Quotes on War (15)

More War Quotes:
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"To defeat the aggressors is not enough to make peace durable. The main thing is to discard the ideology that generates war." -Ludwig von Mises

"The lowest standards of ethics of which a right-thinking man can possibly conceive is taught to the common soldier whose trade is to shoot his fellow men. In youth he may have learned the command, 'Thou shalt not kill,' but the ruler takes the boy just as he enters manhood and teaches him that his highest duty is to shoot a bullet through his neighbor's heart - and this, unmoved by passion or feeling or hatred, and without the least regard to right or wrong, but simply because his ruler gives the word." Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

WAR IS HELL
“I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. Some of these young men think that war is all glory but let me say war is all hell.” William Tecumseh Sherman.
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"If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks." Frederick The Great
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"War is like a big machine that no one really knows how to run and when it gets out of control it ends up destroying the things you thought you were fighting for, and a lot of other things you kinda forgot you had." Anonymous
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"War would end if the dead could return." Stanley Baldwin
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"There is no telling how many wars it will take to secure freedom in the homeland." - George W. Bush(1946- ) 43rd US President: Source: In a speech on August 7, 2002
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The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war. James Madison 1751-1836 American Statesman, Fourth President of the US
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"The war made possible for us the solution of a whole series of problems that could never have been solved in normal times." - Joseph Paul Goebbels (1897-1945) Nazi Propaganda Minister - Source: The Göebbels Diaries, 1942-1943
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"When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory - must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

'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 shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; 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 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.'
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"All wars are sacred ... to those who have to fight them. If the people who started wars didn't make them sacred, who would be foolish enough to fight? But, no matter what rallying cries the orators give to the idiots who fight, no matter what noble purposes they assign to wars, there is never but one reason for a war. And that is money. All wars in reality are money squabbles. But so few people ever realize it. Their ears are too full of bugles and drums and fine words from stay-at-home orators. Sometimes the rallying cry is 'Save the Tomb of Christ from the Heathen!' Sometimes it's "Down with Popery!' and sometimes 'Liberty!' and sometimes 'Cotton, Slavery, and States' Rights!'" -- Rhett Butler from Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind
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"Where is it written in the Constitution, in what article or section is it contained, that you may take children from their parents and parents from their children, and compel them to fight the battles of any war in which the folly and wickedness of the government may engage itself? Under what concealment has this power lain hidden, which now for the first time comes forth, with a tremendous and baleful aspect, to trample down and destroy the dearest right of personal liberty? Who will show me any Constitutional injunction which makes it the duty of the American people to surrender everything valuable in life, and even life, itself, whenever the purposes of an ambitious and mischievous government may require it? ... A free government with an uncontrolled power of military conscription is the most ridiculous and abominable contradiction and nonsense that ever entered into the heads of men." -- Daniel Webster- (1782-1852), US Senator Source: Speech in the House of Representatives, January 14, 1814
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“It is extremely dangerous to exercise the constitutional right of free speech in a country fighting to make democracy safe in the world...

“These are the gentry who are today wrapped up in the American flag, who shout their claim from the housetops that they are the only patriots, and who have their magnifying glasses in hand, scanning the country for evidence of disloyalty, eager to apply the brand of treason to the men who dare to even whisper their opposition to Junker rule in the United Sates. No wonder Sam Johnson declared that "patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." He must have had this Wall Street gentry in mind, or at least their prototypes, for in every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the people...

