☉ ✏ The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide for ipad ☬ Ebook Author Gary J Bass ♭

☉  ✏ The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide for ipad ☬ Ebook Author Gary J Bass ♭ ☉ ✏ The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide for ipad ☬ Ebook Author Gary J Bass ♭ Preface Archer Blood, the United States consul general in Dacca, was a gentlemanly diplomat raised in Virginia, a World War II navy veteran in the upswing of a promising Foreign Service career after several tours overseas He was earnest and precise, known to some of his unruly subordinates at the U.S consulate as a good, conventional man He had come to like his posting to this impoverished, green, and swampy land But outside of the consulates grimy offices, in the steamy heat, the city was dying Night after night, Blood heard the gunshots On the night of March 25, 1971, the Pakistan army had begun a relentless crackdown on Bengalis, all across what was then East Pakistan and is today an independent Bangladesh Untold thousands of people were shot, bombed, or burned to death in Dacca alone Blood had spent that grim night on the roof of his official residence, watching as tracer bullets lit up the sky, listening to clattering machine guns and thumping tank guns There were fires across the ramshackle city He knew the people in the deathly darkness below He liked them Many of the civilians facing the bullets were professional colleagues some were his friends It was, Blood and his staffers thought, their job to relay as much of this as they possibly could back to Washington Witnessing one of the worst atrocities of the Cold War, Bloods consulate documented in horrific detail the slaughter of Bengali civilians an area the size of two dozen city blocks that had been razed by gunfire two newspaper office buildings in ruins thatch roofed villages in flames specific targeting of the Bengalis Hindu minority The U.S consulate gave detailed accounts of the killings at Dacca University, ordinarily a leafy, handsome enclave At the wrecked campus, professors had been hauled from their homes to be gunned down The provost of the Hindu dormitory, a respected scholar of English, was dragged out of his residence and shot in the neck Blood listed six other faculty members reliably reported killed by troops, with several possibly dead One American who had visited the campus said that students had been mowed down in their rooms or as they fled, with a residence hall in flames and youths being machine gunned.1 At least two mass graves on campus, Blood cabled Stench terrible There were 148 corpses in one of these mass graves, according to the workmen forced to dig them An official in the Dacca consulate estimated that at least five hundred students had been killed in the first two days of the crackdown, almost none of them fighting back Blood reckoned that the rud toll of a thousand dead at the university was exaggerated, although nothing these days is inconceivable After the massacre, he reported that an American eyewitness had seen an empty army truck arriving to get rid of a tightly packed pile of approximately twenty five corpses, the last of many such batches of human remains.2 This was, Blood knew, the last thing his superiors in Washington wanted to hear Pakistan was an allya military dictatorship, but fiercely anticommunist Blood detailed how Pakistan was using U.S weaponstanks, jet fighters, gigantic troop transport airplanes, jeeps, guns, ammunitionto crush the Bengalis In one of the awkward alignments of the Cold War, President Richard Nixon had lined up the democratic United States with this authoritarian government, while the despots in the Soviet Union found themselves standing behind democratic India Nixon and Henry Kissinger, the brilliant White House national security advisor, were driven not just by such Cold War calculations, but a starkly personal and emotional dislike of India and Indians Nixon enjoyed his friendship with Pakistans military dictator, General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan, known as Yahya, who was helping to set up the top secret opening to China The White House did not want to be seen as doing anything that might hint at the breakup of Pakistanno matter what was happening to civilians in the east wing of Pakistan The onslaught would continue for months The Dacca consulate stubbornly kept up its reporting But, Blood later recalled, his cables were met with a deafening silence He was not allowed to protest to the Pakistani authorities He ratcheted up his dispatches, sending in a blistering cable tagged Selective Genocide, urging his bosses to speak out against the atrocities being committed by the Pakistani military The White House staff passed this up to Kissinger, who paid no heed Then on April 6, two weeks into the slaughter, Blood and almost his entire consulate sent in a telegram formally declaring their strong dissenta total repudiation of the policy that they were there to carry out That cableperhaps the most radical rejection of U.S policy ever sent by its diplomatsblasted the United States for silence in the face of atrocities, for not denouncing the quashing of democracy, for showing moral bankruptcy in the face of what they bluntly called genocide.3 This book is about how two of the worlds great democraciesthe United States and Indiafaced up to one of the most terrible humanitarian crises of the twentieth century The slaughter in what is now Bangladesh stands as one of the cardinal moral challenges of recent history, although today it is far familiar to South Asians than to Americans It had a monumental impact on India, Pakistan, and Bangladeshalmost a sixth of humanity in 1971 In the dark annals of modern cruelty, it ranks as bloodier than Bosnia and by some accounts in the same rough league as Rwanda It was a defining moment for both the United States and India, where their humane principles were put to the test.4 For the United States, as Archer Blood understood, a small number of atrocities are so awful that they stand outside of the normal day to day flow of diplomacy the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda When we think of U.S leaders failing the test of decency in such moments, we usually think of uncaring disengagement Franklin Roosevelt fighting World War II without taking serious steps to try to rescue Jews from the Nazi dragnet, or Bill Clinton standing idly by during the Rwandan genocide.5 But Pakistans slaughter of its Bengalis in 1971 is starkly different Here the United States was allied with the killers The White House was actively and knowingly supporting a murderous regime at many of the most crucial moments There was no question about whether the United States should intervene it was already intervening on behalf of a military dictatorship decimating its own people This stands as one of the worst moments of moral blindness in U.S foreign policy Pakistans crackdown on the Bengalis was not routine or small scale killing, not something that could be dismissed as business as usual, but a colossal and systematic onslaught Midway through the bloodshed, both the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department conservatively estimated that about two hundred thousand people had lost their lives Many would perish, cut down by Pakistani forces or dying in droves in miserable refugee camps The story of East Bengal will surely be written as one of the greatest nightmares