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tv   Conversation with Henry Kissinger  CSPAN  May 20, 2016 9:10pm-10:30pm EDT

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and pacific on c-span q&a. >> at a conference on the vietnam war, former secretary of state henry kissinger discussed his role on the war saying he had no regrets about the decisions he made. he is interviewed by the director of the lbj presidential library in austin, texas. this part part of the conference is one hour 15 minutes. [applause]. welcome, it is a privilege to have you on this stage. one of the things i think most people don't realize is that you are not only the national security advisor and secretary of state to president nixon and secretary of state to president
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ford, but also a part-time consultant to president kennedy and president johnson. more than any living person, i think you saw all the principal commander-in-chief around vietnam up close. can you talk about each of those men and what characterize their position on the war? >> first of all, let me say, what an honor it is for me to be here and to participate in a conference that is needed to heal wounds of the debates about vietnam. so i want to congratulate the library for organizing this and providing the opportunity. i would like to say also that it's sort of symbolic that secretary kerry is coming here
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tomorrow night. he was walking around with placards outside the white house when i served there. [laughter] and the point i want to make is we've become good friends at the end of it and he came to my 90th birthday party and made a joke in which he said, he pointed out what his actions had been then and that it was a pity that we didn't have an opportunity to talk rather than confront each other in that period. in that time, he and i worked together when he was chairman of the foreign relations committee and i greatly respect his
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efforts now and it's very meaningful that this conference would end with a speech by this distinguished leader of america now. now to answer your question, in the kennedy administration, vietnam was at first a fairly derivative issue. the primary concern was the future of laos because they in turn had received the advice from president eisenhower that the future of laos might determine the future of vietnam.
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and as it went on, there was a document that the chinese produced who said the whole world was going to be characterized by the struggle of the countryside against the cities, and the kennedy administration tried to interpret what was going on in china as part of that process. in those days we had only a few thousand advisors but that number was increased to about 50000 in the kennedy administration, but it was not yet a central for american politics.
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then lyndon johnson inherited the situation in which the government of vietnam had been overthrown and the north vietnamese had infiltrated regular divisions and so lyndon johnson was getting out the spirit of the policy that have been started president cut kennedy when he ordered the increase of forces and then gradually, as the administration went on, all his life had been known as concerned with the messick policy and in that
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division of the country, in a way it's lasted to this day and i must say he was an anguished person because he wanted peace, but his notions of peace were that you made the compromise. that is the one thing that the north vietnamese were never prepared to do, and indeed, i became involved because to achieve the negotiations, they had all been blocked so i became an involved in the following way. i was at that time a professor with no standing in the hierarchy in washington.
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i attended a scientific conference in europe and at that conference there were two individuals who talk to me because they knew i had been in vietnam for a few weeks earlier that year at the invitation. one of these two people had been the host of the vietnamese leader to negotiate peace with the french. he offered to go to vietnam on behalf of the united states. i called up secretary mcnamara to tell him about this.
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secretary mcnamara, amazingly president johnson entrusted a professor at harvard which was not the constituency which most favored him. they set off with a message from president johnson. they were achieved received by ho chi minh.
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after six years of negotiations they. [inaudible] they made it sound as if maybe there was something, so they brought back this reply and i won't go through all the details , but in none of those efforts did i ever see a negotiator. i was just with two frenchmen who dealt with the vietnamese. this went on for several months and then after a while we realized that they were stalling, but i mention this only to show the dedication of
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him to achieve this from the very beginning. president dixon had the problem of how he inherited the war. there were already 5000 plus troops in vietnam and he had the same issue, how do you end this war and how do you withdraw these troops without leading to a collapse of the whole structure and some of our allies with the collapse of the old section.
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you can ask me questions about individual decisions. president ford was president in the very last phase of the war. it was him at the very end of the war that it was obvious that we were talking only about the evacuation of the last batch of civilians that were stuck at the airport in saigon and i called them and said we have to make this evacuation of saigon and if you read that phone conversation between him and me, he realized that we had to leave but he
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wanted to squeak out another 12 hours to see whether we could rescue a few more people, so all the presidents were haunted in their way. each of them were dedicated to fighting for a peaceful solution. each of them have the dilemma of how you relate to the ending of the war and there was nobody who wanted war. that was the dilemma. there was nobody who wanted to escalate the war. they all wanted peace, but the question was, under what conditions can you do that without turning over the millions who had committed themselves. >> let me go back to john f.
