Henry Kissinger Discusses Conflicts in the Middle East

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gestures as he speaks with Clifford Chanin, the executive vice president and deputy director for museum programs.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger discusses conflicts in the Middle East with Cliff Chanin, the 9/11 Memorial Senior Vice President of Education and Public Programs, Museum Exhibitions, Collections.

More than 200 people filled the 9/11 Memorial Museum auditorium last night, eagerly awaiting former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. He was invited to discuss how the United States should approach current conflicts in the Middle East.

Before the program, Kissinger toured the museum with 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels. When he arrived in the auditorium, Kissinger was introduced by 9/11 Memorial Chairman Michael R. Bloomberg.

Kissinger addressed the audience with remarks on his experience inside the exhibition space. “[I was] moved by what I saw today and the way it brought [me] back to a moment of tragedy for the world,” he said.

He explained that before 9/11, we had never witnessed the immediacy of a direct attack on U.S. soil.

"9/11 will be seen as a turning point in which America would learn that we have to be engaged in the world. And not only do we have to be engaged, but we have to make a correct judgement about the nature of the danger and act on it while there is still time to prevent it," he said.

Kissinger stated that the threat of ISIS is twofold: it undermines the legitimacy of states by threatening the security states provide to their citizens and encourages Muslims across the world to rise up against their governments.

"ISIS not only has to be defeated, it has to be wiped out—and fairly quickly—because every month that they stay intact it is a demonstration that they have held the strongest military powers at bay," he said.

Learn more and reserve tickets for upcoming programs. Admission is free, but tickets must be reserved in advance.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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