of modern times, declared Edward Kennedy, who led the outcry in the Senate But in the depths of the Cold War, Nixon and Kissinger were unyielding in their support for Pakistan, making possible horrific crimes against humanityplausibly even a genocidein that countrys eastern wing.6 The ongoing Bengali slaughter led within a few months to a major war between Pakistan and India In that time, the White House had every opportunity to grasp how bad these atrocities were There were sober misgivings voiced in the White House, and thunderous protests from the State Department and its emissaries in Delhi and Dacca, with Archer Blood the loudest voice of all But throughout it all, from the outbreak of civil war to the Bengali massacres to Pakistans crushing defeat by the Indian military, Nixon and Kissinger, unfazed by detailed knowledge of the massacres, stood stoutly behind Pakistan As its most important international backer, the United States had great influence over Pakistan But at almost every turning point in the crisis, Nixon and Kissinger failed to use that leverage to avert disaster Before the shooting started, they consciously decided not to warn Pakistans military chiefs against using violence on their own population They did not urge caution or impose conditions that might have discouraged the Pakistani military government from butchering its own citizenry They did not threaten the loss of U.S support or even sanctions if Pakistan took the wrong course They allowed the army to sweep aside the results of Pakistans first truly free and fair democratic election, without even suggesting that the military strongmen try to work out a power sharing deal with the Bengali leadership that had won the vote They did not ask that Pakistan refrain from using U.S weaponry to slaughter civilians, even though that could have impeded the militarys rampage, and might have deterred the army There was no public condemnationnor even a private threat of itfrom the president, the secretary of state, or other senior officials The administration almost entirely contented itself with making gentle, token suggestions behind closed doors that Pakistan might lessen its brutalityand even that only after, months into the violence, it became clear that India was on the brink of attacking Pakistan This might give the impression of passivity, of a foreign policy on autopilot Not so Nixon and Kissinger actually drove their South Asia policies with gusto and impressive creativitybut only when silencing dissenters in the ranks, like Blood, or pursuing their hostility toward India They found no appeal in India, neither out of ideological admiration for Indias flawed but functioning democracy, nor from a geopolitical appreciation of the sheer size and importance of the Indian colossus Instead, they denounced Indians individually and collectively, with an astonishingly personal and crude stream of vitriol Alone in the Oval Office, these famous practitioners of dispassionate realpolitik were all too often propelled by emotion The slaughter happened at the same time that Nixon and Kissinger were planning their opening to Chinaa famous historic achievement that has a forgotten cost Everyone remembers Nixon and Kissingers months of clandestine Chinese diplomacy, followed by the amazing spectacle of the presidential visit to Mao Zedong But what has been lost is the human toll exacted for it in Bangladesh and India Nixon and Kissinger needed a secret channel to China, which they found in the good offices of Yahyaan impeccably discreet tyrant on warm terms with both the United States and China While the Pakistani government was crushing the Bengalis, it was also carrying covert messages back and forth from Washington to Beijing Archer Blood sent off his dissent telegram just three months before Kissinger took his first secret trip to Beijing, flying direct from Pakistan, which sped him on his way with hospitality, an airplane, and a cloak and dagger cover story Nixon and Kissinger, always sympathetic to the Pakistani junta, were not about to condemn it while it was making itself so useful So the Bengalis became collateral damage for realigning the global balance of power In the bargain, Nixon and Kissinger also turned their backs on India the strategic opening to one Asian titan meant a closing to another Indeed, one of the very first things that the United States did with its new relationship with Maos China was to secretly ask it to mobilize troops to threaten democratic India, in defense of Pakistan It is absolutely right that the normalization of the American relationship with China stands as an epochal event, but those who justifiably want to celebrate it should not overlook what it meant for the Bengalis and Indians Kissinger and his defenders often try to shift the blame to Nixon But the record here proves that Kissinger was almost as culpable as the president When dealing with the White House and State Department staff, Kissinger would entertain a variety of viewpoints, showing his trademark subtlety, although pressing an anti Indian line But when it was just him and Nixon alone, he cannily stoked the presidents fury All the sophistication vanished, replaced with a relentless drumbeat against India Although Kissinger billed himself around Washington as a vital restraint on Nixons dangerous moods, here it was Kissinger who spun out of control In the most heated moments of the crisis, when Nixon lost his nerve for a superpower confrontation with the Soviet Union that at worst could have led toward nuclear war, Kissinger goaded him on Nixon and Kissinger bear responsibility for a significant complicity in the slaughter of the Bengalis This overlooked episode deserves to be a defining part of their historical reputations But although Nixon and Kissinger have hardly been neglected by history, this major incident has largely been whitewashed out of their legacyand not by accident Kissinger began telling demonstrable falsehoods about the administrations record just two weeks into the crisis, and has not stopped distorting since Nixon and Kissinger, in their vigorous efforts after Watergate to rehabilitate their own respectability as foreign policy wizards, have left us a farrago of distortions, half truths, and outright lies about their policy toward the Bengali atrocities.7 To this day, four decades after the massacres, the dead hand of Nixonian cover up still prevents Americans from knowing the full record The White House staff routinely sanitized their records of conversations, sometimes at Kissingers specific urging Even now, mildewed and bogus claims of national security remain in place to bleep out particularly embarrassing portions of the White House tapes Kissinger struck a deal with the Library of Congress that, until five years after his death, blocks researchers from seeing his papers there unless they have his written permission Even if you could get in, according to the Library of Congress, many of Kissingers most important papers are still hidden from daylight by a thicket of high level classifications, security clearances, and need to know permissions Kissinger did not reply to two polite requests for an interview, and then, four months later, refused outright But against Nixon and Kissingers own misrepresentations and immortal stonewalling, there is a different story to be found in thousands of pages of recently declassified U.S papers, in dusty Indian archives, and on unheard