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kennedy. there is widespread speculation that had he not been assassinated, president kennedy would've reversed course and withdrawn troops from vietnam despite any evidence to that end. is there anything you saw from president kennedy that would suggest that over time he would have withdrawn our support for the war in vietnam? >> i've never seen the slightest evidence of this. it is possible to say that he would survive without diminishing the commitment. they believed that it was a
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simpler problem than it turned out to be, but i have never seen a piece of paper that would indicate this. all of the chief advisers for president kennedy who were taken over by president johnson when he became president were unanimous in both presidencies in supporting the cause that was adopted until things got very difficult. then of course it appeared and i have never seen them and i have no evidence that president kennedy would have done the. >> lyndon johnson was a domestic policy stage. he knew how to get deals done. he knew instinctively what to do there are many who think he was out of his depth in terms of
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foreign policy. what is your view of johnston as a foreign-policy president? >> president president, you can't really predict what the foreign-policy of the president who was swallowed up by the war in vietnam. without any question johnson was a master in knowing the nuances of domestic policy and he did not know the foreign leaders as well as he did the rest.
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so it didn't come as naturally to him, but on the form policy issues other than the war in vietnam he had a very good relationship with our allies and with our enemies he was very eager to come to certain agreement with the soviet union, but everything was so overlaid by the war in vietnam, i thought president johnson was a formidable individual in some ways, it was a personal tragedy that he spent so much of his life to achieve that office and wanted to be impelled to do certain things that were not
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made of focus, but i thought he was a strong figure and i felt great respect for him. >> it has long been alleged that richard nixon's campaign in 1968 tampered with eight tampered with the peace process by extending them to the south vietnamese to urge them to withhold from negotiation with the north vietnamese because they might get a better deal from president nixon. what is your view of that? >> i have no personal knowledge of whether that contact actually took place in the way it has been alleged, but assuming that the story is correct, i do not believe that whatever nixon did
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had any of the consequences that have been alleged. you have to remember this aspect of our relationship with the vietnamese, the vietnamese, our vietnamese allies were always in a nearly desperate position. they needed our help as a essential component. so when this was going on, they had a tendency to agree with the prohibitions we put forward on the theory that the north vietnamese would overthrow. so in 68 we experienced what
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nixon experienced four years later that when the point came to undertake the negotiations and they would have to assume responsibility for the outcome, then the south vietnamese leaders felt it was necessary to demonstrate to their own people that they hadn't been forced by the united states to do this. so it started a debate about something that i'm sure president johnson and i know president nixon, in our. thought had already been settled, so one of the key issues that worse set at the
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table and were produced a necessity for the south vietnamese to sit down at the same table with the people who had been fighting to overthrow them. : and started a debate about the way the negotiation could even start. we faced exactly the same thing in a different way for years later. we made an agreement with the north vietnamese, and we thought the south vietnamese had agreed teach of the
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town's only discuss them. but then when they were actually put forward, we went through six weeks of controversy. so that was -- that would have happened. secondly, so you can -- you have some delay between the announcement, and the shutting down was in my opinion inevitable. but there is one other thing to remember. peace could have been made if somehow that all sat at the same table. there was absolutely no chance of this whatsoever because on november 3, 2 days after the developments
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were met, the vietnamese, which they have never changed, the administration which, the united states had to withdraw totally, and for coalition government dominated by communists, before in a negotiation could take place about anything else, so at that time it was the position that the north vietnamese had to withdraw before any withdrawal of american could take place. so those conditions were maintained for the rest of the administration, and it
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was the only obstacle to the failure of the negotiations at the nixon administration until the vietnamese were defeated and they fell to the tet offensive that was mentioned because the one thing that the nixon administration would not concede is that we would overthrow and allied government that had supported the united states and reliance on promises made by other presidents, and as soon as the north vietnamese agreed that the existing government could stay, which was -- it -- america should not torture
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itself on the view that it could have had a settlement earlier if the presidents have been more willing. they could not have a settlement except for several -- selling out which are he unconditionally promotes no one would've supported. >> 1978 television interview,1978 television interview, patient had no intention of quickly pulling out of vietnam. he aimed to exploit the rivalry between china and the soviet union to improve relations with both of them. our motives for being acted out. they some believe that america had to negotiate some strength to prove its willingness to fight. vietnam became that place.
