Kissinger’s Ukraine Opinions Meets Opposition

Senior statesman’s call for reconciliatory Ukraine is rebuffed by Ukraine President and
Cal Thomas
Henry A. Kissinger, Chairman, Kissinger Associates Inc., USA, captured at the Opening Press Conference of the Annual Meeting 2008 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 23, 2008. Credit: World Economic Forum

On Monday, 25 of May, in New York, Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, and a prominent realist politician and academician, was dressed-up to attend a party celebrating his 99th birthday (he was born in 1923). but his health didn’t allow him.

On that same day, he addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, in Switzerland, and caused an international and historical uproar because he called upon Ukraine to secede parts of its eastern region to Russia, so as to provide what he called a “historically strategic and realistic solution” to the war with Russia, now in its third month.

Here in the US, Kissinger’s opinion caused a local uproar, dividing politicians, academicians and media commentators.

So as not to miss a historical debate, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reached-out to the Americans. Not only did he oppose Kissinger politically and strategically, but, also, racially.

He, a Jew like Kissinger, reminded him that “In the real year 1938, when Mr. Kissinger's family was fleeing Nazi Germany, he was 15 years old, and he understood everything perfectly. And nobody heard from him then that it was necessary to adapt to the Nazis instead of fleeing them or fighting them”.

Zelenskyy added: "Those who advise Ukraine to give something to Russia, these 'great geo-political figures,' never see ordinary people, ordinary Ukrainians, millions living on the territory they are proposing to exchange for an illusory peace …”

Following are two American opposing opinions on the subject:

On one side, Kissinger himself, in excerpts from his statements at Davos.

On the other side, Cal Thomas, a leading conservative American author and columnist.

-----------------------

Kissinger: “Real-Politik”:

“About eight years ago, when the idea of membership of Ukraine in NATO came up, I wrote an article in which I said that the ideal outcome would be if Ukraine could be constituted as a neutral kind of state, as a bridge between Russia and Europe rather than the front line of groupings (NATO) within Europe. …

I think that opportunity could still be conceived as an ultimate objective.

In my view, movements towards negotiations on peace need to begin in the next two months before it could create upheaval and tensions that will be ever-harder to overcome, particularly between the eventual relationship of Russia, Georgia and Ukraine towards Europe….

Ideally, the dividing line should return the status quo ante (as before).  I believe joining the war beyond Poland would turn it into a war, not about the freedom of Ukraine, which has been undertaken with great cohesion by NATO, but against Russia itself.

That, it seems to me, to be the dividing line ...

I hope that the Ukrainians, who have shown ideal heroism in the war with Russia, will also show their wisdom for the balance in Europe, and in the world at large.

I believe that Ukraine will probably be the strongest conventional power in Europe, if the situation is realistically solved. A neutral Ukraine will be a bridge -- not a gap -- between West Europe and Russia.

People have to look both at the relationship of Europe to Russia over a longer period, and in a manner that is separated from the existing leadership whose status, however, will be affected internally over a period of time by its performance in this period …

Looked at from a long-term point of view, Russia has been, for 400 years, an essential part of Europe …

European policy over that period of time has been affected, fundamentally, by its European assessment of the role of Russia.

Sometimes in an observing way, but on a number of occasions as the guarantor, or the instrument, by which the European balance could be re-established.

Current policy should keep in mind the restoration of this role is important to develop, so that Russia is not driven into a permanent alliance with China …”

----------------------

Thomas: “Kissinger is Wrong”:

"For the third time since becoming president, Joe Biden said, last week, that he would send US forces to defend Taiwan should mainland China launch an attack.

But this is the same president who too rapidly withdrew US forces from Afghanistan. And promised not to send troops to Ukraine to help that government repel Russia’s invasion.

The excuse given was that Russia is a nuclear power. So is China. What’s the difference? …

Now, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger jumped into the fray. In an address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Kissinger said Ukraine must give up some of its territory to Russia for the war to end and to avoid a wider conflict.

Kissinger has it wrong. If Ukraine surrendered territory to Russia, it would likely invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to move against other countries once under control of the Soviet Union.

Would he be OK with ceding those territories to Moscow to avoid global “destabilization” and a wider conflict? …

If Ukraine surrenders, Putin will stop at nothing to invade more territories.

If there was a side benefit to the Cold War, it was that Democratic and Republican administrations — along with most members of Congress — were consistent on their approach to Russia and Communism.

Moscow knew where we stood, and that contributed to what President Ronald Reagan called 'peace through strength'.

It also led to the collapse of Communist regimes in Eastern Europe and freedom for millions of people ...

I understand the feelings of those who say we can’t be the policemen of the world and with our $30 trillion debt we can’t afford sending troops everywhere.

But — and this is a large but — if evil is not opposed, it will spread. That is a lesson from history that will be repeated if it is not addressed.

Doing nothing and turning a blind eye to evil is what allowed Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan to wreak havoc on the world.

Exhausted by the carnage of World War I, the West was reluctant to fight again, and the consequence of that reluctance was more carnage that might have been reduced had we acted sooner.

Turning a blind eye to evil is what precipitated Adolf Hitler’s rise to power …”

 


Related Articles