The Blood Telegram

The Blood Telegram

Nixon, Kissinger, and A Forgotten Genocide

eBook - 2013
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A riveting history--the first full account--of the involvement of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in the 1971 atrocities in Bangladesh that led to war between India and Pakistan, shaped the fate of Asia, and left in their wake a host of major strategic consequences for the world today.

Giving an astonishing inside view of how the White House really works in a crisis, The Blood Telegram is an unprecedented chronicle of a pivotal but little-known chapter of the Cold War. Gary J. Bass shows how Nixon and Kissinger supported Pakistan's military dictatorship as it brutally quashed the results of a historic free election. The Pakistani army launched a crackdown on what was then East Pakistan (today an independent Bangladesh), killing hundreds of thousands of people and sending ten million refugees fleeing to India--one of the worst humanitarian crises of the twentieth century.

Nixon and Kissinger, unswayed by detailed warnings of genocide from American diplomats witnessing the bloodshed, stood behind Pakistan's military rulers. Driven not just by Cold War realpolitik but by a bitter personal dislike of India and its leader Indira Gandhi, Nixon and Kissinger actively helped the Pakistani government even as it careened toward a devastating war against India. They silenced American officials who dared to speak up, secretly encouraged China to mass troops on the Indian border, and illegally supplied weapons to the Pakistani military--an overlooked scandal that presages Watergate.

Drawing on previously unheard White House tapes, recently declassified documents, and extensive interviews with White House staffers and Indian military leaders, The Blood Telegram tells this thrilling, shadowy story in full. Bringing us into the drama of a crisis exploding into war, Bass follows reporters, consuls, and guerrilla warriors on the ground--from the desperate refugee camps to the most secretive conversations in the Oval Office.

Bass makes clear how the United States' embrace of the military dictatorship in Islamabad would mold Asia's destiny for decades, and confronts for the first time Nixon and Kissinger's hidden role in a tragedy that was far bloodier than Bosnia. This is a revelatory, compulsively readable work of politics, personalities, military confrontation, and Cold War brinksmanship.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A Knopf, 2013
ISBN: 9780385350471
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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Dec 08, 2014

thugs in the Oval Office, Nixon and Kissinger, and how they got away with a genocide - scathing, essential

ChristchurchLib Jun 30, 2014

A full-length account of the involvement of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in Pakistan's brutal 1970s military dictatorship argues that they encouraged China's military presence in India, illegally supplied weapons used in massacres and embraced military strategies that have negatively impacted geopolitics for decades. By the author of Freedom's Battle. July 2014 History and Current Events newsletter.

Jan 07, 2014

There's been a tendency in recent years to rehabilitate Henry Kissinger's reputation (though for plenty of conservatives, he never needed rehabilitating) and he's been enjoying his autumn years as the grand man of American diplomacy. Although I loathe the man, I'll admit that he was a brilliant strategist and an intellectual powerhouse. This new history of the conflict between India, Pakistan and what would become Bangladesh raises the question, does it matter how great a diplomatic talent you are if you have no moral center? This excellent, absorbing and appalling history of a little known period tells three stories: that of Southeast Asian politics and conflict, that of Nixon and Kissinger's machinations (they were resolutely pro-Pakistan and anti-Indian) and that of Archer Blood, an unsung hero who dissent with the President and tried to draw attention to the atrocities he was seeing in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan). It's a revealing look at how Nixon operated, hating most everyone, calling Indira Ghandi a bitch and the Indians "savages" and tolerating no dissension. Anyone who cares about American politics and are our involvement in the region, this is an essential, eye-opening book.


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