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how do you respond to that? is that characterize nixon's position on the war? >> it characterizes part of nixon's position. this can be interpreted by professional critics of it. thought so that he could do other things. that was not what he thought. he thought that if america discredited itself by abandoning it itscommitments in vietnam he could not do the bigger things that were needed in order to make the war in vietnam fit into the global perspective. and so this is not only about vietnam but about trying to build a world
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order in which vietnam's canola. in that sense. >> you say in your book ending the vietnam war that the domino theory was real. it would've played out. what would've been the consequences of not waging a fight in vietnam in your opinion? >> look, the problem of anti- foreign-policy decisions is that you have to make it on the basis of adjustment. they depend, and you can always come up with a counterfactual. the person who had a great influence on our thinking and i believe also to some
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extent on president johnson's thinking was prime minister. one of the great men i met, he inherited a seminar with a per capita income of $600.220 years and do a significant country, the per capita income of 55,000. without any natural resources -based on the dedication and quality of its population. he was convinced, and so were many others, that is vietnam collapsed at the time that then it would be
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engulfed, and the same thing within happen in indonesia, malaysia, and elsewhere. and he maintained that opinion. and he was not a cold warrior in the abstract. he was a judge of what it took to keep the little country secure. >> see you agree? >> i agree with that. and yes. and so i think that the president, reason for making them. >> and is 2015 book bob woodward writes of the january 1972 memo that you wrote to president nixon updating them on the military situation in laos.
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president nixon wrote a handwritten note on that same memo which read k in kissinger. we have had ten years of total control in the air in laos and vietnam. the result equals else. there is. there's something wrong with the strategy of the air force. andand yet the night before in a cbs interview with dan rather president nexus of the bombing, the results have been effective. their effectiveness will be demonstrated. publicly president nixon is saying the bombing is effective privately to you. how do you account for that? >> it is one of the curses of modern activism that every scrap of paper be collected.
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in the same way as if it were legal document. eighteen hours a day, under constant pressure. they write a note to their advisor that it is still going on, and nixon hattaway of exaggerating his comment. he said, what did you do when you receive this? i said, i did not. and he could not believe it. why would i do nothing. because i had worked with president next for ten years. or eight years. and when you get the message
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like this have attendance after a while to wait to see whether there be a follow-up and if you think about it, that is what made the normal way. on the assessment of the campaign you cannot positively say it may not have achieved everything you have to break it down. i think probably nixon might have slightly exaggerated what he said publicly. he surely exaggerated his
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frustration in a handwritten note, probably written late at night. and i think we ought to analyze each document that is floating around from that point of you. paul was the context in which the comment was made. >> but nixon is a very enigmatic person. and you person. and you write often that he would say one thing and meet another, so you have to judge when he was saying -- >> it did not mean that i had a very clear idea of what he wanted. and you have to understand, you cannot survive a security advisor.
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you have only one constitute. the president of the united states. and you must be absolutely straight with them. and the most important thing is security advisor can do and must do is to tell the president the options he has sometimes he has to say to the president from ill considered 1st, and if you abuse that utility, it is at an end. so nixon now generally known , hated personal confrontation, and so therefore in face-to-face confrontations it was like it was possible that he expressed himself
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ambiguously. but if you in any written you can absolutely rely, and if you look at his record he knew he was a very strong president in sticking to his basic convictions. he took an enormously difficult decisions, and there was no ambiguity about them. but it was better to discuss them with him then have aa face-to-face conversation. and one will find going through the archives that most of the key decisions when i was security advisor were based on memoranda and
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nine conversations. the conversations played a very important role in creating the mood and establishing the general context, but when a precise decision was needed it was best to do it in writing. it is a good way anyway to relay between presidents. >> right. mentioned your commitment to the peace process and the fact that you in 1973 along with your north vietnamese counterpart won the nobel peace prize. there are many who will i see you are a war criminal due to the systematic carpet bombing of laos and cambodia why was that necessary to our strategy and winning more?
