Henry Kissinger’s death at 100 on Wednesday, after a storied career drenched in blood and unchecked war crimes, has sparked both dutiful tributes and notes of justified revulsion from around the world. But in one corner of the internet, merchants of corporate aspiration have been activated, celebrating what appear to be random encounters with the former secretary of state. The apparent purpose? To tout one’s incidental proximity to the veteran statesman.
The result has been a parade of photos, invariably greasy and blurry, featuring LinkedIn users noting their honor to have met Kissinger at some point in their careers. Mentions of coup-plotting and carpet bombing are scant if not nonexistent, reminiscent of the same vaunted boardrooms and exclusive parties that allowed Kissinger to skate above his bloody record after he left Washington.
“With the doyen of diplomacy,” is how one self-described journalist captioned a photo featuring him and a very fragile-looking Kissinger. Others, including one Johns Hopkins alum and former Navy pilot, have memorialized virtual meetings with Kissinger over Zoom. “At just one month shy of 100 years old, his mind was still sharp and his ability to recall historic events was impressive, to say the least. RIP to one of the most consequential men in history.”
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