concept

war Quotes

100+ of the best book quotes about war
01
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“I refuse to believe that so modern and civilized a young man as you seem to be harbors romantic ideas about the value of human life. Surely your experiences in the war.”
Richard Connell
author
The Most Dangerous Game
book
Sanger Rainsford
General Zaroff
characters
war
human life
personal experiences
concepts
02
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“The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts.”
03
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“The same attributes that had made him the boy terror . . . were keeping him alive in the greatest struggle of his life.”
04
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“At that moment, something shifted sweetly inside him. It was forgiveness, beautiful and effortless and complete. For Louie Zamperini, the war was over.”
05
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“The war has ruined us for everything.”
07
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I’ll make the world safe and sound for you. You will come of age with our young nation. We’ll bleed and fight for you, we’ll make it right for you.
08
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“We have lost all feeling for one another. We can hardly control ourselves when our glance lights on the form of some other man. We are insensible, dead men, who through some trick, some dreadful magic, are still able to run and to kill.”
09
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“We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death.”
10
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“A hospital alone shows what war is.”
11
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“A word of command has made these silent figures our enemies; a word of command might transform them into our friends.”
12
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“This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it.”
13
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“If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie.”
14
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“It’s safe to say that in a true war story nothing is ever absolutely true.”
15
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“It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge. War endures.”
16
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“They carried the sky. The whole atmosphere, they carried it, the humidity, the monsoons, the stink of fungus and decay, all of it, they carried gravity.”
17
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“The battle fever. [Tyrion] had never thought to experience it himself, though Jamie had told him of it often enough. […]. “You don’t feel your wounds then, or the ache in your back from the weight of the armor, or the sweat running down in to your eyes. You stop feeling, you stop thinking, you stop being you, there is only the fight, the foe, this man and then the next and the next and the next, [...].”
18
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“My conscience told me to run, but some irrational and powerful force was resisting, like a weight pushing me toward the war. What it came down to, stupidly, was a sense of shame”
19
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“I want you to feel what I felt. I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.”
20
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“By daylight they took sniper fire, at night they were mortared, but it was not battle, it was just the endless march, village to village, without purpose, nothing won or lost.”
21
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“Huddled together in the dining room and waiting for the sun to rise, none of us had any notion that a way of life had ended.”
Amir
character
changes
war
life
concepts
22
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“That was when Baba stood up. It was my turn to clamp a hand on his thigh, but Baba pried it loose, snatched his leg away. When he stood, he eclipsed the moonlight. ‘I want you to ask this man something,’ Baba said. He said it to Karim, but looked directly at the Russian officer. ‘Ask him where his shame is.’ They spoke. ‘He says this is war. There is no shame in war.’ ‘Tell him he’s wrong. War doesn’t negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace.‘”
Baba
character
decency
war
shame
concepts
23
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He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
24
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“…as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.”
25
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“We know how to win wars. We must learn now to win peace...”
26
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“They hadn’t come here to fear. They hadn’t come to die. They had come to win.”
27
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“In thinking back on the days of Easy Company, I’m treasuring my remark to a grandson who asked, ‘Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?’ ‘No,’ I answered, ‘but I served in a company of heroes.‘”
28
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“Thus did 13,400 of America’s finest youth, who had been training for this moment for two years, hurl themselves against Hitler’s Fortress Europe.”
29
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“The Lacedaemonians voted that the treaty had been broken, and that the war must be declared, not so much because they were persuaded by the arguments of the allies, as because they feared the growth of the power of the Athenians, seeing most of Hellas already subject to them.”
30
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“Within Easy Company they had made the best friends they had ever had, or would ever have. They were prepared to die for each other; more important, they were prepared to kill for each other.”
31
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“And he made a promise to himself: if he lived through the war, he was going to find an isolated farm somewhere and spend the remainder of his life in peace and quiet.”
32
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“We are different people now than we were then.”
33
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“They found combat to be ugliness, destruction and death and hated it. Anything was better than the blood and carnage, the grime and filth, the impossible demands on the body-anything that is, except letting down their buddies.”
34
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“Winters prayed the whole way over, prayed to live through it, prayed that he wouldn’t fail.”
35
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“The real cause I consider to be the one which was formally most kept out of sight. The growth of the power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Lacedaemon, made war inevitable.”
36
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″... No war can be won without young men dying. Those things which are precious are saved only by sacrifice.”
37
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“A man can get something from war that is impossible to acquire anyplace else.”
38
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″‘Hitler made only one big mistake when he built his Atlantic Wall’, the paratroopers liked to say. ‘He forgot to put a roof on it.‘”
39
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″‘Tonight is the night of nights,’ said Sink’s. ‘May God be with each of you fine soldiers.‘”
God
person
Robert Sink
character
war
concept
40
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“Troy shall overturn the Grecian state, And sweet revenge her conqu’ring sons shall call, To crush the people that conspir’d her fall.”
