WHY IS PEACE SO ILLUSIVE? ...www.antiwar.com





THOUGHTS ON PEACE AND WAR -  www.warisstupid.com


"In reality, do you really need a war?"

— Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Al Rascon


"I like to believe that people, in the long run, are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it."

— Dwight D. Eisenhower


 "To engage in war is always to pick a wild card. And war must always be the last resort, not a first choice. I truly must question the judgment of any president who can say that a massive, unprovoked military attack on a nation which is over fifty percent children is 'in the highest moral traditions of our country.'"

— U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd


"War would end if the dead could return." — Stanley Baldwin"


 "More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars — yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments." — Franklin D. Roosevelt


"The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows."

— Martin Luther King, Jr.


 "You can't say that civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way." — Will Rogers


"Everything, everything in war is barbaric.... But the worst barbarity of war is that it forces men collectively to commit acts against which individually they would revolt with their whole being." — Ellen Key Dot


 "War is the science of destruction." — John S. C. Abbott


"Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures." — John F. Kennedy

"War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today." — John F. Kennedy


"I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land." — Martin Luther King, Jr.


 "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."

 — Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. President, Republican Party


"The military don't start wars. Politicians start wars."

— General William Westmoreland


 "The arms race can kill, though the weapons themselves may never be used.... [B]y their cost alone, armaments kill the poor by causing them to starve." — Vatican statement to the U.N., 1976

"It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it."

 — Eleanor Roosevelt


 "A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."

— A computer named WOPR in the film WarGames


"We're not made by God to mass kill one another ... and that's backed up by the Gospel. Lying and war are always associated. Listen closely when you hear a war-maker try to defend his current war: If he moves his lips he's lying."

— Father Philip Berrigan


 "Either war is obsolete or men are." — R. Buckminster Fuller

"If you wish to be brothers, let the arms fall from your hands. One cannot love while holding offensive arms." — Pope Pius VI


 "The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution." — John F. Kennedy


"Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out ... and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.... And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for 'the universal brotherhood of man'—with his mouth."

— Mark Twain  


 "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." — Winston Churchill


"A riot is a spontaneous outburst. A war is subject to advance planning." — Richard M. Nixon


 "War is a profession by which a man cannot live honorably; an employment by which the soldier, if he would reap any profit, is obliged to be false, rapacious, and cruel." — Niccolo Machiavelli


"War is addictive. Indeed, it is the most potent narcotic unleashed by mankind."

— Chris Hedges, author and former war correspondent


 "There must be, not a balance of power, but a community of power; not organized rivalries, but an organized peace."

— Woodrow Wilson


"War-making is one of the few activities that people are not supposed to view “realistically”; that is, with an eye to expense and practical outcome. In all-out war, expenditure is all-out, unprudent—war being defined as an emergency in which no sacrifice is excessive." — Susan Sontag


 "Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come."

— Carl Sandberg


"Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding." — Ralph Waldo Emerson


 "There is no such thing as an inevitable war. If war comes it will be from failure of human wisdom."  — Andrew B. Law


 "It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons."

— Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


 "If we let people see that kind of thing, there would never again be any war." — Pentagon official on why US military censored graphic footage from the Gulf War


 "Hey, you can't fight in here! This is the war room!"

— President  Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers) in the film Dr. Strangelove


"War does not determine who is right—only who is left."

— Bertrand Russell


 "Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount."

— General Omar Bradley


"War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands."

— H. L. Mencken


 "Why does the Air Force need expensive new bombers? Have the people we've been bombing over the years been complaining?"

— George Wallace


"What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war. Petrol is much more likely than wheat to be a cause of international conflict." — Simone Weil


 "Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity."

 — Marine Corps saying


"War is not a true adventure. It is a mere ersatz. Where ties are established, where problems are set, where creation is stimulated—there you have adventure. But there is no adventure in heads-or-tails, in betting that the toss will come out of life or death. War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus."

 — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children." — Native American Proverb


"In war you have to kill to avoid being killed. We're all human beings — Chinese, Japanese, English — but war is about killing. Baka-na senso! Stupid war!... All those men going off, leaving their wives and children. Stupid — giving your life for nothing!"


— Japanese veteran of the war in China, caretaker at Yosenji temple, Obanazawa, Japan. From the book On the Narrow Road: Journey into a Lost Japan by Lesley Downer.






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Robert McNamara - I wrote this in 1995 when I discovered that my friend, Anya, was good friends with Robert McNamara.


Hunkered starboard, a waxing moon

Becomes my solitary companion.

Five days until full.

Leaving the restaurant

without fight or interruption,

hastening to the ladies room .

I avoid an argument

twenty five years in standing.


Anya is my friend.

She is from Holland and sailed 1500 miles

in tandem with our group.

Strangers, coming to Paradise.

Seeking  answers, and a better life.

We meet now, two years later,

having drinks in a lounge

upon watching the America’s Cup.


Her husband has had a by-pass.

