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Henry Kissinger

Geburtstag: 27. Mai 1923
Andere Namen: Henry A. Kissinger

Henry Alfred Kissinger ist ein US-amerikanischer Politikwissenschaftler und ehemaliger Politiker der Republikanischen Partei. Der Deutschamerikaner Kissinger spielte in der Außenpolitik der Vereinigten Staaten zwischen 1969 und 1977 eine zentrale Rolle; er war Vertreter einer harten gewaltbereiten Realpolitik wie auch einer der Architekten der Entspannung im Kalten Krieg. Von 1969 bis 1973 war Kissinger Nationaler Sicherheitsberater, von 1973 bis 1977 Außenminister der Vereinigten Staaten. 1973 erhielt er gemeinsam mit Lê Đức Thọ den Friedensnobelpreis für ein Waffenstillstands- und Abzugsabkommen mit Nordvietnam. Von 1977 bis 1981 war Kissinger Direktor der amerikanischen Denkfabrik Council on Foreign Relations.

Zitate Henry Kissinger

„Ich sehe nicht ein, weshalb es nötig sein sollte, stillzuhalten und zuzusehen, wie ein Land durch die Verantwortungslosigkeit seines Volkes kommunistisch wird.“

—  Henry Kissinger

zitiert bei freitag.de 05.09.2003 http://www.freitag.de/autoren/der-freitag/zusehen-wie-ein-land-kommunistisch-wird
"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people." - Meeting of the "40 Committee" on covert action in Chile (27 June 1970), quoted in The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (1974); the quotation was censored prior to publication due to legal action by the government. See New York Times (11 September 1974) "Censored Matter in Book About C.I.A. Said to Have Related Chile Activities; Damage Feared" by Seymour Hersh

„Ein Volk, das seit zweitausend Jahren verfolgt wird, muss doch irgendetwas falsch machen.“

—  Henry Kissinger

zitiert in: Walter Isaacson, Kissinger - A Biography, S. 561
"Any people who have been persecuted for two thousand years, must be doing something wrong.”

„Das Illegale erledigen wir sofort, das Verfassungswidrige dauert etwas länger.“

—  Henry Kissinger

http://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/P860114-1573_MC_b.html#efmCS3CUB Wikileaks
"The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer."

„The reason that university politics is so vicious is that the stakes are so small.“

—  Henry Kissinger

This remark was first attributed to Kissinger, among others, in the 1970s. The Quote Verifier (2006) attributes it to political scientist Paul Sayre, but notes earlier similar remarks by Woodrow Wilson. Clyde J. Wingfield referred to it as a familiar joke in The American University (1970)
Unattributed variants:
Somebody once said that one of the reasons academic infighting is so vicious is that the stakes are so small. There's so little at stake and they are so nasty about it.
The Craft of Crime : Conversations with Crime Writers (1983) by John C. Carr
The reason that academic politics is so vicious is that the stakes are so small.
Mentioned as an "old saw" in Teachers for Our Nation's Schools (1990) by John I. Goodlad
Misattributed

„I've always acted alone. Americans like that immensely.“

—  Henry Kissinger

Interview with Oriana Fallaci (November 1972), as quoted in "Oriana Fallaci and the Art of the Interview" in Vanity Fair (December 2006) http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2006/12/hitchens200612; Kissinger, as quoted in "Special Section: Chagrined Cowboy" in TIME magazine (8 October 1979) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,916877,00.html called this "without doubt the single most disastrous conversation I ever had with any member of the press" and claimed that he had probably been misquoted or quoted out of context, but Fallaci later produced the tapes of the interview.
1970s
Kontext: I've always acted alone. Americans like that immensely.
Americans like the cowboy who leads the wagon train by riding ahead alone on his horse, the cowboy who rides all alone into the town, the village, with his horse and nothing else. Maybe even without a pistol, since he doesn't shoot. He acts, that's all, by being in the right place at the right time. In short, a Western. … This amazing, romantic character suits me precisely because to be alone has always been part of my style or, if you like, my technique.

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„Of course, over time, even two armed blind men can do enormous damage to each other, not to speak of the room.“

—  Henry Kissinger

The White House Years (1979)
1970s
Kontext: 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.

„We fought a military war; our opponents fought a political one.“

—  Henry Kissinger

"The Vietnam Negotiations", Foreign Affairs, Vol. 48, No. 2 (January 1969), p. 214; also quoted as "A conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerilla army wins if he does not lose."
1960s
Kontext: 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. The North Vietnamese used their armed forces the way a bull-fighter uses his cape — to keep us lunging in areas of marginal political importance.