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>> you know, in my 90s, i heard. the word war criminal should not be thrown around. it is a shameful reflection on the people who use it. that is look what was the situation. there was no carpet bombing, so that is absolute nonsense, not true. the situation was as follows, the judgment, the north vietnamese moved four divisions into the border areas of vietnam and cambodia on cambodian soil and established areas from which they wants attack and
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vietnam, and put there in opposition to the cambodian government. in fact, t cambodian government told them there is representative of lbj that if we bomb those areas that did not kill any cambodians that they would close their eyes to it. the lbj administration decided not to do this because we were already under pressure domestically and for other reasons that may be known by others better than i. but then the -- one nixon
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came nixon had already, just before he assumed office sent a message to the north vietnamese that he was eager to resume negotiations. in the 3rd week of the nixon presidency they started out offensive in which every week 500, up to 500 americans were killed, and many of these attacks, more than half of these attacks came from the areas that were occupied by those four divisions inside cambodian territory. and after we had suffered 1500 casualties, and ten
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years of war in afghanistan nixon ordered an attack on the areas within 5 miles of the vietnamese border that were essentially unpopulated. so when the french cup -- when the phrase carpet bombing is used, it is, i think, probably much less than what the obama administration has done in similar areas. which i think is justified. and therefore, i believe that was done in cambodia was justified and eventually wiped out the areas. the casualties were down by
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80 percent, and so those were the decisions, and i would bet that sooner or later and he president would have had to do it because this is one that is you find during a war and those areas from which the killing units extend, then you are in an absolutely hopeless position. i was security advisor. i was not -- a different matter. strongly supportive of it, and it was in the american interest. and there are a billion
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casualties from this bombing alone. we have to ask ourselves another thing, the argument against doing it was a cambodia was a neutral country. but a country that had four divisions. it is not actually a neutral country. and the leader of cambodia told the johnson administration that he would in no way welcome this bombing. only then actually did it he said at a press conference, i don't know what goes on in
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that part of my country in which no cambodians live in which is occupied by vietnamese. if any cambodians killed i will protest. he never protested. >> two of the others, robert mcnamara expressed regret over the war and how it was wage saying that the wall was futile and that his conduct was wrong, terribly wrong. have you any regrets on any of the actions you took? >> no. you always make -- i believe that the american presidents
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and those of us who worked with them were acting upon the basis of their best judgment the time. and i think whatever mistakes were made, the cause of discussing, discuss how one can learn from these. i'm proud one should not
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tell. >> what is the biggest lesson we should draw from the war in vietnam? >> the biggest, i would say the dilemma of american foreign-policy, we have lived. a lucky part of the country.
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people are being pressed together. therefore americans have a tendency to think that piece is the normal condition of one people, among countries. when there is instability it is sort of an accident. you can remedy by one set of action after which you can go back to a condition of stability. clearly. been involved in the five worst since world war ii.
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which we, in fact, lost. we ended each of these wars with a wide public consensus there was an 80 percent support for everyone of these initial ask, but then after some period time people say we have to end it and you need an extrication strategy, well, the best one is just to get out. you can also call that defeat. so if you enter a war you should not do it for objectives.
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he has to distinguish, use a country between those things you will do all if you have allies and those you must to and so you have to make that distinction. and we have to learn, i'd the pliers, not to get into these conflicts unless you can describe the name. when you have to end it,
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those are message. and and they also have to moderate our domestic debate because the vietnam war, what started as a huge level debate about whether we were engaged in the process that we could master, most since formed into an attack. the moral quality of american leadership. and when one teaches a people it is basically patriotic for 20 years they are run by criminals and fools, you can get a political debate the becomes more and more violent and we suffer from it and some of
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the current political debates. that is one lesson we should learn from the vietnam war. should moderate the argument that make them people. >> based on that you how would you assess the war in iraq? >> the war in iraq, well, 1st of all, i want to be clear, i supported it. i had in mind a different kind of war. i thought we would withdraw after saddam was overthrown. ..
