War & Peace

Voices For Peace

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.

Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence, you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A time comes when silence is betrayal. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men [sic] do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on. . .

A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, 'This way of settling differences is not just.' A nation that continues year and year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. . .

America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities over the pursuit of war. . .

This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. We can no longer afford to worship the God of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. . .

We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. We must move past indecision to action. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight. . .

Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves in the long and bitter, but beautiful struggle for a new world. If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world, when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. . .

May our country, on the brink of war, take to heart the final refrain of 'America, the Beautiful': 'America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.'"
 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Riverside Church, New York City
April 4th, 1967

The task of leadership, the first task of concerned people, is not to condemn or castigate or deplore; it is to search out the reason for disillusionment and alienation, the rationale of protest and dissent — perhaps, indeed, to learn from it.
 – Robert F. Kennedy

There is no path to Peace. Peace is the path.
 – Mahatma Gandhi

It is a conviction that war is not an answer to human conflict any more than cannibalism is an answer to human hunger.
 – Bruce Kent
Pres., International Peace Bureau

Non-violence is not inaction. It is not for the timid or weak. . . non-violence is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win.
 – Cesar Chavez

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction…. The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Strength To Love, 1963

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

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy
 – St. Francis of Assisi

When the love of power is replaced by the Power of Love, then we will have peace.
 – Anon

This is the way of peace. Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.
 – Peace Pilgrim

The Geneva Conventions are very clear that "starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited." They specify that "objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population," including water and food supplies, are not legal military targets. Violating these strictures, which are legally binding on the U.S., would constitute a war crime, and might be considered a crime against humanity.
 – (Protocol 1, Part IV, Chapter III, Article 54)

I was on my back, facing this massive cloud that was approaching, it must have been 600 feet off, everything was already dark. I normally wear a pendant around my neck, inscribed with an Arabic prayer for safety; similar to the cross. A hasidic Jewish man came up to me and held the pendant in his hand, and looked at it. He read the Arabic out loud for a second. What he said next, I will never forget. With a deep Brooklyn accent he said "Brother, if you don't mind, there is a cloud of glass coming at us, grab my hand, let's get the hell out of here." He helped me stand up, and we ran for what seemed like forever without looking back.

He was the last person I would ever have thought, who would help me. If it weren't for him, I probably would have been engulfed in shattered glass and debris.
 – Usman Farman,
Pakistani Muslim
relating experience of September 11, 2001

Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience… Therefore {individual citizens} have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.
 – Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal, 1950

But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings.
 – John F. Kennedy

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil is permanent.
 – Mohandas Gandhi

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
 – Albert Einstein

Wage Peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble.
Breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red-wing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists
Breathe out sleeping children and fresh mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen and breathe out life long relationships intact.

Wage peace with our listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothing pins, clean rivers.
Make soup.
Play music; learn the word "thank you" in 3 languages.
Learn to knit: make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries.
Imagine grief at the outbreak of beauty or gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.

Wage peace.
Never has the word seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Don't wait another minute.
Celebrate today.
 – Judyth Hill 2001

A country which has dangled the sword of nuclear holocaust over the world for half a century and claims that someone else invented terrorism is a country out of touch with reality.
 – John K. Stoner

The Art of Peace is not easy. It is a fight to the finish, the slaying of evil desires and all falsehood within. On occasion the Voice of Peace resounds like thunder, jolting human beings out of their stupor.

The world will continue to change dramatically, but fighting and war can destroy us utterly. What we need now are techniques of harmony, not those of contention. The Art of Peace is required, not the Art of War.

Morihei Ueshiba
founder of Aikido,
the Japanese martial art known as "The Art of Peace"

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.

