Quotations from

The Kissinger Transcripts: The Top Secret Talks with Beijing and Moscow

(The New Press, 1999, 515 pp.)

edited by William Burr

A National Security Archive Document Reader

President Nixon to Mao Zedong, 22 February 1972 (p. 62):
"The Chairman can be sure that whatever we discuss, or whatever I and the Prime Minister [Zhou Enlai] discuss, nothing goes beyond the room. That is the only way to have conversations at the highest level."

Henry Kissinger to his staff on the bombing of Cambodia, 19 July 1973 (p. 150):
"We had been bombing the bejesus out of them since May."

Henry Kissinger to Zhou Enlai, commenting on Willy Brandt's detente policy, 11 November 1973 (p. 175):
"It is very dangerous to underestimate German shortsightedness."

Zhou Enlai to Henry Kissinger, protesting executions in Chile after the military coup against Salvador Allende, 11 November 1973 (p. 167):
"[t]hey shouldn't go in for slaughtering that way. It was terrible."

Leonid Brezhnev and Henry Kissinger making fun of the language of diplomacy, 26 March 1974 (p. 246):
Kissinger: "When I speak to your Foreign Minister, he never says, `I entirely agree. The most I get is, `I essentially agree with you.

Brezhnev: As I see it, that is again a case of his reciprocating with words. Thank you, Mr. Kissinger, for thanking me for my gratitude. I am deeply indebted to you. Thank you for my hearing of these words so pleasant to my soul."

Henry Kissinger to Leonid Brezhnev, 27 March 1974 (p. 258):
"What are 3,000 MIRVs among friends? (laughter)."

Henry Kissinger to British Foreign Minister James Callaghan, 28 March 1974 (p. 260):
"As everybody knows, the Soviet leaders belong to the most unpleasant group one can deal with. Their capacity to lie on matters of common knowledge is stupendous."

Henry Kissinger responding to Deng Xiaoping's charges that Western detente policy was akin to the 1938 Munich agreement, 20 October 1975 (p. 386):
"The Vice Premier referred to the spirit of Munich. I have studied the period and lived through it as a victim, so I know it rather well. ... A country that spends $110 billion a year for defense cannot be said to be pursuing the spirit of Munich."

Mao Zedong to Henry Kissinger, after the latter criticized the New York Times's editorial policy, 21 October 1975 (p. 397):
"It is said that the New York Times is controlled by a Jewish family."

Henry Kissinger to President Ford on the Chinese leadership, 19 March 1976 (p. 406):
"They are cold, pragmatic bastards."


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