„Ever since the secret trip to China, my own relationship with Nixon had grown complicated.“

—  Henry Kissinger

As quoted in "Special Section: Chagrined Cowboy" in TIME magazine (8 October 1979) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,916877,00.html
1970s
Kontext: Ever since the secret trip to China, my own relationship with Nixon had grown complicated. Until then I had been an essentially anonymous White House assistant. But now his associates were unhappy, and not without reason, that some journalists were giving me perhaps excessive credit for the more appealing aspects of our foreign policy while blaming Nixon for the unpopular moves.
These tendencies were given impetus by an interview I granted to the Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, without doubt the single most disastrous conversation I ever had with any member of the press. I saw her briefly on Nov. 2 and 4, 1972, in my office. I did so largely out of vanity. She had interviewed leading personalities all over the world. Fame was sufficiently novel for me to be flattered by the company I would be keeping. I had not bothered to read her writings; her evisceration of other victims was thus unknown to me.

„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

The White House Years (1979)
1970s
Kontext: 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.

„This amazing, romantic character suits me precisely because to be alone has always been part of my style or, if you like, my technique.“

—  Henry Kissinger

Interview with Oriana Fallaci (November 1972), as quoted in "Oriana Fallaci and the Art of the Interview" in Vanity Fair (December 2006) http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2006/12/hitchens200612; Kissinger, as quoted in "Special Section: Chagrined Cowboy" in TIME magazine (8 October 1979) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,916877,00.html called this "without doubt the single most disastrous conversation I ever had with any member of the press" and claimed that he had probably been misquoted or quoted out of context, but Fallaci later produced the tapes of the interview.
1970s
Kontext: I've always acted alone. Americans like that immensely.
Americans like the cowboy who leads the wagon train by riding ahead alone on his horse, the cowboy who rides all alone into the town, the village, with his horse and nothing else. Maybe even without a pistol, since he doesn't shoot. He acts, that's all, by being in the right place at the right time. In short, a Western. … This amazing, romantic character suits me precisely because to be alone has always been part of my style or, if you like, my technique.

„Fame was sufficiently novel for me to be flattered by the company I would be keeping. I had not bothered to read her writings; her evisceration of other victims was thus unknown to me.“

—  Henry Kissinger

1970s
Kontext: Ever since the secret trip to China, my own relationship with Nixon had grown complicated. Until then I had been an essentially anonymous White House assistant. But now his associates were unhappy, and not without reason, that some journalists were giving me perhaps excessive credit for the more appealing aspects of our foreign policy while blaming Nixon for the unpopular moves.
These tendencies were given impetus by an interview I granted to the Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, without doubt the single most disastrous conversation I ever had with any member of the press. I saw her briefly on Nov. 2 and 4, 1972, in my office. I did so largely out of vanity. She had interviewed leading personalities all over the world. Fame was sufficiently novel for me to be flattered by the company I would be keeping. I had not bothered to read her writings; her evisceration of other victims was thus unknown to me.

As quoted in "Special Section: Chagrined Cowboy" in TIME magazine (8 October 1979) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,916877,00.html

„Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.“

—  Henry Kissinger

As quoted in The Other 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said (1984) by Robert Byrne
1980s
Variante: Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.

„Military men are "dumb, stupid animals to be used" as pawns for foreign policy.“

—  Henry Kissinger

Kissinger has denied saying it.
The only evidence that Kissinger ever said this was a claim in the book, The Final Days, by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, in chapter 14 (p.194 in the 1995 paperback edition). Woodward & Bernstein claimed that one of Kissinger's political foes, Alexander Haig, had told someone unnamed, that he (Haig) had heard Kissinger say it. That's triple hearsay, made even weaker by the fact that one of the parties is anonymous. Kissinger has denied ever saying it, and it was never substantiated by Haig, nor by anyone of known identity who claimed to have heard it. As Kirkus Reviews noted about the whole book, "none of it is substantiated in any assessable way."
In fact, the quote is not even very plausible, on its face. Kissinger served with distinction in the U.S. Army during WWII, and was awarded the Bronze Star. He has always been very respectful of other servicemen and their sacrifices. For him to have said such a thing would have been wildly out of character. In fact, the awkward phrasing doesn't even sound like Kissinger, whose English prose is consistently measured and careful, despite his heavy accent, even when he speaks extemporaneously.
Misattributed

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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