Kissinger's Advice to Bush

Primary sources exposed and explained.
Oct. 3 2006 2:17 PM

Kissinger's Advice to Bush

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

In his new book, State of Denial, Bob Woodward reports that Henry Kissinger was a "powerful, largely invisible influence on Bush's Iraq policy." Woodward quotes Vice President Dick Cheney saying in 2005 that he talked to Kissinger "at least once a month." Kissinger met with President Bush, Woodward writes, "every couple of months."

Kissinger saw Iraq "through the prism of the Vietnam war," which Kissinger believes was won in 1972 but subsequently lost "because of the weakened resolve of the public and Congress." (For more of Kissinger's revisionist views on Vietnam and their relevance to Iraq, click here.) One Vietnam lesson, Kissinger told Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, was that Bush must resist public pressure to withdraw troops from Iraq.

Advertisement

To underscore the point, Kissinger gave Gerson a memo that he wrote for President Nixon in 1969. That memo, posted online by the National Security Archive  and reprinted below and on the following four pages, compares the withdrawal of troops to "salted peanuts," the consumption of which, Kissinger posits, doesn't satisfy hunger so much as create the desire for ... more salted peanuts. Since Kissinger acknowledges that the United States is defending a weak regime in South Vietnam, and that there's little prospect for victory during the next two years, his memo reads less like a call to action than like a call to dissemble.

To read John Prados' commentary for the National Security Archive about the memo, click here. To listen to an excerpt of Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts," click here. To buy a can of hand-cooked Virginia salted peanuts, click here.

1_123125_2137821_2137075_2150697_2150853_saltedpeanut

 

Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His  book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

There Are New Abuse Allegations Against Adrian Peterson

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

John Oliver Pleads for Scotland to Stay With the U.K.

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Jurisprudence

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 

The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police

The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 1:51 PM Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 15 2014 4:38 PM What Is Straight Ice Cream?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.