Of course, I am sympathetic.  They were friends

and came, with a present, to my 55 th birthday.

We spent dispassionate evenings together

under a warm Caribbean moon

Tropical days alive with sailing.

Now, perching brightly on a stool

honesty interferes.


It seems that this same husband, recovering in the states and a VP of the World Bank

awaiting the delivery of their boat to the Eastern shore,

is the house guest of the nemesis

of our country -

Robert McNamara is his host,

the Master of Ceremonies for our great mistake,

the unforgivable Vietnam.


Twenty five years ago I fought

like a caged lioness protecting her cubs.

I beseech you “Do not send these boys

into a war they cannot win and do not want.”

They went.  They died.  They didn't win.

And now, in 1995, McNamara  pens a missle

in which he states that he knew all along

America’s position was wrong.


Baying from my cockpit,

I question God and all of her forces.

Staying as McNamara’s guest  

Sleeping with the devil.

Anya,  realize how we fought,

those of us not in uniform,  three decades ago

to end this unnecessary war -

McNamara is the enemy!


He wants forgiveness now?  Understanding now?

Tell that to the spirits of the 56,000  dead.

Tell that to their widows, to their children, to their parents.

Tell that to me, who knew at the time that the war was wrong , as did millions of others.

What would you  think if I was visiting  your country

my husband has a surgical  by-pass

and stays with Hitler’s right hand man?


Would you be impressed?  

He was a friend of the highest in command.  

Or would you feel as I do?

Total and complete disgust.

Let us discuss it no more, my friend.

Trust me, some things you must believe.

I do not think I would tell, even in secret,

that you even know such a man.


Let him run his fingers across the names in marble

touching the acute responsibility of his actions

knowing that he could have made THE difference

and didn’t.




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Traditional Concept of "War" Is Obsolete

Military Thought,  

by S. N. Konopatov,  V. V. Yudin


Modern warfare is a basically new phenomenon that requires a revision of the established concepts, bringing them in tune with the time. What makes it new is not even the methods and means of warfare but the sum total of directions and technologies of armed and non-armed aggression, in their interrelation, with respect to a specific military-political situation.


The need to revise the phenomenon of "modem warfare," puffing it in a broader context, was highlighted by, among other things, the lamentable experience of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union--a military superpower--was destroyed without a fight. That became possible just because the country's military-political leadership took a very narrow view of the problem of warfare, as a result of which the state's vital security areas were ignored and left utterly exposed. Russia's potential is immeasurably smaller than the Soviet Union's, and so a one-sided approach to warfare is even more dangerous.


In the last few years, mass media have been viewing recent as well as long past wars only from the moral perspective (with a special emphasis placed on emotionality)--describing the horrors of wars, condemning aggressors and their supporters, and denouncing the inaction and inefficacy of the leadership that was unable to ensure the country's defense. Consideration of war from this perspective is of course very important. This is a manifestation of a civic attitude and concern about the fate of the people, highlighting the problem and raising public awareness.


In the last few years, mass media have been viewing recent as well as long past wars only from the moral perspective (with a special emphasis placed on emotionality)--describing the horrors of wars, condemning aggressors and their supporters, and denouncing the inaction and inefficacy of the leadership that was unable to ensure the country's defense. Consideration of war from this perspective is of course very important. This is a manifestation of a civic attitude and concern about the fate of the people, highlighting the problem and raising public awareness.


Be that as it may, modern warfare will be a war for world domination, for supremacy. Any aggression is known to expand (e.g., NATO's eastward expansion). At this stage, partners/satellites are still needed, and they can feel relatively secure. Nonetheless, once it has exhausted the reserves of extensive development, the process (aggression) inevitably begins to move in-depth, leading the satellites to experience all the delights of the use of force in dealing with internal problems (e.g., Yugoslavia and Iran). The human factor brings in a new element into the aforementioned objective development process: acceleration. Today's aggressor is cunning, ingenious, pragmatic, and at the same time not limited by any moral constraints. So, when it becomes expedient, it will escalate aggression in all possible dimensions, including in-depth.


A new war is also ruinous for the people of the aggressor state since internal and external processes are directly interrelated. While pursuing an amoral, antihuman and asocial policy on the international arena, the state leadership, in its internal policy, cannot possibly orient itself toward the norms of decency, morality, or humanity. It only pays lip service to them but even then only because this is politically expedient. Beyond the limits of transparency, openness, and responsibility, such leadership will act cynically and inhumanely in working to attain its goals--private, collective, or corporate, balking at nothing (a policy of double standards).


Thus, expansion in the sphere of harsh confrontation, its tendency to move outside the legal framework, and the shifting of emphasis toward its information, ideological, political, economic, and psychological components have changed the role and place of warfare as well as the essence of the concept of "warfare" per se, bringing about new specifics in ensuring national and international security. At the same time state military might and the use of force still lie at the base of this complex phenomenon (war).


