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January 21, 1973 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily, 1973-01-21

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Sunday, January 21, 1973


Page Five

Sunday, Jauary.21. 173 THE.M..IG.. DAIL.P.ge.F.v

Kissinger) off Henry

POWER, by David Landau.
Houghton Mifflin Co., 270 pp.,
Charles Ashman. Lyle Stuart,
240 pp., $7.95.
RIGHT AWAY, let me make
my personal bias clear, for
no one can write a book or a re-
view of books about Henry Kis-
singer, given his awesome pow-
er over events in the world to-
day, and expect to be objective,
or present a "balanced" picture
of the man. Whenever I read
about Kissinger or hear of his ac-
tions over the various news me-
dia, my initial reaction occurs
most profoundly at a gut level
over which I force myself to erect
an intellectual superstructure af-
terward. We can talk about Hen-
ry Kissinger unemotionally, and
try to deal with his position in
the world, just as we can dispas-
sionately discuss the question of
nuclear warfare, and its im-
pact on the world; however, deep
down, what has to impress us
the most is the earth-shattering
power of this man or these weap-
ons, the fact that they can com-
pletely change the world and our
lives, and to that I can only re-
act emotionally. So, in short, my
bias: I detest Henry Kissinger.
I believe he leads the war crim-
inal hit parade, topped only by
Richard Nixon, and that both of
them should be dealt with a la
NOW:IN TERMS of those un-
derlying feelings, 'two recent
books have attempted to discuss.
the man who has become a vir-
tual Prime Minister inour gov-
ernment;: one even does an ex-
cellent job in coming to grips
with Kissinger's intellect and po-
litics, but unfortunately both ul-
timately fail as far as I am con-
cerned. Kissinger: the Uses of
Power by a 22-year-old former
Harvard Crimson editor, David
Landau, is by far the better
book. It develops Kissinger, the
genious scholar statesman, in es-
sentially tragic terms; the Big
Professor who really believes in
peace, a stable world order, and
the. gorod, thwarted, by his own
pretentions and by the dedication
of the Vietnamese to their Revo-
lution. Kissinger: The Adven-
tures of Super-Kraut by Charles
Ashman, deals with Kissinger, the
sexy swinger and darling of the
Hollywood jet set, as a gossip
columnist would. It equates the
problems of negotiating an end to
the war with the challenge of get-
ing a good feel off Jill St. John
while no slippery photographers
are looking. Landau's book is ex-
cellent in many ways and I re-
commend it wholeheartedly for
its wealth of new and important
information. Ashman's book has
a few cute anecdotes, like Kis-
singer's gift for Dr. Strangelove
imitations at cocktail parties, but
most of it is drivel. In the end,
both books fall short of my own
preconceived expectations for a
full-length work that captures

