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  3. Posted on Fri, 2 Mar, 2018 at 12:41 AM

Quotes by Henry Kissinger

Quotes by Henry Kissinger

You can’t make war in the Middle East without Egypt and you can’t make peace without Syria.
While we should never give up our principles, we must also realize that we cannot maintain our principles unless we survive.
Whatever must happen ultimately should happen immediately.
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.
We are moving towards a world that is reordering itself and that may appear more ordered at some periods of time, but I see no sign that we are moving towards a world order in my definition of it – namely, a system which is accepted, which is internalized by the majority of the key participants.
We are all the President’s men.
University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.
To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or nothing about it.
There is obviously a gap between the public’s perception of the role of U.S. foreign policy and the elite’s perception.
There has come into being a kind of a Shia belt from Tehran through Baghdad to Beirut. And this gives Iran the opportunity to reconstruct the ancient Persian Empire – this time under the Shia label.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
The tragedy of America is that it entered all the wars with a consensus in favor of them, but within a defined period, the legitimacy of the war became a major domestic issue, with some people arguing that withdrawal was the only legitimate objective.
The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.
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 statesman’s duty is to bridge the gap between his nation’s experience and his vision.
The security of Israel is a moral imperative for all free peoples.
The nice thing about being a celebrity is that, if you bore people, they think it’s their fault.
The longer I am out of office, the more infallible I appear to myself.
The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.
The high probability is if American forces withdraw from Afghanistan and if no alternative international arrangement is made that then the historic contests between the regions and the sects will reappear, the Taliban will re-emerge, and a very complicated and maybe chaotic situation will develop.
The essence of Richard Nixon is loneliness.
The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose.
The attitude of the West and of Russia towards a crisis like Ukraine is diametrically different. The West is trying to establish the legality of any established border. For Russia, Ukraine is part of the Russian patrimony.
The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.
The Vietnam War was a great tragedy for our country. And it is now far enough away so that one can study without using the slogans to see what’s really happened.
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.
The Trump phenomenon is in large part a reaction of Middle America to attacks on its values by intellectual and academic communities. There are other reasons, but this is a significant one.
The American temptation is to believe that foreign policy is a subdivision of psychiatry.
The American foreign policy trauma of the sixties and seventies was caused by applying valid principles to unsuitable conditions.
Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both had exceptional natural abilities. Nelson Rockefeller was very good statewide but never gained national traction.
Power is the great aphrodisiac.
People are generally amazed that I would take an interest in any forum that would require me to stop talking for three hours.
No one will ever win the battle of the sexes; there’s too much fraternizing with the enemy.
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 country can act wisely simultaneously in every part of the globe at every moment of time.
Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.
My view of my role is that together with like-minded men and women, I could help contribute to a bipartisan view of American engagement in the world for another period; I could do my part to overcome this really, in a way, awful period in which we are turning history into personal recriminations, depriving our political system of a serious debate.
Most foreign policies that history has marked highly, in whatever country, have been originated by leaders who were opposed by experts.
Moderation is a virtue only in those who are thought to have an alternative.
Leadership is absolutely vital if there are comparable countries which can affect the security of the world you live in. Between Lincoln and Roosevelt’s time, America was protected by huge oceans and, in practice, by the British navy. Today, it’s different, and the obsession of the Obama administration has been for retrenchment.
Leaders must invoke an alchemy of great vision.
Leaders are responsible not for running public opinion polls but for the consequences of their actions.
It’s never happened in history that every region in the world could affect every other region simultaneously. The Roman empire and the Chinese empire didn’t know much about each other and had no means of interacting. Now we have every continent able to reach every other.
It was a Greek tragedy. Nixon was fulfilling his own nature. Once it started it could not end otherwise.
It is, after all, the responsibility of the expert to operate the familiar and that of the leader to transcend it.
In crises the most daring course is often safest.
If you don’t know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.
If it’s going to come out eventually, better have it come out immediately.
If eighty percent of your sales come from twenty percent of all of your items, just carry those twenty percent.
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.
I think when the president of the United States calls for military action, he should do it for a united people, especially when the methods have been so cruel, so explicitly directed at Americans.
I think we would find, if you study the conduct of guerilla-type wars, that the Obama Administration has hit more targets on a broader scale than the Nixon Administration ever did.
I think that America’s recovery of a global strategic view is an absolutely essential element of our foreign policy.
I have spoken to Chinese leaders occasionally on human rights, but I’ve always done it in private.
I have not endorsed Trump and will not do so.
I have been a professor, and I have been a policymaker, and as a professor, you think in terms of truth or absolutes.
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.
I don’t see the wisdom in modern politicians that I once saw in men like Dean Acheson, David Bruce, or George Marshall. In my day, the northeastern establishment dominated foreign policy formulation, but the composition and distribution of our population is very different today.
I don’t ascribe to myself any special competence in economic insight. I translate what I hear from highly intelligent people into political and philosophical propositions.
I am being frank about myself in this book. I tell of my first mistake on page 850.
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; they learn how to make decisions but not what decisions to make.
For other nations, utopia is a blessed past never to be recovered; for Americans it is just beyond the horizon.
Everybody has a hacking capability. And probably every intelligence service is hacking in the territory of other countries. But who exactly does what? That would be a very sensitive piece of information. But it’s very difficult to communicate about it. Because nobody wants to admit the scope of what they’re doing.
Every first-term president has to learn something after he comes into office. Nobody can be completely ready for the inevitable crises.
Even a paranoid can have enemies.
Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem.
Donald Trump is a phenomenon that foreign countries haven’t seen. So it is a shocking experience to them that he came in to office.
Diplomacy: the art of restraining power.
Blessed are the people whose leaders can look destiny in the eye without flinching but also without attempting to play God.
Art is man’s expression of his joy in labor.
Any fact that needs to be disclosed should be put out now or as quickly as possible, because otherwise the bleeding will not end.
America has fought five wars since 1945 and has gained its objectives in only one of them, the Gulf War.
Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.
A president has an inescapable responsibility to provide direction: What are we trying to achieve? What are we trying to prevent? Why? To do that, he has to both analyze and reflect.
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.
A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone.

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