"To be against war is not enough, it is hardly a beginning. And all things strive; we who try to speak know the ideas trying to be more human, we know things near their birth that try to become real. The truth here goes farther, there is another way of being against war and for poetry. We are against war and the sources of war. We are for poetry and the sources of poetry."
"Those who dare to interpret God's will must never claim Him as an asset for one nation or group rather than another. War springs from the love and loyalty which should be offered to God being applied to some God substitute, one of the most dangerous being nationalism."
"Come Vitus, are we men, or are we children? Of what use are all these melodramatic gestures? You say your soul was killed, and that you have been dead all these years. And what of me? Did we not both die here in Marmaros fifteen years ago? Are we any the less victims of the war than those whose bodies were torn asunder? Are we not both the living dead?"
"I had supposed until that time that it was quite common for parents to love their children, but the war persuaded me that it is a rare exception. I had supposed that most people liked money better than almost anything else, but I discovered that they liked destruction even better. I had supposed that intellectuals frequently loved truth, but I found here again that not ten per cent of them prefer truth to popularity."
"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."
"It is always easy enough to take up arms, but very difficult to lay them down; the commencement and the termination of war are not necessarily in the same hands; even a coward may begin, but the end comes only when the victors are willing."
"I make this direct statement to the American people that there is far less chance of the United States getting into war, if we do all we can now to support the nations defending themselves against attack by the Axis than if we acquiesce in their defeat, submit tamely to an Axis victory, and wait our turn to be the object of attack in another war later on."
"A point has been reached where the peoples of the Americas must take cognizance of growing ill-will, of marked trends toward aggression, of increasing armaments, of shortening tempers--a situation which has in it many of the elements that lead to the tragedy of general war.... Peace is threatened by those who seek selfish power."
"More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars. Yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between Governments. The once powerful malignant Nazi state is crumbling; the Japanese warlords are receiving in their homelands the retribution for which they asked when they attacked Pearl Harbor. But the mere conquest of our enemies is not enough; we must go on to do all in our power to conquer the doubts and the fears, the ignorance and the greed, which made this horror possible."
"On this tenth day of June, nineteen hundred and forty, the hand that held the dagger has struck it into the back of its neighbor.... In our unity, in our American unity we will pursue two obvious and simultaneous courses; we will extend to the opponents of force the material resources of this nation, and at the same time we will harness and speed up the use of those resources in order that we ourselves in the Americas may have equipment and training equal to the task of any emergency and every defense."
"This nation will remain a neutral nation, but I cannot ask that every American remain neutral in thought as well. Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience. I have said not once but many times that I have seen war and that I hate war; I say that again and again. I hope the United States will keep out of this war, I believe that it will. And I give you assurance and reassurance that every effort of your government will be directed toward that end. As long as it remains within my power to prevent there will be no blackout of peace in the United States."