Conversation of the day

Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger (17 Oct. 1973):

Kissinger: Have you seen The New York Times blasting the Nobel Prize?
Nixon: Why have the blasted it?
Kissinger: Because they can’t bear the thought the war in Vietnam has ended.
Nixon: That’s amusing.
Kissinger: They should call it the war prize. All the liberals all screaming their heads off.
Nixon: Really?
Kissinger: George Ball.
Nixon: Why is he screaming?
Kissinger: He just made a snide comment.
Nixon: What—that the war is not over—or what?
Kissinger: That the Nobel Prize Committee has a sense of humor.
Nixon: Uh-huh.
Kissinger: They can’t bear the thought—you know, Mr. President, when they said the detente didn’t work. They never say the detente enabled us to settle the Vietnam war because that is the thing they cannot bear—with honor.
Nixon: Yeah, that’s right. When we stick to the honor—that’s the last straw.
Kissinger: Yeah.
Nixon: All right.

Source: Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume XXV, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1973, p. 559.


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