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48 of 6,095 quotations related to War and Peace

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Aiken, George D.
I'm not very keen for doves or hawks. I think we need more owls.

Jan. 1966 - speaking of the Vietnam war
Burke, Edmund
Public calamity is a mighty leveller.

Mar. 22, 1775 - from his speech "On Conciliation with the American Colonies"
Chesterton, Gilbert K.
The cheapest and most childish of all the taunts of the Pacifists is, I think, the sneer at belligerents for appealing to the God of Battles. It is ludicrously illogical, for we obviously have no right to kill for victory save when we have a right to pray for it. If a war is not a holy war, it is an unholy one - a massacre.

Oct. 23, 1915
War is not the best way of settling differences; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you.

Jul. 24, 1915 - from a column in the Illustrated London News
The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.

Jan. 14, 1911 - from a column in the Illustrated London News
Chrétien, Jean  
Terrorism should not stop us. Terrorism should motivate us.

Sep. 27, 2001 - from a speech delivered in Halifax during a nationwide storm of criticism that his government was not responding effectively to terrorist threats
Churchill, Sir Winston
Sure I am that this day, now, we are the masters of our fate. That the task which has been set us is not above our strength. That its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our cause, and an unconquerable willpower, salvation will not be denied us.

Dec. 26, 1941 - from a speech to the United States Congress
They will stop at nothing that violence or treachery can suggest.

Dec. 26, 1941 - speaking of the Allies' enemies during World War II in a speech to the United States Congress
For the best part of twenty years the youth of Britain and America have been taught that war was evil, which is true, and that it would never come again, which has been proved false. For the best part of twenty years, the youth of Germany, of Japan and Italy, have been taught that aggressive war is the noblest duty of the citizen and that it should be begun as soon as the necessary weapons and organization have been made. We have performed the duties and tasks of peace. They have plotted and planned for war. This naturally has placed us, in Britain, and now places you in the United States at a disadvantage which only time, courage and untiring exertion can correct.

Dec. 26, 1941 - from a speech to the United States Congress
There is no working middle course in wartime.

Jul. 2, 1942 - from a speech in the British Parliament



Connolly, Cyril
The disasters of the world are due to its inhabitants not being able to grow old simultaneously. There is always a raw and intolerant nation eager to destroy the tolerant and mellow.

1945 - from The Unquiet Grave
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
War educates the senses, calls into action the will, perfects the physical constitution, brings men into such swift and close collision in critical moments that man measures man.

1884 - from "War" in Miscellanies
Gandhi, Mahatma Mohandas
War is an unmitigated evil. But it certainly does one good thing. It drives away fear and brings bravery to the surface.

1948 - from Non-Violence in Peace and War
Giraudoux, Jean
There's a kind of permission for war which can be given only by the world's mood and atmosphere, the feel of its pulse. It would be madness to undertake a war without that permission.

1935 - from Tiger at the Gates
Ignatieff, Michael  
Values are real to the degree we are prepared to risk something in order to make them prevail. Values are virtual when they remain rhetorical, when the commitments we express are not followed by action.

2000 - from Virtual War
War must always be the very last instrument of policy - but when the sword is raised, it must be used to strike decisevely, for only decisive force yields results which can justify its use in the first place.

2000 - from Virtual War
Virtual war ... is a dangerous illusion. It has emerged because it promises to restore war to its place as the continuation of politics by other means.

2000 - from Virtual War, using Karl von Clausewitz' phrase about war as a continuation of politics
Inge, William Ralph
It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of vegetarianism, while the wolf remains of a different opinion.

Jackson, Thomas Stonewall
When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard.

1861 - advice to cadets at the Virginia Military Institute
Kennedy, John F.
Unconditional war can no longer lead to unconditional victory. It can no longer serve to settle disputes. It can no longer be of concern to great powers alone. For a nuclear disaster, spread by winds and waters and fear, could well engulf the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the committed and the uncommitted alike. Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.

