President Richard Nixon: “We’ve got to be thinking in terms of an all-out bombing attack [of North Vietnam]…Now, by all-out bombing attack, I am thinking about things that go far beyond…I’m thinking of the dikes, I’m thinking of the railroad, I’m thinking, of course, of the docks.”
National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger: “I agree with you.”
President Nixon: “And I still think we ought to take the dikes out now. Will that drown people?”
Kissinger: “About two hundred thousand people.”
President Nixon: “No, no, no…I’d rather use the nuclear bomb. Have you got that, Henry?
Kissinger: “That, I think, would just be too much.”
President Nixon: “The nuclear bomb, does that bother you?…I just want to think big, Henry, for Christsakes.”