hours of the White House tapesoffering a accurate, documented account of Nixon and Kissingers secret role in backing the perpetrators of one of the worst crimes of the twentieth century.8 It was left to India, which did not have the option of ignoring the slaughter of the Bengalis, to stop it The gargantuan democracy was entwined with the tragedy next door in countless ways, from its own shocked Bengali population to its bitter confrontation with Pakistan Indira Gandhis government was motivated by a mix of lofty principle and brutal realpolitik demanding an end to the slaughter of a civilian population and upholding the popular will of voters in a democratic election, but also seizing a prime opportunity to humiliate and rip apart Indias hated enemy Indira Gandhi, Indias prime minister and the great Jawaharlal Nehrus daughter, would later claim she acted first of all, for purely humanitarian reasons Indias ambassador at the United Nations declared that his country had absolutely nothing but the purest of motives and the purest of intentions to rescue the people of East Bengal But there was nothing pure about the protection of human rights Some eminent political theorists and international lawyers have pointed to Indias intervention as a singular and important case of an Asian postcolonial country launching a humanitarian interventiona kind of war commonly associated with Western military campaigns in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Libya But there has been no proper chronicle of Indias real motives.9 In fact, Indira Gandhi and her top advisers were coldly calculating strategists, even if their actions served a humane cause India put itself in a position of breathtaking hypocrisy demanding freedom for the Bengali people in East Pakistan, while conducting its own repression of restive populations under Indian control in Kashmir, as well as lesser known groups like the Mizos and Nagas andwith painful irony leftist Bengalis within Indias own volatile state of West Bengal While the Indian government emotionally spoke out on behalf of the millions of Bengalis who fled into India, its officials privately worried that these exiles might be radical subversives who would fuel unrest and revolt in Indias already shaky border states, especially West Bengal India, in other words, was driven not just by sympathy for Bengalis, but also a certain amount of fear of revolutionary Bengalis While Indira Gandhis government professed its unwavering desire for peace, she almost immediately turned to aggressive options From the early days of the Pakistani crackdown, she had the Indian military covertly prepare for a full scale regular war against Pakistan India secretly had its army and security forces use bases on Indian soil to support Bengali guerrillas in their fight against the Pakistani state India devoted enormous resources to covertly sponsoring the Bengali insurgency inside East Pakistan, providing the guerrillas with arms, training, camps, and safe passage back and forth across a porous border Indian officials, from Gandhi on down, evaded or lied with verve, denying that they were maintaining the insurgency But in fact, as Indias own secret records prove, this massive clandestine enterprise was approved at the highest levels, involving Indias intelligence services, border security forces, and army In the event, Pakistan rashly struck the first blow of a full scale conventional war, with a surprise air attack in December 1971 that brought fierce combat in both West and East Pakistan But while Indians today generally remember the war as outright Pakistani aggression, Indias actual path to war shows a great degree of Indian responsibility as well India knew it had a fearsome military advantage, and Gandhis government used that ruthlessly According to senior Indian generals, Gandhi wanted her forces to go to war not long after the start of Pakistans crackdown, and had to be persuaded to wait for cooler fighting weather and time to train While the Indian military waited for winter, the Indian backed insurgency bled the Pakistan army, leaving it demoralized and stretched thin Indias support for the Bengali rebels led to border clashes with Pakistani troops, and, as winter approached, to several substantial Indian incursions onto Pakistani territory It is a patriotic delusion to imagine, as some Indian nationalists do today, that Pakistans airstrikes were unprovoked Still, Pakistans air attack was a final act of folly for the military dictatorship The war, fought in just two weeks, ended with a resounding Indian victory, and created the fledgling state of Bangladesh The president and the prime minister, in Washington and Delhi, were united by their need to grapple with their own democratic societies As much as Nixon and Gandhi loathed each other, they shared a common exasperation at how their policies could be thwarted by their own peoplea frustration that would in time lead both of them down their own different but alarmingly antidemocratic paths In these two great democracies, it was not just governments but also peoples who had to confront one of the worst events of their century Americans and Indians were challenged to make policy in a way that expressed their national sense of morality, not just their strategic interests The United States and India are radically different societies, in everything from wealth to ethnic composition to sheer size of population but they do share some basic similarities in their systems of democratic governance In both, democratic leaders were goaded and prodded by rambunctious elements at home a free press with an ingrained habit of seeking out inconvenient or embarrassing stories opposition politicians and partisans waiting to pounce should a president or prime minister stumble and a public whose moral sensibilities often did not align with the dictates of the states cold calculus of strategic interest In both of these enormous democracies, the people were moralistic than their governments.10 Americans reacted with disquiet or horror The countrys far reaching newspapers and broadcast networks reported in shocking detail about these distant atrocities ordinary Americans recoiled at what they learned on the news and politicians in Congress, led by Edward Kennedy, seized the opportunity to politick against the White House Thus even this White House found itself unable to continue its unstinting support of Pakistan through arms sales, which Kissinger would have liked to escalate, because of pressure from Congress and bureaucratic maneuvering by the State Department Nixon and Kissinger found themselves boxed in by their countrys liberal and democratic system they had to moderate their policies, much against their will As Kissinger complained to the president, We are the ones who have been operating against our public opinion, against our bureaucracy, at the very edge of legality.11 A little further than that, actually Nixon and Kissinger responded to these legal and democratic constraints on their authority in the classic Nixonian way by breaking the law Knowing full well that they were acting illegally, they provided U.S weapons to Pakistan, which was under a U.S arms embargoan unknown scandal that is of a piece with the overall pattern of lawlessness that culminated with Watergate As recently declassified documents and transcripts prove, Nixon and Kissinger approved a covert supply of sophisticated U.S fighter airplanes via