Saturday, December 11, 2010

Henry's Bad Idea

Jeffrey Goldberg on a excerpt from newly-opened Nixon tapes (thanks to the Nixon library in Yorba Linda) in which the president and Henry Kissinger take a discussion of realpolitik way too far. Goldberg wonders whether Kissinger's distasteful speculation about what the U.S. would do, or not do, in the hyper-hypothetical case of a Soviet holocaust will be his epitaph, but that seems unlikely. Like many of these recorded conversations, it's just hot air.

There's one small irony, however. After Nixon died in 1994 and I was negotiating with Stanley Kutler and the National Archives about the Nixon tapes, I had several conversations with Kissinger in which he expressed concern that, when they were finally opened, he would appear to have been too agreeable when Nixon said outrageous things. This time, it went the other way around.

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