Virgil
author
Jove
character
prophecy
revenge
war
concepts
41
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“The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.”
1984
book
war
concept
42
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“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
1984
book
war
freedom
concepts
43
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“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”
44
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Now I often think of the first time I received artillery fire, and the subsequent obliteration of the enemy observation post. I’ll never know how many men manned the OP, but in memory I fix the number at two, and though at the time I was angry that the pompous captain took the handset from me and stole my kills, I have lately been thankful he insisted on calling the fire mission, and sometimes when I am feeling hopeful or even religious, I think that by taking my two kills the pompous captain handed me life, some extra moments of living for myself or that I can offer others, though I have no idea to use or disuse these extra moments, or if I’ve wasted them already.
45
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The true friend from war is the friend who obliterates his own story by telling the stories of others.
46
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If he only spoke about it once, he wasn’t lying.
47
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“Why could not I by that strong arm be slain, And lie by noble Hector on the plain?”
Virgil
author
Aeneas
character
survivor
grief
regret
war
concepts
48
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If wars were fought only by the men on the ground, the men facing one another in real battle, most wars would end quickly and sensibly.
49
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“Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc’d by fate, And haughty Juno’s unrelenting hate, Expell’d and exil’d, left the Trojan shore. Long labors, both by sea and land, he bore, And in the doubtful war, before he won The Latian realm, and built the destin’d town; His banish’d gods restor’d to rites divine, And settled sure succession in his line, From whence the race of Alban fathers come, And the long glories of majestic Rome.”
Virgil
author
history
war
glory
concepts
50
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“If you look at the 19 hijackers who came to the United States in Sept. 11 to commit those acts, if you’d looked at them before they got onto a plane, you could probably say the same thing. There were various levels of expertise, various levels of competence.”
war
concept
51
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“In the spring of the summer following, the Lacedaemonians and Athenians made an armistice for a year; the Athenians thinking that they would thus have full leisure to take their precautions before Brasidas could procure the revolt of any more of their towns, and might also, if it suited them, conclude a general peace; the Lacedaemonians divining the actual fears of the Athenians, and thinking that after once tasting a respite from trouble and misery they would be more disposed to consent to a reconciliation, and to give back the prisoners, and make a treaty for the longer period.”
52
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“The crux of the matter is whether total war in its present form is justifiable, even when it serves a just purpose. Does it not have material and spiritual evil as its consequences which far exceed whatever good might result? When will our moralists give us an answer to this question?”
evil
morals
war
concepts
53
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“They sawed in two and scooped out a great beam from end to end, and fitting it nicely together again like a pipe, hung by chains a cauldron at one extremity, with which communicated an iron tube projecting from the beam, which was itself in great part plated with iron. This they brought up from a distance upon carts to the part of the wall principally composed of vines and timber, and when it was near, inserted huge bellows into their end of the beam and blew with them. The blast passing closely confined into the cauldron, which was filled with lighted coals, sulphur and pitch, made a great blaze, and set fire to the wall, which soon became untenable for its defenders, who left it and fled; and in this way the fort was taken.”
54
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“They stood where they stood by the right of the sword.”
55
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“The water they had disturbed under the impulsion of a necessity which they had not wantonly incurred, having been forced to use it in defending themselves against the Boeotians who first invaded Attica. Besides, anything done under the pressure of war and danger might reasonably claim indulgence even in the eye of the god; or why, pray, were the altars the asylum for involuntary offences?”
56
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“He warned all of them to prepare to be staunch allies, and for being held responsible for all faults in future: for the past, they had not wronged the Lacedaemonians but had been wronged by others who were too strong for them, and any opposition that they might have offered him could be excused.”
57
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“Even those who had at first disapproved of what was being done catching the general confidence, they determined on a vigorous conduct of the war, and welcomed Brasidas with all possible honours, publicly crowning him with a crown of gold as the liberator of Hellas; while private persons crowded round him and decked him with garlands as though he had been an athlete.”
58
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“Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man. For war consisteth not in battle only, or the act of fighting, but in a tract of time, wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently known: and therefore the notion of time is to be considered in the nature of war, as it is in the nature of weather.”
59
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“He was the only person making his way into the city; he met hundreds and hundreds who were fleeing, and every one of them seemed to be hurt in some way. The eyebrows of some were burned off and skin hung from their faces and hands. Others, because of pain, held their arms up as if carrying something in both hands. Some were vomiting as they walked. Many were naked or in shreds of clothing. On some undressed bodies, the burns had made patterns—of undershirt straps and suspenders and, on the skin of some women (since white repelled the heat from the bomb and dark clothes absorbed it and conducted it to the skin), the shapes of flowers they had had on their kimonos. Many, although injured themselves, supported relatives who were worse off. Almost all had their heads bowed, looked straight ahead, were silent, and showed no expression whatsoever.”