other around the conference
tables of Paris and Vienna, and
who step ever so lightly to the
Super-Power Minuet, the ritual
dance of subtle threats and pol-
ished guile.
Kissinger served as a private
in World War II, but thanks to
his genius rating on the Army's
T.Q. tests, and his friendship with
Fritz Kraemer, Prussian intel-
lectual and hustler in high places,
Kissinger became interpreter for
the 84th Division during the oc-
cupation of Germany, and ulti-
mately military administrator for
the district of Bergstrasse. After
the war, he enrolled in Harvard
University where he studied phil-
osophy, especially Hegel, and
wenton to Harvard's Graduate
School of Government. His doc-
toral thesis, later published as
A World Restored, dealt rever-
ently with Metternich, and the
conference system that swept up
the broken pieces of Europe af-
ter the Napoleonic Wars, and re-
stored "order" by suppressing
popular revolution. But Kissing-
er already had his eye on Wash-
ington and the world of foreign
policy. In Landau's words: "Kis-
singer's doctoral thesis was no
abstract historical dissertation,
but a conceptual blueprint for the
policy that he would have want-
ed the U.S. to enact."
MANY PEOPLE recognized
Kissinger's talents. Upon gra-
duation in 1955, he was recom-
mended by Arthur Schlesinger,
Jr. to the august and powerful
Council on Foreign Relations,
where he became coordinator of
the Council's study group on nu-
clear weapons. His book, Nu-
clear Weapons and Foreign Pol-
icy, argued that nuclear warfare
was the "wave of the future," an
ominous sentiment for the man
who today is responsiblefor the
escalation of the campaign to
obliterate Vietnam from the air
in order to negotiate a peace. If
continued bombing by B-52s isn't
enough, what next-nuclear wea-
Kissinger returned to Harvard
in 1957 and organized the Inter-
national Seminar through which
he maintained his contacts in
Washington and developed a co-
terie of men in many of the
world's capitals who respected
his intellect. Kissinger has al-
ways believed in active intellect,
in academics consulting with pol-
icymakers, and until recently
he strove to "retain the freedom
to deal with the policymaker
from a position of independence."
He consulted for President Ken-
nedy, though he quit over Ken-
nedy's handling of Charles de
Gaulle and the Berlin Wall. He
recognized Vietnam as a grave
mistake from the beginning, and
ironically was one of the first
doves within the government to
propose withdrawal. In 1965, three
years before Tet, he was engaged
as a consultant to Henry Cabot
Lodge, then-ambassador to South
Vietnam, and prepared a report
on the U.S. position. "In the set-
ting of Washington's official lit-
urgy on Vietnam, his observa-
tions were striking: South Viet-
namese officials were untalented

and more rarely, an individual,
whose duty it will be to guard
and transmit the historical spir-
it." Kissinger's appointment was
initially greeted warmly at Har-
vard. Kennedy New Frontiers-
men like Arthur Schlesinger and
George Bundy saw Kissinger as
a force for moderation in the
Nixon Administration, and how-
ever much he has been respon-
sible for the continued and in-
tensified genocidal carnage in
Vietnam, he has softened Nixon
on a number of other issues:
troop levels in Europe, and ABM,
and of course his two crowning
achievements have been the
SALT Treaty and the detente
with China. Concerning the lat-
ter, Kissinger remarked: "What
we are doing now in China is so
great, so historic, that the word
'Vietnam' will be only a foot-
note when it is written in his-
VIETNAM? A footnote in his-
' tory? Where's he been? It is
with the issue of Vietnam, the
most important chapter in Henry
Kissinger's career, that both The
Uses of Power and Super-Kraut
fail. Ashman in Super-Kraut
hardly even mentions Vietnam,
perfect testimony to the total ir-
relevance of the book. Henry the
K is much too busy persuing a
romance with Zsa Zsa Gabor
while denying one with Gloria
Steinem to waste time on Viet-
nam. And Landau, as much as I
like his book, essentially sees
Kissinger's response to the Viet-
namese Revolution as high tra-
gedy. Landau concludes his book
by saying: it is "tragic that a
victim of Nazi Germany . . .
now . administers a system
that,... for the Vietnamese, is
as grotesque and brutal as was
that from which he escaped long
ago." Brutal-yes, and more. But
tragic? No! Criminal.
Kissinger's view of the Viet-
nam situation is myopic in the
extreme and it remains com-
pletely uncorrected by his unique
and archaic worldview which re-
lies on a pair of Metternich eye-
glasses for its vision. In Kissing-
er's view, the world can achieve
stable peace when and if the
three Great Powers-the U.S., the
U.S.S.R., and the People's China
-decide to respect each other's
sovereignty and spheres of influ-
ence. Hence Nixon's trip to China
and the beginnings of normalized
relations to get all the big boys
on speaking terms: In Kissing-
er's weird imagination, the Viet-
nam war is in no way a war of
national liberation from U.S. im-
perialism sustained by the deter-
mination of the people of Viet-
nam. It is a problem, and a small
problem at that, of the Big Three
failing to keep their spheres of
influence properly together. To
Kissinger, South Vietnam is a
U.S. protectorate while North Vi-
etnam falls into the Chinese
sphere with a little help from the
Soviet Union.
Kissinger completely ignores
the 1000 year history of enmity
between the Vietnamese and Chi-
nese, the fact that the war is an
anti-imperialistic civil war, and

