Henry A. Kissinger

Born: May 27, 1923

Occupation: Former National Security Advisor

Quotes of Henry A. Kissinger

Henry A. Kissinger

Does anyone have any questions for my answers?

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Henry A. Kissinger

We believe that peace is at hand.

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Henry A. Kissinger

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.

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Henry A. Kissinger

If peace is equated simply with the absence of war, it can become abject pacifism that turns the world over to the most ruthless.

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Henry A. Kissinger

I want to thank you for stopping the applause. It is impossible for me to look humble for any period of time.

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Henry A. Kissinger

If you do not know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere

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Henry A. Kissinger

History is the memory of States.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Behind the slogans lay an intellectual vacuum.

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Henry A. Kissinger

It is one of history's ironies that Communism, advertised as a classless society, tended to breed a privileged class of feudal proportions.

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Henry A. Kissinger

History knows no resting places and no plateaus

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Henry A. Kissinger

In his essay, ‘Perpetual Peace,’ the philosopher, Immanuel Kant, argued that perpetual peace would eventually come to the world in one of two ways, by human insight or by conflicts and catastrophes...

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Henry A. Kissinger

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...

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Henry A. Kissinger

The US must carry out some act somewhere in the world which shows its determination to continue to be a world power.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Why should we flagellate ourselves for what the Cambodians did to each other?

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Henry A. Kissinger

Covert action should not be confused with missionary work.

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Henry A. Kissinger

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

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Henry A. Kissinger

Intelligence is not all that important in the exercise of power, and is often, in point of fact, useless.

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Henry A. Kissinger

It is an act of insanity and national humiliation to have a law prohibiting the President from ordering assassination.

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Henry A. Kissinger

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...

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Henry A. Kissinger

In 10 years, there will be no more Israel.

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Henry A. Kissinger

My country's history, Mr. President, tells us that it is possible to fashion unity while cherishing diversity, that common action is possible despite the variety of races, interests, and beliefs we see...

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Henry A. Kissinger

Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.

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Henry A. Kissinger

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...

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Henry A. Kissinger

Every civilization that has ever existed has ultimately collapsed. History is a tale of efforts that failed, or aspirations that weren’t realized . So, as a historian, one has to live with a sense of...

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Henry A. Kissinger

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

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Henry A. Kissinger

Withdrawal of US troops will become like salted peanuts to the American public: The more US troops come home, the more will be demanded.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Would food be considered an instrument of national power? ... Is the U.S. prepared to accept food rationing to help people who can't/won't control their population growth?

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Henry A. Kissinger

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

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Henry A. Kissinger

I go out with actresses because I'm not apt to marry one.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Don't be too ambitious. Do the most important thing you can think of doing every year and then your career will take care of itself.

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Henry A. Kissinger

They [American forces] are there as an expression of the American national interest to prevent the Iranian combination of imperialism and fundamentalist ideology from dominating a region on which the energy...

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Henry A. Kissinger

We fought a military war; our opponents fought a political one. We sought physical attrition; our opponents aimed for our psychological exhaustion. In the process we lost sight of one of the cardinal maxims...

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Henry A. Kissinger

Leaders must invoke an alchemy of great vision.

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Henry A. Kissinger

We are not just any nation.

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Henry A. Kissinger

An Iranian moderate is one who has run out of ammunition.

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Henry A. Kissinger

I don't read books, I write them.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Today, America 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 that there were an outside threat from beyond,...

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Henry A. Kissinger

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...

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Henry A. Kissinger

World population needs to be decreased by 50%

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Henry A. Kissinger

Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Administration has managed the extraordinary feat of having, at one and the same time, the worst relations with our allies, the worst relations with our adversaries, and the most serious upheavals in the...

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Henry A. Kissinger

A country that demands moral perfection in its foreign policy will achieve neither perfection nor security

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Henry A. Kissinger

One theory is that we will make war look so attractive that we undermine the deterrent. That's Never Never Land. What we have now would have been enough to deter Hitler. But we are talking in a different...

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Henry A. Kissinger

This country cannot afford to tear itself apart on a partisan basis on issues so vital to our national security.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Our greatest foreign policy problem is our divisions at home. Our greatest foreign policy need is national cohesion and a return to the awareness that in foreign policy we are all engaged in a common national...

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Henry A. Kissinger

This is awful. Do it again.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Who controls money controls the world.

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Henry A. Kissinger

NAFTA is a major stepping stone to the New World Order.

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Henry A. Kissinger

What political leaders decide, intelligence services tend to seek to justify.

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Henry A. Kissinger

China is a country with a record of continuous self-government going back 4,000 years, the only society that has achieved this. One must start with the assumption that they must have learnt something about...

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Henry A. Kissinger

I would say the special experience of American wartime policy in the last 40 years, from Vietnam on, is that the war itself became controversial in the country and that the most important thing we need...

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Henry A. Kissinger

Create the impression of endless willingness to compromise and you almost invite deadlines. That's the challenge we now have in North Korea and have had in North Korea for 10 years. In this sense, diplomacy...

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Henry A. Kissinger

We are all the President's men.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Some of the critics viewed Vietnam as a morality play in which the wicked must be punished before the final curtain and where any attempt to salvage self-respect from the outcome compounded the wrong....