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….
Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
 – Dwight D. Eisenhower
US President and WW ll General

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 in both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes.
 – General Douglas MacArthur

I would like to see an International Court established in which to settle disputes between nations, so that armies could be disbanded and the great navies allowed to rust and rot in perfect peace.
 – Robert Green Ingersoll
Boston, 1897

The little fox is still. The dogs of war have made their kill.
 – Langston Hughes

Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought!
Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder!
Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings!
Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction!
Be heroes in an army of construction.
 – Helen Keller

We are mad, not only individually, but nationally. We check manslaughter and isolated murders; but what of war and the much vaunted crime of slaughtering whole peoples?
 – Seneca
(c. 4 B.C. – A.D. 65)

We have a war party in this country, and we've had it all along! And you can call it Democrat for a while, you can call it Republican for a while, but it has been the special economic interests in this society that have governed us from the time that we founded our governments on this continent. And the people have never controlled those governments. We call ourselves the world's greatest democracy. We are absolutely a plutocracy. It is the most obvious thing in the world. Wealth governs this country, and wealth uses military violence to control the rest of the world as best it can. And we're responsible, and we will pay the price for it.
 – Ramsey Clark
U.S. Former Attorney General

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 Butler

When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned.
And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned.
And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church — and there was nobody left to be concerned.
 – Martin Niemöller
Congressional Record,
October 14, 1968, page 31636

In this new century, we must start from the understanding that peace belongs not only to states or peoples, but to each and every member of those communities. The sovereignty of States must no longer be used as a shield for gross violations of human rights. Peace must be made real and tangible in the daily existence of every individual in need. Peace must be sought, above all, because it is the condition for every member of the human family to live a life of dignity and security.
 – Kofi A. Annan
Secretary General of the United Nations
From "The Nobel Lecture" he gave in Oslo, on the occasion of his
receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize, December 10, 2001

It is fundamental that the great powers of Congress to conduct war and to regulate the Nation's foreign relations are subject to the constitutional requirements of due process. The imperative necessity for safeguarding these rights to procedural due process under the gravest of emergencies has existed throughout our constitutional history, for it is then, under the pressing exigencies of crisis, that there is the greatest temptation to dispense with fundamental constitutional guarantees which, it is feared, will inhibit governmental action.
 – Arthur Goldberg
Supreme Court Justice
in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 1963

War is over if you want it. War is over now.
 – John Lennon

For it isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.
 – Eleanor Roosevelt

Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked, and we who fail to prevent them must share in the guilt for the dead.
 – General Omar Bradley

May our grieving land work through the rage and the trumpets clamoring vengeance
May we wage a healing war on debt, poverty, hunger, disease and injustice
That terrorize so many on our daily earth
Until forgiveness and sharing heal hatreds
And ensnare violence with a million strands of love.
 – The Staff of the Quixote Center

As soft as angels wings,
As quiet as night
As gentle as a snowflake
May Peace come to your heart.
 – unknown

We should take our example not from our military and political leaders shouting "retaliate" and "war" but from the doctors and nurses and medical students and firemen and policemen who have been saving lives in the midst of mayhem, whose first thoughts are not violence, but healing, not vengeance but compassion.
 – Howard Zinn

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. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech,
Stockholm, Sweden, December 11, 1964

Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence. Any man, who has once proclaimed violence as his method, is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle.
 – Alexander Solzhenitzyn

If you want peace, work for justice.
 – Pope Paul VI

I have been thinking about the courage it requires to think about something other than violence as a response to violence.
 – Eve Ensler

The club that kills can drive a stake into the ground to hold a shelter. The hands that build bombs can be used to build schools. The minds that coordinate the activities of violence can coordinate the activities of cooperation. When the activities of life are infused with reverence, they come alive with meaning and purpose.
 – Gary Zukav

Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows
 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it.
 – Dwight D. Eisenhower

In the name of peace they waged the wars. Ain't they got no shame.
 – Nikki Giovanni

