Henry Alfred Kissinger
(born May 27, 1923) U.S. Diplomat and Nobel Prize winner.
- A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves.
- relaying Nixon's orders to initiate war on Cambodia, Dec 1970; source, New York Times 2004 May 27 "Kissinger Tapes..."
- Accept everything about yourself - I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end— no apologies, no regrets.
- Blessed are the people whose leaders can look destiny in the eye without flinching but also without attempting to play God.
- Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries.
- Diplomacy: the art of restraining power.
- Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem.
- Even a paranoid has some real enemies.
- For other nations, utopia is a blessed past never to be recovered; for Americans it is just beyond the horizon.
- Foreign Policy is not missionary work.
- History knows no resting place and no plateaus.
- I am being frank about myself in this book. I tell of my first mistake on page 850.
- I can think of no faster way to unite the American people behind George W. Bush than a terrorist attack on an American target overseas. And I believe George W. Bush will quickly unite the American people through his foreign policy.
- I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.
- If it's going to come out eventually, better have it come out immediately.
- If we do what is necessary, all the odds are in our favor.
- If you don't know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.
- In crises the most daring course is often safest.
- “In Haig's presence, Kissinger referred pointedly to military men as ‘dumb, stupid animals to be used’ as pawns for foreign policy.”
- Woodward and Bernstein The Final Days in chapter 14
- In our "age of the expert" the expert has his constituency--those who have a vested interest in commonly held opinions; elaborating and defining the consensus at a high level has, after all, made him an expert."
- cited in Noam Chomsky, Towards a New Cold War, p. 91
- In the process we lost sight of one of the cardinal maxims of guerrilla war: the guerrilla wins if he does not lose. The conventional army loses if it does not win.
- "The Vietnam Negotiations", Foreign Affairs, Vol. 48, No. 2 (January 1969), p. 214
- Intellectuals are cynical and cynics have never built a cathedral.
- cited in Max Frisch, Sketchbook 1966-1971 (Werke VI/277)
- Intelligence is not all that important in the exercise of power, and is often, in point of fact, useless.
- It is, after all, the responsibility of the expert to operate the familiar and that of the leader to transcend it.
- It is an act of insanity and national humiliation to have a law prohibiting the President from ordering assassination.
- statement at a National Security Council meeting in 1975.
- It was a Greek tragedy. Nixon was fulfilling his own nature. Once it started it could not end otherwise.
- Leaders must invoke an alchemy of great vision.
- Moderation is a virtue only in those who are thought to have an alternative.
- Most high officials leave office with the perceptions and insights with which they entered; they learn how to make decisions but not what decisions to make.
- Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.
- variant: Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.
- No country can act wisely simultaneously in every part of the globe at every moment of time.
- No foreign policy - no matter how ingenious - has any chance of success if it is born in the minds of a few and carried in the hearts of none.
- No one will ever win the battle of the sexes; there's too much fraternizing with the enemy.
- Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
- The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.
- The American temptation is to believe that foreign policy is a subdivision of psychiatry.
- The essence of this man is loneliness.
- The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.
- The longer I am out of office, the more infallible I appear to myself.
- The nice thing about being a celebrity is that when you bore people, they think it's their fault.
- The real distinction is between those who adapt their purposes to reality and those who seek to mold reality in the light of their purposes.
- The statesman's duty is to bridge the gap between his nation's experience and his vision.
- The superpowers often behave like two heavily armed blind men feeling their way around a room, each believing himself in mortal peril from the other, whom he assumes to have perfect vision.
- The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.
- There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
- To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or nothing about it.
- Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will pledge with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will willingly be relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by their world government.
- in an address to the Bilderberger organization meeting at Evian, France, on May 21, 1991. As transcribed from a tape recording made by one of the Swiss delegates.
- University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.
- Whatever must happen ultimately should happen immediately.
- When you meet the president, you ask yourself, "How did it ever occur to anybody that he should be governor much less president?"
- Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.
- "Why should we flagellate ourselves for what the Cambodians did to each other?"
- You can't make war in the Middle East without Egypt and you can't make peace without Syria.