"Our goal was not to get into Cambodia"

History One of the most iconic moments in US presidential history - apart from his later resignation speech - was the moment during the Vietnam war when Richard Nixon met protesters at the Lincoln Memorial. Up until now, the moment has been built on the quites from the youngster and second hand reporting of comments (which is how the scene in Oliver Stone's biopic was developed). Now, thanks to another release from Nixon's tapes, we have snatches of his account. Here's how PBS have covered the release and this is the key quote:
"And I said I was sorry they had missed it because I had tried to explain in the press conference that my goals in Vietnam were the same as theirs -- to stop the killing, to end the war, to bring peace. Our goal was not to get into Cambodia by what we were doing, but to get out of Vietnam.

There seemed to be no -- they did not respond. I hoped that their hatred of the war, which I could well understand, would not turn into a bitter hatred of our whole system, our country and everything that it stood for.

I said, I know you, that probably most of you think I'm an SOB. But I want you to know that I understand just how you feel."
This moment is probably the reason why heads of state rarely meet people who disagree with them. The last thing they want is to look like Richard Nixon.

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