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

…Today the world faces a single man armed with weapons of mass destruction, manifesting an aggressive, bullying attitude, who may well plunge the world into chaos and bloodshed if he miscalculates. This person, belligerent, arrogant and sure of himself, truly is the most dangerous person on earth. The problem is that his name is George W. Bush, and he is our president.
 – Jack M. Balkin
Knight Professor of Constitutional Law
and the First Amendment at Yale Law School

Neither Bush nor Tony Blair has provided any evidence that such weapons exist. {Referring to Iraq's possible possession of nuclear warheads.} But what we know is that Israel has weapons of mass destruction. Nobody talks about that. Why should there be one standard for one country, especially because it is black, and another one for another country, Israel, that is white.
 – Nelson Mandela
Newsweek Magazine, 2002

The United States spends a fortune on the military for no publicly debated or accepted reason. But it serves several important purposes to our economic elite, not the least of which is as a lucrative form of corporate welfare. Since no element of the economic elite is harmed by military spending, and nearly all of them benefit by having an empire to protect profit making worldwide, it rarely gets criticized – unlike federal spending on education or health care or environmental improvements. If a reporter pursued the story of why we are spending $300 billion on the military, he or she would appear to have an axe to grind and therefore to be unprofessional, since top official sources are not critical of the spending.
 – Robert McChesney
Rich Media, Poor Democracy

We all agree that the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein in power, but I believe that we are better off still if we live under the rule of law and eliminate weapons of mass destruction. . . A preemptive, unilateral first strike would set a terrible international precedent. The question one must ask when confronting this doctrine of preemption is, where will it end? Which dictator will be next?
 – Rep. Barbara Lee
Dem. Calif.

All wars are civil wars … Each of us owes infinitely more to the human race than to the particular country in which we were born.
 – Francois Fenelon
16th Century French Theologian

Peace can never be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
 – Albert Einstein

The trumped-up war in Iraq is power madness and pure stupidity. The fact that it is monstrously immoral ought to count for something, too…. Our only real safety lies in crafting an American success story that does not rely upon the repression of the world's people and the destruction of their systems of self-determination for the sake of our industrial needs, but instead upon their rising health and wealth and freedom. Otherwise a state of constant war is indeed inevitable. We know that. We choose against it.
 – Granny Haddock

We stand looking out upon the new horizon of the 21st Century. It is still daybreak, the sun is about to come up like thunder… there is no better time to review age old challenges with new thinking that peace is not only the absence of violence, but the presence of a higher evolution of human awareness with respect, trust and integrity toward humankind.

Our founding fathers recognized that peace was one of the highest duties of the newly organized free and independent states. But too often, we have overlooked the long-term solution of peace for instant gratification of war. This continued downward spiral of violence must stop to ensure that future generations will live in peace and harmony.
 – Dennis Kucinich

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind. War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.
 – Pres. John F. Kennedy

Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.
 – Mahatma Gandhi

Dear Mr. Bush

You said we are caught between terrorism and hopelessness.
You said we cannot find peace in this situation.
I caught your words, but I cannot agree with the conclusion.
Clearly, we cannot perpetuate terrorism,
But perhaps, if we choose to accept hopelessness with a catch,
We will find peace in all situations.
Hope, or lack of hope, is an attitude.
And an attitude is a choice.
In this great country, we do have a choice.
And so, in conclusion, we cannot get caught with a bad attitude,
Or we are not choosing peace.
 – Mattie J.T. Stepanek
June 2002

Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God.
 – Jesus of Nazareth

We must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. . . We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.
 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Send Thy peace, O Lord, which is perfect and everlasting, that our souls may radiate peace.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may think, act, and speak harmoniously.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may be contented and thankful for Thy bountiful gifts.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that amidst our worldly strife we may enjoy Thy bliss.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may endure all, tolerate all in the thought of Thy grace and mercy.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that our lives may become a divine vision,
and in Thy light all darkness may vanish.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, our Father and Mother, that we,
Thy children on earth, may all unite in one family.

