Kissinger: Arab Spring Begins 'Complicated' Transformation

Friday, 28 Oct 2011 04:24 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Arab Spring kicked off a long and potentially perilous transformation for the Middle East, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told a Pittsburgh audience this week. The uprisings that deposed several dictators could also lead to “a war of all against all,” he said.
 
"The excitement of the first month is the end of the first scene of the first act of a five-act drama," Kissinger said during an appearance at Pittsburgh’s Middle East Institute, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported.
 
 “The next administration, whoever wins, is going to have a very complicated challenge,” especially advancing the peace process between Israel and Palestine, he said.
 
Kissinger discussed a wide-range of foreign affairs issues, including the rise of China, and the WikiLeaks disclosures of military and diplomatic cables, which he  said “horrified” him.
 
The event was marred by demonstrators, who came out to protest Kissinger’s appearance, most carrying signs accusing him of Vietnam war crimes from during the Nixon era.
 
Kissinger admitted Vietnam remains “a painful subject” and said “nobody could have had a greater incentive to end the war” than Nixon's administration.
 
"Serious people on both sides were arguing a question that really depended on an assessment of the role of America in the world," Kissinger said. "That was the underlying issue, and it is often the underlying issue now."

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