New Declassified Tapes Reveal Former US President Richard Nixon's Sexual Repulsion Towards Indians

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons - Sakshi Post

WASHINGTON: In a shocking revelation, newly declassified White House tapes disclose former US president Richard Nixon speaking disparagingly against Indians with his national security adviser Henry Kissinger.  The tapes revealed how U.S. policy toward South Asia under Nixon was influenced.

 

Richard Nixon, a Republican, was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 until 1974.

"As Americans grapple with problems of racism and power, a newly declassified trove of White House tapes provides startling evidence of the bigotry voiced by President Richard M. Nixon and Henry Kissinger, his national security adviser," Gary Bass, professor at Princeton, wrote in an opinion piece 'The Terrible Cost of Presidential Racism' in a leading international daily.

"The full content of these tapes reveal how U.S. policy toward South Asia under Mr. Nixon was influenced by his hatred of, and sexual repulsion toward, Indians," Bass, author of 'The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide'', writes.

Bass says that the declassified White House tapes reveal a "stunning" conversation between Nixon, Kissinger and the then White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman in the Oval Office in June 1971 in which Nixon asserts in a "venomous tone" that Indian women are "undoubtedly the most unattractive women in the world." He also calls Indians "most sexless", "nothing" and "pathetic", according to the tapes.

"On Nov. 4, 1971, during a private break from a contentious White House summit with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India - a rare woman leader at the time - the President harangued Mr. Kissinger about his sexual disgust at Indians," Bass writes.

Referring to Indians, Nixon says to Kissinger "To me, they turn me off. How the hell do they turn other people on, Henry? Tell me." Bass writes that while Kissinger's response is inaudible in the tapes, "it did not discourage the president from his theme."

Bass also said that Kissinger had said Indians are "superb flatterers" and "are masters at flattery. They are masters at subtle flattery. That's how they survived 600 years. They suck up - their great skill is to suck up to people in key positions."

Bass says that Nixon and Kissinger had "staunchly supported" the military regime in Pakistan as it killed hundreds of thousands of Bengalis, with 10 million refugees fleeing into neighbouring India.

Voicing prejudices about Pakistanis, Kissinger had in August 1971 told Nixon that "the Pakistanis are fine people, but they are primitive in their mental structure."

While Nixon and Kissinger "had some reasons to favour Pakistan, an American ally which was secretly helping to bring about their historic opening to China, their biases and emotions contributed to their excessive support for Pakistan's murderous dictatorship throughout its atrocities," Bass said. "For decades, Mr. Nixon and Mr. Kissinger have portrayed themselves as brilliant practitioners of realpolitik, running a foreign policy that dispassionately served the interests of the United States.

"But these declassified White House tapes confirm a starkly different picture: racism and misogyny at the highest levels, covered up for decades under ludicrous claims of national security. A fair historical assessment of Mr. Nixon and Mr. Kissinger must include the full truth, unbleeped," Bass says.

Bass had filed in December 2012, a legal request for a mandatory declassification review with the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.

The Nixon archivists released a few unbleeped tapes in May 2018, July 2019 and this May "after considerable wrangling".

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