 – Hazrat Inayat Khan
Sufi Master

We are rushing into war without fully discussing why, without thoroughly considering the consequences, or without making any attempt to explore what steps we might take to avert conflict. The resolution before us today is not only a product of haste; it is also a product of presidential hubris. This resolution is breathtaking in its scope. It redefines the nature of defense, and reinterprets the Constitution to suit the will of the Executive Branch. It would give the President blanket authority to launch a unilateral preemptive attack on a sovereign nation that is perceived to be a threat to the United States. This is an unprecedented and unfounded interpretation of the President's authority under the Constitution, not to mention the fact that it stands the charter of the United Nations on its head.
 – Senator Robert Byrd

Man must evolve for all human conflict, a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.
 – Omar N. Bradley

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
 – Jeannette Rankin

What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no foresight,
who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust.
 – Nelson Mandela
February 28, 2003

You are seeking joy and peace in far-off places. But the spring of joy is in your heart. The haven of peace is in yourself.
 – Satya Sai Baba

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file
has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake,
since for him the spinal chord would 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 and ignoble war is;
I would rather be torn by shreds
than be part of so base an action!
It is my conviction that killing under the cloak [of war]
is nothing more than an act of murder.
 – Albert Einstein

We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy.
 – Robert L. Jackson
Supreme Court Justice
representative to the International Conference on Military Trials in
August, 1945 and the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials

Either war is obsolete, or we (humans) are.
 – Buckminster Fuller

I am not one of those who believe that a great army is the means of maintaining peace because if you build up a great profession those who form parts of it want to exercise their profession.
 – Woodrow Wilson
28th US president, Nobel laureate

Peace Prescription

When we hurt another,
With our words,
With our actions,
Or even with our thoughts,
It causes a wound.
Some wounds are seen.
Some wounds are invisible.
Some wounds heal.
Some wounds leave a scar.
And some wounds,
Especially those that are
Inflicted or opened again
And again and again…
May never heal.
Let us take care then,
To not hurt another,
With our words,
With our actions,
Or even with our thoughts.
And let us take special care
In realizing and tending to
The wounds that already exist,
Or they could infect others,
And cause an epidemic.
 – Mattie J.T. Stepanek

No flag is large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
 – Howard Zinn

It's Tommy this, and Tommy that,
And chuck him out the brute,
But it's 'Savior of his Country,'
When the guns begin to shoot!
For God and the soldier we adore,
In time of danger, not before!
The danger passed, and all things righted,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted.
 – Rudyard Kipling
from the poem "Tommy"

The most persistent sound which reverberates through man's history is the beating of war drums.
 – Arthur Koestler
Hungarian-born British novelist, essayist

What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek?
Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war.
Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave.
I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living,
The kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children —
Not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women —
Not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.
 – President John F. Kennedy
at American University, June 10, 1963

There are two main purposes of war in today's world. One is to get rid of old weapons. Another is to showcase various state-of-the-art weapons and use them in an actual battle, so once the war is over, they can be sold to other countries.
 – Tetsuya Ozaki
WASP (War as Sales Promotion)

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
– Thomas Jefferson
author, architect, and third U.S. president

The real change must happen within us. For only when conflict and negativity are removed from within can we play a truly constructive role in establishing peace.
 – Ammachi
Her Holiness Sri Mata Amritanandamayi

America cannot put its foot on the accelerator of war and advocate peace simultaneously.
 – Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.
 – Albert Einstein

If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable.
 – John F. Kennedy
35th US president

I know where weapons of mass destruction are…
Joblessness is a weapon of mass destruction.
Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction.
Homelessness is a weapon of mass destruction.
Poor health care is a weapon of mass destruction.
And when the government lies to the American people,
Mr. Bush, that is a weapon of mass destruction!!
 – Dennis Kucinich
Representative from Ohio
May 2003

Kids can't see us bombing, and then listen to us talking about getting guns out of the schools.
How can we tell them to solve problems without violence, if, in fact, we can't show an ability
to solve problems without violence?
 – Barbara Lee

