Archer Kent Blood, RIP

Richard Nixon abetted Pakistan’s genocide in Bangladesh. Archer Blood blew the whistle

He was the senior official among 20 members of the U.S. diplomatic corps who signed the dissenting cable, which was prompted by the Pakistani military’s brutal crackdown against the Bengali inhabitants of what was known as East Pakistan in March 1971. At least 10,000 civilians were massacred in the first three days; the eventual civilian death toll might have been as high as 3 million. Some 10 million Bengalis, about 13 percent of East Bengal’s population, fled across the border into India.

In their cable, Mr. Blood and his fellow signatories charged: “Our government has failed to denounce the suppression of democracy. Our government has failed to take forceful measures to protect its citizens while at the same time bending over backwards to placate the West Pakistan-dominated government. Our government has evidenced what many will consider moral bankruptcy, ironically at a time when the U.S.S.R. sent President Yahya Khan a message defending democracy. . . .” [Washington Post]

Nixon and Kissinger immediately recalled him to Washington and banished him to bureaucratic oblivion. Blood had the courage to call a spade a spade. May his tribe increase.

4 Responses to Archer Kent Blood, RIP

  1. sudhir 23rd September 2004 at 23:47 #

    This is the first time I’ve heard this story and I thought I was fairly well read in such matters. Well, it points to gaps in my knowledge as well as suppressed reportage in the mainstream media of such acts of heroism. How many in the world would have heard of Oscar Schindler if not for the movie?

    I salute this man’s courage. You’re right Nitin, may his tribe increase.

  2. M.S.Dinesh 29th September 2004 at 02:27 #

    I read the original de-classified docs of the American State Deprtment which had these telegrams sent by Blood and also other conversations and letters. This is one good policy of western democracy that they open up their documents after 30 years no matter how embarrassing they might be for the governments, while we still dont know have proper information as to what the government knew at the time of 1947-48 and 1962 wars. It shows that we have to improve a lot on democratic standards.
    It is very sad that i have to read from the american declassified documents what Indira Gandhi replied to nixon and not from our Docs.

  3. M.S.Dinesh 29th September 2004 at 03:23 #

    one thing i found interesting in those declassified documents was how close we were to a world war like situation in 1971. US asked china to help pakistan out in the needy time and also to attack india from the east if a war broke out, and also gave gave assurances that if russia would come to the rescue of india by attacking china then US would also enter in to the war. china did not attack india, even though it mobilised some forces initially which saved us from a bigger conflict.

  4. Upoma Haq 5th October 2004 at 00:29 #

    I find it sad that the Americans themselves do not know about this American hero. At least there, they are supposed to have an open media. In Bangladesh, and especially under the present government, well…let’s just say I’m not surprised everyone’s forgotten him.

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