It has been a long time that mass media and special publications started using such terms as Cold War, information warfare, psychological warfare, etc., as a reflection and characterization of the state of antagonism between political players. In public consciousness, the concept of "war" is associated with the use of military force to resolve socio-political contradictions: That is to say, the aforementioned types of warfare are not exactly wars in this sense. In other words, objective reality in its diversity does not fit into the framework of existing categories and concepts.


A person uses specific concepts to reflect existing reality. Therefore, the fact that the concept of "war" does not adequately reflect reality cannot but affect thinking processes, perception of reality, and understanding (assessment) of a specific situation, especially in the process of its evolution. Hence, mass consciousness associates war only with the process that brings calamity, blood, and destruction because it is associated with the use of force. All other types of warfare--information warfare, organizational warfare, psychological warfare, and so forth--are all but mythical that do not directly affect the individual although their consequences can be far more disastrous and tragic.


Warfare between states has an obvious, clear-cut character. Therefore a country that has become a target of attack cannot fail to recognize aggression and so take at least minimum action to defend itself. At the same time, as means and methods of warfare evolve, systemic preparation of military action and effective command and control of troops (forces) in the course of warfare take on increasing importance, including the use of concealment, military stratagem, or deception, and the element of surprise. Reason, suggesting more effective ways of using force, emerges as an increasingly important factor in military operations (K. Clausewitz). [1] Covert preparation for aggression and surprise attack on the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany resulted in heavy loss of Life--more than 26 million people--and the destruction of a large part of the country's national economy.


Modern warfare is fierce confrontation above all in the command and control sphere. The key role here is played by information, and the will, common sense and organizational prowess of decision-makers, or in broader terms, the level of public consciousness. Ideology is a form and concentrated expression of the latter. Ideology is a conceptual cognition of the outside world by a given nation--its social intellect. Unfortunately, having effectively abandoned a social, national ideology, Russia has at the same time disarmed itself, exposing itself to direct ideological impacts by other countries.


The growing pace of scientific and technological advance, evolution of public consciousness, and the increasing role of creative individual abilities naturally brought about a situation wherein human intellect has taken center stage among social resources in the second half of the 20th century.


Therefore, human intellect became the main target of Cold War architects. To see that this is indeed the case, it is enough to take a look at their cynical program of destruction of Russia, as proclaimed by Allen Dulles, in 1945. [2]


So the Cold War is not over yet--as many believe is the case--since its essence (idea) lies in an uncompromising ideological (organizational) confrontation, wherein military, political, economic, and other relations are only used a means, an instrument of suppressing the will of the opposing side, and destroying it. The price of victory in it is the death of mankind.

After all is said and done, modern wars, therefore, have an insidious, creeping, apparently "benign" character. Thus, as of the mid-1980s, the overwhelming part of the Soviet population, taken in by the deceptive sincerity and high-mindedness of Western "champions of democracy," assumed that it was paramount to develop freedom, democracy, and glasnost. As a matter of fact, strategic onslaught on the Soviet Union with the use of modern warfare means and methods continued unabated. The country has already lost its crucial stage, not even aware of the warfare per se, and naturally offering no resistance. Its results have been tragic for the Soviet Union and for Russia: The breakup of the Soviet Union; millions of personal tragedies; disastrous decline in living standards; disintegration of state administration and resource reproduction systems; mounting problems, the state's growing economic dependence, and its degeneration into the category of developing countries. The full scale of the tragedy has yet to be a ppreciated. Society at large has yet to understand the essence of this war, its sources, mechanisms, and destructive factors in a comprehensive, systemic way. It is thus far very difficult to assess its scale, depth, consequences, and other parameters because--for the aforementioned reason--there are no official records of losses that have been sustained and positions lost in the process: how much has been lost; how much has been left; whether lost ground is being made up and whether potential is being built up to repulse this aggression. Therefore, there is no capability to stand up to this aggression.


Whether we like it or not, state policy is key to the way the situation evolves in the end: whether it gets better or worse and worse yet. To understand the situation means to face up to reality. To do otherwise means to doom the country to the worst-case scenario--namely, disintegration, guided and orchestrated from the outside. So it is of paramount importance today to work out an effective strategy for national development; a systemic approach to organizational activity; an objective and sufficient analysis of the key aspects of the country's situation; and ensuring effective state governance and administration.


2.) See: V.A. Lisichkin, L.A. Shelepin, Tretya mirovaya (informatsionno-psikhologicheskaya) voyna, Institut sotsialno-politicheskikh issledovaniy ASN, Moscow, 2000, p. 64.



I heard the bells on Christmas day

Their old familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet the words repeat

Of peace on earth good will to all.


And in despair I bowed my head,

There is no peace on earth, I said,

For hate is strong and mocks the song

Of peace on earth good will to all.


Then pealed the bells more loud and deep;

God is not dead nor does She sleep;

The wrong shall fail; the right prevail

With peace on earth good will to all.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow