Kissinger’s Appearance Revives Memories of Vietnam Era





Of all the aging Washington power brokers who have re-emerged in the shadow of the death of former President Gerald R. Ford, there is one, Henry A. Kissinger, for whom the return to the spotlight may be as much curse as blessing.

At 83, Mr. Kissinger, former secretary of state to Presidents Ford and Richard M. Nixon and sometime adviser to the current occupant of the White House, remains a towering figure in international relations. He is expected to be among a select few, including President Bush, to eulogize Mr. Ford on Tuesday at services at the Washington National Cathedral.

But at a time when the American public has soured on the war in Iraq — indeed, at the precise moment the United States is recording the milestone of 3,000 American deaths there — Mr. Kissinger’s reappearance is stirring memories and rekindling debates about his role in managing another unpopular conflict, the Vietnam War.

“Henry is certainly one of the most complex characters in recent American history, and he is someone who has, I think, justifiably been in the spotlight both for extraordinary brilliance and competence and at the same time clear defects,” said David Rothkopf, a former managing director of Mr. Kissinger’s consulting firm and the author of “Running the World,” about the National Security Council. “One of the interesting dimensions of Gerald Ford’s demise is the pictures it has brought back into the paper of Ford with Rumsfeld, Ford with Cheney, Ford with Henry.



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