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Will he bomb? Kissinger keynotes CA World

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Indicted (albeit only by Christopher Hitchens) war criminal Henry Kissinger is to keynote Computer Associates CA CA World 2003 in Las Vegas in July, speaking on the subject of "Lessons for a rapidly changing world."

Old Henry certainly knows a thing or two about changing the world rapidly, having facilitated the invasions of Cyprus and East Timor, overthrown the Chilean government and paved Cambodia. Given the enduring nature of these achievements he should be able to tell the audience a lot about the continuing reverberations of sudden, drastic change.

If he can remember, that is; we seem to recall at least one effort to extract him from his lair for testimony was stymied by his claimed inability to contribute any recollection of value to the investigation. And in any event, as we understand it you're safe from extradition in Vegas so long as you don't run out of money, which is probably not a danger Henry faces.

What pithy thought can he contribute to the IT wars, however? Will IBM's high command be woken one day by the sound of bombs? Or will HP tanks mount a surprise invasion of Compaq's HQ? (This happened already - Ed) Not that there's much about the world these days that isn't a worry, but it's a worry.

Our own favourite Kissinger cautionary tale concerns his time rearranging the world for Richard Nixon, and it is the madman theory of diplomacy. Kissinger claimed to pitch himself as sane, rational and reasonable, but the boss... Oh, there's really no telling what the boss might do if riled. This is actually a pretty neat way for someone who claims himself to be civilised to rattle the world's biggest pile of sabres without doing something as overtly distasteful as rattle them directly himself, and Nixon was indeed a most excellent madman character.

If you're paying attention no doubt you'll have noticed this approach apparently operating in this rapidly changing world today. The differences, as we see it, are that there seem to be rather more potential madmen than in the good old days, and that it's often rather difficult to identify which is the mad one, and which the sane. ®

Related links:

A few bookmarks on Henry's glittering career

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