was closely involved in the secret bombings of Cambodia during the Vietnam War, which he himself believes to have caused nearly 50,000 civilian casualties. In a conversation with Thai foreign minister Chatchai Chunhawan in November of 1975, Kissinger said, “You should tell the Cambodians that we will be friends with them. They are murderous thugs, but we won’t let that stand in the way. We are prepared to improve relations with them. Tell them the latter part, but don’t tell them what I said before.”
War criminal Henry Kissinger is responsible for the death and exploitation of millions of colonized and formerly colonized people across the globe, and WE REFUSE to give this white supremacist and imperialist a platform to speak.