Friday, February 26, 2010

Striking at Cultural Roots

Before there was Dick Cheney, there was this guy.

With the current turmoil in Greece, I found the following Kissinger quote (1994) to be of interest.

"The Greek people are a difficult if not impossible people to tame, and for this reason we must strike deep into their cultural roots. Perhaps then we can force them to conform. I mean, of course, to strike at their language, their religion, their cultural and historical reserves, so that we can neutralize their ability to develop, to distinguish themselves, or to prevail; thereby removing them as an obstacle to our strategically vital plans in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East."


A h/t to Liturgical Energies for this quote.


orrologion said...

The Greek people are a difficult if not impossible people to tame...

Well, this is true. The only problem in what he wants to do with this information.

It should also be remembered that he was speaking in 1994, long, long after he held any power in the US government. While he might be generally 'influential', I wouldn't take his comments too seriously, though I am sure they'll get packaged up with paranoia regarding the UN, the IMF and Masons in the Balkan psyche.

I will note a funny, disturbing story. A friend was at a cocktail party in Manhattan and ended up speaking with Kissinger who was going on and on about the 'energy' of Manhattan, its 'spiritual energy' or something, which was due to the island being a solid block of granite. Sort of a New Age crystal writ large. This friend was horrified such a man with such opinions had his finger so close to 'the button' during the Cold War.

John said...

Fascinating anecdote. And I agree--there's no need to wrap HK up in any conspiratorialist fantasty. He's scary enough on his own.

Steve Hayes said...

As Peking Peoples' Daily said in editorial 45 years ago, "US Imperillism guity of monstrous crimes, worse than Hitler."

Milton T. Burton said...

orrologion, there is every reason in the world to take Kissinger's comments seriously because it is typical of the sort of "grand strategic thinking" seen in many such foreign policy individuals. You may be sure that he is applying in this particular instance the very principles that motivated him when he was Secretary of State. Indeed, it was this grand view that led Nixon to approach him in the first place. It is well to remember that Kissinger's great hero was Metternich.

James the Thickheaded said...

Yeah, if memory serves me, remember something along these lines from Churchill, too. There has been a long line of "thought" on keeping the Greeks and their church down on the farm. Nothing particularly new here.

Interestingly, had a client who ran into Kissinger in Hagia Sophia a few years back. With Mr. K, no telling what to expect, how much is real, and how much is a studied "gravitas" conveyed more than merited.