Henry Kissinger

From Paul Keating to Kevin Rudd and John Howard, Australian ex-PMs have been waxing lyrical about a man who, perhaps more than anyone else, is responsible for the myth of a rules-based world order.

Paul Keating credits him with the One China policy, “the pivotal organising idea which underwrites the equilibrium between the world’s two greatest powers, the United States and China.” Kevin Rudd wrote how “he believed in the rhythms of history,” a sentiment echoed by John Howard who said Kissinger “well understood the arc of history.”

Neither had anything to say about how Kissinger was instrumental in the senseless (and illegal) bombing of Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War – actions that directly led to the horror regime of Pol Pot (who it is now widely believed had at least tacit US support prior to his ascension). Nor was there any mention of his involvement in the CIA-induced coup to overthrow Salvador Allende, the legally elected President of Chile.

Neither ex-PM brought up the Nobel Peace Prize he won jointly with North Vietnam leader Le Duc Tho in 1973, following the Paris Peace Accord that brokered peace in Vietnam. At least Le Duc Tho had the honesty to refuse the prize for a peace that never was.

And our current PM continues Australia’s long tradition of subservience to the US – to whom few rules apply.

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