death
war
concepts
60
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“Over everything—up through the wreckage of the city, in gutters, along the riverbanks, tangled among tiles and tin roofing, climbing on charred tree trunks—was a blanket of fresh, vivid, lush, optimistic green; the verdancy rose even from the foundations of ruined houses. Weeds already hid the ashes, and wild flowers were in bloom among the city’s bones. The bomb had not only left the underground organs of the plants intact; it had stimulated them.”
war
death
tragedy
concepts
61
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“This private estate was far enough away from the explosion so that its bamboos, pines, laurel, and maples were still alive, and the green place invited refugees—partly because they believed that if the Americans came back, they would bomb only buildings; partly because the foliage seemed a center of coolness and life, and the estate’s exquisitely precise rock gardens, with their quiet pools and arching bridges, were very Japanese, normal, secure; and also partly (according to some who were there) because of an irresistible, atavistic urge to hide under leaves.”
death
war
concepts
62
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“Therefore the notion of time is to be considered in the nature of war, as it is in the nature of weather. For as the nature of foul weather lieth not in a shower or two of rain, but in an inclination thereto of many days together: so the nature of war consisteth not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary. All other time is peace.”
63
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“In addition, no one today remembered why the war had come about or who, if anyone, had won. The dust which had contaminated most of the planet’s surface had originated in no country, and no one, even the wartime enemy, had planned on it.”
64
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“The legacy of World War Terminus had diminished in potency; those who could not survive the dust had passed into oblivion years ago, and the dust, weaker now and confronting the strong survivors, only deranged minds and genetic properties.”
65
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I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.
66
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“This isn’t a war… It never was a war, any more than there’s war between men and ants.”
67
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“In the end the red weed succumbed almost as quickly as it had spread. A cankering disease, due, it is believed, to the action of certain bacteria, presently seized upon it. Now, by the action of natural selection, all terrestrial plants have acquired a resisting power against bacterial diseases—they never succumb without a severe struggle, but the red weed rotted like a thing already dead. The fronds became bleached, and then shriveled and brittle. They broke off at the least touch, and the waters that had stimulated their early growth carried their last vestiges out to sea.”
68
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“The ordinary traffic had been stopped, I believe, in order to allow of the passage of troops and guns to Chertsey, and I have heard since that a savage struggle occurred for places in the special trains that were put on at a later hour.”
69
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Tactics win battles. Strategy wins wars.
70
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Love and war are two different battlefields.
71
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“And it’s safe to assume that those in power would think longer and harder about launching a war if they envisioned their own sons and daughters in harm’s way.”
72
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“Rewards for good service should not be deferred a single day.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
rewards
concepts
73
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“Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
concept
74
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“Yet who can presume to say what the War wants, so vast and aloof it is... so absentee.”
75
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“Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
concept
76
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“Be extremely subtle even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
concept
77
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“Thus the expert in battle moves the enemy, and is not moved by him.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
enemies
concepts
78
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“They were beaten to start with. They were beaten when they took them from their farms and put them in the army.”
79
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“There is one fairly good reason for fighting—and that is, if the other man starts it. You see, wars are a wickedness, perhaps the greatest wickedness of a wicked species. They are so wicked that they must not be allowed.”
80
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“The wise warrior avoids the battle.”
Sun Tzu
author
wisdom
war
concepts
81
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“Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
concept
82
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“If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be unless.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
concept
83
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“Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.”
84
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“The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.”
85
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“If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
concept
86
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“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
concept
87
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“Bravery without forethought, causes a man to fight blindly and desperately like a mad bull. Such an opponent, must not be encountered with brute force, but may be lured into an ambush and slain.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
bravery
concepts
88
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“One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.”
89
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“After a war of about forty years, undertaken by the most stupid, maintained by the most dissolute, and terminated by the most timid of all the emperors, the far greater part of the island [of Britain] submitted to the Roman yoke.”
90
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“In the purer ages of the commonwealth, the use of arms was reserved for those ranks of citizens who had a country to love, a property to defend, and some share in enacting those laws, which it was their interest as well as duty to maintain. But in proportion as the public freedom was lost in extent of conquest, war was gradually improved into an art, and degraded into a trade.”
91
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“They preserved peace by a constant preparation for war; and while justice regulated their conduct, they announced to the nations on their confines, that they were as little disposed to endure, as to offer an injury.”
92
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“I wanted him to know that I saw him, a guy who, even with a tear-streaked face, seemed to have two tiny smiles framing his eyes like parentheses . . . to remind the world he was alive.”
93
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“War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”
94
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“Men of God and men of war have strange affinities.”
95
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“War was always here.”
96
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“For all the people who came before us, fighting this fight, I was here, screaming at the top of my lungs.”
97
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“Don’t forget the real business of the War is buying and selling.”
98
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“A lot of these men had started as afraid of war as anyone, but the fear had been drummed out.”
