Against War


"I am a one hundred percent disbeliever in war."



"War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses."

-Thomas Jefferson


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

Ernest Hemingway


"No one desires war but a fool or a madman, and there is no longer room for madmen or fools."

Sean O’Casey


"Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man should have a right to kill me because he lives on the other side of the water, and because his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have none with him."


Book: "War & Anti-War" by Alvin and Heidi Toffler


"the people who call themselves realists, the people who say that more armaments will prevent war, are prophets of illusion. Arms races have always ended in war. Friends of mine who made the first atomic bombs and have been perfecting atomic weapons ever since, almost all believe that unless we have total disarmament, we shall have nuclear war."

Lord Noel-Baker


"Those who would take over the earth

And shape it to their will

never, I notice, succeed."

-Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching


"Rouse yourself from your lethargy, your culpable indifference, your futile petty squabbles....Wake up before it is too late.....War or peace. Choose. The future is in everyone's hands. Are you for War of peace. Choose. "

Henri Dunant

Dunant's Dream: War, Switzerland and the History of the Red Cross" by Caroline Moorehead


"What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who has only eyes, if he is a painter? ....No painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war."

-Pablo Picasso


"Suppose you go to war, you cannot fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides, and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions as to terms of intercourse are again upon you."

Abraham Lincoln


"The elimination of war is now as before our noblest goal….That life is worth living is the ultimate meaning and consolation of every art….That love is better than hate, sympathy better than anger, peace nobler than war."

Herman Hesse


"Tell every nation, all of creation,

That it is time we should end all warfare;

Utter it loudly, utter it proudly,

Ye who are wise, may ye bring your powers to bear,

No more inciting madmen to fighting….

Sigmund Spaeth


"What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world: to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world."

General Robert E. Lee (letter to his wife Dec25,1862)


"Under the sky is no uglier spectacle than two men with clenched teeth, and hellfire eyes, hacking one another’s flesh; converting precious living bodies, and priceless living souls, into nameless masses of putrescence, useful only for turnip-manure."

Thomas Carlyle (1843)


"The glories of war are all blood-stained, delirious, and infected with crime; the combative instinct is a savage prompting by which one man’s good is formed in another’s evil."

George Santayana

Reason in Society


"I solemnly swear by everything that is sacred to me that the United States will never participate in an aggressive war. War is repugnant to me and the American people. War is unmitigated hell, now more than ever. We want peace and happiness. I would give everything, my life, my treasure, my good name, yes, everything, for the sake of peace."

Eisenhower (at the Geneva Conference)


"WE believe you, Mr. President. We know you are sincere, and we feel the same as you do."

(Bulganins reply for the Soviets)


"It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy, that our country is now geared to an arms industry which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear."

General MacArthur (talk before the American Society of Newspaper Editors in April 1953)


"You have got to understand the history of war…..With the scientific methods which have made mass destruction reach appalling proportions, war has ceased to be a sort of roll-of-the-dice. ….The integration of the world…..has outlawed the very basic concepts upon which war was used as a final word to settle international disputes….The last two wars have shown it….If you have another world war….only those will be happy that are dead…..I understand…..that you cannot abolish war unless others do it…..If….one great power…..keeps armed and threatening, the only way that you can meet force is by force….and you have to provide for that. But sooner or later, if civilization is to survive….war must go."

General MacArthur


"You receive a mobilization order. An agency, an office that you don't know, writes go here, go there, go to your death, to your ruin, go, so that you lose a leg, so that you get a bullet in your spine. Be careful, my boy, there will be gas, poison gas, mustard gas; swallow some. And you'll soon notice it may cost your head, your leg, your lungs, your life, and no one will ever replace them, since your mother gave all to you just once. And you've been expecting it for a long time. During peacetime you prepared yourself for it, in the midst of your Kant and Plato. And you-don't question. You don't question, you go, you obey. The agency that issues the orders is more than God. You listen, more that to God.....

(Here is the voice of Alfred Doblin, a German who served in the Kaiser's army in the First World War. He speaks through Becker, a character in his novel A People Betrayed)


"The Grand Lunar was greatly impressed by the folly of men in clinging to the inconvenience of diverse tongues. 'They want to communicate and yet not to communicate,' he said, and then for a long time he questioned me closely concerning war.

   "He was at first perplexed and incredulous. 'You mean to say,' he asked, seeking confirmation, 'that you run about over the surface of your world-this world, whose riches you have scarcely begun to scrape-killing one another for beasts to eat?'

   "I told him that was perfectly correct."

   "He asked for particulars to assist his imagination. 'But do not your ships and your poor little cities get injured?' he asked and I found the waste of property and conveniences seemed to impress upon him almost as much as the killing. 'Tell me more,' aid the Grand Lunar; 'make me see pictures. I cannot conceive these things.'

   "And so, for a space, though something loth, I told him the story of earthly War.

   "I told him of the first orders and ceremonies of war, of warnings and ultimatums, and the marshalling and marching of troops. I gave him an idea of maneuvers and positions and battle joined. I told him of sieges and assaults, of starvation and hardship in trenches, and of sentinels freezing in the snow. I told him of routs and surprises and desperate last stands and faint hopes, and the pitiless pursuit of fugitives and the dead upon the field. I told, too, of the past, of invasions and massacres, of the Huns and Tartars, and the wars of Mahomet and the Caliphs and the Crusades. And as I went on, and Phi-oo translated, the Selenites cooed and murmured in a steadily intensified emotion. 

   "I told them an ironclad could fire a shot of a ton twelve miles, and go through twenty feet of iron-and how we could steer torpedoes under water. I went on to describe a Maxim gun in action and what I could imagine of the Battle of Colenso. The Grand Lunar was so incredulous that he interrupted the translation of what I had said in order to have my verification of my account. They particularly doubted my description of the men cheering and rejoicing as they went into battle.

   "But surely they do not like it!' translated Phi-oo

"I assured them men of my race considered battle the most glorious experience of life, at which the whole assembly was stricken with amazement.

"'But what good is this war?" asked the Grand Lunar, sticking to his theme.

"'Oh! as for good!' said I, 'it thins the population!'

"But why should there be a need-?"....

H.G. Wells

The First Men in the Moon


"Draft registration is preparation for war. To sign a registration card is to sign a promise-a promise to the United States government that it may take your body at any time, for any war it may see fit.

   I am not willing to sign my life over to the government that brought us Vietnam, Watergate and the Trident submarine. I am not willing to withhold my protests until this country is sending troops to Latin America.....And I am not willing to wait until the nuclear arms race has reached its logical conclusion in a nuclear holocaust....

   I do not offer a legal defense. When we choose to act illegally but morally, your authority becomes irrelevant. We are acting within different frameworks of duty, and I value my own, which I like to believe affirms life, above yours, which would require me to kill at the command of men I neither know nor trust."

Russ Ford (refusing to register for the draft. He stated his reasons in 1982 in an article he wrote for a Connecticut newspaper and in a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice


Book: "Ain't Gonna Study War No More" by Milton Meltzer

Book: "The Fifty-Year Wound: The True Price of America's Cold War Victory" By Derek Leebaert

Book: "Rising Up And Rising Down" by William Vollmann (3,298 pp)


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