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


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



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.


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.

Bombing for peace

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