Jordan and Irandespite explicit and emphatic warnings from both the State Department and the Defense Department that such arms transfers to Pakistan were illegal under U.S law John Mitchell, the attorney general, was in the room as Nixon and Kissinger decided on this unlawful operation, but made no objections Kissinger, not wanting to get caught, made it clear to the president that they were both breaking the law Nixon went ahead anyway Americans sense of outrage circulated within the administration itself The most vociferous dissenter was Archer Blood, but he had no shortage of company The ambassador to India, a distinguished former Republican senator named Kenneth Keating, took his opposition all the way to the Oval Office, where he confronted Nixon and Kissinger to their faces over what he called genocide The middle ranks of the State Department, stationed in Washington, Dacca, Delhi, and even parts of West Pakistan, rose up in open defiance of the policies of the president of the United States There were even rumblings of discontent within the National Security Council at the White House itself Although Nixon and Kissinger frequently sparred with the State Department over all sorts of issues, here the clash was out in the open, with an unsurpassed gulf in views of policy and morality The State Department outfoxed Nixon and Kissinger, quietly using its bureaucratic power to jam the shipment of U.S weaponry to Pakistan In response, Nixon and Kissinger raged against the bureaucracy and tried to fire or demote some of the most influential dissenters, foremost among them Blood and Keating The president and his national security advisor plowed ahead with their support of Pakistan as best they could, but were impeded by the consciences and the best advice of a surprisingly large chunk of their own administration There was no real question of the United States going to war to stop the slaughter In 1971, there was no American equivalent of todays debates about humanitarian intervention in places like Bosnia and Darfur After all, the country was already fighting a major war, trapped in the quagmire of Vietnam there was no American appetite for another Asian conflict Thus the leading critics of the Nixon administration, like Kennedy, linked Vietnam with Pakistan two places where the United States was standing behind illegitimate governments, at a terrible cost to those peoples, and to the good name of the United States American dissenters like Blood and Keating, as well as outraged political rivals like Kennedy, only wanted to see American influence repurposed to support democracy and human rights Of course, they expected that a war would put an end to the slaughterbut that would be waged by India In the United States today, particularly after the disasters of the Iraq war, there are many thoughtful and serious people who criticize the promotion of human rights as arrogance, neoimperialism, and worse No doubt, there are potent reasons for caution about trying to translate human rights ideals into statecraft But this largely forgotten crisis, unfolding far from Washington, exemplifies an alternative way of making U.S foreign policy, one that makes no allowance for human rights This kind of policy has shown itself in the U.S war against terror and may well reappear in future diplomacy For all the very real flaws of human rights politics, Nixon and Kissingers support of a military dictatorship engaged in mass murder is a reminder of what the world can easily look like without any concern for the pain of distant strangers.12 The stakes were high for Indias democracy Sunil Khilnani, a farsighted India expert, argues powerfully that India is the most important experiment in democracy since the American and French revolutions its outcome may well turn out to be the most significant of them all, partly because of its sheer human scale, and partly because of its location, a substantial bridgehead of effervescent liberty on the Asian continent Nobody would idealize Indias flawed democracy, least of all Indians themselves this was and is a land of heartbreaking poverty, endemic corruption, collapsing infrastructure, enduring caste fissures, arrogant bureaucratic inefficiency, and shocking social inequality Some 350 million Indiansroughly a third of the countrys populationtoday live below the poverty line But this is also a country of stupendous pluralism and vitality that, against all odds, maintains a democratic system and culture, offering a way for a fractious public to make its multitudinous voices heard and a chance for the government to correct itself.13 Indians were overwhelmingly outraged by the atrocities in East Pakistan In a factionalized country where popular harmony is a surpassingly rare thing, there was a remarkable consensus Pakistan was behaving horrifically the Bengalis were in the right India had to act in defense of democracy and innocent lives Almost the entire Indian political spectrum, from Hindu nationalists on the right to socialists and communists on the left, lined up behind the Bengalis These persecuted foreigners were not Indian citizens, but they were not altogether foreign Bengalis were a familiar part of the Indian national scene, and Indias own Bengali population rallied to their brethren Across the country, newspapers ran furious editorials condemning Pakistan and urging the Indian government to recognize Bangladeshs independence Dismissing the niceties of national sovereignty in the cause of saving human beings and of respecting the popular will of the Bengalis, Indians demanded a swift recognition of an independent state of Bangladesh Of course, since the bloody days of Partition, a great many Indians hated and feared Pakistan plenty took a kind of angry satisfaction in lambasting Pakistani leaders like Yahya and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto for confirming all the worst things that Indians had ever said about Pakistan But there was a moral sensibility driving Indian politics that even the gimlet eyed officials around Indira Gandhi, and the unsentimental Gandhi herself, could not ignore She abandoned her father Nehrus traditional anticolonial pronouncements about the sanctity of national sovereignty Instead, the beleaguered prime minister began to compare the bloodshed in East Pakistan to the Holocaust Perhaps the most striking Indian policy was something that it did not do India did not stop masses of Bengali refugees from flooding into India Unimaginably huge numbers of Bengalis escaped into safety on Indian soil, eventually totaling as many as ten millionfive times the number of people displaced in Bosnia in the 1990s The needs of this new, desperate population were far beyond the capacities of the feeble governments of Indias border states, and Indira Gandhis government at the center But at that overcharged moment, the Indian public would have found it hard to accept the sight of its own soldiers and border troops opening fire to keep out these desperate and terrified people Here, at least, was something like real humanitarianism As payment for this kindness, India found itself crushed under the unsustainable burden of one of the biggest refugee flows in world history which galvanized the public and the government to new heights of self righteous fury against Pakistan India was left alone Despite pleas to the rest of the world, India was given only a tiny amount of money to cope with the refugees China was