New York Times Quote, Wherefore Art Thou?

Wednesday 24 June, 2009 at 4:33 am Ken 0

Tuesday afternoon I was quoted on the New York Times web site regarding the “I’d . . . cut off his head if necessary” statement I transcribed from the Nixon tapes that were released yesterday.


“What this quote shows is that Nixon was willing to go to any length to force the president of South Vietnam to accept a so-called peace settlement that Nguyen Van Thieu, Henry Kissinger, and Richard Nixon all realized would lead to a Communist military victory,” Mr. Hughes said.

But now my beautiful, beautiful quote is gone — gone — vanished

Here, I have a picture of it, before it was torn from its natural habitat.
It’s there! I know it’s small, but look closer. Look! Gaze upon its quotatiousness. 
This week the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations convenes and, gentle reader, I was so gonna rock my New York Times quote at SHAFR. 
At last, I can hear myself saying, at last, some mainstream media recognition of Nixon’s “decent interval” exit strategy. 
It would’ve been swell. 
Now I’m afraid I’m gonna get paraphrase-probed. It’s gonna hurt. 

Mr. Hughes said the conversation bolstered his view that Nixon, Thieu and Mr. Kissinger knew at the time that the cease-fire could not endure, and that it was not “peace with honor,” as Nixon described it, so much as a face-saving way for the United States to get out of the war. In 1975, North Vietnam would violate the cease-fire and conquer South Vietnam.

So, Ken, I can hear them all snidely sneering, wasn’t it basically everyone’s view that the ceasefire would not hold? And to say that Nixon did not achieve “peace with honor,” well, isn’t that a little vague? Like “a face-saving way for the United States to get out of the war”? I don’t know, we were expecting something a little . . . more. 

Come back, li’l quote! I love you! 


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