The choice today is not between violence and non-violence. It is either non-violence or non-existence.
 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everything we do is infused with the energy with which we do it. If we're frantic, life will be frantic. If we're peaceful, life will be peaceful. And so our goal in any situation becomes inner peace.
 – Marianne Williamson

Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come.
 – Carl Sandburg
poet and biographer

We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war.
 – Albert Einstein

If WE, as a nation, do not go around the world taking as we please, killing as we please, and disrespecting others as we please, then we shall never have need to fear any attack.
 – Dennis Kucinich

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

We spend $900 billion on defense globally…and we spend between $50 and $60 billion on development. I suggested humorously the other day that if we spent $900 billion on development, we probably wouldn't need to spend more than $50 billion on defense.
 – James Wolfensohn
President of the World Bank, speaking at the spring meeting
of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, April 25, 2004

Why does he nullify his basically insightful statement
with the word, "humorously"? Rhio

Did you know that the worldwide food shortage that threatens up to five hundred million children could be alleviated at the cost of only one day, only ONE day, of modern warfare.
 – Peter Ustinov
writer, actor and director

Though the works of the human race disappear tracelessly by time or bomb,
the sun does not falter in its course; the stars keep their invariable vigil.
Cosmic law cannot be stayed or changed,
and man would do well to put himself in harmony with it.
If the cosmos is against might, if the sun wars not in the heavens
but retires at dueful time to give the stars their little sway,
what avails our mailed fist? Shall any peace come out of it?
Not cruelty but goodwill upholds the universal sinew,
a humanity at peace will know the endless fruits of victory,
sweeter to the taste than any nurtured on the soil of blood.
 – Yogananda
Autobiography of a Yogi

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.
 – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and the government when it deserves it.
 – Mark Twain
author and humorist

A visitor from Mars could easily pick out the civilized nations. They have the best implements of war.
 – Herbert V. Prochnow

A great war leaves the country with three armies – an army of cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves.
 – German proverb

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
Union General in the American Civil War

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?
 – Mahatma Gandhi
Non-Violence in Peace and War

He that 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
philosopher and writer

In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.
 – Leo Tolstoy, author

Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.
 – Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. general and 34th president (1890-1969)

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, author, Nobel laureate

Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS, for they shall be known as the Children of God.
But I say to you that hear, love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you
pray for those who abuse you
To those that strike you on the cheek,
offer the other one also,
and from those who take away your cloak,
do not withhold your coat as well.
Give to everyone who begs from you,
and of those who take away your goods,
do not ask for them again.
And as you wish that others would do to you,
do so to them.


Voices For Violence, War and Military Solutions

In a broadcast that aired on May 12, 1996, on "60 Minutes". Because of sanctions against Iraq, the CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Albright:

"We have heard that a half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died when — in — in Hiroshima. And — and, you know, is the price worth it?"

"I think this is a very hard choice," Albright replied, "but the price – we think the price is worth it."
 – Madeleine Albright
Secretary of State, Clinton Admin.

We must do more to reach out to our children and teach them to express their anger and to resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons.
 – President William Jefferson Clinton,
at Columbine H.S., Colorado,
while directing NATO forces to bomb Belgrade.

You said we're headed to war in Iraq. I don't know why you say that. I'm the person who gets to decide, not you.
 – George W. Bush
responding to a timid reporter's question

We will export death and violence to the four corners of the Earth in defense of our great naton.
 – President George W. Bush
as quoted in Bob Woodward's book, Bush at War

I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good.
– Randall Terry

The proud spirit of the original owners of these vast prairies, inherited through centuries of fierce and bloody wars for their possession, lingered last in the bosom of Sitting Bull. With this fall the nobility of the redskin is extinguished, and what few are left are a pack of whining curs…

The whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians…

Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are. We cannot honestly regret their extermination.
 – L. Frank Baum,
author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

