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Henry Kissinger Quotes
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Henry Kissinger Quote: “Almost all empires were created by force, but none can be sustained by it. Universal rule, to last, needs to translate force into obligation. Otherwise, the energies of the rulers will be exhausted in maintaining their dominance at the expense of their ability to shape the future, which is the ultimate task of statesmanship. Empires persist if repression gives way to consensus.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “History is the memory of States.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “In relations with many domestically weak countries, a radio transmitter can be a more effective form of pressure than a squadron B-52s.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “In the middle ’50s, I had written that the point would come, inevitably, at which the relationship between the cause of conflict and political objectives would be lost.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Left to its own devices, the State Department machinery tends toward inertia rather than creativity; it is always on the verge of turning itself into an enormous cable machine.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “The key decision for a statesman is whether to commit his nation or not. There is no middle course. Once a great nation commits itself, it must prevail. It will acquire no kudos for translating its inner doubts into hesitation.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “New methods of accessing and communicating information unite regions as never before and project events globally – but in a manner that inhibits reflection, demanding of leaders that they register instantaneous reactions in a form expressible in slogans. Are we facing a period in which forces beyond the restraints of any order determine the future?”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “We are not just any nation.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “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 endeavor.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “I don’t think we should pay people to fight terrorism. I would be amazed if they asked for anything in return.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Americans believe that you can alter people by conversion, and that everybody in the world is a potential American. The Chinese also believe that their values are universal, but they do not believe that you can convert to becoming a Chinese unless you are born into it.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “I grew up as a discriminated minority in a dictatorship, so obviously the issue of human rights is a matter of concern for me.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Two different people appealing to a search engine with the same question do not necessarily receive the same answers. The concept of truth is being relativized and individualized – losing its universal character.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “In the hands of a determined Secretary, the Foreign Service can be a splendid instrument, staffed by knowledgeable, discreet, and energetic individuals. They do require constant vigilance lest the convictions that led them into a penurious career tempt them to preempt decision-making.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “If the gap between the qualities required for election and those essential for the conduct of office becomes too wide, the conceptual grasp and sense of history that should be part of foreign policy may be lost – or else the cultivation of these qualities may take so much of a president’s first term in office as to inhibit a leading role for the United States.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “One has to remember that every progress that has been made towards peace in the Middle East has come under American leadership.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Committees are consumers and sometimes sterilizers of ideas, rarely creators of them.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “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.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “The US must carry out some act somewhere in the world which shows its determination to continue to be a world power.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “The first reactions are often instinctive. So one of the first things we said was that the Chinese had no right to inspect the plane, and that we had a sovereign right to. I don’t know what the legal position is, but it was surely psychologically absolutely the unwise thing to do.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “In my particular case foreign policy happens to be my hobby, my consuming interest. I had spent decades studying it.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “When I became security advisor, I became familiar with the so-called SIOP war plans, I called in Secretary McNamara and asked him what they were hiding from me, because I couldn’t believe that the National policy would foresee such a level of destructiveness.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “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 order of reality.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “You know, this is a very strange phenomenon. I keep reading that in American newspapers, and I keep reading extensive speculations. I meet with the Chinese leaders periodically, and while I don’t say they’ve endorsed the missile shield, it has not been in the forefront of their discussions.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “United States would become the indispensable defender of the order Europe designed.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Foreign policy is in danger of turning into a subdivision of domestic politics instead of an exercise in shaping the future. If the major countries conduct their policies in this manner internally, their relations on the international stage will suffer concomitant distortions. The search for perspective may well be replaced by a hardening of differences, statesmanship by posturing.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “A Harvard study has shown that in fifteen cases in history where a rising and an established power interacted, ten ended in war.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “The Russian empire under czars and commissars has been hard to deal with for other countries.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “George Bernard Shaw: “There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Any fact that needs to be disclosed should be put out now or as quickly as possible, because otherwise the bleeding will not end.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “This country cannot afford to tear itself apart on a partisan basis on issues so vital to our national security.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Certainly nothing is easier than to rewrite history. If we had made Taiwan a separate state, it would have led to a fundamental conflict with China, and probably to war. Certainly in the long term, it would have led to war.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “In my life, I have almost always been on the side of active foreign policy. But you need to know with whom you are cooperating. You need reliable partners.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “I had an opportunity to express my views, yes. I agreed with the approach which we took, namely, to make a distinction between the loss of life of the Chinese pilot and our military operations outside territorial waters or territorial limits.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Order should not have priority over freedom. But the affirmation of freedom should be elevated from a mood to a strategy.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “I don’t have a brief for every single reaction of Israel, but I think it is important that the political negotiations occur free of the threat of terrorism.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “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. I viewed it as a genuine tragedy. No one had a monopoly on anguish.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “One thing I don’t want around me is a military intellectual. I don’t have to worry about you on that score.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Henceforth the adequacy of any military establishment will be tested by its ability to preserve the peace.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “If Chinese exceptionalism represented the claims of a universal empire, Japanese exceptionalism sprang from the insecurities of an island nation borrowing heavily from its neighbor, but fearful of being dominated by it.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “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 of guerrilla war: the guerrilla wins if he does not lose. The conventional army loses if it does not win.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Will the emerging Europe become an active participant in the construction of a new international order, or will it consume itself on its own internal issues?”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Well, on the American side, every new administration has to cut its teeth in a crisis, because before a crisis, you don’t really know what your various subordinates are thinking under stress.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Any international system must have two key elements for it to work. One, it has to have a certain equilibrium of power that makes overthrowing the system difficult and costly. Secondly, it has to have a sense of legitimacy.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Well, the capacity of French intellectuals to understand a Texan way of thinking is finite.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “In my view, there’s no doubt that the Soviets had infinitely greater trouble holding their structure together than we did.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “To revolutionaries the significant reality is the world which they are fighting to bring about, not the world they are fighting to overcome.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Every American president, regardless of party, has said that America has an intense interest in a peaceful resolution. And I think it should be left at that.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “If it’s going to come out eventually, better have it come out immediately.”
Henry Kissinger Quote: “Countries do not assume burdens because it is fair, only because it is necessary.”
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