“Every solitary one of these aristocratic conspirators and would-be murderers claims to be an arch-patriot; every one of them insists that the war is being waged to make the world safe for democracy. What humbug! What rot! What false pretense! These autocrats, these tyrants, these red-handed robbers and murderers, the "patriots," while the men who have the courage to stand face to face with them, speak the truth, and fight for their exploited victims-they are the disloyalists and traitors. If this be true, I want to take my place side by side with the traitors in this fight.” - Eugene V. Debs [The Canton, Ohio, Anti-War Speech. June 16, 1918]
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"I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag." -- Major General Smedley Darling Butler (1981-1940) Major General USMC, "Old Gimlet Eye'' and "Hell Devil Darling", most highly decorated military men from the pre-World War II era. Source: from a speech in 1933
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“The president has adopted a policy of 'anticipatory self-defense' that is alarmingly similar to the policy that imperial Japan employed at Pearl Harbor, on a date which, as an earlier American president said it would, lives in infamy. Franklin D. Roosevelt was right, but today it is we Americans who live in infamy.” Arthur Schlesinger.
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“The aim of military training is not just to prepare men for battle, but to make them long for it.” Louis Simpson
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War creates peace like hate creates love. David L. Wilson
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"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses." -- Major General Smedley Darling Butler (1981-1940) Major General USMC, "Old Gimlet Eye'' and "Hell Devil Darling", most highly decorated military men from the pre-World War II era. Source: from a speech in 1933
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He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, science for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable an ignorable war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder." Albert Einstein (Einstein wrote a letter to the US Government suggestion that atomic energy could be used militarily. Kind of hypocritical.)
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"The lowest standards of ethics of which a right-thinking man can possibly conceive is taught to the common soldier whose trade is to shoot his fellow men. In youth he may have learned the command, 'Thou shalt not kill,' but the ruler takes the boy just as he enters manhood and teaches him that his highest duty is to shoot a bullet through his neighbor's heart - and this, unmoved by passion or feeling or hatred, and without the least regard to right or wrong, but simply because his ruler gives the word." Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil
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"We could not leave them to themselves -- they were unfit for self-government -- and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain's was .. there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them." -William McKinley - (1843-1901) 25th US President - Source: 1899, on the Filipinos, following the U.S. invasion of the Philippines in 1898. During the invasion and occupation, U.S. forces killed an estimated 200,000 Filipino civilians. Address to the Methodist Episcopal Church; cited in Olcott, The Life of William McKinley (1916), v. 2, p. 110; estimate of civilian casualties from U.S. Library of Congress, "The World of 1898: The Spanish-American War," 1998.
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Men love their ideas more than their lives. And the more preposterous the idea, the more eager they are to die for it. And to kill for it.: Edward Abbey
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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 morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." James Madison, April 20, 1795
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We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country, to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: "Disarm, disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."-Julia Ward Howe
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American strategists have calculated the proportion of civilians killed in this century's major wars. In the First World War 5 per cent of those killed were civilians, in the Second World War 48 per cent, while in a Third World War 90-95 per cent would be civilians: Colin Ward, Anarchy in Action
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God and a soldier all people adore In time of war, but not before; And when war is over and all things are righted, God is neglected and an old soldier slighted: Anonymous
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I have seen men march to the wars, and then I have watched their homeward tread, And they brought back bodies of living men, But their eyes were cold and dead: Edmund Vance Cooke
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"I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal. Fortunately, we were on the winning side." US General Curtis LeMay, commander of the 1945 Tokyo fire bombing operation.
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"War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society these irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense." - Randolph Bourne (1886 -1918) Source: in War and the Intellectuals, 1964
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"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."- Albert Einstein (1879-1955) Physicist and Professor, Nobel Prize 1921 (Einstein wrote the USA government suggestion nuclear power could be used militarily.)
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"All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it." - Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) French historian - Source: Democracy in America, 1835
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Crime Against Peace: A basic provision of the Charter is that to plan, prepare, initiate or wage a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances, or to conspire or participate in a common plan to do so is a crime: Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson
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"If we do go to war, psychological operations are going to be absolutely a critical, critical part of any campaign that we must get involved in." General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
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It is foolish in the extreme not only to resort to force before necessity compels, but especially to madly create the conditions that will lead to this necessity." Benjamin Tucker, Liberty, May 22, 1886
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“Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.” HH the Dalai Lama:
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"A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self- preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property, and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means." --Thomas Jefferson to John Colvin, 1810
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Only the winners decide what were war crimes: - Gary Will
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"The industrial way of life leads to the industrial way of death. From Shiloh to Dachau, from Antietam to Stalingrad, from Hiroshima to Vietnam and Afghanistan, the great specialty of industry and technology has been the mass production of human corpses." -Edward Abbey
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"The death of a single human being is too heavy a price for the vindication of any principle, however sacred." -Daniel Berrigan

"War paralyzes your courage and deadens the spirit of true manhood. It degrades and stupefies with the sense that you are not responsible, that 'tis not yours to think and reason why, but to do and die,' like the hundred thousand others doomed like yourself. War means blind obedience, unthinking stupidity, brutish callousness, wanton destruction, and irresponsible murder." : Alexander Berkman
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"It seems that 'we have never gone to war for conquest, for exploitation, nor for territory'; we have the word of a president [McKinley] for that. Observe, now, how Providence overrules the intentions of the truly good for their advantage. We went to war with Mexico for peace, humanity and honor, yet emerged from the contest with an extension of territory beyond the dreams of political avarice. We went to war with Spain for relief of an oppressed people [the Cubans], and at the close found ourselves in possession of vast and rich insular dependencies [primarily the Philippines] and with a pretty tight grasp upon the country for relief of whose oppressed people we took up arms. We could hardly have profited more had 'territorial aggrandizement' been the spirit of our purpose and heart of our hope. The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations." Ambrose Bierce, Warlike America

"COWARDICE, n. A charge often levelled by all-American types against those who stand up for their beliefs by refusing to fight in wars they find unconscionable, and who willingly go to prison or into exile in order to avoid violating their own consciences. These 'cowards' are to be contrasted with red-blooded, 'patriotic' youths who literally bend over, grab their ankles, submit to the government, fight in wars they do not understand (or disapprove of), and blindly obey orders to maim and to kill simply because they are ordered to do so-all to the howling approval of the all-American mob. This type of behavior is commonly termed 'courageous.'" Chaz Bufe

"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, science for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable an ignorable war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder." Albert Einstein (During WWII Einstein wrote the American government that atomic energy could be used for war.)
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“During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable, even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism.” Howard Thurman
"Either man is obsolete or war is. War is the ultimate tool of politics. Political leaders look out only for their own side. Politicians are always realistically maneuvering for the next election. They are obsolete as fundamental problem-solvers." - R. Buckminster Fuller

"This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children." Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 16, 1953
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“Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object.” Abraham Lincoln

“I hate it when they say, 'He gave his life for his country.' Nobody gives their life for anything. We steal the lives of these kids. We take it away from them. They don't die for the honor and glory of their country. We kill them." - Admiral Gene LaRocque.

