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War (I)
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59,417.  We are at war.  (Pope & War)  The Borgias: The Face of Death s3e1, Rodrigo

 

 

94,846.  The problem after a war is with the victor.  He thinks he has just proved that war and violence pay.  Who will now teach him a lesson.  A J Muste

 

 

96,245.  The best way to fight a war is alone.  (Boxers: Heavyweights & War)  Joe Frazier  

 

 

61,987.  When the war of the giants is over the wars of the pygmies will begin.  (Giant & War & Churchill)  Winston Churchill

 

 

26,191.  We are all so afraid, we are all so alone, we all so need from the outside the assurance of our own worthiness to exist.  So, for a time, if such a passion come to fruition, the man will get what he wants.  He will get the moral support, the encouragement, the relief from the sense of loneliness, the assurance of his own worth.  But these things pass away; inevitably they pass away as the shadows pass across sundials.  It is sad, but it is so.  The pages of the book will become familiar; the beautiful corner of the road will have been turned too many times.  Well, this is the saddest story.  (War & Fear & Loneliness & Life’s Like That & Afraid)  Ford Madox Ford 

 

76,278.  I think that you can honour the sacrifices of a common soldier without glorifying war.  (Honour & War & Soldier)  Geraldine Brooks

 

cf.

 

76,279.  Why should we honour those that die upon the field of battle?  A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.  (Honour & Battle & Self & War & Soldier & Courage & Abyss)  William Butler Yeats

 

 

25,883.  Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,

Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,

A lonely impulse of delight

Drove to this tumult in the clouds;

I balanced all, brought all to mind,

The years to come seemed waste of breath,

A waste of breath the years behind

In balance with this life, this death.  William Butlere Yeats, An Irish Airman Foresees His Death 1919

 

 

25,884.  I think it better that at times like these

A poet's mouth be silent, for in truth

We have no gift to set a statesman right;

He has had enough of meddling who can please

A young girl in the indolence of her youth

Or an old man upon a winter's night.  William Butler Yeats, On Being Asked for a War Poem 1919

 

 

63,726.  The world impoverishes itself by spending a trillion dollars a year on preparations for war, and by employing perhaps half the scientists and high technologists on the planet in military endeavours.  How would we explain all this to a dispassionate extra-terrestrial observer?  What account would we give of our stewardship of the planet Earth?  (Arms & War)  Professor Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: Who Speaks For Earth? 1979

 

 

49,804.  He who is the author of a war, lets loose the whole contagion of hell, and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death.  Thomas Paine, The American Crisis 

 

 

229.  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 lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with 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.  (God & Prayer & War)  Mark Twain, The War Prayer 

 

25,887.  It was a time of great and exalting excitement.  The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.  ibid.

 

 

25,888.  Clearly insane ... and insanest upon war and its supreme glories.  (War & Insanity & Insult)  Mark Twain on Teddy Roosevelt

 

 

26,084.  There has never been a just [war], never an honorable one – on the part of the instigator of the war.  I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances.  The loud little handful – as usual – will shout for the war.  The pulpit will – warily and cautiously – object – at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, ‘It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.’  Then the handful will shout louder.  A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity.  Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers – as earlier – but do not dare say so.  And now the whole nation – pulpit and all – will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open.  Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.  Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories 

 

 

25,962.  God created war so that Americans would learn geography.  (Geography & War)  Mark Twain, attributions & variations

 

 

25,962.  War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.  (War & Geography)  Ambrose Bierce, attributions inc Mark Twain

 

 

56,719.  All’s fair in love and war.  (Proverbs & Love & War)  Early 17th century proverb

 

 

296.  Imagine a world in which generations of human beings come to believe that certain films were made by God or that specific software was coded by him.  Imagine a future in which millions of our descendants murder each other over rival interpretations of Star Wars or Windows 98.  Could anything – anything – be more ridiculous?  And yet, this would be no more ridiculous than the world we are living in.  (God & Prayer & War)  Sam Harris, The End of Faith

 

 

643.  Incompatible religious doctrines have balkanized our world into separate moral communities, and these divisions have become a continuous source of bloodshed.  Indeed, religion is as much a living spring of violence today as it has been at any time in the past.  The recent conflicts in Palestine (Jews vs. Muslims), the Balkans (Orthodox Serbians vs. Catholic Croatians; Orthodox Serbians vs. Bosnian and Albanian Muslims), Northern Ireland (Protestants vs. Catholics), Kashmir (Muslims vs. Hindus), Sudan (Muslims vs. Christians and Animists), Nigeria (Muslims vs. Christians), Ethiopia and Eritrea (Muslims vs. Christians), Sri Lanka (Sinhalese Buddhists vs. Tamil Hindus), Indonesia (Muslims vs. Timorese Christians), Iran and Iraq (Shiite vs. Sunni Muslims), and the Caucasus (Orthodox Russians vs. Chechen Muslims; Muslim Azerbaijanis vs. Catholic and Orthodox Armenians) are merely a few cases in point.  These are places where religion has been the explicit cause of literally millions of deaths in recent decades.  (Religion & Prejudice & Violence & War)  Sam Harris

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