Warriors speak of war
Dija ever notice that the people who are the most eager to go to war are the people who never had to fight in one? Look at what people who actually saw battlefields had to say about it:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
Dwight David Eisenhower, April 16, 1953.
Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides nd hurricanes he will encounter. The Statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965), My Early Life: A Roving Commission, 1930
I do not mean to exclude altogether the idea of patriotism. I know it exists, and I know it has done much in the present contest. But I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting war can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest, or some reward.
George Washington
I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes.
Douglas MacArthur, congress address, 19 April 1951
Men acquainted with the battlefield will not be found among the numbers that glibly talk of another war. 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, speech, Ottawa, Canada, 10 January 1946
Nothing except a battle lost can be half as melancholy as a battle won."
Duke of Wellington, 1815
My first wish is to see this plague to mankind banished from off the Earth, and the sons and daughters of this world employed in more pleasing and innocent amusements than in preparing implements and exercising them for the destruction of mankind.
George Washington, letter to David Humphreys, 25 July 1785
The world will never have lasting peace so long as men reserve for war the finest human qualities. Peace, no less than war, requires idealism and self-sacrifice and a righteous and dynamic faith.
John Foster Dulles, 9 March 1955
I've got to go to meet God - and explain all those men I killed at Alamein.
Field Marshall Viscount Montgomery in 1976.
But in modern war you will die like a dog for no good reason.
Ernest Hemingway
There never was a good war or a bad peace.
Benjamin Franklin
I thought dying for your country was the worst thing that could happen to you. I think killing for your country can be a lot worse. Because that's the memory that haunts
Bob Kerry
War is barbarous at best. War is cruel and you cannot refine it. 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. War is hell.
William Tecumseh Sherman, 17 March 1879
I have many times asked myself whether there can be more potent advocates of peace upon earth through the years to come than this massed multitude of silent witnesses to the desolation of war.
King George V
Don't cheer, boys; the poor devils are dying.
Philip, John Woodward, US naval officer. Restraining his victorious crew during the naval battle off Santiago in the Spanish-American War. Attrib., 1898
More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 13 April 1945, the day of his death.
Never was so much false arithmetic employed on any subject, as that which has been employed to persuade nations that it is their interest to go to war. Were the money which it has cost to gain, at the close of a long war, a little town, or a little territory, the right to cut wood here, or to catch fish there, expended in improving what they already possess, in making roads, opening rivers, building ports, improving the arts, and finding employment for their idle poor, it would render them much stronger, much wealthier and happier. This I hope will be our wisdom.
THomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia
I love peace, and I am anxious that we should give the world still another useful lesson, by showing to them other modes of punishing injuries than by war, which is as much a punishment to the punisher as to the sufferer. I love, therefore [the] proposition of cutting off all communications with the nation [England] which has conducted itself so atrociously. This, you will say, may bring on war. If it does, we will meet it like men; but it may not bring on war, and then the experiment will have been a happy one.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to T. Coxe, 1794
But when we see two antagonists contending ad internecionea, so eager for mutual destruction as to disregard all means, to deal their blows in every direction regardless on whom they may fall, prudent bystanders, whom some of them may wound, instead of thinking it cause to join in the maniac contest, get out of the way as well as they can, and leave the cannibals to mutual ravin. It would have been perfect Quixotism in us to have encountered these Bedlamites, to have undertaken the redress of all wrongs against a world avowedly rejecting all regard to right. We have, therefore, remained in peace, suffering frequent injuries, but, on the whole, multiplying, improving, prospering beyond all example. It is evident to all, that in spite of great losses much greater gains have ensued. When these gladiators shall have worried each other into ruin or reason, instead of lying among the dead on the bloody arena, we shall have acquired a growth and strength which will place us hors d'insulte. Peace then has been our pr inciple, peace is our interest, and peace has saved the world this only plant of free and rational government now existing on it ... However, therefore, we may have been reproached for pursuing our Quaker system, time will affix the stamp of wisdom on it, and the happiness and prosperity of our citizens will attest its merit. And this, I believe, is the only legitimate object of government and the first duty of governors, and not the slaughter of men and devastation of the countries placed under their care in pursuit of a fantastic honor unallied to virtue or happiness; or in gratification of the angry passions or the pride of administrators excited by personal incidents in which their citizens have no concern."
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thaddeus Kosciusko, 1811. (Emphasis added)
Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done."
Julius Caesar

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