“We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living.” General Omar Bradley
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“It is easier to lead men to combat, stirring up their passion, than to restrain them and direct them toward the patient labors of peace.” Andre Gide
Everything, everything in war is barbaric . . . But the worst barbarity of war is that it forces men collectively to commit acts against which individually they would revolt with their whole being: Ellen Key, 1916
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"Stability and peace in our land will not come from the barrel of a gun, because peace without justice is an impossibility." -- Bishop Desmond Tutu - (1931- ) Nobel Prize for Peace 1984
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"An empire founded by war has to maintain itself by war.": Charles de Montesquieu (French Politician and Philosopher, 1689-1755)
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A man must be both stupid and uncharitable who believes there is no virtue or truth but on his own side. - Joseph Addison, English poet
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"It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder." -Albert Einstein (Einstein would later write to the American government about the possible use of atomic energy for war use.)
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"It was a failure of citizenship of the American people that the Bush cabal was allowed to invade Iraq. Thus, every U.S. citizen who is not doing everything in their power to end this illegal and immoral occupation as quickly as possible is complicit with the war crimes being committed in Iraq on a daily basis." Dahr Jamail: Independent Journalist, War Reporter
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Everything, everything in war is barbaric... But the worst barbarity of war is that it forces men collectively to commit acts against which individually they would revolt with their whole being. Ellen Key
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"Conquered states that have been accustomed to liberty and the government of their own laws can be held by the conqueror in three different ways. The first is to ruin them; the second, for the conqueror to go and reside there in person; and the third is to allow them to continue to live under their own laws, subject to a regular tribute, and to create in them a government of a few, who will keep the country friendly to the conqueror" Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
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'In the democracy of the dead all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave" John James Ingalls
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Peace is good for all peoples except those profiteers who profit from war. Gary Amirault
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In the tapes confiscated from President Nixon is recorded a conversation with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. They were discussing bombing the dikes in Vietnam. Kissinger stated that might kill 200,000 people. Then Nixon suggested using a nuclear bomb rather than bombing the dikes which would only kill 200,000 people, mostly civilians. Then Nixon said, speaking of using nuclear weapons, "I just want you to think big, for Christ's sake." Both these men are among the most depraved in society. These kinds of minds usually rise to the top to join men like Nero, Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot,
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"Military necessity does not admit of cruelty." President Lincoln , 1863.
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"Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience". - Thomas Merton
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"To those who have called me a coward I say that they are wrong, and that without knowing it, they are also right. They are wrong when they think that I left the war for fear of being killed. I admit that fear was there, but there was also the fear of killing innocent people, the fear of putting myself in a position where to survive means to kill, there was the fear of losing my soul in the process of saving my body, the fear of losing myself to my daughter, to the people who love me, to the man I used to be, the man I wanted to be. I was afraid of waking up one morning to realize my humanity had abandoned me." - Sgt. Camilo Mejia, who served one year in prison for refusing to return to fight in Iraq. He was released from prison Feb. 15, 2005.
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"Justice is as strictly due between neighbor nations as between neighbor citizens. A highwayman is as much a robber when he plunders in a gang as when single; and a nation that makes an unjust war is only a great gang": Benjamin Franklin to Benjamin Vaughan, 14 March 1785 (B 11:16-7)
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"One cannot wage war under present conditions without the support of public opinion, which is tremendously molded by the press and other forms of propaganda.":  Douglas MacArthur  - American General who commanded the Southwest Pacific Theatre in World War II, 1880-1964

Why don't church leaders forbid Catholics from joining the military with the same fervor they tell Catholics to stay away from abortion clinics? - William Blum

"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets."- Voltaire
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"In the struggle of Good against Evil, it's always the people who get killed." Eduardo Galeano
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"Wars and lies are bosom buddies." Gary Amirault

More War Quotes:
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24) (25)

World of Wars

A War Prayer by Mark Twain. Preachers, profiteers and politicians make war appear to be glorious. This is the text of Mark Twain's powerful illustration and a link to a youtube video version.

War: Who is responsible? by Lawrence M. Vance. Points out that the American government has created a mindset that when a person puts on a military uniform, they are no longer responsible for their actions on the killing fields. This is wrong.

War is a Racket by Major General Smedley Darlington Butler

The pioneers of a warless world are the youth that refuse military service. - Albert Einstein.

The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations. David Friedman

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." -MATTHEW 5:9

Neither shall they learn war any more. Jewish and Christian Bibles, Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3

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