Henry Alfred Kissinger (born Heinz Alfred Kissinger on May 27, 1923) is a German-born Jewish American diplomat, Nobel laureate and statesman. He served as National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State in the Nixon administration, continuing in the latter position after Gerald Ford became President in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal. A proponent of realpolitik, Kissinger played a dominant role in U.S. foreign policy between 1969 and 1977.
- A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves. [sic]
- Relaying Nixon's orders to initiate war on Cambodia (December 1970)
- Quoted in Becker, Elizabeth, "Kissinger Tapes Describe Crises, War and Stark Photos of Abuse", The New York Times, May 27, 2004. URL accessed on 2006-11-20.
- 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)
- Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
- As quoted in The New York Times (28 October 1973)
- Lesser known variant: Power is the great aphrodisiac.
- As quoted in The New York Times (19 January 1971)
- In the 1950s and 1960s we put several thousand nuclear weapons into Europe. To be sure, we had no precise idea of what to do with them.
- Said in 1973. Cited in: Ruypers, John, Marion Austin, Patrick Carter, and Terry G. Murphy. Canadian and World Politics. Toronto: Edmond Montgomery Publications, 2005.
- 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.
- 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.
- The White House Years (1979)
- Blessed are the people whose leaders can look destiny in the eye without flinching but also without attempting to play God.
- The End of the Road (1982), Ch. 25 "Years of Upheaval"
- 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 (1982), p. 91
- 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.
- Kissinger officially declaring the start of The Shred Off on the Colbert Report December 20, 2006.
- 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.
- This is widely reported on many sites as coming from the "Bilderburg Conference" (1991) Evians, France, purportedly recorded by a Swiss diplomat. However, several sources dispute this.
- Accept everything about yourself - I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end — no apologies, no regrets.
- Clark Moustakas, as quoted in Sacred Simplicities: Meeting the Miracles in Our Lives (2004) by Lori Knutson, p. 141
Quotes about Kissinger
- 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, chapter 14