The Commonwealth Blog

This Day in Commonwealth Club History: Henry Kissinger

Apr 16, 2014 @ 3:40 PM by jzipperer

On April 16, 1984, as Henry Kissinger spoke to the Club about a bipartisan report on Central America he chaired, rowdy demonstrators gathered both outside and inside the meeting, protesting, among other things, U.S. involvement in the mining of Nicaraguan ports. During his talk, Kissinger denied any inside knowledge, but endorsed the policy and joked about the protest saying "…few people can unify the American people like I can. I have a great constituency of nuts on the left and an equal constituency of nuts on the right."

Kissinger has remained active in U.S. foreign policy, continuing to outrage people across the spectrum. This March he wrote, “The Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West. But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other – it should function as a bridge between them." This outlook is consistent with his Cold War advocacy of détente, yet might sound to some as being remarkably sanguine for a ruthless realist.