It is well known that Henry Kissinger recently passed away at the age of 100, being an outsized figure in 20th century American diplomacy, with many parts of the world still struggling with the bad "legacy" he left them.
Kissinger became famous for reaching out to communist China and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for negotiating a ceasefire in Vietnam.
Kissinger's bad legacy in Taiwan and Cyprus
On two sides of the globe, however, Kissinger's "legacy" and tendency to prioritize short-term concessions and oppress with dictatorships threatens to return the regions to much bloodier wars, points out Michael Rubin , a world-renowned Cuban analyst and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, who reports:
First, there is Taiwan, where Chinese Prime Minister Ju Enlai played on Kissinger's vanity by winning concessions in Taiwan and setting China on the path to militarily asserting sovereignty there.
The 1974 Attila invasion
Secondly, there is the Cyprus problem. In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus, ostensibly to protect the very small Cypriot Muslim population as the Greek junta was trying to unite Cyprus with Greece.
The Greek junta fell a week later, and Greece returned to democracy and lost its claims to Cyprus.
Then while peace talks were going on in Geneva to force Turkey to withdraw, Turkey continued its offensive, engaging in a blatant land grab. Turkish troops occupied and ethnically cleansed one third of the country, and the occupation continues to this day.
Kissinger on the side of the Turks
For his part, Kissinger sided with the Turks. "There is no American reason why the Turks should not have a third of Cyprus," he told President Gerald Ford. "The Turkish tactics are right . Grab what you want and then negotiate on the basis of occupation."
He never explained why Turkish aggression green-lighted by the US was in their interest.
Turkey's attitude in the two World Wars
After all, the Turks sided with Germany in World War I and Turkey remained neutral during World War II as the Nazis and fascists ravaged Europe.
Only when Nazi defeat was certain did they join the Allies.
Kissinger later wrote that he favored Turkey out of a desire to keep nuclear weapons there, but, as with China, his concessions defied the expectations of even his most ardent enemies.
Kissinger's "Cyprus cynicism" remains a link in Western diplomacy
The 1994 Annan Plan failed largely because it promoted ethnic division over nationality, failed to demilitarise the island and allowed Turkish settlers, foreign not only to Greek Cypriots but also to Cypriot Muslims, to remain.
While the Clinton administration prioritized Turkey's accession to the European Union, the Turkish colonial land grab blessed by Kissinger became an insurmountable obstacle.
Biden's remarks as Senator on the Cyprus problem
On January 27, 1989, then-Senator Joe Biden wrote to the president of the American Hellenic Institute:
"We cannot overlook the fact that the rights of Greek Cypriots have been violated and we must ensure that their claims to ancestral land and property confiscated during the 1974 invasion are not compromised. Finally, we must send a message to Turkey that it must remove every last soldier from Cyprus."
Biden was right. Today's divisions represent Kissinger's legacy.
In later years, Kissinger reportedly even benefited from his ties to Turkey as his consulting firm Kissinger Associates allegedly made introductions between U.S. companies and Turkish leaders.
The value of Cyprus to the US-West
As Cyprus becomes a regional energy hub and a democracy at the forefront against autocracy, its importance to the West is growing.
Every year meanwhile, Turkey becomes an even bigger problem for the West.
Kissinger's short-term solution now puts American interests at risk.
His death is an opportunity not only for introspection but also for Biden to lead a bipartisan policy review to put American interests and democracy above personal profit, colonial ambitions and the embrace of dictatorship.
Turkey is the consul of serious problems in the Eastern Mediterranean
Rubin's remarks about the bad legacy left as a legacy for Cyprus to the US by Kissinger's moves to support the Turks and the results of these are not just opinion but historical truth.
Turkey, thanks to Kissinger, set foot in Cyprus and since then has become a protagonist of tensions in the Greater Horn of Africa and in the entire South-Eastern Mediterranean, coming to blows with Israel-Greece-Egypt, reaching the brink of a military confrontation with our country in 2020, and opposing US-EU interests in the region.
After all, if you have such friends as the US has Turkey, then what can you do with enemies.
Finally, what must be understood by Cyprus-Greece-US-EU and other allies is that the Turks will not leave Cyprus with words, but with the spear.