In our recent crisis-filled times, almost every word written by the elderly Henry Kissinger is received in the West with an interest that is comparable to how people in Ancient Greece once received the prophecies of the Delphi oracle.
Yet, when the Wall Street Journal published his article on the coronavirus in early April, which began and ended with a personal memory of the allied battle in the Ardennes at the end of the Second World War, some commentators were outraged.
They drew attention to the fact that China did not appear in the text even once despite being the main culprit of the entire coronavirus pandemic tragedy.
The former U.S. secretary of State is “modestly” silent on the issue of China, even though he was the main architect of the U.S. policy of opening relations with the Asian power under the presidency of Richard Nixon, which helped secure China’s role as a global power.
There is also another issue with Kissinger’s piece. In it, he calls for the West to unite behind the U.S. like it had 75 years ago around the values of the global liberal order. The problem is that while he named those values — order, security, economic development, and political legitimacy — he forgot to mention freedom.
Kissinger presents a world where China goes unnamed and liberalism is mentioned without freedom. Everyone who has read his books, however, knows that these were not accidental omissions.