WAR QUOTES X

quotations about war

War is the sure result of the existence of armed men. That country which maintains a large standing army will sooner or later have a war. The man who prides himself on fisticuffs is going, some day, to meet a man who considers himself the better man, and they will test the issue.

ELBERT HUBBARD, The American Bible

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The abolition of war is no longer to be set down as a creation of fancy, a dream of enthusiastic philanthropy. War rests on opinion; and opinion is more and more withdrawing its support. War rests on contempt of human nature; on the long mournful habit of regarding the mass of human beings as machines, or as animals; having no higher use than to be shot at and murdered for the glory of a chief, for the seating of this or that family on a throne, for the petty interests and selfish rivalries which have inflamed states to conflict. Let the worth of a human being be felt, and a main pillar of war will fall.

WILLIAM E. CHANNING, Thoughts

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I came to the conclusion that war was an unacceptable way of solving whatever problems there were in the world--that there would be problems of tyranny, of injustice, of nations crossing frontiers and that injustice and tyranny should not be tolerated and should be fought and resisted, but the one thing that must not be used to solve that problem is war. Because war is inevitably the indiscriminate killing of large numbers of people. And that fact overwhelms whatever moral cause is somewhere buried in the history of that war.

HOWARD ZINN, Howard Zinn Speaks: Collected Speeches, 1963-2009

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The monk that invented gunpowder did as much to stop war as did all the sermons of his brethren.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

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In every trade save war men of talent and vigor prosper. In war they die.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, The Crossing

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A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility today. How could you have one if one of its features would be several cities lying in ruins, several cities where many, many thousands of people would be dead and injured and mangled, the transportation systems destroyed, sanitation implements and systems all gone? That isn't preventive war; that is war.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, news conference, August 11, 1954

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War is a game, in which princes seldom win, the people never. To be defended, is almost as great an evil as to be attacked; and the peasant has often found the shield of a protector, no less oppressive than the sword of an invader. Wars of opinion, as they have been the most destructive, are also the most disgraceful of conflicts; being appeals from right to might, and from argument to artillery; the fomenters of them have considered the raw materials, man, to have been formed for no worthier purposes than to fill up gazettes at home with their names, and ditches abroad with their bodies. Let us hope that true philosophy, the joint offspring of a religion that is pure, and of a reason that is enlightened, will gradually prepare a better order of things, when mankind will no longer be insulted, by seeing bad pens mended by good swords, and weak heads exalted by strong hands.

CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon

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War may be the game of kings, but, like the games at ancient Rome, it is generally exhibited to please and pacify the people.

ARTHUR HELPS, Thoughts in the Cloister and the Crowd

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Want is both parent and child of war.

EDWARD COUNSEL, Maxims

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Armies are not bad things in themselves; it's war that's evil.

JUAN GOMEZ-JURADO, God's Spy

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Short of changing human nature ... the only way to achieve a practical, livable peace in a world of competing nations is to take the profit out of war.

RICHARD NIXON, Real Peace

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In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

JAMES MADISON, speech at Constitutional Convention, June 29, 1787

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All wars of interference, arising from an officious intrusion into the concerns of other states; all wars of ambition, carried on for the purposes of aggrandizement; and all wars of aggression, undertaken for the purpose of forcing an assent to this or that set of religious opinions; all such wars are criminal in their very outset, and have hypocrisy for their common base.

CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon

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We could make no more tragic mistake than merely to concentrate on military strength. For if we did only this, the future would hold nothing for the world but an Age of Terror.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, State of the Union Address, January 9, 1958

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A righteous war is a legacy from heaven--oftentimes the handmaid of a nation's liberty.

EDWARD COUNSEL, Maxims

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War settles nothing.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, Quote Magazine, April 4, 1965

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NIXON: The only place where you and I disagree ... is with regard to the bombing. You're so goddamned concerned about civilians and I don't give a damn. I don't care. KISSINGER: I'm concerned about the civilians because I don't want the world to be mobilized against you as a butcher.

RICHARD NIXON & HENRY KISSINGER, attributed, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

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Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

JAMES MADISON, "Political Observations", April 20, 1795

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Even a successful war is a loss to most families.

EDWARD COUNSEL, Maxims

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There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe that they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.

NEIL GAIMAN, American Gods

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