bitterly hostile the United States only somewhat less so the Non Aligned Movement was, in the clutch, of no help Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the other Arab states were fiercely pro Pakistan even the United Nations seemed tilted toward Pakistan India was forced into a tighter alignment with the Soviet Union, to the delight of leftists around Gandhi, but to the dismay of other Indians Having been shoved aside by the democratic superpower, India cozied up to the other one As India grows into a world power, the story of the birth of Bangladesh has never been important It stands as an awful but crucial case for better understanding the politics of human rights, in a world where the duty of defending the vulnerable is not something that the West arrogates for itself alone Today, at the advent of an Asian era in world politics, the future of human rights will increasingly depend on the ideologies, institutions, and cultures of ascendant Asian great powers like China and India Thus Indias democratic response to the plight of the Bengalis marks not just a pivotal moment for the history of the subcontinent, but for how the worlds biggest democracy makes its foreign policyand what weight it gives to human rights For Pakistan, the crisis of 1971 is mourned as a supreme national trauma not just the loss of one of the countrys two wings and the majority of its population, but a heightening of a truncated states dread of the much larger and stronger Indian enemy And the bloodletting of 1971 marks an important chapter of a U.S embrace of military dictators at their worst Although American popular memory about Pakistan tends to start in September 2001, it was Nixons embrace of Yahya that helped to define a U.S relationship with Pakistan based overwhelmingly on the military, even in its most repugnant hour Nixon and Kissinger set the stage for an ongoing decimation of Pakistans democratic opposition, giving time and space to Islamicize the country and This pattern of U.S antidemocratic engagement with origins going back far beyond Pervez Musharraf, Pakistans most recent U.S backed military dictatorhas helped convince so many Pakistanis that the United States coldly pursues its own realpolitik interests and cares nothing for them Bangladeshis still mourn their losses from not so long ago This book is notand does not purport to beanything like a comprehensive account of these crimes against humanity It mostly documents the American eyewitness perspective on them, which is obviously only a part of the complete record of horrors Still, this is an important portion, because it is the true local viewpoint of the Pakistani governments superpower ally After all, Archer Blood and the other U.S officials reporting back to the Nixon administration knew they had every career incentive to downplay the enormity of what they saw their stark reporting thus stands as a crucial and credible part of that wider story Today we still face the legacy of Nixon and Kissingers actions Bangladesh, traumatized by its founding ordeal, now has the eighth largest population on earth, bigger than Russia or Japan With India creakily becoming a great power, and with ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and Kashmir that directly affects the United States in its war against Islamist terror, its widely understood that South Asia has never been important to Americans But there is a gulf between what Americans remember of the Cold War and what its victims remember of it Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis have not forgotten 1971although they may be surprised by the newly declassified scope of the United States dark record.14 Nixon and Kissinger have put extraordinary effort into magnifying their foreign policy achievements, so that the horrors of Watergate would appear as a smallish blot on their overall record Today, Nixon and Kissingers biggest success in promoting themselves as foreign policy heroes has been the historical oblivion that surrounds the killing campaign in Bangladesh It is high time for Americans to confront what Nixon and Kissinger did in those terrible days.15 ENDNOTES 1 POL 23 9 PAK, Box 2530, Blood to Rogers, 7 April 1971, Dacca 1168 POL 23 9 PAK, Box 2530, Blood to Rogers, 30 March 1971, Dacca 986 2 POL 23 9 PAK, Box 2530, Blood to Rogers, 30 March 1971, Dacca 986 POL 23 9 PAK, Box 2530, Blood to Rogers, 31 March 1971, Dacca 1010 POL 23 9 PAK, Box 2530, Bell to Shakespeare, 9 April 1971, Dacca 1211 POL 23 9 PAK, Box 2530, Blood to Rogers, 30 March 1971, Dacca 986 3 Archer K Blood, The Cruel Birth of Bangladesh Memoirs of an American Diplomat Dacca University Press of Bangladesh, 2002 , p 213 POL 23 9 PAK, Box 2530, Blood to Rogers, 28 March 1971, Dacca 959 POL 1 PAK US, Box 2535, Blood to Rogers, 6 April 1971, Dacca 1138 NSC Files, Box 138, Kissinger Office Files, Country FilesMiddle East, Blood to Rogers, 6 April 1971, Dacca 1138 4 MEA, WII 109 31 71, vol I, Singh statement to UN Security Council, 12 December 1971 5 David S Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews America and the Holocaust, 19411945 New York Pantheon, 1984 Samantha Power, A Problem from Hell America and the Age of Genocide New York Basic Books, 2002 The United States was aligned with Iraq during the 198788 genocidal campaign against the Iraqi Kurds Power, A Problem from Hell, p 174 , and turned a blind eye to Saddam Husseins atrocities While this is probably the example that comes closest to the Pakistani case, the United States and Pakistan were treaty allies with an enduring relationshipcloser ties than those between the United States and Iraq Power, A Problem from Hell, pp 172245 6 NSC Files, Box 574, Indo Pak War, South Asian Congressional, Kennedy speech, 23 September 1971 NSC Files, Box 570, Indo Pak Crisis, South Asia, CIA Office of National Estimates, The Indo Pakistani Crisis, 22 September 1971 Tad Szulc, U.S Military Goods Sent to Pakistan Despite Ban, New York Times, 22 June 1971, pp A1, A11 Indian officials spoke of a million dead, and Bangladeshis of three million, which are inflated numbers Richard Sisson and Leo Rose interviewed a senior Indian official who stated the death toll at three hundred thousand War and Secession Pakistan, India, and the Creation of Bangladesh Berkeley University of California Press, 1990 , p 306n24 The New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg wrote that diplomats in Dacca believed that hundreds of thousands of Bengalis, perhaps as many as a million or , had been killed Sydney H Schanberg, Long Occupation of East Pakistan Foreseen in India, New York Times, 26 December 1971, pp A1, A13 A recent study based on world health surveys came up with roughly 269,000 deaths Ziad Obermeyer, Christopher J L Murray, and Emmanuela Gakidou, Fifty Years of Violent War Deaths from Vietnam to Bosnia, British Medical Journal, vol 336 28 June 2008 , pp 148286 Robert Dallek estimates that as many as five hundred thousand people were killed by Yahyas troops Nixon and Kissinger Partners in Power New York HarperCollins, 2007 , p 335 so does Walter Isaacson Kissinger A Biography New York Simon Schuster, 1992 , p 372 On the low side, Pakistans postwar judicial inquiryworking from the armys Eastern Command situation reportsestimated that the military had killed in action roughly twenty six thousand people, while admitting that local commanders tried to minimise the result of their own actions Government of Pakistan, The