Words about War

April 4, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More

A DI reader named Mike Baker provided me with his collection of quotes on quite a few topics, including a section he titled “War and Peace.” It is largely from Mike’s collection that I selected the following quotes:

War is not the continuation of politics with different means, it is the greatest mass-crime perpetrated on the community of man.
~Alfred Adler

It is always easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them. ~Alfred Adler

“In war, truth is the first casualty.”

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~ Aeschylus

A great war leaves a country with three armies: an army of cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves.
~Anonymous (German)

The terrorist is the one with the small bomb.
~Brendan Behan

“War is a quarrel between two thieves too cowardly to fight their own battle.”
– Thomas Carlyle

If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.
–Moshe Dayan (1915 – 1981)

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
~Abba Eban

It’ll be a great day when education gets all the money it wants and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy bombers.
~Author unknown, quoted in You Said a Mouthful edited by Ronald D. Fuchs

Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
~Albert Einstein

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
~Albert Einstein

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 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. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
–Dwight D. Eisenhower, From a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953

We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Preventive war was an invention of Hitler. Frankly, I would not even listen to anyone seriously that came and talked about such a thing.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Our schoolbooks glorify war and conceal its horrors. They indoctrinate children with hatred. I would teach peace rather than war, love rather than hate.”
— Albert Einstein

I don’t believe the war is simply the work of politicians and capitalists. Oh no, the common man is every bit as guilty; otherwise, people and nations would have rebelled long ago! There’s a destructive urge in people, the urge to rage, murder, and kill. And until all of humanity, without exception, undergoes a metamorphosis, wars will continue to be waged, and everything that has been carefully built up, cultivated and grown will be cut down and destroyed, only to start all over again!
-Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl: the Definitive Edition (1952)

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

Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
~Herman Goering

Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.
~Ernest Hemingway

What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood. ~Aldous Huxley

I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.
~Abraham Lincoln

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 … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
— James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

O peace! how many wars were waged in thy name.
~Alexander Pope

“It is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated … that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation.”
~ General William Tecumseh Sherman

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic.
~A. J. P. Taylor

“Every ambitious would-be empire, clarions it abroad that she is conquering the world to bring it peace, security and freedom, and is sacrificing her sons only for the most noble and humanitarian purposes. That is a lie, and it is an ancient lie, yet generations still rise and believe it.”
–Henry David Thoreau

“When reason slumbers, monsters dance”
~ Unknown

“A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”
~Oscar Wilde

War creates peace like hate creates love.
~David L. Wilson

Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to “bind me in all cases whatsoever” to his absolute will, am I to suffer it?
Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 19, 1776

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
Voltaire (1694 – 1778)


Category: Quotes, War, Warmongering

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Chip Camden says:

    I love Voltaire’s turn of phrase.

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