by Marshall McLuhan. Ballan-
tine, 336 pp. $3.95.
HERE'S Culture Is Our Busi-
ness, Marshall McLuhan's
new production. And here's the
Marshall in a slippy sleek $3.95
quick-warping Ballantine cover
like those on overpriced text-
books-and underneath he's part-
ly all bare, with several blank-
looking pages prettily placed
here and there, and several more
only half-tattooed with something
called print (there are 336 pages
in all - what a retinue! - but
that's show-biz)-and something
for the retina, every other page
carries an ad you will want to
pin up if you like ladders-in-
stockings, or typewriters, or TV
with clear pictures, or an exhi-
bitionist banana, and there's lots
of space between each flight of
words for those who like to read
between the lines, and if your
eyes are really bad, you need
only read the words in big, big
type, that's every other bunch
of words-but be sure to read
them twice, that way you'll get
your money's worth, and you
won't miss a thing because all
these sentences don't add up to
more than a stack of sentences,
the way auto parts make a stack
if the right ones aren't put to-
gether in the right way to make
an auto, or the something else
they'd make if they were the
linked short verses of some
classical Japanese genres.
Once his mind is made up by
Elizabeth Arden and other ad
vices, the Marshall will stick at
nothing to make a case stick.
As part of his evidence against
the movies and for TV, he offers
the hard-to-controvert ability that

every ad there is-and he's got
high falutin' friends too, like
Joyce and Tsa Tsa Eliot and an
egghead called A.N. Whitehead
and Gay Talese, and I know
this sounds queer, but it's just
like the Bible-everything they
say proves him right, and that's
every time he gets a page to pro-
duce one of them and get their
opinion on what's going on now
(I know most of them are dead,
but the Marsh ain't Marshal of
Tome's-tone for nothing).
And in his rousing prefatory
speech the Marshall makes it
clear that all the greatest artists
in the world are working on our
side, making ads; and being just
a man of the people myself, like
the Marsh, I was going to ask
him why Picasso and Cassals
and Nabokov and Nijinski and
Beethoven and you-know-whom-
else (just slipped my mind) any-
way why they don't let on about
what they're doing-and then I
was saved from shame - the
thought occurred to me: they're
just modest, hiding their lights
under a bushel called art, or
else they're with us in spirit,
and if they aren't, they soon will
Flash: Ezra Pound has just
joined us in spirit. The obituaries
say he was a- doyen of letters.
A doyen must be a sort of mar-
shal. But he couldn't have been
as good. Ours not only knows
the letters, he makes them into
But how come the Marshall
don't quote him? Uh-uh, I must
stop all these thoughts, else I'll
begin to have some doubts, and
if I'm to be the next Marshall
I musn't doubt. He never doubts.
The only question marks He
alows himself are doubts about
His a u d i e n c e, like whether
they're smart enough to notice
this or that. Oh, but I'm smart.
But how can I outsmart the
Marshall? He's got me taped.
Listen to this (I have to shorten
people's pleasure by promiscu-

ously putting several of his pages
together into one ball (Marvel,
Captain or Andrew, I forget
which instead of keeping them
spread out) but here, put suc-
cinctly, is his thought:
All the kids who watch TV
see the same things that we do
when we watch it at the same
time, and what's more, what all
of us see at such times is not
the same as what we would
have seen if we had been watch-
ing TV over 100 years ago if
there had been TV. But there's
more to it. We don't just sit
there watching it passively, he
says, somehow our just looking
at it makes what is happening on
it, happen. If nobody had no TV
the world wouldn't exist. Uh.
Uh. Reel, reel. All these great
thoughts are bursting my head.
What's that? All those quotes
in the book are more meaning-
ful in their original contexts and
are debased by the Marshall's
containing words just like some
gatherings inhibit the full flow-
ering of oneself and others stim-
ulate it. No, no. I didn't say that.
What's that? The Marshall's
awfully high-falutin' at times:
"The New Criticism not only
discovered the sensorium as a
laboratory but language itself as
a shaper and distorter of ordi-
nary experience!" Ug, ug. A sen-
sorium is the supposed seat of
sensation in the brain and is us-
ually identified with its surface
gray matter. Oggle boggle. The
New Criticism never did no such
thing. Maybe, maybe, I.A. Rich-
ards did, but now all is opened
to doubt, I doubt even that.
Help, help. 0 Marsh, swallow me
Oggle-woggle tog mog. Grip ip.
Split wot oh my soggle joggle.
Og og.
(The heresy is paid for. Peace
returns. McLuhan's vision is
again unclouded. An occasional
gas bubble breaks out of the
marsh with a lazy glup.)

a tape worm as long as a foot-
ball field has of lying undetected
in a movie star. Incomparable
Action Jackson. And not only

is the Marshall a rat-a-tat-tattler
of his finished pages with max-
ims full of holes, but he's a
well-read man to boot - read

books books books

bility. Hanoi agreed; the French
reneged. The Vietnamese then
fought a guerrilla war against the
French, triumphed at Dienbien-
phu, and went to Geneva to
claim their country in 1954. The
West, principally the U.S. (when
Nixon was Vice President), ask-
ed for a decent interval with
elections in 1956. Hanoi agreed ;
the U.S. set up Diem who sabo-
taged the elections. Since then,
the Vietnamese have fought a
guerrillanwar against the U.S.
presence. So now here comes
Henry asking for another decent
interval, and he can't understand
why the Vietnamese refuse to
"negotiate seriously," which to
him means: accepting the de-
cent interval once again. In Kis-
inger' s mind the only way to
conclude the peace now is to con-
vince Hanoi that we are not kid-
ding around. If they refuse to
recognize a partial bombing halt
as a sign of our "good faith," we
renew the bombing. When that
does not force them to the con-
ference table, escalate the bomb-
ing, use B-52s. When that doesn't
work, destroy Bac Mai Hospital.
The formula is simple: threaten,
escalate, threaten. And if the
present intensified bombing does
not work, what next? Nuclear
contains a wealth of infor-
mation about Kissinger, his de-
velopment, and his politics, and
about U.S. involvement in Viet-
nam, Landau sees Kissinger as
a tragic figure, a Macbeth, tear-
ing himself apart wondering
what went wrong. Personally, I
feel that such a conclusion com-
pletely misses the point that Viet-
nam is a heinous crime. Kissing-
er is not a tragic figure, he is a
maniac raining genocide down on
a faraway peasant population
simply because they refuse to
slide neatly into his shoebox
conception of History.
In a moment of sober insight,
Kissinger is reported to have
said: "The issue of Vietnam des-
troys everyone who touches it."
Insofar as that prediction applies
to Henry Kissinger himself, I
hope it is an understatement.
Today's writers . .
Sara Fitzgerald is writing a
paper on the flappers when she
is not occupied with being the
Daily's editor.
Michael Castleman is a re-
cent graduate of the University
and is on the staff of the Project
David Kozubei can be found
at Borders Bookshop.

