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henry kissinger Quotes

Henry Kissinger Quotes

Birth Date: 1923-05-27 (Sunday, May 27th, 1923)


henry kissinger life timeline

Vietnam War: At the apartment of French intermediary Jean Sainteny in Paris, U.S. representative Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese representative Xuan Thuy begin secret peace negotiations. The negotiations will eventually fail.Monday, August 4th, 1969
The Harrisburg Six: The Reverend Philip Berrigan and five others are indicted on charges of conspiring to kidnap Henry Kissinger and of plotting to blow up the heating tunnels of federal buildings in Washington, D.C.Tuesday, January 12th, 1971
Vietnam War: In Saigon, Henry Kissinger and South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu meet to discuss a proposed cease-fire that had been worked out between Americans and North Vietnamese in Paris. Thieu rejects the proposal and accused the United States of conspiring to undermine his regimeSunday, October 22nd, 1972
Vietnam War: Henry Kissinger announces that North Vietnam has left private peace negotiations, in Paris.Saturday, December 16th, 1972
Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.Tuesday, October 16th, 1973


    • A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves. [sic]
    • 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.
    • Intellectuals are cynical and cynics have never built a cathedral.
    • Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
    • In the 1950s and 1960s we put several thousand nuclear weapons into Europe. To be sure, we had no percise idea of what to do with them.
    • 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. Each side should know that frequently uncertainty, compromise, and incoherence are the essence of policymaking. Yet each tends to ascribe to the other a consistency, foresight, and coherence that its own experience belies. Of course, over time, even two armed blind men can do enormous damage to each other, not to speak of the room.
    • Blessed are the people whose leaders can look destiny in the eye without flinching but also without attempting to play God.
    • 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.
    • If Tehran insists on combining the Persian imperial tradition with contemporary Islamic fervor, then a collision with America - and, indeed, with its negotiating partners of the Six - is unavoidable. Iran simply cannot be permitted to fulfill a dream of imperial rule in a region of such importance to the rest of the world.
    • If you mean by 'military victory' an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible.
    • Stephen, it is time to rock.
    • Today, America would be outraged if UN troops entered Los Angeles to restore order. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all people of the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the world government.
    • Accept everything about yourself - I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end - no apologies, no regrets.
    • In Haig's presence, Kissinger referred pointedly to military men as 'dumb, stupid animals to be used' as pawns for foreign policy.
    • 'Who do I call if I want to call Europe?'
    • As a professor, I tended to think of history as run by impersonal forces. But when you see it in practice, you see the difference personalities make.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 Indians are bastards.
    • 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 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.
    • 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.
    • henry kissinger

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