Famous War Quotes
1. God created war so that Americans would learn geography.
2. War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.
3. War is what happens when language fails.
4. I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
5. The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.
6. War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.
7. It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
8. Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.
9. Only the dead have seen the end of war.
10. Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die.
11. A small but noteworthy note. I’ve seen so many young men over the years who think they’re running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.
12. There are perhaps many causes worth dying for, but to me, certainly, there are none worth killing for.
13. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
14. If you win, you need not have to explain…If you lose, you should not be there to explain!
15. Listen up – there’s no war that will end all wars.
16. Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.
17. 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 in the holy name of liberty or democracy
18. All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.
19. There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
20. Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.
21. Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
22. Dad, how do soldiers killing each other solve the world’s problems?
23. 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. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
24. If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.
25. It is not seen as insane when a fighter, under an attack that will inevitable lead to his death, chooses to take his own life first. In fact, this act has been encouraged for centuries, and is accepted even now as an honorable reason to do the deed. How is it any different when you are under attack by your own mind?
26. Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
27. If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.
28. When the rich wage war it’s the poor who die.
29. The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.
30. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!
31. Religion isn’t the cause of wars, it’s the excuse.
32. In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
33. When someone has been mean to you, why would you want to be good to them?’ ‘You wouldn’t want to. That’s what makes it hard. You do it anyway. Being good is hard. Much harder than being bad.
34. Rules are for children. This is war, and in war the only crime is to lose.
35. So the whole war is because we can’t talk to each other.
36. You were born a child of light’s wonderful secret— you return to the beauty you have always been.
37. I don’t care a damn about men who are loyal to the people who pay them, to organizations…I don’t think even my country means all that much. There are many countries in our blood, aren’t there, but only one person. Would the world be in the mess it is if we were loyal to love and not to countries?
38. I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.
39. The whole world can become the enemy when you lose what you love.
40. We’re going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we’re doing, you can say, We’re remembering. That’s where we’ll win out in the long run. And someday we’ll remember so much that we’ll build the biggest goddamn steamshovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in it and cover it up.
41. The first lesson a revolutionary must learn is that he is a doomed man.
42. Why do we electrocute men for murdering an individual and then pin a purple heart on them for mass slaughter of someone arbitrarily labeled “enemy?
43. War is like a monster,” he says, almost to himself. “War is the devil. It starts and it consumes and it grows and grows and grows.” He’s looking at me now. “And otherwise normal men become monsters, too.
44. To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.
45. The law of evolution is that the strongest survives!’ ‘Yes, and the strongest, in the existence of any social species, are those who are most social. In human terms, most ethical…There is no strength to be gained from hurting one another. Only weakness.
46. We are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial—I believe we are lost.
47. Of course you know, this means war.
48. It is the oldest ironies that are still the most satisfying: man, when preparing for bloody war, will orate loudly and most eloquently in the name of peace.
49. I know you’re still young but I want you to understand and learn this now. Marriage can wait, education cannot. You’re a very very bright girl. Truly you are. You can be anything you want Laila. I know this about you. And I also know that when this war is over Afghanistan is going to need you as much as its men maybe even more. Because a society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated Laila. No chance.
50. 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 a war, is much worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice, — is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.
51. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
52. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.
53. But these weren’t the kind of monsters that had tentacles and rotting skin, the kind a seven-year-old might be able to wrap his mind around–they were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep, so banal you don’t recognize them for what they are until it’s too late.
54. It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.
55. A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.
56. There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.
57. He is a weapon, a killer. Do not forget it. You can use a spear as a walking stick, but that will not change its nature.
58. But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony–Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?
59. It doesn’t make a damned bit of difference who wins the war to someone who’s dead.
60. He who joyfully marches to music rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.