No. 116: Can You See the World Through My Eyes?

Niall Ferguson’s biography of Henry Kissinger continues to provoke thought. The following two quotes were delivered at Harvard’s Commencement in 1950.

To see Asia through Asian eyes — that is the prime requisite for Western policy towards Asia…You cannot prepare a policy mold for Europe and … assume that it will do for Asia as well.

– General Carlos Romulo.

The tendency to brand any nationalist movements whatever in Asia as Communistic rests on another of those assumptions which need to be re-examined…There are unquestionably nationalist movements in Asia which are Communist-led or which are abetted by Communists. But the fact does not necessarily invalidate the intrinsic quality of the genuine nationalist movements in the region…These movements, though originally sprung from a people’s natural aspirations to freedom, are subsequently taken away by the politically sly and ruthless Communists from the hands of the timid and confused liberals lacking prompt and effective support from their friends in the West.

-Secretary of State Dean Acheson