Report of the Hamoodur Rehman Commission of Inquiry into the 1971 War Lahore Vanguard, 2001 , pp 317, 340, 513 for a somewhat higher estimate in a book that is critical of Bangladeshi nationalism, see Sarmila Bose, Dead Reckoning Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War New York Columbia University Press, 2011 , p 181 In South Asia, the tolls of death and dispossession are only rivaled by Partition, in which half a million or a million people died, and twelve million people were displaced Yasmin Khan, The Great Partition The Making of India and Pakistan New Haven, Conn Yale University Press, 2007 , p 6 7 U.S Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States South Asia Crisis, 1971 Washington, D.C U.S Government Printing Office, 2005 , vol 11, Louis J Smith, ed., 40 Committee meeting, 9 April 1971, pp 6365 Hereafter cited as FRUS 8 See, for instance, NSA, SRG meeting, 17 January 1972, 3 094 05 p.m., and NSC Files, Box 626, Country FilesMiddle East, Pakistan, vol VII, Hoskinson to Kissinger, 13 August 1971 Samuel Hoskinson wrote that an account of a talk with a senior Pakistani general was phrased and sanitized so that it could be released to State and Defense without causing any problems Daun van Ee letter to author, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, 30 September 2010, on file with author 9 Dom Moraes, Mrs Gandhi London Jonathan Cape, 1980 , p 188 For a mixed verdict, see Inder Malhotra, Indira Gandhi A Personal and Political Biography London Hodder Stoughton 1989 , pp 133, 188 MEA, HI 121 13 71, vol II, Sen statement to UN Security Council, 4 December 1971 Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations New York Basic Books, 1977 , pp 90, 1018 Michael Walzer, On Humanitarianism, Foreign Affairs, vol 90, no 4 JulyAugust 2011 , pp 7779 Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Reluctant India, Journal of Democracy, vol 22, no 4 October 2001 , p 100 Nicholas J Wheeler, Saving Strangers Humanitarian Intervention in International Society Oxford Oxford University Press, 2000 Michael W Doyle, A Few Words on Mill, Walzer, and Nonintervention, Ethics and International Affairs, vol 23, no 4 2010 , p 363 Thomas M Franck, Recourse to Force State Action Against Threats and Armed Attacks Cambridge Cambridge University Press, 2002 , pp 13943 Subrata Roy Chowdhury, The Genesis of Bangladesh A Study in International Legal Norms and Permissive Conscience New York Asia Publishing House, 1972 John Salzberg, UN Prevention of Human Rights Violations, International Organization, vol 27, no 1 winter 1973 , pp 11527 Richard Lillich, The International Protection of Human Rights by General International Law, in Report of the International Committee on Human Rights of the International Law Association, vol 38 1972 , p 54 For a cogent critique, see Thomas M Franck and Nigel S Rodley, After Bangladesh, American Journal of International Law, vol 67 1973 , pp 275305 See Ramachandra Guha, The Challenge of Contemporary History, Economic and Political Weekly, vol 43, no 2627 28 June 2008 , pp 192200 10 The case studies in this book, of the United States and India, are also meant to fill out a wider collective empirical project of process tracing about the decision making in massive human rights crises, including Martha Finne, The Purpose of Intervention Changing Beliefs About the Use of Force Ithaca, N.Y Cornell University Press, 2003 J L Holzgrefe and Robert O Keohane, eds., Humanitarian Intervention Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas Cambridge Cambridge University Press, 2003 Brendan Simms and D J B Trim, Humanitarian Intervention A History Cambridge Cambridge University Press, 2011 Jennifer Welsh, ed., Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations Oxford Oxford University Press, 2004 Adam Hochschild, Bury the Chains Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empires Slaves Boston Houghton Mifflin, 2005 Adam Hochschild, King Leopolds Ghost A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa Boston Houghton Mifflin, 1998 Martin Gilbert, Auschwitz and the Allies New York Holt, 1981 David S Wyman, ed., The World Reacts to the Holocaust Balti Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996 Richard Breitman, Official Secrets What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew New York Hill Wang, 1998 Power, A Problem from Hell Bernard Kouchner, Le malheur des autres Paris ditions Odile Jacob, 1991 Norman Naimark, Fires of Hatred Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth Century Europe Cambridge, Mass Harvard University Press, 2001 Wheeler, Saving Strangers Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families Stories from Rwanda New York Farrar, Straus Giroux, 1999 and Geoffrey Robinson, If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor Princeton Princeton University Press, 2010 Archer Blood could be remembered in the company of other Americans who tried to stop genocide, whose stories are recounted magnificently in Power, A Problem from Hell see pp 51416 11 FRUS Documents on South Asia, 19691972, vol E 7 online at http history.state.gov historicaldocuments frus1969 76ve07 , White House tapes, Oval Office 637 3, 12 December 1971, 8 459 42 a.m Hereafter cited as FRUS, vol E 7 12 For a range of intelligent skepticism, left and right, see Alan Wolfe, Political Evil What It Is and How to Combat It New York Alfred A Knopf, 2011 Mahmood Mamdani, Saviors and Survivors Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror New York Pantheon, 2009 Jonathan Rauch, When Moralism Isnt Moral, New York Times Book Review, 7 October 2011 A Solution from Hell, n 1, no 12, August 2011 13 Sunil Khilnani, The Idea of India New York Farrar, Straus Giroux, 1999 , p 4 See Amartya Sen, The Argumentative Indian Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity New York Farrar, Straus Giroux, 2005 Pratap Bhanu Mehta, The Burden of Democracy New York Penguin, 2003 and Perry Anderson, Gandhi Centre Stage, London Review of Books, 5 July 2012, pp 311 See Steve Coll, On the Grand Trunk Road A Journey into South Asia New York Times Books, 1994 , pp 3352, 11823, 26263 Atul Kohli, ed., The Success of Indias Democracy Cambridge Cambridge University Press, 2001 Jean Drze and Amartya Sen, Putting Growth in Its Place, Outlook India, 14 November 2011 Ashutosh Varshney, Is India Becoming More Democratic Journal of Asian Studies, vol 59, no 1 February 2000 , pp 325 Pradeep Chhibber and Ken Kollman, Party Aggregation and the Number of Parties in India and the United States, American Political Science Review, vol 92, no 2 June 1998 , pp 32942 Granville Austin, Working a Democratic Constitution The Indian Experience New Delhi Oxford University Press, 1999 Judith M Brown, Modern India The Origins of an Asian Democracy New Delhi Oxford University Press, 1985 For poverty numbers, see Nikhila Gill and Vivek Dehejia, What Does Indias Poverty Line Actually Measure India Ink blog, New York Times, 4 April 2012 On inequality, see Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Breaking the Silence, The Caravan, 1 October 2012, and Atul Kohli, Poverty amid Plenty in the New India Cambridge Cambridge University Press, 2012 For a brilliant portrait of the real lives of poor Indians, see Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity New York Random House, 2012 14 For thoughtful skepticism, see Ramachandra Guha, Will India Become a Superpower Outlook, 30 June 2008, and