Henry Kissinger, fully Henry Alfred Kissinger

Kissinger, fully Henry Alfred Kissinger

German-born American Politician, Ambassador, Secretary of State

Author Quotes

My heart goes out to the president because I've served in an administration that faced a very divided country in a very difficult set of circumstances.

The American temptation is to believe that foreign policy is a subdivision of psychiatry.

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.

To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or nothing about it.

What we in America call terrorists are really groups of people that reject the international system?

Never take a job that has no "in" box.

The capacity to admire others is not my most fully developed trait.

The security of Israel is a moral imperative for all free peoples.

To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.

Whatever must happen ultimately should happen immediately.

Next week there can't be any crisis. My schedule is already full.

The Chinese have run their system for 3,000 years without advice from the U.S. They don't like to be lectured by a country only 200 years old.

The Shah (of Iran) was - despite the travesties of retroactive myth - a dedicated reformer.

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.

When one puts the terrorists on the defensive, that automatically reduces the possibility of their planning new attacks,

Ninety eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It?s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.

The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy. And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.

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.

University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.

When you meet the president, you ask yourself, "How did it ever occur to anybody that he should be governor much less president?"

Nixon wants a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. He doesn't want to hear anything about it. It's an order, to be done. Anything that flies on anything that moves.

The enemies you make by taking a decided stand generally have more respect for you than the friends you make by being on the fence

The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.

University politics make me long for the simplicity of the Middle East.

Who do I call if I want to call Europe?

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Kissinger, fully Henry Alfred Kissinger
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German-born American Politician, Ambassador, Secretary of State