The essay that Kissinger wants to write

…has already been written

Speaking to Shekhar Gupta in the Indian Express, Henry Kissinger said, “Some day, I’ll write about (1971) from one point of view: how two countries, each pursuing absolutely logical policies from their point of view, each pursuing the national interest and perceiving it correctly, can come to a clash, that in the terms of the period was unavoidable.”

That essay has already been written. Here.

…the events in East Pakistan between 1970, when Bhola struck, to 1974, when India, Pakistan and Bangladesh arrived at a tripartite agreement to close outstanding issues, present an interesting case of how realpolitik considerations of the states involved explain why genocide was carried out with impunity, why it was permitted by international players, why it was halted by the Indian intervention and why the perpetrators were never punished. It is not a normative discussion to study how genocides may be prevented, but rather an attempt to explain the role of Realist foreign policies of states during the episode. [The Acorn]

6 thoughts on “The essay that Kissinger wants to write”

  1. Aah, could it be that Kissinger himself has felt some blowback for the hypocrisy in ‘allowing’ their blue-eyed pak army carry our systematic genocide on a hapless people, all in the name of ‘realpolitik’ of course? And Kissinger’s students (Stephen Cohen for one) continue in the (perhaps sincere?) belief that “only a few 1000s died” in that episode?

    The US establishment has every rhyme and reason to brush that episode under the rug. But we in India have every reason to not forget those days and learn a superpower’s calculus that optimizes self-interest under realpolitik constraints.

    Bad karma never really goes away. It comes back to extract its price, in this life or the next.

  2. Apparently Kissinger was in Taj few days before Islamic terrorists struck Taj!! But as someone says, the terrorists seems to like 13th and 26th as dates of terror. If Kissinger was in Taj at the time, it would have been interesting, huh…even more bogus intellectuals and historians would have joined in to justify the attacks – it’s apparent discrimination now; it would have been revenge then 🙂

  3. Despite the fact that 2.5 million Hindus and .5 million Muslim Bangladeshis were massacred by the Pakistani army, I never hear about this – ever.

    Ethnic groups around the world are usually cognizant of their communal suffering, but I was never ever taught about this growing up.

    Does the average Indian know about what happened there?

  4. A nationalist sarkar in India should raise a monument to commemorate the suffering of innocents butchered both durting the partition and during the BD genocide. On the lines of the Holocaust museum, perhaps.

    How incredible it is that the same razakars who perpetrated massacres both in the deccan in ’47 and in BD in’70 have later been elected to leislatures there!

    Verily is it said that those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it. Alas, i fear a repeat of the demographic transition tragedy we witnessed in BD in the 17th and 18th centuries to unfold in our extremely vulnerable northeast starting with Asom within the next few decades.

  5. Nitin,

    Foreign policy in the US is post-Kissingerian much like monetary policy in th western world became post-keynesian. Meaning that the lessons of realpolitik that Henry dada championed have been internalised into the establishement which has since moved on. Shri Cohen is a product of the same establishment and in that (admittedly stretchy) context is a ‘student’.

    In any case, i won’t push the point beyond and point and will drop this subject here.

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