99
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“Mogadishu was like the postapocalyptic world of Mel Gibson’s Mad Max movies, a world ruled by roving gangs of armed thugs. They were here to rout the worst of the warlords and restore sanity and civilization.”
100
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“She realized that the landscape of a woman’s soul could change as quickly as a world at war.”
101
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“America’s best were going to war, and Sergeant Matt Eversmann was among them.”
102
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“‘Everything is impermanent, even war. It will end some day.’ Knowing that, we could continue to work for peace.”
103
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“If any honor existed in war, he concluded, it was in fighting to protect others from harm.”
104
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“The idea used to be that terrible countries were terrible because good, decent, innocent people were being oppressed by evil, thuggish leaders. Somalia changed that. Here you have a country where just about everybody is caught up in hatred and fighting.”
105
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“War is god.”
106
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“He wished he could have explained some of this. How he had been braver than he ever thought possible, but how he had not been so brave as he wanted to be. The distinction was important.”
107
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“They carried the soldier’s greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought them to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor. They died so as not to die of embarrassment.”
108
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“I’d come to this war a quiet, thoughtful sort of person, a college grad, Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude, all the credentials, but after seven months in the bush I realized that those high, civilized trappings had somehow been crushed under the weight of the simple daily realities. I’d turned mean inside.”
109
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“You’re pinned down in some filthy hellhole of a paddy […] but then for a few seconds everything goes quiet and you look up and see the sun and a few puffy white clouds, and the immense serenity flashes against your eyeballs—the whole world gets rearranged—and even though you’re pinned down by a war you’ve never felt more at peace.”
110
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“The whole country is divided into two camps...People who never saw a horse race in their lives are taking sides. If the issue were deferred another week, there would be a civil war between the War Admiral Americans and the Seabiscuit Americans.”
111
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“They shared the weight of memory. They took up what others could no longer bear. Often, they carried each other, the wounded or weak.”
112
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“For most princes apply themselves more to affairs of war than to the useful arts of peace; and in these I neither have any knowledge, nor do I much desire it; they are generally more set on acquiring new kingdoms, right or wrong, than on governing well those they possess.”
Utopia
book
peace
princes
war
concepts
113
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“All of us . . . are engaged in a war already, although not all of us know it.”
114
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“But out here, down here among the people, the truer currencies come into being.”
115
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“AN ARMY OF LOVERS CAN BE BEATEN.”
116
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“It might almost—if one were paranoid enough—seem to be a collaboration here, between both sides of the Wall, matter and spirit.”
117
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“His worthy steed he then bestrode And forth upon his way he glode Like sparkles from a flame. And his crest he bore a tower And stuck thereon a lily-flower, God guard him from all shame!”
118
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“Our life is a warfare, and a mere pilgrimage.”
119
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“As I watched them coming from the post, I spotted an insurgent moving in behind them. I fired once. The Marine patrol hit the dirt. So did the Iraqi, though he didn’t get up.”
120
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“This is the War’s evensong, the War’s canonical hour, and the night is real.
121
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“The people out here were meant to go down first. We’re expendable.”
122
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“War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence.”
123
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“I thought Ryan was dead. Actually, he was still alive, if just barely. The docs worked like hell to save him. Ryan would eventually be medevac’d out of Iraq. His wounds were severe—he’d never see again, not only out of the eye that had been hit but the other as well. It was a miracle that he lived. But at that moment at base, I was sure he was dead. I knew it in my stomach, in my heart, in every part of me. I’d put him in the spot where he got hit. It was my fault he’d been shot.”
124
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“Their feelings about blackness were tied to feelings...about putrefaction and death.”
125
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“The mass nature of wartime death is useful in many ways. It serves as spectacle, as diversion from the real movements of the War.”
126
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“A half-second’s more hesitation, and I would have been the one bleeding out on the floor. They turned out to be Chechens, Muslims apparently recruited for a holy war against the West. (We found their passports after searching the house.)”
127
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“Septimus was one of the first to volunteer. He went to France to save an England which consisted almost entirely of Shakespeare’s plays and Miss Isabel Pole in a green dress walking in a square. There in the trenches the change which Mr Brewer desired when he advised football was produced instantly; he developed manliness ...”
128
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″[War] provides raw material to be recorded into History, so that children may be taught History sequences of violence, battle after battle, and be more prepared for the adult world.”
129
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“Up to a point he finds the agony delightful.
130
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“It was my duty to shoot, and I don’t regret it. The woman was already dead. I was just making sure she didn’t take any Marines with her. It was clear that not only did she want to kill them, but she didn’t care about anybody else nearby who would have been blown up by the grenade or killed in the firefight. Children on the street, people in the houses, maybe her child. She was too blinded by evil to consider them. She just wanted Americans dead, no matter what.”
131
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“We would bump out five hundred yards, six or eight hundred yards, going deep into Injun territory to look and wait for the bad guys. We’d set up on overwatch ahead of one of his patrols. As soon as his people showed up, they’d draw all sorts of insurgents toward them. We’d take them down. The guys would turn and try and fire on us; we’d pick them off. We were protectors, bait, and slayers.”