… the U.S. should bomb the Afghan infrastructure to rubble– the airport, the power plants, their water facilities, and the roads… This is a very primitive country. And taking out their ability to exist day to day will not be hard. Remember, the people of any country are ultimately responsible for the government they have. The Germans were responsible for Hitler. The Afghans are responsible for the Taliban. We should not target civilians. But if they don't rise up against this criminal government, they starve, period… their infrastructure must be destroyed and the population made to endure yet another round of intense pain.
  – Bill O'Reilly
The O'Reilly Factor
(Fox News Channel)

There is only one way to begin to deal with people like this, and that is you have to kill some of them even if they are not immediately directly involved in this thing.
 – Lawrence Eagleburger
former Secretary of State
(CNN, 9/11/01)

This is no time to be precious about locating the exact individuals directly involved in this particular terrorist attack… We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war.
 – Ann Coulter
syndicated columnist
(New York Daily News, 9/12/01)

The response to this unimaginable 21st-century Pearl Harbor should be as simple as it is swift — kill the bastards. A gunshot between the eyes, blow them to smithereens, poison them if you have to. As for cities or countries that host these worms, bomb them into basketball courts.
 – Steve Dunleavy
(New York Post, 9/12/01)

America roused to a righteous anger has always been a force for good. States that have been supporting if not Osama bin Laden, people like him need to feel pain. If we flatten part of Damascus or Tehran or whatever it takes, that is part of the solution.
 – Rich Lowry
National Review editor,
to Howard Kurtz (Washington Post, 9/13/01)

At a bare minimum, tactical nuclear capabilites should be used against the bin Laden camps in the desert of Afghanistan. To do less would be rightly seen by the poisoned minds that orchestrated these attacks as cowardice on the part of the United States and the current administration.
 – Thomas Woodrow
former Defense Intelligence Agency officer
"Time to Use the Nuclear Option" (Washington Times, 9/14/01)

Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.
 – George W. Bush

Give war a chance.
 – James Woolsley
Former CIA Director
as stated in lecture covered by CSpan, 12/13/01

What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
 – Zbigniew Brzezinski
President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser,
in Le Nouvel Observateur (France), Jan 15-21, 1998, p. 76, in French.
This quote was noticeably absent from the English language edition.

If we have to go into 15 more countries, we ought to do it to deal with the problem of terrorism… so we don't allow this problem to damage and kill tens and thousands more people.
 – Donald Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defense, 2002

(meanwhile, 5000 Afghan civilians have died
and many more are starving and freezing to death
sitting at the borders closed by pressure from the US)

There wanst was two cats of Kilkenny
Each cat thought there was one cat too many
So they fought and they fit
And they scratched and they bit
'Til instead of two cats there weren't any.
 – unknown

The American pacifists are on the side of future mass murders of Americans. They are objectively pro-terrorist. . . That is the pacifists' position, and it is evil.
 – Michael Kelly
columnist, Washington Post

You can call me anything you like. Call me a monster or a murderer. . . Better a live Judeo-Nazi than a dead saint. . .

Even if you prove to me that the present war in Lebanon is a dirty immoral war, I don't care. Even if Galilee is shelled again by Katyushas in a year's time, I don't really care. We shall start another war, kill and destroy more and more, until they will have had enough. . .

Let them tremble, let them call us a mad state. Let them understand that we are a wild country, dangerous to our surroundings, not normal, that we might go crazy if one of our children is murdered, just one! If anyone even raises his hand against us we'll take away half his land and burn the other half, including the oil. We might use nuclear arms. . .

Even today I am willing to volunteer to do the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel and burn them, to have everyone hate us. . . And I don't mind if after the job is done you put me in front of a Nuremberg Trial and then jail me for life. Hang me if you want, as a war criminal. . .