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and then we say let's rid of this ruler and the people of iraq or the people of syria have a democratic government. that can restore stability. but what has happened in iraq and in syria was at the end of world war 1 the european victors organized a group of tribes, religions, and
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it is -- one of them was syria that had a majority of sunnis, and a minority of shia, which in syria, of course, otherwise -- and iraq it was the opposite. it had a minority of sunnis and a majority of shias so in each case, the american president said, let's get rid of the top guy and we will have stability. but getting rid of the top guy produces a conflict among the various minority groups who are then fighting for preeminence, and so we have to learn that when we get into nation-building, it's such a war
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we have to engage in nation-building, and so i think we did not understand the complexities of nation-building as a general proposition in several administrations. that's how i would assess the war in iraq. we got into something deeper than we assessed at the beginning. >> dr. kissinger has graciously consented to take a few questions from the audience, and i will ask him another question. as you wish to ask questions, queue up behind the microphones on either side of the aisle itch ask, please, that you ensure that your question is in fact that, a question and not a statement, and that you be as brief as possible in asking that question. dr. kissinger, it's impossible to ignore the election as it plays out.
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you said in a 2014 interview with scott simon of national public radio that you think hillary clinton would make a good president about you intended to support the republican nominee. >> i'm not going to get into the -- [laughter] [applause] >> is it fair to say that that 2014 was a long time ago? are you still inclined to support whoever the republican party nominates? [laughter] >> i have not made any pronouncements. >> fair enough. >> if i might add, you were kind enough to say i could -- consented to answer questions. insisted on answering questions.
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>> you insisted. >> i wanted to give the audience -- [applause] >> i must say to dr. kissinger's everlasting credit he called me several weeks ago and said, i want to take questions from in the audience. i'll take any question they offer to me. i ask that you ask your question again briefly and in a civil manter and we'll start with this gentleman on the left. >> dr. kissinger, when the accord was signed in laos in 1962, they counted on the vietnamese to honor the neutralization of laos, which didn't happen, and they did not acknowledge that accord was broken. in your agreement, you had a side expectation of the north vietnamese moving their troops out of cambodia, laos and that
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didn't happen as expected. how do we -- >> it's a tentative proposition, you can say, at least until recently, the north vietnamese -- the record for breaking agreements. the 1962 agreement on laos, if you -- president eisenhower was convinced that laos was the key to vietnam; that if one believed that vietnam was important to the security of the united states, then one had to keep laos from falling under north
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vietnamese domination, and he is -- the accord i believe did recommend to the incoming administration that they should make an issue of laos, and seemed to imply he would send some american troops to achieve this. laos being less complex country in which to achieve his objective. the kennedy administration was not willing to put in forces but it said it might, and as a result there was a neutralization agreement, and that was broken by the north vietnamese almost immediately, and they turned laos into a
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supply base and all the supplies which most -- most of the supplies which went through laos in 1972, when the nixon administration made its agreements, we had a lot of practice in violated north vietnamese agreements. but we were faced with the near certainty that the congress would vote an end to the war no matter what action would be taken, and secondly, we believed that the provisions of the vietnam agreement, if we could enforce them, would also protect the other two countries. we thought that the south
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vietnamese forces that existed could withstand all but an all-out attack, and we with woo have enforced or meant to enforce the agreement if there was an all-out attack. then watergate destroyed that possibility, and then the congress legislated a prohibition against any attempt to enforce the agreement. so, we will not know what might have happened, but you are right, by the time that these agreements were made in 1972, the american domestic position had disintegrated to a point where those who were the -- those were the best terms available and it goes back to the point i made earlier, we
