Category: Speaking of Diplomacy

Title: The Terrible Cost of Presidential Racism

Author: Gary J. Bass
Date Published: September 4, 2020

As Americans grapple with problems of racism and power, a newly declassified trove of White House tapes provides startling evidence of the bigotry voiced by President Richard M. Nixon and Henry Kissinger, his national security adviser.

The full content of these tapes reveal how U.S. policy toward South Asia under Mr. Nixon was influenced by his hatred of, and sexual repulsion toward, Indians.

These new tapes are about one of the grimmest episodes of the Cold War, which brought ruin to Bangladesh in 1971. At that time, India tilted heavily toward the Soviet Union while a military dictatorship in Pakistan backed the United States. Pakistan flanked India on two sides: West Pakistan and the more populous, and mostly Bengali, East Pakistan.

[Read more]