OUS ZONE, by Ingrid Bengis.
Knopf, $6.95.
o see Combat in the Erogen-
ous Zone on a bookshelf is to
pass it off as just another one
of those sex manuals or how-to
guides to liberation that have
been filling up publishers' lists
recently. That's amistake. For
beyond Ingrid Bengis' cutesy
title is a serious and introspec-
tive look at the development of
a young woman.
Not everyone will like it. It is
rambling and repetitive in parts,
irrelevant to some in others.
But for the young woman strug-
gling with several sets of stan-
dards, considering the possibili-
ties of lesbianism, trying to un-
derstand men while trying to
understand herself, it will open
some wounds.
In setting out to write this
philosophical / psychological au-
tobiography, Bengis says, "If you
see something of yourself in me
as I have seen something of my-
self in you, if my distortions are
yours as well, then maybe we
can begin to reexamine our
ideas about distortions." So she
proceeds to dissect herself, lay-
ing the pieces out on the table.
She comes up with no answers,
which in a sense is the beauty
of the book. It makes the reader
search for her own.
Some may be familiar with the
book already. Its "Manhating"
chapter was excerpted in the
July issue of Ms. and the maga-
zine followed in November with
sections of her chapter on love.
The two parts were excellent by
themselves, but there is even
more value in putting the whole
book - and Bengis' thought pat-
tern - together.
SHE BEGINS with "Manhat-
ing," a theme likely to scare
off all but the 28-year-old wo-
man's most devoted readers. She
tells of men exposing themselves
to her on subways, of rape at-
tempts of the "psst" of the om-
nipresent construction worker.
She tells it all - from conversa-
tions with an editor to the time
she dreamt she was having an
orgasm and woke up to discover
the guy from the neighboring
sleeping bag trying to screw her.
You start to think Bengis is
just a product of devastating ex-
periences-that it couldn't hap-
pen to everyone. And then you
realize that it does. My close
friends have survived two rape

attempts, a bad hitch-hiking ex-
perience, being chased by a gang
of boys at 13. They are experi-,
ences which lead us to under-
stand the contradictions when
Bengis writes:
"If a free choice were really
mine, I would say that I am
capable of loving men, or at
least loving a few of them and
liking a good many others, and
that my loves and likes have
something to do with whether
those men are worth being lov-
ed or liked. The truth is that I
DO like many men and have
thought I loved two or three.
But the other truth is that I
hate menhbothgenerally and
specifically, and that the hat-
red sometimes threatens to ob-
literate even the possibilities
for love . . . Rap sessions can't
break the back of it, nor anti-
male tirades, nor psychoanaly-
sis (at least not so far), nor
demonstrations against the op-
pression of women, nor, for
that matter, writing about it."
Again, no answers. And, unfor-
tunately throughout much of this
section, over-generalization about
men. Her discussion of abortion
is also lacking something. Under-
standably so, however, because
that's at least one experience she
hasn't been through.
Her humaness flows through
the most, perhaps, in her section
on lesbianism. It's all there-the
little girl cuddling with her best
friend, then feeling guilty when
her mother discovers her; the as-
piring actress, idolizing the older
woman; the young woman, try-
ing to fight her inhibitions in
seeking a sexual relationship with
her best friend. Once again she
fails, once again no answers, but
once again she's succeeded in
touching a note of recognition in
her reader.
"Even though loving a man
and having sex with him often
seemed more like living in a
bomb shelter than under a se-
curity blanket, I still kept try-

N o clear answer

ing, while there rarely seemed
to be enough of a drive in me
to act on my attractions for
women, despite my awareness
that in many ways it might be
much more satisfying,... How
long /could you hold on to that
faith, the deeply rooted belief
that, ultimately, you belonged
together with men?"
SHE TURNS finally (and appro-
priately) to love. No aspect of
the subject is left unturned. One
of her many dilemmas is put like
"In the process of attempting
to become 'separate individ-
uals' many of us have had to
anesthetize ourselves to needs
that are nonetheless real and
deep. We have rationalized our
desires for love and affection,
pe r manence and stability,
equating those desires with a
c a p i t u l ation to unresolved
weakness in ourselves. Trying
to keep up with the demands of.
the world, with the expecta-
tions of men and ourselves,
with 'contemporary' modes of
behavior, we have lost touch
with much of what we really
Again what the reader wants,
and Bengis tantalizingly refuses
to give, is a solution to the whole
mess. The book should be a stan-

dard text for consciousness-
raising sessions, except one feels
that that is precisely what Ben-
gis doesn't want. What she does
desire is for the book to open
communication between men and
women-it is crying out for some-
one to come along and write the
male version of the "war."
It doesn't seem the male side
will be evoked from the book.
Three male friends of mine each
read one section of the book over
the past few months-not parti-
cularly by design. One felt cas-
trated by "Manhating," the next
fell asleep reading "Lesbian-
ism," the third, who really was
trying to understand, said "Love"
seemed as if it was written alone
in bed at four in the morning.
(He- could picture himself writ-
ing it then.)
So the book is not only about
frustrating experiences, but a
frustration in itself-where is
that man with the sensitivity to
try and understand the nuances
of Bengis' book-and do some-
thing about it? Combat is cer-
tainly about male/female war-
fare. But the "erogenous zone"
goes beyond the genitalia, it ex-
tends to the mind, because the
"offensive" Bengis launches is
with her reader, dragging her out
of the foxholes of pretension and
the bunkers of rationalization.