132
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“In war, when soldiers come, they take everything. You must bury anything to save it. You must hide your childrens, also.”
133
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“I signed up to protect this country. I do not choose the wars. It happens that I love to fight. But I do not choose which battles I go to. Y’all send me to them. I had to wonder why these people weren’t protesting at their congressional offices or in Washington. Protesting the people who were ordered to protect them—let’s just say it put a bad taste in my mouth.”
134
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“It was a kid. A child. I had a clear view in my scope, but I didn’t fire. I wasn’t going to kill a kid, innocent or not. I’d have to wait until the savage who put him up to it showed himself on the street.”
135
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“My friends of Hillsboro, you know why I have come here. I have not come merely to prosecute a lawbreaker, an arrogant youth who has spoken out against the Revealed Word.”
136
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“I fought that war to preserve justice in this world.”
137
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“Never think that war, no matter how necessary nor how justified, is not a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead.”
138
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“I looked at myself in the mirror of the big armoire beside the bed . . . Of all the ways to be wounded. I suppose it was funny.”
139
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“It was like certain dinners I remember from the war. There was much wine, an ignored tension, a feeling of things coming that you could not prevent happening.”
140
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“Then imitate the action of the tiger. Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage. Then lend the eye a terrible aspect”
141
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“It was war all right. Right away, the supermarkets were empty.”
142
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“The masking tape is to protect against flying glass during a bombing and the black curtains are to protect us from our neighbors.”
143
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“George: Be careful, Martha…I’ll rip you to pieces. Martha: You aren’t man enough…you haven’t the guts. George: Total war? Martha: Total.”
144
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“George: “And the west, encumbered by crippling alliances, and hardened with a morality too rigid to accommodate itself to the swing of events, must…eventually…fall.”
145
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“That night we were so hungry that we stole people’s food while they slept. It was the only way to get through the night.”
146
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“When he was close enough and behind a tree where he could clearly see the monkey, he raised his rifle and aimed. Just when he was about to pull the trigger, the monkey spoke: ‘If you shoot me, your mother will die, and if you don’t, your father will die.’ The monkey resumed its position, chewing its food, and every so often scratched its head or the side of its belly. What would you do if you were the hunter?”
147
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“I took off my old pants, which contained the rap cassettes. As I was putting on my new army shorts, a soldier took my old pants and threw them into a blazing fire that had been set to burn our old belongings. I ran toward the fire, but the cassettes had already started to melt. Tears formed in my eyes, and my lips shook as I turned away. ”
148
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“We lost a few adult soldiers on our side and my friends Musa and Josiah. Musa, the storyteller, was gone. There was no one around to tell us stories and make us laugh at times when we needed it. ”
149
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“This not only meant that you were scarred for life but that you could never escape from them, because escaping with the carving of the rebels’ initials was asking for death, as soldiers would kill you without any questions and militant civilians would do the same.”
150
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“Tears formed in my eyes and my forehead became warm, thinking about what Saidu had said. I tried not to believe that I too was dying, slowly, on my way to find safety.”
151
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“But we knew we had no choice, we had to make it across the clearing because, as young boys, the risk of staying in town was greater for us than trying to escape. Young boys were immediately recruited, and the initials RUF were carved wherever it pleased the rebels, with a hot bayonet.”
152
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“Why does one have to pay to leave his own country? I thought, but I couldn’t argue. I had to pay the money.”
153
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“Every time people come at us with the intention of killing us, I close my eyes and wait for death. Even though I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies.”
154
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“‘Despite what your mama told you,’ he quipped, ‘violence does solve problems.’”
155
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“Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.”
156
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“But I didn’t risk my life to bring democracy to Iraq. I risked my life for my buddies, to protect my friends and fellow countrymen. I went to war for my country, not Iraq.”
157
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“The joke was that President Bush only declared war when the Starbucks was hit. You can mess with the U.N. all you want, but when you start interfering with the right to get caffeinated, someone has to pay.”
158
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You, why are you so afraid of war and slaughter? Even if all the rest of us drop and die around you, grappling for the ships, you’d run no risk of death: you lack the heart to last it out in combat—coward!
Homer
author
Hektor
character
war
cowardice
concepts
159
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“I was just getting ready to stick my tongue out at them; but then I thought about what Miss Franny said, about war being hell, and I thought about what Gloria Dump said, about not judging them too hard. And so I just waved instead.”
160
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“There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.”
161
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“I planted a seed of hatred in my heart. I swore it would grow to be a massive tree whose roots would strangle them all.”
162
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“Paris, a city so perilously close to the war, became a refuge for artists throughout the 1920s.”
163
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“He threw his burning cigarette onto our clean living room floor and ground it into the wood with his boot. We were about to become cigarettes.”
