JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ANOTHER MUNK DEBATE MONEY-RAISING CIRCUS: THIS ONE INCLUDES THE WORLD’S GREATEST UNCHARGED WAR CRIMINAL HENRY KISSINGER BLUBBERING ABOUT CHINA   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

The Munk Debates are just a financing scheme for the folks running them, a kind of cheap intellectual-circus, employing has-been big names who seek some quick, ready cash. Worse, they are events which appear to be without ethics.

Previously we had Tony Blair, war criminal, debating about religion, a farcical concept on the face of it.

But it was even sillier than it sounds, because Tony “debated” professional advocate for atheism, Christopher Hitchens. Now, Hitchens is a brilliant man, but brilliance has nothing to do with such questions: people gave up the notion that you could employ logic in religious matters with the close of the Middle Ages.

Now we have a debate on China, the world’s most remarkable economic and social phenomenon of the last three decades, and while we have a few appropriate experts on the subject, who is the headliner scheduled to bring in the celebrity-groupies crashing down the doors with handfuls of cash?

Henry Kissinger, a man who is not an economist, not a genuine expert on China, not someone with expertise in the history of economic development.

But he is an even greater war criminal than Tony Blair.

His ghastly policies in Vietnam killed countless numbers of people with carpet bombing, napalm, and cluster bombs – the total deaths of Vietnamese killed by these actions has been estimated at 3 million, and all of it served no useful purpose beyond a terrible demonstration of American power.

His treachery in the Middle East is legendary: he caused many deaths as he manipulated groups like the Iraqi Kurds into vulnerable positions for his own policy advantage and then left them to horrible reprisals.

The Munk Debates are sound and fury signifying nothing, about as important as a noisy hockey game.

Linda McQuaig, in The Trouble with Billionaires, discovered that in the fine print of the contract for Peter Munk’s donation to the University of Toronto there are safeguards to ensure that the school would “fit with the political views and sensitivities of Peter Munk,” including payout of his pledged amount only over a period of years. Does that explain the nature of these events?

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