Coll, Grand Trunk Road, pp 27482, 8891 For outstanding literary reflections of these events, see Salman Rushdie, Midnights Children New York Alfred A Knopf, 1981 , pp 41955, and Tahmima Anam, A Golden Age New York Harper, 2008 15 Tad Szulc, The Illusion of Peace Foreign Policy in the Nixon Years New York Viking, 1977 , p v The entire India Pakistan crisis warrants just five cursory pages in Stephen Ambroses monumental three volume biography of Nixon, which totals 1,933 pages of writing not counting notes and bibliography See Stephen E Ambrose, Nixon, 3 vols New York Simon Schuster, 198891 There are good sections about Bangladesh in three excellent worksIsaacsons Kissinger, Dalleks Nixon and Kissinger, and Seymour M Hershs The Price of Power Kissinger in the Nixon White House New York Summit, 1983 although my project gives the crisis a central place and tries to offer a comprehensively detailed account of it than would be practical for those already long books For a first rate short account of U.S policy, see Robert J McMahon, The Danger of Geopolitical Fantasies, in Fredrik Logevall and Andrew Preston, eds., Nixon in the World American Foreign Relations, 19691977 New York Oxford University Press, 2008 For an outstanding book on Indian and Pakistani decision making, based on interviews with almost all the senior participants, see Sisson and Rose, War and Secession See A M A Muhith, American Response to Bangladesh Liberation War Dacca University Press, 1996 For a bracing and sophisticated castigation, which does not condemn Bangladesh to the usual amnesia, see Christopher Hitchens, The Trial of Henry Kissinger London Verso, 2001. This is a dark and amazing tale, an essential reminder Devastating Shocking Nixon and Kissinger spent the decades after leaving office burnishing their images as great statesmen This book goes a long way in showing just how undeserved those reputations are Dexter Filkins, The New York Times Book Review A gripping and well researched book Sheds fresh light on a shameful moment in American foreign policy Admirable clarity The Economist A profoundly disturbing account of the hitherto hidden role of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands Bass has defeated the attempted coverup through laborious culling of relevant sections of the Nixon White House tapes, declassified State Department documents and interviews with former officials, American and Indian, who were involved After reading Bass s account of this shameful episode, one has to conclude that where the Bengalis were concerned, Kissinger and Nixon simply did not give a damn Neil Sheehan, The Washington Post Bass takes us inside the Oval Office to reveal the scandalous role America played in the 1971 slaughter in what is now Bangladesh Largely unknown here, the story combines the human tragedy of Darfur, the superpower geopolitics of the Cuban missile crisis and the illegal shenanigans of Iran contra A harrowing tale Peter Baker ,The New York Times, Favorite Book of the Year Devastating Excellent Bass, a historian at Princeton, has written an accountlearned, riveting, and evisceratingof the delusions and the deceptions of Nixon and Kissinger.Steeped in the forensic skills of a professional academic historian, he also possesses the imaginative energies of a classical moralist, and he tells the story of the choices and the decisions that led to the slaughter in Bengal appropriately as a moral saga Indispensable Sunil Khilnani, The New Republic Ariveting read with direct relevance to many of the most acute foreign policy debates of today Gideon Rachman, Financial Times Absorbing Bass draws up a severe indictment of Nixon and Kissinger Pankaj Mishra, The New Yorker The best book I read this year was Gary Bass s The Blood Telegram, which showed through superb reporting and excellent analysis that Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger gleefully abetted the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent Bengalis Excellent Isaac Chotiner, The New Republic, Best Books of the Year Thankfully, Princeton University professor Gary Bass has provided us with a helpful reminder of Nixon s true character In The Blood Telegram, Bass expertly recounts the stunning indifference of Nixon and Henry Kissinger to the reports from US diplomats of Pakistani genocide Vivid, often disquieting detail from Oval Office tapes unearthed by Bass Bass has performed an essential function Michael Cohen, The Guardian A superb book .Bass deploys White House recordings, including several new transcripts, to excellent effect,and the book contains enough material to make the reader sick Astonishing A morally serious book that nevertheless reads like a first rate novel The Times Literary Supplement It was a non subject for scholars, a no man s land for knowledge u ntil the arrival of a memorable book by Princeton professor Gary Bass While doing justice to the victims, also, for the first time, draws out for us its lessons The book is also a tribute to politics in its true sense I do want readers to be aware of the appearance of Gary Bass book, which I hope will be widely read and translated into French A return to Bangladesh is required reading Bernard Henri Lvy, Le Point A stellar new book Astonishing The Blood Telegram remedies that omission A meticulously researched and searing indictment of the shameful role the United States played The book tells of the damage wrought when world leaders abandon rational calculation and allow their country s interests to be subordinated to personal prejudices and animosities Foreign Policy Bass has written the definitive account of the political machinations behind one of the worst and most widely ignored humanitarian crises of the 20th century Bass also offers Americans much needed context about America s pre 9 11 involvement in a region where it still finds itself with bloody hands .Nuanced yet unflinching Bass shines a much needed spotlight Fascinating and truly frightening Nick Turse ,The Daily Beast Blistering A must read The New York Post Gripping, thoroughly researched, concisely organized, and engagingly written Impressive Harold H Saunders, Foreign Affairs A vital contribution .Bass is the first to investigate in any detail the complicity of President Richard Nixon .Bass s meticulous scholarship demonstrates how both Nixon and Kissinger became witting accomplices to this genocide Important He demonstrates an extraordinary grasp of the internal politics of the country India .Bass s painstaking research and his scrupulous portrayal of the choices that created permissive conditions for the genocide should now lead to a much needed reappraisal of the foreign policy legacies of both individuals Sumit Ganguly, International Security Gripping and excruciating .A powerful reminder of the frailty of international law in international crises A must read Remarkable European Journal of International Law, Best Books of the Year Fascinating A rich book, constantly shifting between Washington, New Delhi and Islamabad, all corners of the narrative expertly covered by the author Bass s skill in unravelling the complex strands is admirable Michael Young, The National Asearing indictment A shocking tale We witness here the best of American diplomatic tradition against the worst in the White House The Blood Telegramsends an acidic whiff from the past to the present through a deeply cautionary tale William Thorsell, The Globe and Mail Toronto Amazing .Bass exhumes the tragic, relatively unknown story The Japan Times It has been a long time since I have read a book that has spoken as powerfully to me as The Blood Telegram The relevancy and power of this book stems from the basic moral dilemmas that it addresses on practically every page Every person planning to join the United States Foreign Service, or already serving should read this book American Diplomacy Admirable Vivid Usefuland often frighteninginsights Poignant Teresita C Schaffer, Survival Excellent Illuminating Very well written The pages almost turn themselves Asian Review of Books Gripping An uncommonly fine addition to the histories of the Cold War era The immediacy of good page turning journalism National Catholic Reporter Unsettling It breaks new historical ground with rigorous scholarship Insightful and chilling Idaho Statesman Harrowing A damning portrait Tremendously lucid Bass holds these leaders to a much needed reckoning A deeply incisive lesson for today s leaders and electorate Kirkus Reviews starred , Best Books of the Year With urgent, cinematic immediacy, Gary Bass reconstructs a criticaland, to this day, profoundly consequentialchapter of Cold War history defined by appalling American complicity in genocidal atrocity and terrifyingly high stakes superpower brinkmanship It is a story of immense scope, vividly populated by figures of enduring fascination, and ripe with implications for the ongoing struggle to strike a honorable balance between wartime realpolitik and our ideals of common humanity Philip Gourevitch, author of We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families Gary Bass has excavated a great tragedy, one that s been forgotten by Americans but is seared into the memory of South Asians His talents as a scholar, writer, and foreign policy analyst are on full display in this brilliant work of narrative history Nixon and Kissinger come damningly alive on the pages of a book that shows, like nothing else Ive read, the folly that goes by the name of realism George Packer, author of The Unwinding An Inner History of the New America Gary Bass has done it again, uncovering a dark chapter in the historical record and bringing it vividly to light, forcing us to confront who we were then and who we are now The Blood Telegramis a richly textured story with many fascinating layers, from the moral bankruptcy of U.S leaders in the face of genocide to the multi faceted politics of South Asia and the lasting geopolitical legacy of these events It s also simply hard to put down Anne Marie Slaughter, author of A New World Order Gary Bass is unique an investigative historian who explores the past in a masterly way that combines the best of journalism and scholarship His latest book reads like an urgent dispatch from the frontline of genocide, a lucid and poignant description of a moral collapse in American foreign policy Bass has painstakingly written a vital historyand a story, in the best sense of the wordthat we must come to grips with Peter Maass, author of Love Thy Neighbor A Story of War The most notable new arrival on most peoples bookshelves is Gary Bass Blood Telegram Readers are given a full account of the horrors of that near genocide, and of the cynicism of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger It is a remarkable achievement, and deserves to be on every shelf Mihir S Sharma, Business Standard An engrossing, droll, and ultimately shocking account of Bangladeshs liberation war, as seen from Washington Bass s meticulously researched book resurrects the reputation of an unsung diplomat Salil Tripathi, Mint New Delhi This is an immensely absorbing book for those interested in not just Indo US relations but the making of foreign policy in democracies as a whole The Indian Express The book sets the record straight of a disgraceful period in US foreign policy Brutal detail Nixon stands disgraced over Watergate but his wilful role in the genocide in East Pakistan had not till now received the full historical attention it deserved Minhaz Merchant, The Times of India He writes in a vivid and racy style and never fails to hold the reader s attention The book is a thoroughly researched and damning indictment Bass demolishes Kissingers defence Deeply perceptive Outlook India A gripping, if sordid, story A startling revelation Shougat Dasgupta, Tehelka Gripping.His material is so rich and his research so detailed that it is difficult to put down the book once one begins to read it Bass has accomplished something truly remarkable The Asian Age A scathing indictment Bass dismantles the smug aura of success that has generally been attached to the Kissinger Nixon era .The book combines a racy narrative with meticulous research and excellent academic rigour.Bass offers a fresh perspective The Hindu A monumental account Economic Political Weekly Mumbai Most admirable and thorough .An accomplished scholar of human rights, Bass draws on a mass of documents and tapes to shed lighton the United States of America s involvement Bass s cumulative indictment of Nixon and Kissinger is formidable The wealth of detail and the range of insights in this fine book Srinath Raghavan, The Telegraph Kolkata A must read.It is one of the finest books on the 1971 war written by a neutral observer The author makes an honest effort to find out what made the US administration a mute spectator in one of the worst genocides of our times CNN IBN Very important Painstaking Valuable The book connects the killing fields of Bangladesh to the idyllic setting of the White House and presents the strongest link between them in public till now Aclose view into the inner mind of power Himal Southasian Kathmandu An absorbing book A fine portrayal A damning indictment A meticulous investigation Remarkable A precious contribution The Daily Star Dhaka The Blood Telegram by Gary Bass is the best single account of how the United States responded to the 1971 Bangladesh independence war Highly readable A justly lauded work A uniquely fascinating glimpse into the operation of power at the highest levels Vivid .The best researched and most lucid indictment of the Nixon White House Will certainly stand the test of time It is a worthy tribute to Archer Blood s integrity and professionalism and holds invaluable truths and lessons for future generations Dhaka Tribune Fascinating Unique The book is a powerful indictment of Nixon and Kissinger The Friday Times Lahore Gripping A chilling and bare knuckle account A scalding view The book spares no players The News International Pakistan Eminently readable and exhaustively researched Gripping .The book is peerless in the sheer quality and quantity of sources it uses .An unmatched account Dawn Karachi The Blood Telegram Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten The Genocide Gary J Bass on FREE shipping qualifying offers Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction Winner of Council Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award Lionel Gelber Best Affairs Asia Society s Bernard Schwartz b bWinner Albuquerque dad prostituted year old star telegram An Albuquerque, New Mexico, father was 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    • The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide
    • 4.3
    • 558
    • Format Kindle
    • 544 pages
    • 0307744620
    • Gary J Bass
    • Anglais
    • 08 November 2017

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