164
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“My point is that we’re dealing with two devils who both want to rule hell.”
165
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“Young men who had fought for an uncertain cause had equally uncertain about their place in modern America. An exodus was, therefore, underway, led by artists and intellectuals in search of less restrictive intellectual climates.”
166
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“How could Stalin simply take something that didn’t belong to him, something that a farmer and his family had worked their whole lives for?”
167
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The nicest veterans...the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who’d really fought.
168
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“People in America get up and go to their nine-to-five jobs every day and are oblivious to all these battles and wars and people dying every minute all over the world. This is life. This is how other countries live. This is a daily occurrence in some places.”
169
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The wounds received in battle bestow honor, they do not take it away.
170
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“Up till now neither Caspian nor the others had really been thinking of a war. They had some vague idea, perhaps, of an occasional raid on some Human farmstead or of attacking a party of hunters, if it ventured too far into these southern wilds.”
171
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“Decades ago our ancestors realized that it is not political ideology, religious belief, race, or nationalism that is to blame for a warring world. Rather, they determined that it was the fault of human personality—of humankind’s inclination toward evil, in whatever form that is. They divided into factions that sought to eradicate those qualities they believed responsible for the world’s disarray.”
Marcus
character
human nature
war
concepts
172
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“I thought of the countless refugees trekking toward freedom. How many millions of people had lost their home and family during the war?”
173
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“What had human beings become? Did war make us evil or just activate an evil already lurking within us?”
174
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“It is not winning or losing the battle that matters, but how the war ends.”
175
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“A prolonged war finally destroys the victors too,”
176
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“I guess that’s how come that man finally worked hisself to death like he done. Like he was fighting his own war with this here world that took his baby from him.”
177
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“The mental health burden of war that is placed upon civilian survivors is seldom granted the priority and resources it needs.”
178
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“If it were a trick, I’d promise you safety. I’d offer you happiness. I don’t know if that exists in the Barrel, but you’ll find none of it with me.” For some reason, those words had comforted her. Better terrible truths than kind lies.”
179
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“My grandfather was the only member of his family to escape Poland before the Second World War broke out.”
180
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“The war itself. How easy it was. How incredibly easy, even after all that we’d been through. Or maybe it was easy because of all we’d been through.”
181
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“The main matters on which all men deliberate and on which political speakers make speeches are some five in number: ways and means, war and peace, national defence, imports and exports, and legislation.”
182
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The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.
Yossarian
character
war
concept
183
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″[Colonel Aureliano Buendía’s] orders were being carried out even before they were given, even before he thought of them, and they always went much beyond what he would have dared have them do. Lost in the solitude of his immense power, he began to lose direction.”
184
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“He succeeded in having Macondo raised to the status of a municipality and he was therefore its first mayor, and he created an atmosphere of confidence that made people think of the war as an absurd nightmare of the past.”
185
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“Alone, abandoned by his premonitions, fleeing the chill that was to accompany him until death, he sought a last refuge in Macondo in the warmth of his oldest memories. ”
186
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“When the war was over, while Colonel Aureliano Buendía was sneaking about through the narrow trails of permanent subversion, General Moncada was named magistrate of Macondo. He wore civilian clothes, replaced the soldiers with unarmed policemen, enforced the amnesty laws, and helped a few families of Liberals who had been killed in the war.”
187
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“If I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.”
188
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″[B]ut what pained her most and enraged her most and made her most bitter was the fragrant and wormy guava grove of love that was dragging her toward death. Just as Colonel Aureliano Buendía thought about his war, unable to avoid it, so Amaranta thought about Rebeca. But while her brother had managed to sterilize his memories, she had only managed to make hers more scalding.”
189
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“Amaranta could not reconcile her image of the brother who had spent his adolescence making little gold fishes with that of the mythical warrior who had placed a distance of ten feet between himself and the rest of humanity. But when the approach of the armistice became known and they thought that he would return changed back into a human being, delivered at last for the hearts of his own people, the family feelings, dormant for such a long time, were reborn stronger than ever.”
190
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“When the Ole Miss defense gathered in a single room, the only white people were coaches. On the football field the players became honorary white people, but off it they were still black, and unnatural combatants in Mississippi’s white internecine war.”
191
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“There are betrayals in war that are childlike compared with our human betrayals during peace. The new lover enters the habits of the other. Things are smashed, revealed in a new light. This is done with nervous or tender sentences, although the heart is an organ of fire.”
192
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“Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old.”
193
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“It is night in your Seven Kingdoms now,” the red woman went on, “but soon the sun will rise again. The war continues, Davos Seaworth, and some will soon learn that even an ember in the ashes can still ignite a great blaze.”
194
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“War makes monsters of us all.”
195
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“Just as if I was one of those true knights you love so well, yes. What do you think a knight is for, girl? You think it’s all taking favors from ladies and looking fine in gold plate? Knights are for killing.”