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Henry A. Kissinger

America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests

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Henry A. Kissinger

If we do what is necessary, all the odds are in our favor.

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Henry A. Kissinger

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Accept everything about yourself - I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end - no apologies, no regrets.

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Henry A. Kissinger

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

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Henry A. Kissinger

Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.

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Henry A. Kissinger

A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Power is the great aphrodisiac.

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Henry A. Kissinger

You can't make war in the Middle East without Egypt and you can't make peace without Syria.

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Henry A. Kissinger

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.

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Henry A. Kissinger

The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.

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Henry A. Kissinger

No one will ever win the battle of the sexes; there's too much fraternizing with the enemy.

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Henry A. Kissinger

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

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Henry A. Kissinger

No country can act wisely simultaneously in every part of the globe at every moment of time.

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Henry A. Kissinger

While we should never give up our principles, we must also realize that we cannot maintain our principles unless we survive.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Art is man's expression of his joy in labor.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Even a paranoid can have enemies.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Leaders are responsible not for running public opinion polls but for the consequences of their actions.

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Henry A. Kissinger

If eighty percent of your sales come from twenty percent of all of your items, just carry those twenty percent.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Moderation is a virtue only in those who are thought to have an alternative.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Diplomacy: the art of restraining power.

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Henry A. Kissinger

The nice thing about being a celebrity is that, if you bore people, they think it's their fault.

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Henry A. Kissinger

The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.

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Henry A. Kissinger

If it's going to come out eventually, better have it come out immediately.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem.

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Henry A. Kissinger

For other nations, utopia is a blessed past never to be recovered; for Americans it is just beyond the horizon.

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Henry A. Kissinger

In crises the most daring course is often safest.

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Henry A. Kissinger

People think responsibility is hard to bear. It's not. I think that sometimes it is the absence of responsibility that is harder to bear. You have a great feeling of impotence.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Any fact that needs to be disclosed should be put out now or as quickly as possible, because otherwise the bleeding will not end.

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Henry A. Kissinger

It is, after all, the responsibility of the expert to operate the familiar and that of the leader to transcend it.

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Henry A. Kissinger

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.

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Henry A. Kissinger

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

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Henry A. Kissinger

We cannot always assure the future of our friends; we have a better chance of assuring our future if we remember who our friends are.

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Henry A. Kissinger

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

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Henry A. Kissinger

People are generally amazed that I would take an interest in any form that would require me to stop talking for three hours.

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Henry A. Kissinger

The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose.

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Henry A. Kissinger

The statesman's duty is to bridge the gap between his nation's experience and his vision.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Blessed are the people whose leaders can look destiny in the eye without flinching but also without attempting to play God.

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Henry A. Kissinger

I am being frank about myself in this book. I tell of my first mistake on page 850.

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Henry A. Kissinger

It was a Greek tragedy. Nixon was fulfilling his own nature. Once it started it could not end otherwise.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Most foreign policies that history has marked highly, in whatever country, have been originated by leaders who were opposed by experts.

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Henry A. Kissinger

The American foreign policy trauma of the sixties and seventies was caused by applying valid principles to unsuitable conditions.

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Henry A. Kissinger

The essence of Richard Nixon is loneliness.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Whatever must happen ultimately should happen immediately.

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Henry A. Kissinger

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.

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Henry A. Kissinger

A leader who confines his role to his people's experience dooms himself to stagnation; a leader who outstrips his people's experience runs the risk of not being understood.

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Henry A. Kissinger

If I should ever be captured, I want no negotiation - and if I should request a negotiation from captivity they should consider that a sign of duress.

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Henry A. Kissinger

The Vietnam War required us to emphasize the national interest rather than abstract principles. What President Nixon and I tried to do was unnatural. And that is why we didn't make it.

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Henry A. Kissinger

High office teaches decision making, not substance. It consumes intellectual capital; it does not create it. Most high officials leave office with the perceptions and insights with which they entered;...

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Henry A. Kissinger

The longer I am out of office, the more infallible I appear to myself.

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Henry A. Kissinger

China had never had to deal in a world of countries of approximately equal strength, and so to adjust to such a world, is in itself a profound challenge to China, which now has fourteen countries on its...

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Henry A. Kissinger

Oil is much too important a commodity to be left in the hands of the Arabs.

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Henry A. Kissinger

How to Achieve The New World Order

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Henry A. Kissinger

The issues are too important to be left for the voters.

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Henry A. Kissinger

It is not a matter of what is true that counts, but a matter of what is perceived to be true.

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Henry A. Kissinger

We must learn to distinguish morality from moralizing.

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Henry A. Kissinger

A diamond is a chunk of coal that is made good under pressure.

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Henry A. Kissinger

You're 18 points down [in the polls]... You might as well do what's right.

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Henry A. Kissinger

It is not often that nations learn from the past even rarer that they draw the correct conclusions from it. For the lessons of historical experience, as of personal experience, are contingent. They teach...

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Henry A. Kissinger

There are only two reasons to sit in the back row of an airplane: Either you have diarrhea, or you're anxious to meet people who do.

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Henry A. Kissinger

We are doomed to coexist.

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Henry A. Kissinger

A little uncertainty is good for everyone.

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Henry A. Kissinger

Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss