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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Kissinger story

Back in 1972 or so, Henry Kissinger, President Nixon's chief foreign policy advisor, had just flown into Logan Airport. I think he was scheduled to give a speech to the Harvard faculty, something like that.

He was accosted at the gate by some kind of radio reporter, who started hysterically screeching at him about the poor Vietnamese who had lost their lives in the US bombings, and a few other accusations of that sort. After about a minute of nonstop ranting, the young reporter finally paused and gave Kissinger a chance to reply.

Kissinger's only response was to say, in that heavily German-accented, deep voice of his, "You are a very charming boy."

I was 18 or so at the time I heard this exchange, and it didn't alter my opinion of the Viet Nam War. But it did add to my growing sense of the difference between the personalities on each side.


Spychiatrist said...

You got out of that war just by the skin of your rather young teeth, huh, John?

Did you have the tight hair cut back then or where you a flower powered idealist? My guess is that you had long locks, am I wrong?

What say you post a few pics (from the day) for your fans to see.

Spychiatrist said...

John, check this out....

Harvard Profs fussing about O'care. How funny.

John Craig said...

Spike --
I was never a flower power idealist (when in h.s., if anybody asked me an opinion. I would generally beg off by saying I was apolitical), but i did have long hair in tenth and eleventh grades. In the fall of my senior year I switched abruptly to a near-crewcut, though that was more for swimming than it was a political statement. I don't even think I have any pics from back then, sorry.

Yes, there seems to be a lot of joy in the blogosphere about those hypocritical harvard profs getting their comeuppance. I have to say, though, that with their new $250 deductible, they're hardly suffering compared to the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I guess the reporter didn't expect that response, "You are a very charming boy." Just imagining this scene in my mind caused me to laugh. I remember those days, the hippies, the peace signs, the hip clothes, etc.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
I laughed when I first heard him say that on the radio. I think it was some alternative rock station, WBCN, something like that. I'm not even sure it was their reporter, they didn't do much political stuff, they may have been just playing it for its amusement value, I'm not sure.

I also remember thinking when I first heard that exchange, Kissinger is just way, way cooler than that "reporter" who was screeching at him. (I was 17, those were the terms I thought in back then.)

Steven said...

This could be interpreted as the kid really caring about what was happening in Vietnam and being passionate about ending the war there, and Kissinger being cool and blasé despite the evil he was supporting.

But yeah, the left has a habit of being hysterical and shutting down those with contrary opinions, so I take your point.

I was accused of being hateful and mentally defective today in a discussion about Islam. I then pointed out that that was a soviet strategy, used against dissidents.

John Craig said...

Steven --
You're right, that was exactly what the Soviets did, to try to discredit their political dissidents. It's not all that dissimilar to what liberals do now, calling people names (homophobe, racist, sexist, etc) in an effort to nullify their arguments. If you can't win an argument, call someone a name.

Anonymous said...

hey john

why not do an article about motivational speakers, such as tony robbins, tim ferris and et al...
i'm not sure but i figure the osteen types are pure sociopaths. dont believe robbins is one, but he comes close to it.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I actually did write a post about Joel Osteen a while back in which I mentioned Tony Robbins:

I didn't quite come out and call Osteen a sociopath, but I did describe how he is a bs artist, and talk about the money he makes.