A democracy needs an opposition, especially in time of war, precisely to
keep the government honest, and to point to whatever errors (or possible
errors) it finds in the government's actions.
A famous Frenchman once said, War has become far too important to
entrust to the generals. Today, business, I think, should be saying:
Politics have become far too important to entrust to the politicians.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
A peace which depends upon fear is nothing but a suppressed war.
-Henry van Dyke
After each war there is a little less democracy to save.
Against war it may be said that it makes the victor stupid and the
-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
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
Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall
deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so
whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a
purpose-and you allow him to make war at pleasure.
And so we went. Young men always go. Always there is another war. Always
there are reasons. In the past these were straightforward: lust, booty,
excitement, empire, a way to escape the family yurt, sheer joyous
combativeness, the king was bored. Not much has changed.
At all times, day by day, we have to continue fighting for freedom of
religion, freedom of speech, and freedom from want- for these are things
that must be gained in peace as well as in war.
Because we want the peace with half a heart and half a life and will,
the war, of course, continues, because the waging of war, by its nature,
is total- but the waging of peace, by our own cowardice, is partial.
Congress no longer declares war or makes budgets. So that's the end of
the constitution as a working machine.
Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.
Even a fool could see that one didn't need a war, nuclear or otherwise,
to destroy oneself; the rising cost of weaponry could do that quite
Every thinking person fears nuclear war and every technological nation
plans for it. Everyone knows it's madness, and every country has an
Everyone, when there's war in the air, learns to live in a new element:
Frankly, I'd like to see the government get out of war altogether and
leave the whole field to private industry.
Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.
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.
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And
I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.
I feel that if any songs are going to come out of World War III, we'd
better start writing them now.
I find war detestable but those who praise it without participating in
it even more so.
I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has
seen its brutality, its stupidity.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study
mathematics and philosophy.
If nations had any sense, they would begin a war by sending their oldest
men to the trenches. They would not risk the lives of their young men
except in the last extremity.
-George Bernard Shaw
If we don't end war, war will end us.
If we would just take the profit out of war, there wouldn't be any.
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.
In any war, the first casualty is common sense, and the second is free
and open discussion.
In time of war the loudest patriots are the greatest profiteers.
National security includes schools for our children as well as silos for
our missiles. It includes the health of our families as much as the size
of our bombs, the safety of our streets, and the condition of our
cities, and not just the engines of war. If we some day choke on the
pollution of our own air, there will be little consolation in leaving
behind a dying continent ringed with steel.
No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic
-Alexis de Tocqueville
Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die. And it
is youth who must inherit the tribulation, the sorrow and the triumphs
that are the aftermath of war.
Only in America would you have a war, get it over with and have all the
heroes either be generals or politicians.
-H. Ross Perot
Religious war? Now you're just killing people in an argument over who
has the better imaginary friend.
Short of changing human nature, therefore, the only way to achieve a
practical, livable peace in a world of competing nations is to take the
profit out of war.
-Richard M. Nixon
Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography.
Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.
Terrorism is what we call the violence of the weak, and we condemn it;
war is what we call the violence of the strong, and we glorify it.
-Sydney J. Harris
The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one
of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions.
The cause of war is preparation for war.
The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes
for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make
no mistake about it: We are At War now- with somebody- and we will stay
At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives. (9/12/2001)
-Hunter S. Thompson
There are two things which a democratic people will always find very
difficult- to begin a war and to end it.
-Alexis de Tocqueville
There can be no lasting peace where hatred exists. Hatreds will continue
to arise as long as the causes of war are not rooted out and exposed.
There is one rule that works in every calamity. Be it pestilence, war,
or famine, the rich get richer and poor get poorer. The poor even help
There is something inherently wrong, something out of accord with the
ideals of representative democracy, when one portion of our citizenship
turns its activities to private gain amid defensive war while another is
fighting, sacrificing, or dying for national preservation.
-Warren G. Harding
There never was a good war or a bad peace.
There will never be a nuclear war. There's too much real estate involved.
They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for ones
country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your
dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.
Today the real test of power is not capacity to make war but capacity to
-Anne O'Hare McCormick
Today we know that World War II began not in 1939 or 1941 but in the
1920's and 1930's when those who should have known better persuaded
themselves that they were not their brother's keeper.
-Hubert H. Humphrey
Usually when a lot of men get together, it's called war.
War does not determine who is right- only who is left.
War involves in its progress such a train of unforeseen and unsupposed
circumstances... that no human wisdom can calculate the end.
War is a great asshole magnet.
War is capitalism with the gloves off and many who go to war know it but
they go to war because they don't want to be a hero. It takes courage to
sit down and be counted.
War is evil, but sometimes man has to play with the devil to get rid of
War is just one more big government program.
War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it
is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn to live together in
peace by killing each other's children.
War seldom enters but where wealth allures.
War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with
larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.
We declared war on terror- it's not even a noun, so, good luck. After we
defeat it, I'm sure we'll take on that bastard ennui.
What 'the fog of war' means is: war is so complex it's beyond the
ability of the human mind to comprehend all the variables. Our judgment,
our understanding, are not adequate. And we kill people unnecessarily.
-Robert S. McNamara
What disqualifies war from being a true game is probably what also
disqualifies the stock market and business- the rules are not fully
known nor accepted by all the players.
What do nations care about the cost of war, if by spending a few hundred
millions in steel and gunpowder they can gain a thousand millions in
diamonds and cocoa?
When the rich make war it's the poor that die.
When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty,
and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up
some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.
While we spend much of our time and a great deal of our treasure in
preparing for war, we see no comparable effort to establish a lasting
Why would we go to war on women? They don't have any oil.
You cannot negotiate peace with people whose power is entirely dependent
on the will to wage war.
(September 16 is the birthday of Laurence J. Peter.)