the "real" Kissinger. He may be
a genius. He may be a swinger.
Okay. But most fundamentally,
Kissinger, given his impact on
the world, is neither tragic nor
glamorous. He can only be called
criminal, genocidal, immoral,
in Furth, in German Ba-
varia, a Jew, and the son of a
middle-class high school teacher.
In 1938 the Kissingers fled the
Third Reich only months' before
the door slammed on Jewish em-
igration, and settled in New York
City's Washington Heights. Lan-
dau points to Kissinger's experi-
ences as a Jew in Nazi Germany
as the primary cause of his
"gruesome and intractable fear
of revolution . . . his ingrained
fatalism . . . deep apprehension
of tragic possibilities and all per-
vasive recognition that failure is
as likely as any other outcome."
Kissinger himself denies this:
"My childhood is not a key to
anything." I. F. Stone points out
in the New York Review of
Books, in an article about Kis-
singer, that political crises mold
people's convictions less than
they strengthen convictions al-
ready held. Thus Metternich,
Kissinger's idol, was a conserva-
tive before the fall of the Bas-
tille The French Revolution ce-

and corrupt, the pacification pro-
gram (and) America's military
strength were largely ineffective,
and Washington's (information)
was hopelessly distorted." Pretty
heavy for 1965. General West-
moreland was so embarrassed by
Kissinger's bucking the military
line in his briefings with Presi-
dent Johnson and Robert Mc-
Namara that he requisitioned a
list of every one of Kissinger's
KISSINGER IS a very recent
addition to the Nixon entour-
age. In fact he worked for Nelson
Rockefeller in 1968, and once re-
marked that Nixon "was not fit
to be President." He even flirted
with Robert Kennedy. Kissinger
owes first loyalty to no man, but
only to his own ideas about the
conduct of American foreign pol-
icy. This makes him seem an op-
portunist, but his brand of oppor-
tunism/integrity-steadfast loyal-
ty to his ideas with shifting bonds
to politicians--is somehow more
principled than its opposite ex-
hibited by Robert McNamara,
who clung to LBJ long after he
was convinced that Johnson's
Vietnam policies could not work.
When President-elect N i x o n
summoned him, Kissinger went
to see him with decidedly mixed
feelings. "Kissinger remarked
over and over again how timid

the fact that to North Vietnam,
the Saigon regime has absolutely
no legitimacy at all. Kissinger
wants a negotiated peace in Viet-
nam. In fact, ironically enough,
Kissinger, the mid-sixties dove,
was instrumental in pioneering
the first diplomatic channel for
negotiations with the North in
1967, a channel which Johnson's
escalation shut.
Now, in 1973, Kissinger still
wants to negotiate, and in his own
terms his demands are small. All
he wants is for the North Viet-
namese to guarantee that there
will be a "decent interval" be-
tween the withdrawal of U.S. per-
sonnel, the return of U.S. prison-
ers, and the inevitable NLF take-
over of Saigon. To Kissinger, the
decent interval is a non-negoti-
able must, because the U.S. must
preserve its credibility and posi-
tion of strength in the Big Three
Power Sweepstakes. Saigon will
fall, and no one really cares if it
does, but it must never appear
that the U.S. let any ally fall,
since we would lose face before
our other allies who are counting
on us to stand between them and
the menacing non-Menaces of
Communism. Saigon must stand
on its own clay feet, just long
enough to fall on its own. Then
everyone will be happy: the War
will be over, the U.S. will be out,
Hanoi will be in, and our credi-

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