196
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“When I asked Herr Wedekind, the baker, why he had believed in National Socialism, he said, ‘Because it promised to solve the unemployment problem. And it did. But I never imagined what it would lead to. Nobody did.’ I thought I had struck pay dirt, and I said, ‘What do you mean, ‘what it would lead to,’ Herr Wedekind?’ ‘War,’ he said. ‘Nobody ever imagined it would lead to war.‘”
197
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“War is the truest form of divination.”
198
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Every war is different. Every war is the same.
199
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“Pestilence, disease, and war haunt this sorry place. And nothing lasts forever; that’s a truth we have to face.”
200
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“They are still unblooded, Catelyn thought as she watched Lord Bryce goad Ser Robar into juggling a brace of daggers. It is all a game to them still, a tourney writ large, and all they see is the chance for glory and honor and spoils. They are boys drunk on song and story, and like all boys, they think themselves immortal. ”
201
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“Captain Vylarr,” called, “I want those taken down on the morrow. Give them to the silent sisters for cleaning.” It would be hell to match them with the bodies, he supposed, yet it must be done. Even in the midst of war, certain decencies needed to be observed.”
202
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“Don’t bother, sweetling, Tyrion thought, swirling the wine in the cup. He cares not a whit about carvings. The eyes he boasts of are his own. What he means is that he was watching, that he knew we were here the moment we passed through the gates.”
203
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“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”
204
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″‘It will not be long now,’ thought Bilbo, ‘before the goblins win the Gate, and we are all slaughtered or driven down and captured. Really it is enough to make one weep, after all one has gone through. I would rather old Smaug had been left with all the wretched treasure, than that these vile creatures should get it, and poor old Bombur, and Balin and Fili and Kili and all the rest come to a bad end; and Bard too, and the Lake-men and the merry elves. Misery me! I have heard songs of many battles, and I have always understood that defeat may be glorious. It seems very uncomfortable, not to say distressing. I wish I was well out of it.‘”
205
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“There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.”
Sun Tzu
author
history
war
concepts
206
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“When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
concept
207
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“The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
concept
208
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“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
success
concepts
209
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“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.”
210
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“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
211
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“Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
concept
212
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“It is easy to love your friend, but sometimes the hardest lesson to learn is to love your enemy.”
Sun Tzu
author
love
enemies
war
concepts
213
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“There are roads which must not be followed, armies which must not be attacked, towns which must not be besieged, positions which must not be contested, commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.”
Sun Tzu
author
limits
war
concepts
214
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“Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life.”
Sun Tzu
author
endings
war
concepts
215
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“Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.”
Sun Tzu
author
war
concept
216
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We are not among those who sing the praises of war; we tell the truth about it when the need arises. War has tragic splendors which we have not sought to conceal, but it also has its especial squalors, among which is the prompt stripping of the bodies of the dead. The day following a battle always dawns on naked corpses.
217
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“If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”
218
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If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.
219
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“A broken heart hurts as badly in wartime as in peace.”
220
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“We are all fragile, Isabelle. It’s the thing we learn in war.”
221
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“War is a bazaar where lives are traded like any other commodity: chocolate or bullets or parachute silk.”
222
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“I said, ‘I have heard people talk about war as if it was a very fine thing.’ ‘Ah!’ said [Captain], ‘I should think they never saw it. No doubt it is very fine when there is no enemy, when it is just exercise and parade, and sham-fight. Yes, it is very fine then; but when thousands of good brave men and horses are killed, or crippled for life, it has a very different look.’ ‘Do you know what they fought about?’ said I. ‘No,’ he said, ‘that is more than a horse can understand, but the enemy must have been awfully wicked people, if it was right to go all that way over the sea on purpose to kill them.”
223
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“It could not be worse,′ Passini said respectfully. “There is nothing worse than war.” “Defeat is worse.” “I do not believe it,” Passini said still respectfully. “What is defeat? You go home.”
224
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“War is not won by victory.”
225
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“Cry ‘havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war.”
226
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Death and the strong force of fate are waiting. There will come a dawn or sunset or high noon when a man will take my life in battle too -- flinging a spear perhaps or whipping a deadly arrow off his bow.
Homer
author
Achilles
character
war
death
concepts
227
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So the whole war is because we can’t talk to each other.
228
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“How many wars have been put to rest in a prince’s bed? Few. A bride can bring a little peace, make spears silent for a time, but not long.”
Anonymous
author
war
love
marriage
concepts
229
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“Emotional energy has got to go somewhere, and self-loathing is a powerful emotion. Turned inwards, it becomes our personal hells: addiction, obsession, compulsion, depression, violent relationships, illness. Projected outward it becomes our collective hells: violence, war, crime, oppression. But it’s all the same thing. Hell has many mansions too.”
230
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“Young men go to war. Sometimes because they have to, sometimes because they want to. Always, they feel they are supposed to. This comes from the sad, layered stories of life, which over the centuries have seen courage confused with picking up arms, and cowardice confused with laying them down.”
