[Page 778]

293. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and the White House Chief of Staff (Haig)1

K: The press conferenxce2 reached Moscow and Brezhnev asked Dobrynin if this could possibly be true. What happened Wednesday was compared to the bombing of Hanoi.

H: Oh no! How is Dobrynin’s morale?

K: He thinks there should be direct confrontation between the two gentlemen but you know what happened overnight. It was put to the Israelis that we couldn’t tolerate them squeezing Egypt this way—put to the Egyptians that they should meet with the Israelis and work out details. The Israelis blew their stack and said they would go public and that they were being brutalized for the claim of being small. Four Israelis accepted this meeting permitting one convoy to go through. I thought all was settled but now the Israelis are sitting at the meeting place and the Egyptian convoy is sitting somewhere within Israel.

H: We cannot let the people starve.

K: You may help me to settle down those maniacs at Defense. He3 is now flapping all over the place—we cannot airlift supplies to Egypt.

H: One thing he did mention was putting troops in Trucial States to get oil.

K: He is insane.

H: He thinks forces should be put in.

K: I do not think we can survive with these fellows in there at Defense—they are crazy.

H: I told him he should not come to you. He said we could not let people die in the desert and that the Israelis are lying to us and that we must be tougher.

H: The big thing is to get the two parties to work it out.

K: That way it has a chance. If we go in it will start war again. I have asked him not to send a military mission to Israel. Schlesinger wants to check on whether the Israelis are lying—will you please help me with him.

H: I will do my best.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 23. No classification marking.
  2. Nixon’s press conference; see footnote 2, Document 285.
  3. Secretary of Defense Schlesinger.