Henry Kissinger said in November 1968, after Richard Nixon was elected U.S. president but before he took office: “Nixon should be told that it is probably an objective of Clifford to depose Thieu (South Vietnamese president Nguyen Van Thieu—ed.) before Nixon is inaugurated. Word should be gotten to Nixon that if Thieu meets the same fate as Diem, the word will go out to the nations of the world that it may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.”
The quotation referred to America’s role in Vietnam. If America doesn’t stand by its friends and allies, the quotation explains, then it might ultimately be less dangerous to be America’s enemy.
The saying was re-used in the 2000s, during the war on terror, when some critics felt the United States might weaken its resolve to wage the war. Critics of the foreign policy of President Obama in 2009 used the saying about United States’ seemingly wavering support for its allies in Israel, Honduras and Eastern Europe (Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic).
Wikipedia; Henry Kissinger
Henry Alfred Wolfgang Kissinger (born May 27, 1923) pronounced /ˈkɪsɪndʒər/, is a German-born American political scientist, diplomat, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the Nixon Administration.
A proponent of Realpolitik, Kissinger played a dominant role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977. During this period, he pioneered the policy of détente. He negotiated a settlement ending the Vietnam War, but the cease-fire proved unstable and no lasting peace resulted beyond the pullout of the US troops.
In the Nixon and Ford administrations he was a flamboyant figure. He described himself as perhaps the only National Security Advisor to have a fan club. His foreign policy record made him a villain to the anti-war left (see the Operation Condor section below). Kissinger was the “most frequent visitor” to the George W. Bush White House as an unofficial political adviser on Israel and the Middle East—including the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
United Nations Journal:
A delegate’s odyssey
By William Frank Buckley
New York, NY: Putnam
“Nixon should be told that it is probably an objective of Clifford to depose Thieu before Nixon is inaugurated. Word should be gotten to Nixon that if Thieu meets the same fate as Diem, the word will go out to the nations of the world that it may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.”
(Spoken by Henry Kissinger—ed.)
11 April 2002, Indiana (PA) Gazette, “Fatal to be America’s friend?” by George F. Will, pg. 6, col. 6:
At an emotional, visceral level, Rush is Israel’s very good friend—its best presidential friend since Ronald Reagan. But Bush’s policy, bent by persons determined to nuance into inanity his war against terrorism, may teach this lesson: Although it is dangerous to be America’s enemy, it can be lethal to be America’s friend.
National Review Online
September 14, 2007 12:00 AM
Advice for a Presidential Candidate
What would Winston Churchill Do?
By Clifford D. May
It should not require a Churchill to see that if American forces leave Iraq precipitously, America’s enemies will fill the vacuum. And Iraqis who have been fighting with us will be slaughtered. People around the world will get the joke: To be America’s friend is more perilous than to be America’s enemy.
The Wall Street Journal
REVIEW & OUTLOOK JULY 30, 2009, 4:09 P.M. ET
Banishing Our Friends
The State Department revokes the visas of Honduran officials.
The State Department announced Tuesday that it revoked the diplomatic visas of four Honduran officials because the U.S. doesn’t recognize the interim government of Roberto Micheletti. Hondurans can be forgiven if they recall the bitter Vietnam-era joke that while it can be dangerous to be America’s enemy, it can be fatal to be its friend.
“To be America’s enemy may be dangerous–but to be her ally is FATAL!”
By Humberto Fontova, on September 15, 2009, at 9:01 pm
Ace of Spades HQ
September 16, 2009
ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS ON WAY TO CZECH REPUBLIC, POLAND TO KILL MISSILE DEFENSE
Quote: Christopher Johnson quotes someone with this bon mot:
“It is dangerous to be America’s foe, but to be the friend, it is downright lethal”.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Wednesday, September 16, 2009 • Permalink