Kissinger and Nixon

In his article (Opinion, March 9), "What Next When U.S. Intervenes?" Henry Kissinger worries about what Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea will think about American intervention in the Philippines, which helped to unseat Ferdinand Marcos. Too bad Kissinger wasn't as concerned with world opinion while he was secretary of state.

Admittedly, the United States should not be the global arbiter of democratic elections, but it also should not destroy democracy when the results of a free election are not consistent with U.S. interests.

One of the most blatant examples of the U.S. violating its own proclaimed democratic principles was in Chile while Kissinger was in a position of power in the Nixon Administration. Salvador Allende was elected in a country with a history of more than 50 years of democratic government. As acknowledged by President Ford later, the Nixon Administration ordered the CIA to oust Allende.

The resulting blood bath was condemned by almost every country in the world, doing more to alienate our true democratic friends than any action the United States took to help a scoundrel like Marcos out of power.


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