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must -- if we end the war, also make sure that the domestic base for it can be sustained. that's part of the responsibility of the administration. but the opponents also have to understand that if they achieve their objectives by undermining all confidence in government, that, of course, no strategy could succeed. >> yes, ma'am. >> thank you. my name is jean, a vietnamese american. dr. kissinger it is -- you have agreed to avenge for china to take over the island in 1974, on
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whose behalf did you do so, and even the current south china sea situation and all the concerns in asia and pacific ocean, what at vade size would you with president xi, president obama, and secretary kerry. thank you. >> i'm not sure i fully understood the question. it's a question that we tacitly agreed in 1974 that china could take over south -- >> i'm not quite sure i understand that. restate the question. >> it was understood that the u.s. and your supervisor, the security adviser, had arranged so that china would take over the islands in 1974, so that we don't lose that area to russia. now, today, what would you
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suggest us do on behalf of the national security of the u.s. and even the attack for china is doing on the u.s. do you think the agreement that you signed with mao in 1972- -- 71-72, that time -- is worthy of our 58,000 deaths of the american soldiers? >> thank you. >> well, first of all, as for the benefit of the two or three nontexas graduates here who may not know what the islands are, those -- it's a group of islands
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in the south china sea located between china and vietnam. and depending on from which point of land you measure the distance, they're either closer to vietnam than to china. anyway, it's disputed issue. the chinese claim these islands because hundreds of years ago, a chinese emperor drew a line in the pacific, near the philippines, and said everything on that side belongs to china. so, and chiang kai-shek claimed these islands. the vietnamese also claimed these islands. the american position, with
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respect to the islands, has been consistently that we do not take a position on the sovereignty of these islands. in 1974, in the midst of watergate, a war in the middle east, i can assureow, the islands were not foremost on mind, but there is no agreement that was ever signed in which we gave china a right to occupy the islands. nor have the chinese ever claimed, that, and so i think yu are not well-informed. there was no specific
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negotiation. >> -- u.s. navy. >> thank you, ma'am. >> what was the last -- >> yes, sir. your question. >> i was a south vietnamese soldier who spent ten years in prison thanks to the very agreement you signed with hanoi in 1973. you destroyed my present field. you was a fraud. you would send troops to help our nation, our country, to resist the -- and the result is vietnam fall to hanoi, and i expect that you should answer the question, what we learn from vietnam war that we would never
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betray any ally that depend on us, and trust it very much. thank you. >> i have great sympathy for these questions from vietnamese. they had a right to think that we had promised them support through a number of administrations, including the one in which i served. when vietnam was collapsing, it was impossible to convince the congress to pass any additional funds. we're talking now about 1975. there were 35 other nations that
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had signed on to the agreement when it was made in 1973. we appealed to all of them, and none of them was willing to act. it was one of the saddest moments of my life, and all of us who were -- the day of the evacuation of saigon was one of the saddest moments of my life and of all of us who had been -- had seen the dedication of vietnamese, the dedication of those people who served, little of which have written letters that i have sympathy for your
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question, and i hope no other american leader gets asked similar questions, but the fundamental failure was the division in our country. without that we could have managed it. >> yes, sir. [inaudible question] >> -- an honor -- is it working now? >> i didn't get it. >> he justified himself. >> 198 infan tray i-corps vietnam, 68-69. after the tet offensive, after lbj refusing to run again, after walter cronkite, there was peace with honor as a striving, yet it cost tens of thousands of casualties. it would have been better to skip the honor and dodge so many of the casualties? getting out earlier?
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>> what's the question? >> would it -- given the fact that peace with honor took such a toll in terms of human life, would it have been better just to withdraw altogether? is that a fair -- >> yes. the invasion of cambodia, the extended time of the u.s. soldiers, certainly later '69, '70, sustained a lot of casualties. perhaps we should have withdrawn. thank you. >> if you look at the american political debate there was no one -- if you look at the position of the democratic party at that time, you will find that nobody in 1969 and '70
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recommended unilateral withdrawal; that the position of the johnson administration was that the vietnamese troops had to withdraw first, and six months after that, american withdrawals would start. so, a unilateral withdrawal of american forces in the middle of a war, declaring we cannot stand the consequences of this war, i don't know anybody who recommended it at that time. then by two years later, we were talking about infantry -- withdrawal -- in retrospect, was
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the war worth all these casualties? of course if you lose a war, you cannot say, but what it achieved in any event was that the southeast asia was not overrun and probably made the contributing factor to the opening to china. but it was a bitter ending. >> i do not blame you or any administration, perhaps the cause is not in the stars but all of ourselves. >> what did he say? >> just a statement, dr. kissinger. the last question on the right here. >> hello, dr. kissinger, a
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pleasure to hear you speak this evening. always been a fan of and find you fascinating. may not agree with you always but you're an interesting individual and influenced or world in many ways. the war on drugs was issued under nixon and the long term, we have more people in prison in china, 70% of our prisoners are nonviolent. do you think the war on drugs was worth it, and do you think it should be continued into the 21st century and you think we should continue it or look at it as a failure or was it's victory? that do you think of that? the war on drugs and how it affected the last 40-some-odd years. >> the war on drugs, the domestic policy matter? >> under nixon. >> i don't think any statement i
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can make on the war on drugs would be -- >> fair enough. >> but i want to make one other point here. my observations are directed at an american -- at the american audience. i have great sympathy for the vietnamese who are in this audience, and of course, their perspective had to be -- has to be different, and i'm sorry but not because of any action the administration in which i was involved in, but if it -- historic tragedy that mesh found itself so divided and could not solve its domestic debates so that it could come out of the
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war with a result that was more compatible with what, on a bipartisan basis, it had entered, and that is a lesson we should learn. >> dr. kissinger, you have made your mark on history. what will history say about henry kissinger? [shouting] >> i have no -- i had the good fortune of being able to come to the united states when most of the -- many of the people with whom i grew up were killed in germany. so i have always been deeply grateful to this country, and i know what it represents to the
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peace in the world. i've been lucky in being able to execute my concerns as my profession, and so i'm -- i'm not involved in what i'm doing in order to get history written about me. there is a extensive record and some people -- i must say the way the mass of material that is produced now in the internet age, i'm not too sure whether you can say history will come to a fair judgment. anyway, that is not my concern.
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i try to do the best i could, and that's all i can say. [applause] >> we are not only grateful to you, dr. kissinger, for being our honored guest about for serving your country as a -- in world war ii. we have many veterans out there, including yourself, and i would ask now that you stand and be recognized by this audience, please. [applause] [applause]
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>> thank you for your service, dr. kissinger. thank you for your time tonight. thank you all. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> on american history tv on c-span3, the september marks the opening of the smithsonian national museum of african-american history and culture, and on saturday morning, beginning at 8:30, american history tv is live for an all--day conference with scholars from chaos the country discussing african-american religion, politics, culture, historic preservation and interpretation, at 10:00 p.m. eastern on real america, the
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1975 church committee hearings convenessed to investigate the intelligence activity's the cia, fbi, the irs and the nsa. the commission hears testimony from who fib informants, mary joe cook, how she penetrated an anti-vietnam war organization, and gary thomas rowe, who infill traited the klan and participated in violence against civil rights activists. >> mean the birmingham policemen set up the beating of the freedom riders and you told the fib that? >> that's correct. >> were they beaten. >> very badly, yes. >> did the police give you the time they promised to give you. >> yes, sir. we were promised 15 minutes with absolutely no intervention from any police officer whatsoever. >> then at 8:00. on lectures and history. >> what that opportunity gave them was an opportunity to go to college, they saved some of that money. they sent themselves through
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college. they sent siblings through college. they became doctors and lawyers. one became the first female manager of any department at northup airlines. they became principals, surgeons, politicians, pilots, and they were able to do that because they had access to professional baseball. >> marshal university professor cat williams on how women added the aided the war effort in fast ball tries and auxiliary units and the rise of women's baseball leagues, including the all-american girls professional baseball league featured the movie "a league of their own." >> ladies and gentlemen of the convention, my name is geraldine ferraro. [cheers and applause] >> i stand before you to
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proclaim tonight america is the land where dreams can come true for all of us. >> the 1984 vice president acceptance speech of jeraldine ferraro at the democratic national convention in san francisco. she was the first woman to be nominated for vice president by a major party. for the complete american history tv weekend schedule, go to c-span.org. now, a discussion about medical technology and new inventions to aid the disabled. it was part of the washington host's transformer summit held on wednesday. this is two hours. >> we are delighted to welcome you here this morning. thank you for joining us. [applause] >> we're sitting in the center

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