"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse.... 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 own free choice--is often the means of their regeneration."
"I regard almost all quarrels of princes on the same footing, and I see nothing that marks man's unreason so positively as war. Indeed, what folly to kill one another for interests often imaginary, and always for the pleasure of persons who do not think themselves even obliged to those who sacrifice themselves for them!"
"I wonder where you got your statistics when you say that Theirs executed more people than did the Terreur? I object to this kind of excuse for two reasons. Although from a Christian's or a mathematician's point of view a thousand people killed in battle a hundred years ago equal a thousand people killed in a battle of today, historically the first definition is "slaughter" and the second "some casualties." Secondly: one cannot compare the slapdash suppression, however abominable, of a revolt with the thorough application of a system of murder."
"It is hard, I submit, to loathe bloodshed, including war, more than I do, but it is still harder to exceed my loathing of the very nature of totalitarian states in which massacre is only an administrative detail."
"Is there any place on land or sea where there is no war?... Blackout. Blackout. Blackout. Blackout. Everywhere people stumblin' in the dark. Is there to be no more light in the world? Is there no place in this dark land where a man who's drunk can find a decent bit of fun?"
"Well gentlemen, this is it. This is what we've been waiting for. Tonight your target is Tokyo. And you're gonna play 'em the Star Spangled Banner with two-ton bombs. All you've got to do is to remember what you've learned and follow your squadron leaders. They'll get you in, and they'll get you out. Any questions? All right that's all. Good luck to you. Give 'em hell."
"Against war one might say that it makes the victor stupid and the vanquished malicious. In its favor, that in producing these two effects it barbarizes, and so makes the combatants more natural. For culture it is a sleep or a wintertime, and man emerges from it stronger for good and for evil."
"Lanza del Vasto noted a deep connection between play and war, even before the games theory and nuclear war strategy became practically identified. In our society, everything, in fact, is a game. But if everything is a game, then everything leads to war. Play is aimless and yet multiplies obstacles so that the "aim," which in fact does not exist, cannot be attained by the opponent. For instance, getting a ball in a hole. War is caused by similar aimless aims. Not by hunger, not by real need. War is a game of the powerful, or of whole collectivities devoted to self-assertion. It is "the great public vice that consists in playing with the lives of men." War plays with life and death, and does so magnificently. Everybody becomes involved. Everybody has to live or die--so that other side may not get a ball in a hole."
"Standing navies, as well as standing armies, serve to keep alive the spirit of war even in the meek heart of peace. In its very embers and smoulderings, they nourish that fatal fire, and half-pay officers, as the priests of Mars, yet guard the temple, though no god be there."