|Kissinger Takes On ASU; Discusses Vietnam, Cambodia, Even East Timor
By Robbie Sherwood
The Arizona Republic (April 22, 1998 excerpt)
Knowing his audience, Henry Kissinger was likely prepared for both the lovers and loathers of his foreign policy legacy Tuesday.
The former secretary of state and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize has been a key figure in international diplomacy for longer than most of his audience at Arizona State University has been alive. But these were honors students, passionate and bright, so tough questions about Vietnam, Cambodia, and even Watergate were to be expected.
But East Timor?
A student tore into Kissinger for "granting permission" for Indonesia to invade the democratic republic of East Timor in 1975.
"What country was that again?" Kissinger asked.
Memory jogged, he said, "You may not believe this, but Indonesia is a country of 180 million people, and they didn't ask our permission. Also, we were negotiating an end to the Vietnam War at that time, and we were not looking to make another enemy in Southeast Asia."
Kissinger's public lecture before about 2,000 students, faculty and political movers and shakers served as an inauguration to the John J. Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions. The $2 million endowment, which the former longtime congressman seeded with leftover campaign contributions in 1982, will be kept by the University Honors College.
Beginning with Kissinger, the chair will allow distinguished visiting professors to work with students on developing leadership.
For Kissinger's visit, which includes a speech at a faculty breakfast this morning, he received an honorarium of $45,000, ASU officials said.
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