some thoughts on war and its perils

some thoughts on war and its perils

As the world witnesses the Russia-Ukraine war, let’s pray that this crisis ends soon and peace and sanity prevail. 

War is never the solution, peace is! This is a good time for all of us to become conscious and aware of war and its futility and the irreversible, long-term damage it causes in countless people’s lives. Here are some thoughts on war, old and contemporary, to ponder upon.

“Worse than all the troubles and horrors of war is the perversion of minds it causes. Armies exist and the cost of war exists, and people must wrestle to find explanations for what exists. War cannot be explained with the intellect, so to justify it, people create intellectual perversions.”

— Leo Tolstoy

“Is there anything more absurd than a person having a right to kill me because we live on two opposite banks of the river, and our kings quarrel with each other?”

— Blaise Pascal

“I am not a foreign policy expert, so I will leave the analysis to smarter people than me. I do know what it’s like to grow up after a war, in an occupied country, and I know that in war and its aftermath, no one wins. Everyone suffers.”

— Arnold Schwarzenegger

“European countries have about four million people serving in the army. Two-thirds of their budget are spent on military spending.”

— Gustave De Molinari

“As long as there is violence, there will be war. One cannot defeat violence with more violence, only with nonresistance to and nonparticipation in it.”

— Leturno

“If my soldiers started thinking, not a single soldier would remain in my army.

— Frederick II

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

― Ernest Hemingway

“War in this world can be stopped not by the ruling establishment, but by those who suffer from the war. They will do the most natural thing: stop obeying orders.”

— Leo Tolstoy

“All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”

― John Steinbeck

“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”

― Howard Zinn

“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

“War is now more terrible than at any period in human history.”

— Guy De Maupassant

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”

― Voltaire

“A witness recounted his experience in the Russian-Japanese war, when he was on the upper deck of the Variag battleship during a Japanese attack. It was a terrible sight. Everywhere there was blood, pieces of flesh, bodies with heads torn away, the smell of blood so strong it made even the most tough and hardest men dizzy. The armored cannon tower suffered most of all. A shell exploded on top of it and killed a young officer who was the chief of the ship’s artillery. Only one thing was left of the poor man; it was his fist, the hand which held the instrument. Two of four sailors who stood next to their commander were torn into pieces, and the other two had terrible injuries; afterwards both had their legs amputated, and then the remains of their legs were cut off again completely. The commander of the battleship had a small injury in his head, in the temples. Filth, terrible illnesses, hunger, fire, destruction, evil—this is military glory, this is war.”

— Henri Harduin Garduen

“The most powerful weapon known is the weapon of blessing. Therefore, a clever person relies on it. He wins with peace, not with war.”

— Lao Tzu

“War is what happens when language fails.”

― Margaret Atwood

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

― Plato

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”

― Mahatma Gandhi

“There’s never been a true war that wasn’t fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.”

― Neil Gaiman

“No outcome of the war is more valuable than the lives that are at stake.”

― Mohith Agadi

“Stop calling it war, for war implies faults on both sides. It’s an invasion, where the state of Russia is the aggressor and the people of Ukraine are the victim. And stop saying that your prayers are with the Ukrainian people, for prayers may give you comfort, but it does nothing to alleviate their suffering. Shred all hypocritical advocacy of human rights and be involved in a meaningful way that actually helps the victims of Russian imperialism.”

― Abhijit Naskar