quotations about war

War is a mind-set, and all action that comes out of such a mind-set will either strengthen the enemy, the perceived evil, or, if the war is won, will create a new enemy, a new evil equal to and often worse than the one that was defeated. There is a deep interrelatedness between your state of consciousness and external reality. When you are in the grip of a mind-set such as "war," your perceptions become extremely selective as well as distorted. In other words, you will see only what you want to see and then misinterpret it. You can imagine what kind of action comes out of such a delusional system. Or instead of imagining it, watch the news on TV tonight.



Tags: Eckhart Tolle

In war--a country's hopes stagnate,
In war--her strong are slain.
In war--dark evils desecrate
Her council hall and fane.
In war--with wings of omen dark
Her wrongs and debts increase,
Prosperity and progress mark
The golden realm of Peace.



Tags: Martha Lavinia Hoffman

In former days, when wars arose from individual causes, from the policy of a Minister or the passion of a King, when they were fought by small regular armies of professional soldiers, and when their course was retarded by the difficulties of communication and supply, and often suspended by the winter season, it was possible to limit the liabilities of the combatants. But now, when mighty populations are impelled on each other, each individual severally embittered and inflamed--when the resources of science and civilisation sweep away everything that might mitigate their fury, a European war can only end in the ruin of the vanquished and the scarcely less fatal commercial dislocation and exhaustion of the conquerors. Democracy is more vindictive than Cabinets. The wars of peoples will be more terrible than those of kings.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech in the House of Commons, May 13, 1901


Tags: Winston Churchill

If there is a God, the phrase that must disgust him is "holy war".

STEVE ALLEN, Reflections


Tags: Steve Allen

Is it not tragic, for example, that while in the last World War almost everyone believed it was the war to end all wars and wanted to make it so, now in this Second World War almost no writer that I have read dares even suggest that this is the war to end all wars, or act on that belief? We have lost the courage to hope.

LIN YUTANG, Between Tears and Laughter


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If you think of humanity as one large body, then war is like suicide, or at best, self mutilation.

JEROME P. CRABB, War Quotes and Quibbles


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Accursed be he that first invented war.

CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE, Tamburlaine the Great


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Wars do not end wars any more than an extraordinarily large conflagration does away with the fire hazard.

HENRY FORD, My Life and Work


Tags: Henry Ford

No catalogue of horrors ever kept men from war. Before the war you always think that it's not you that dies. But you will die, brother, if you go to it long enough.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, "Notes on the Next War", Esquire, September 1935


Tags: Ernest Hemingway

It is interesting ... how weapons reflect the soul of the maker.

DON DELILLO, Underworld


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Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war it seems more like astrology.

REBECCA WEST, attributed, Europe in Arms


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Now that I've seen what war is ... I know that everybody, if one day it should end, ought to ask himself: "And what shall we make of the fallen? Why are they dead?" I wouldn't know what to say. Not now, at any rate. Nor does it seem to me that the others know. Perhaps only dead know, and only for them is the war really over.

CESARE PAVESE, The House on the Hill


Tags: Cesare Pavese

I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen two hundred limping exhausted men come out of line-the survivors of a regiment of one thousand that went forward forty-eight hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Address at Chautauqua, August 14, 1936


Tags: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Beware the toils of war ... the mesh of the huge dragnet sweeping up the world.

HOMER, The Iliad


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I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.

BARACK OBAMA, The New Yorker, May 31, 2004


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War is thus divine in itself, since it is a law of the world.... War is divine in the mysterious glory that surrounds it and in the no less inexplicable attraction that draws us to it.

JOSEPH DE MAISTRE, "Seventh Dialogue"


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War is a contagion.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, speech, October 5, 1937


Tags: Franklin D. Roosevelt

War is a beastly business, it is true, but one proof we are human is our ability to learn, even from it, how better to exist.

M. F. K. FISHER, introduction to revised edition, How to Cook a Wolf


Tags: M. F. K. Fisher

The line, broken into moving fragments by the ground, went calmly on through fields and woods. The youth looked at the men nearest him, and saw, for the most part, expressions of deep interest, as if they were investigating something that had fascinated them. One or two stepped with overvaliant airs as if they were already plunged into war. Others walked as upon thin ice. The greater part of the untested men appeared quiet and absorbed. They were going to look at war, the red animal--war, the blood-swollen god. And they were deeply engrossed in this march.

STEPHEN CRANE, The Red Badge of Courage


Tags: Stephen Crane

When a war is waged by two opposing groups of robbers for the sake of deciding who shall have a freer hand to oppress more people, then the question of the origin of the war is of no real economic or political significance.

VLADIMIR LENIN, Pravda, April 26, 1917


Tags: Vladimir Lenin