Sep. 25, 1961 - from an address to the United Nations



It is an unfortunate fact that we can secure peace only by preparing for war.

1960
MacArthur, Gen. Douglas
It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.

Jul. 7, 1952 - from his speech to the Republican National Convention
McCarthy, Colman
Everyone's a pacifist between wars. It's like being a vegetarian between meals.

attributed
Mill, John Stuart
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

attributed
Nietzsche, Friederich
Against war it may be said that it makes the victor stupid and the vanquished revengeful.

1878 - from Human, All Too Human
Nixon, Richard Milhouse
The ultimate test of a nation's character is not how it responds to adversity in war but how it meets the challenge of peace.

1994 - from Beyond Peace
Orwell, George
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

attributed
Men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilised, are there to guard and feed them.

1942 - from an essay on Rudyard Kipling
Paine, Thomas
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.

1783 - from The American Crisis
Reagan, Ronald Wilson
[Normandy American Cemetery in France] Too many of these and other such graves are the final resting places of teenagers who became men in the roar of battle. Look what they gave to us who live. Never would they see another sunlit day glistening off a lake or river back home or miles of corn pushing up against the open sky of our plains. The pristine air of our mountains and the driving energy of our cities are theirs no more. Nor would they ever again be a son to their parents or a father to their own children. They did this for you, for me, for a new generation to carry our democratic experiment proudly forward. Well, that's something I think we're obliged to honor, because what they did for us means that we owe as a simple act of civic stewardship to use our freedom wisely for the common good.

Sep. 14, 1986 - from an address to the nation



Rogers, Will
Diplomats are just as essential in starting a war as soldiers are in finishing it.

1949 - from The Autobiography of Will Rogers
Roosevelt, Franklin D.
A really great people, proud and high-spirited, would face all the disasters of war rather than purchase that base prosperity which is bought at the price of national honor.

Feb. 23, 1907 - from a speech delivered at Harvard University
Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.

Dec. 8, 1941 - from a speech to the United States Congress calling for a declaration of war on Japan the day after the attack on Pearl Harbour
Seneca, Lucius Annaeus
Of war men ask the outcome, not the cause.

62 A.D. - from Hercules Furens
Tennyson, Alfred Lord
A just fear of an imminent danger, though there be no blow given, is a lawful cause of war.

1625 - from "Of Empire" in Essays
Thatcher, Margaret
Wars are not caused by the buildup of weapons. They are caused when an aggressor believes he can achieve his objectives at an acceptable price.

Feb. 20, 1985 - from a speech to the U.S. Congress
Hope is no basis for a defense policy.

Oct. 14, 1988 - from a speech to a Conservative Party conference
Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot.

1991 - from a speech to the Heritage Foundation
Tse Tung, Mao
Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed.




War can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.

1966 - from Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung
Tzu, Sun
Let your plans be dark and as impenetratable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.

c. 510 B.C. - from The Art of War
UNESCO
... since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defence of peace must be constructed.

1946 - defining its original education objectives in its constitution
Unknown
Si vis pacem, para bellum - If you want peace, prepare for war.

Roman proverb
Wellington, Duke of
Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.

Jun. 19, 1815 - from a dispatch to his troops
Whitelaw, Lord William
We don’t intend to let [Ireland] default from the rule of law at the behest of ruthless conspiracy. The disrespect for law rooted there tends to spread like a cancer to other places. I will take the sternest measures to stop the spread of that cancer elsewhere...

Jun. 13, 1972 - from a speech quoted in the New York Times
Whittier, John Greenleaf
Too cheaply truths, once purchased dear, / Are made our own, / Too long the world has smiled to hear / Our boast of full corn in the ear / By others sown... But now the cross our worthies bore / On us is laid; / Profession's quiet sleep is o'er, / And in the scale of truth once more / Our faith is weighed.

from "Anniversary Poem"
Wilson, Woodrow
No man can sit down and withhold his hands from the warfare against wrong and get peace from his acquiescence.

May 7, 1911 - from a speech delivered in Denver