The World: Kissinger: I Do Not Accept the Decline of the West

In recent weeks, Henry Kissinger has sometimes talked rather more like a Harvard historian than a pragmatic diplomat-negotiator. To aides, newsmen and foreign officials, Kissinger allowed that he feared the possibility of political instability in parts of Europe and that some nations, as a result of the economic crisis, might in desperation embrace authoritarian forms of government.

But does Kissinger really have a Spenglerian view of Western civilization and its future? Last week, in a conversation with TIME Diplomatic Editor Jerrold L. Schecter, Kissinger seemed to be more hopeful than previous reports had suggested. Sitting in an alcove of Cairo's marble-and-alabaster Tahra...

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