During our work to bring Henry Kissinger's criminal actions to the attention of the William and Mary campus, we have become aware that some members of the college community disagree with this campaign, and it saddens us.
We honestly (perhaps naively, but honestly) expect that students of W&M's intellectual character would agree with this vocal minority-- provided they have an informed understanding of our intentions.
This letter is an attempt to help make this campaign understood by those in opposition.
First of all, it is possible that you disagree not with our message, but with our means of expression. I can understand that; not everyone believes in protesting, demonstrations, or civil disobedience. It makes some people rather uncomfortable. In fact, for similar reasons, some people working on this campaign chose not to take part in actions outside of Blow Hall when the chancellor spoke on campus on April 3, 2002. So I can sympathize with this point of view. Just imagine-- you're on your way to the Registrar's Office and you find yourself surrounded by police officers and angry students and professors offering you copies of a New York Times article and asking you to sign a petition. You didn't ask for this. You just came to make sure you get to graduate on time. You'd prefer to be left alone, thank you very much.
Sadly, averting our eyes doesn't change the truth about what this man did and what lengths he went to cover up for his crimes. Likewise, blind acceptance of W&M's diluted discourse on the man will not get us any closer to an understanding of why so many people around the world would like to see Kissinger brought to justice. In other words, just because you don't want your conscience stirred doesn't mean it shouldn't be.
Then again, regardless of your opinion of our tactics, you might simply disagree with what we are trying to accomplish. First, let me be perfectly clear: our objective is two-fold. The first half is by no means a radical political statement-- we simply feel that decisions of this magnitude should be made with some input from the students, faculty, alumni, and staff at this college. Even if you applaud Kissinger's actions, you still might have enjoyed the chance to suggest other candidates, to have voted on the final choice, or to have been given an audience with the Board of Visitors before the decision was made. I'm not suggesting any particular alternative strategy, I simply want to point out that there are other (and more democratic) ways to make decisions.
The second half of our campaign, as you probably know, is designed to remove Henry Kissinger as chancellor. We do not believe he is an acceptable international symbol of the college. Did you know that France, Spain, Chile, and Argentina have all issued subpoenas that Kissinger refuses to honor? In addition, his own homeland, Germany, vows to arrest him should enter that country. (The Netherlands has reportedly made similar promises.) Our "international figure" cannot travel internationally.
If you need more information on Kissinger's specific crimes and wrongdoings, there are ample opportunities to educate yourself right here on this website. We are interested in starting a dialogue about Kissinger both here in Williamsburg, and internationally, so if you have additional information (of any kind) about this man, please get in touch with us. As to the content of this site, I extend to you a sincere challenge to find something untrue or find a way to circumvent these accusations. Honestly-- do the research and get back to me.
Finally, whether this site convinces you or makes you even more outraged by our dissent, this battle will be fought. If not at W&M, then elsewhere. Currently, an organization in Brussels called "Kissinger Watch" is cataloging and publicizing his crimes. In France, "Peace Link", a non-violent direct-action is working to revoke Kissinger's Nobel Peace Prize. The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The London Times recently ran anti-Kissinger news articles that are now circulating internationally. We've been following this man for quite some time, and, trust me, the media are starting to get damn suspicious. Maybe the pending US court case has something to do with it. Maybe it's the work of local activists like those at William and Mary. In any case, it's only a matter of time before Kissinger's crimes are publically acknowledged.
Now the way I see it, William and Mary is left with two options. We can either do the noble thing by rescinding all affiliation with this ignoble man, or, we can race against the clock and hope that by the time Kissinger is condemned his seven-year position as chancellor has expired. Personally, I have too much love and respect for this college to risk that level of embarrassment and damage to our reputation.
I welcome your thoughts on these matters-- Keep in touch with the struggle for justice, and with the obstacles we must overcome.