What you don't understand is that the dirty work of Zionism is not finished yet, far from it.
 – Ariel Sharon
excerpts from an interview with Amos Oz,
published in the daily Davar on Dec. 17, 1982

Don't talk to me about civilian casualties. Let's remember that 5000 American civilians were killed. Talk to me when 5000 Afghan civilians have been killed—or 50,000.
 – Donald Rumsfeld
US Secretary of Defense
(in response to a question about Afghan
civilians killed in the aftermath of 9/11)

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. And I am Caesar.
 – Julius Caesar

There's no telling how many wars it will take to secure freedom in the homeland.
 – President George W. Bush
as quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald
August 7, 2002

It is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along. That is easy, all you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same for any country.
 – Hermann Goering
Hitler's Reischmarschall

If you wanna keep the peace, you gotta have the authorization to use force.
 – George W. Bush

The sinews of war are five – men, money, materials, maintenance (food) and morale.
 – Bernard Mannes Baruch

We need racist stereotypes right now of our enemy in order to encourage our warriors to kill the enemy.
 – Michael Savage
as quoted in San Francisco Chronicle

Without superior air power America is a bound and throttled giant, impotent and easy prey for any yellow dwarf with a pocketknife.
 – Lyndon Baines Johnson

Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, . . . Oh, I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?
 – Barbara Bush
interview on ABC-TV

The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy… I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get hold of a friggin' Iraqi. No, I won't get hold of one. I'll just kill him.
 – Corporal Ryan Dupre
The Times, London
March 31, 2003

Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.
 – James Leon Holmes
2003 Nominated by Bush to the District Court
for the Eastern District of Arkansas

in times of war, the laws are silent.
 – William Rehnquist
US Supreme Court Justice

The campaign in Iraq illustrates the continuing progress of military technology and tactics, but if there is a single overriding lesson it must be this: American military power, especially when buttressed by Britain's, is virtually unchallengeable today. Take us on? Don't try! And that's not hubris, it's just plain fact.
 – General Wesley Clark
London Times, 4/11/03

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
 – John McCrae

If it costs 500, that's OK, or 5000, OK, or 50,000, that's OK with me. I, for one, will do whatever has to be done in order to be damn sure that our grandchildren and their grandchildren and their grandchildren and
generations far from being born have the same rights as you and me.
 – General Tommy Franks (Retired)
referring to American service men & women – lives lost in Iraq
Chamber of Commerce banquet,
Salina, Kansas, January 2004

This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation, and we're going to ruin people's lives over it, and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You [ever] heard of need to blow some steam off?… I don't understand what we're so worried about. These are the people that are trying to kill us. What do we care what is the most humiliating thing in the world for them? There's also this business of them all wearing hoods and how that’s also very humiliating. You can see more guys wearing hoods at a [Sen.] Robert Byrd birthday party 40 years ago than we've seen in these prisoner photos.
 – Rush Limbaugh
radio show host
referring to Iraqi's being tortured and humiliated in Abu Ghraib Prison

I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favor of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.
– Winston Churchill
departmental minute (War Office), May, 12, 1919,
quoted in Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill, 1976.
Soon after the British conquered and occupied Iraq (Mesopotamia)
in 1917, Iraqis and Kurds began an insurgency. In February 1920
Churchill, as British secretary for war and air, argued for the use of
poison gas against the insurgents as a "scientific expedient" which
should not be prevented "by the prejudices of those who do not think
clearly." During the summer of 1920, the British army used gas
shells on Iraq's "turbulent tribes."

I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger, and this is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, and we have other doctrines that we have announced, and without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another 200-billion-dollar war to get rid of one strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.
 – Pat Robertson, religious broadcaster
advocating for the assassination of three time democratically
elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
August, 2005
The CIA estimates that U.S. markets absorb almost 59
percent of Venezuela's total oil exports

My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. If I have a chance to invade…. if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency.
 – George W. Bush
1999, as told to Mickey Herskowitz
ghost-writer for both Bushes


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