K. Anis Ahmed’s stringent tales of life in the sprawling capital of Bangladesh

André Naffis-Sahely in The Nation:

ScreenHunter_1052 Mar. 06 14.16In his dotage, Henry Kissinger has come to resemble Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars. After his five decades of insidious influence on US foreign policy, his face has crumpled into a ripple of wrinkles, but the eyes retain their wily luster. When he enters a room, he does so briskly, and his somber suits barely contain his contempt for those who repeat the accusations that have been gaining traction since the end of the Cold War—that during his tenure as secretary of state in the 1970s, Kissinger abetted, and sometimes incited, mass murder on three continents. The man’s dark aura is magnified by his raspy, Teutonic timbre, which habitually turns the scores of journalists sent to interview him into deferential scribes cowering at the pharaoh’s feet.

As was the case with Palpatine, Kissinger’s overconfidence may well turn out to be his weakness. Since 2001, judges in several countries have called for him to testify about his involvement in the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, and activists have demanded his indictment for his role in some of the bloodiest chapters of Vietnamese history, to name only a few of the countries where he wreaked havoc. His travel schedule regularly inspires activists to protest his public appearances. For the moment, however, Kissinger remains a highly coveted pundit—passing judgment on the Ukrainian and Middle Eastern crises in some of the world’s most prestigious newspapers—and dinners are still held in his honor. Public anger, it seems, only invigorates Kissinger, and he is as unassailable now as when he haunted the White House with Tricky Dick.

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