231
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“Religious Warfare: Someone has described religious warfare as ‘killing people over who has the best invisible friend.’ We tend to agree.”
232
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“The first day in Oakland he and Rocky walked down the street together and a big Chrysler stopped in the street and an old white woman rolled down the window and said, ‘God bless you, God bless you,’ but it was the uniform, not them, she blessed.”
233
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“During a war, people feel they must blame and take sides. Hearts grow smaller.”
234
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“We lost the war and were saved only when the Germans invaded from Bulgaria and opened a second front that the Greeks had no resources to defend.”
235
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“We fought and froze and died for the sake of an empire that has no purpose.”
236
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“He reached a finger to twirl his moustache, experienced a peculiar irritation when he remembered that he had shaved it off as a gesture of defiance against Hitler, and then looked down at the black armband that he had worn ever since the death of Metaxas.”
237
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“God’s M.O. ... is to transmute evil into good. If He is active here, He is doing that now, although our eyes can’t perceive it; the process lies hidden beneath the surface of reality, and emerges only later. To, perhaps, our waiting heirs. Paltry people who will not know the dreadful war we’ve gone through, and the losses we took, unless in some footnote in a minor history book they catch a notion. Some brief mention. With no list of the fallen.”
238
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“They armed themselves and started to eradicate from Haiti what they considered a cult. The entire thing turned into a war! They burned voodoo temples and shrines, and killed some of the practitioners as well as voodoo priests.”
239
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″... But if there’s a real war why don’t they do anything? ... If they wanted to rescue us they could do it.”
240
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“War is not for winning, Masha,” sighed Koschei, reading the tracks of supply lines, of pincer strategies, over her shoulder. “It is for surviving.”
241
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“If it’s war they want--I’ve got just the thing...”
242
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″ War don’t ennoble men. It turns them into dogs... poisons the soul.”
243
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“I will never forget Jason. He was a good soldier. He honored me. But the war goes on.”
244
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“A declaration of war on the masses by Higher Men is needed!... Everything that makes soft and effeminate, that serves the end of the People or the Feminine, works in favor of Universal Suffrage, i.e. the domination of the Inferior Men. But we should take reprisal and bring this whole affair to light and the bar of judgment.”
245
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“The forces of progress clash with those of reaction. The religion of blood and war is face to face with that of peace. Luckily the religion of peace is usually the better armed.”
246
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“There’s not some other world out there where everything’s gonna be okay. There’s just this one, just this rock.”
247
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“It makes no difference who you are, no matter how much training you got and the tougher guy you might be. When you’re at the wrong spot at the wrong time, you gonna get it.”
248
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“What difference do you think you can make, one man in all this madness?′
249
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“Fife…suddenly realized that he was free. He did not have to stay here any more. He was released. He could simply get up and walk away—provided he was able—with honor, without anyone being able to say he was a coward or courtmartialing him or putting him to jail. His relief was so great he suddenly felt joyous despite the wound.”
250
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“He heard the soft ‘shu-u-u’ of the mortarshell for perhaps half a second. There was not even time to connect it with himself and frighten him, before there was a huge sunburst roaring of an explosion almost on top of him, then black blank darkness. He had a vague impression that someone screamed but did not know it was himself. ”
251
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“They had crossed a strange line; they had become wounded men; and everybody realized, including themselves, dimly, that they were now different. Of itself, the shocking physical experience of the explosion, which had damaged them and killed those others, had been almost identically the same for them as for those other ones who had gone on with it and died. The only difference was that now these, unexpectedly and illogically, found themselves alive again.”
252
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“Love. Where does it come from? Who lit this flame in us? No war can put it out, conquer it. I was a prisoner. You set me free. ”
253
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“You’re my light. My guide.”
254
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“You have never tasted freedom, friend,” Dienekes spoke, “or you would know it is purchased not with gold, but steel.”
255
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“There in the holy mill of murder the meanest of men may seek and find that part of himself, concealed beneath the corrupt, which shines forth brilliant and virtuous, worthy of honor before the gods. Do not despise war, my young friend, nor delude yourself that mercy and compassion are virtues superior to andreia, to manly valor.”
256
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“That, I saw, was the victory you Spartans had gained over yourselves. That was the glue. It was what you had learned and it made me stay, to learn it too.”
257
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“War, not peace, produces virtue. War, not peace, purges vice. War, and preparation for war, call forth all that is noble and honorable in a man. It unites him with his brothers and binds them in selfless love, eradicating in the crucible of necessity all which is base and ignoble.”
258
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“For what can be more noble than to slay oneself? Not literally. Not with a blade in the guts. But to extinguish the selfish self within, that part which looks only to its own preservation, to save its own skin. ”
259
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“The Spartans say that any army may win while it still has its legs under it; the real test comes when all strength is fled and the men must produce victory on will alone.”