War: Apparently not mad enough yet

Posted on March 6, 2008


Picked up a cool book at work today, and it reminded me about how upset I used to be at the war until it dragged on and on and I became meh about it. Are you meh, too? Let me help with that. Excerpts:

“More than ever, it is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent.” Charles Eliot Norton

“Wars are not ‘acts of God.’ They are caused by man, by man-made institutions, by the way in which man has organized his society. What man has made, man can change.” Frederick Moore Vinson

“Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.” C.S. Lewis

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Leviticus 19:18, KJV

“Love rules his kingdom without a sword.” George Herbert

“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another. Just as a mother would protect her only child at the rist of her own life, even so, cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings.” Buddha

“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.” George Washington

“Peace hath higher tests of manhood than battle ever knew.” John Greenleaf Whittier

“I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people refuse to go to war.” Albert Einstein

“Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” John Donne

“No nation can find its own salvation by breaking away from others. We must all be saved or we must all perish together.” Mahatma Gandhi

“As a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers’ lives are lost.” Natalie Maines

“As far as we are concerned, every death … in every war that was ever fought represents life needlessly wasted, a mother’s labor spurned. We are for life and creation, and we are against war and destruction.” Betty Williams

“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of tears! We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.” Julia Ward Howe (created Mother’s Day in response to the Civil War’s effects on society)

“War loves to seek its victims in the young.” Sophocles

“In peace, children inter their parents. War violates the order of nature and causes parents to inter their children.” Herodotus

“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.” Jonathan Swift

“Hatred is the coward’s revenge for being intimidated.” George Bernard Shaw

“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” Confucius

“If anyone should give you a blow with his hand, with a stick or with a knife, you should abandon any desires and utter no evil words.” Buddha

“You have heard that they were told, ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’ But what I tell you is this: Do not resist those who wrong you. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn and offer him the other also.” Matthew 5:38-39, revised English edition

“When we see a blow struck, we go on and think no more about it. Yet every blow aimed at the most distant of our fellow creatures is sure to come back, to our families and descendants.” Walter Savage Landor

“All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Matthew 26:52, KJV

“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility and its stupidity.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” Jose Narosky

“It is essential to persuade the soldier that those he is being urged to massacre are bandits who do not deserve to live; before killing other good, decent fellows like himself, his gun would fall from his hands.” André Gide

“Weapons are like money; no one knows the meaning of enough.” Martin Amis

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in a final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, from those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending its money alone — it is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Today every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or madness.” John F. Kennedy

“So long as governments set the example of killing their enemies, private individuals will occassionally kill theirs.” Elbert Hubbard

“The world is drenched in mutual slaughter … Held to be a crime when committed by individuals, homocide is called a virtue when committed by the state.” Saint Cyprian

“Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Violence is an admission that one’s ideas and goals cannot prevail on their own merits.” Edward M. Kennedy

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” Isaac Asimov

“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” Henry Wadsworth Lonfellow

“We have got to understand that they dream our dreams and we dream theirs. We have got to understand that they are us.” Rachel Corrie

“They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.” Ernest Hemingway

“War is at best barbarism. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have never fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman

“‘Terrorism’ is what we call the violence of the weak, and we condemn it. ‘War’ is what we call the violence of the strong, and we glorify it.” Sydney J. Harris

“Almost all propaganda is designed to create fear. Heads of governments and their officials know that a frightened people is easier to govern, will forfeit rights it would otherwise defend, is less likely to demand a better life, and will agree to millions being spend on ‘Defense.'” John Boynton Priestly

“Old men declare wars because they have failed to solve complex political problems. They send young men to go fight them. Of course, the old men have to make up patriotic and emotional rationales to justify their stupidity.” Arthur Hoppe

“Blind faith in your leaders or in anything will get you killed.” Bruce Springsteen

“Fuehrers will cease to plague the world only when the majority of its inhabitants regard such adventurers with the same disgust as they now bestow on swindlers and pimps. So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.” Aldous Leonard Huxley

“The master class has always declared wars; the subject class has always fought the attles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose — especially their lives.” Eugene Victor Debs

“Make wars unprofitable and you make them impossible.” A. Philip Randolph

“All ferocity is born of weakness.” Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger

“A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It’s a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity.” Jimmy Carter

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

“History is a vast early-warning system.” Norman Cousins

“Throughout history, the world has been laid waste to ensure the triumph of conceptions that are now as dead as the men that died for them.” Henri de Montherlant

“I do not recollect in all the animal kingdom a single species but man which is eternally and systematically engaged in the destruction of its own species.” Thomas Jefferson

“The United States of America is still run by its citizens. The government works for us. Rank imperialism and warmongering are not American traditions or values. We do not need to dominate the world. We want and need to work with other nations. We want to find solutions other than killing people.” Molly Ivins

And finally, the top Skidoo-pick:

“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle — be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded writhing in pain; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it — for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.” Mark Twain


Posted in: war