100 Great Anti-War Quotes
(Consider making your own anti-war bumper sticker.)
The following is a list of 100 Anti-War quotes. Many of them come
from America's venerated Founding Fathers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson,
James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams. Many also, come from conservative
voices like Pat Buchanan, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Ayn Rand, and even
George W. Bush (before he became president and went back on his campaign promises
to keep America out of open-ended wars and nation-building.)
So if your friends or co-workers question your patriotism for
opposing war, refer them to this list so they can see how their Founding Fathers
felt about war. A special thanks to AntiWar.com
for supplying the vast bulk of material for this list of anti-war quotes. To read
more anti-war quotes (and some pro-war ones that will chill you to the bone), visit
their much larger list there. In the meantime, enjoy:
- "As far as I am concerned, war itself is immoral." --U.S.
WWII General Omar Bradley
- "The means of defense against foreign danger historically
have become the instruments of tyranny at home " --James Madison
- "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be
in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." --James Madison
- "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual
warfare. " --James Madison
- "Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the
most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other."
- "The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question,
whether there is or is not cause for declaring war." --James Madison "
- It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home
is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad."
- "Having seen the people of all other nations bowed down to
the earth under the wars and prodigalities of their rulers, I have cherished
their opposites, peace, economy, and riddance of public debt, believing that
these were the high road to public as well as private prosperity and happiness."
- "The most successful war seldom pays for its losses." --Thomas
- "The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large
military force." --Thomas Jefferson
- "Governments constantly choose between telling lies and fighting
wars, with the end result always being the same. One will always lead to the
other." --Thomas Jefferson
- "I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind."
- "Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy,
and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it." --Thomas Jefferson
- "If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind
of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest." --Thomas
- "Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with
our government." --Thomas Jefferson
- "War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing
wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses." --Thomas Jefferson
- "A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of
spirit." --Thomas Jefferson
- "Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be
our motto." --Thomas Jefferson
- "War...is as much a punishment to the punisher as to the
sufferer." --Thomas Jefferson
- "I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us,
that the less we use our power the greater it will be." --Thomas Jefferson
- "Over grown military establishments are under any form of
government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile
to republican liberty." --George Washington
- "The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress;
therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after
they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure."
- "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." --George
- "It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances
with any portion of the foreign world." --George Washington
- "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force...Never
for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." --George Washington
- "Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate
peace and harmony with all." --George Washington
- "My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished
from the earth." --George Washington
- "Wars are not paid for in wartime, the bill comes later."
- "A highwayman is as much a robber when he plunders in a gang
as when single; and a nation that makes an unjust war is only a great gang."
- "I hope....that mankind will at length, as they call themselves
responsible creatures, have the reason and sense enough to settle their differences
without cutting throats..." --Benjamin Franklin
- "When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their
difficulties by arbitration?" --Benjamin Franklin
- "All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous
ones." --Benjamin Franklin
- "There never was a good war or a bad peace." --Benjamin Franklin
- "Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin
- "Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war." --John Adams
- "Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond
the comprehension of the weak..." --John Adams
- "A people free to choose will always choose peace." --Ronald
- "The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple
premise: The United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor."
- "History teaches that war begins when governments believe
the price of aggression is cheap." --Ronald Reagan
- "Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle
conflict by peaceful means." --Ronald Reagan
- "...no mother would ever willingly sacrifice her sons for
territorial gain, for economic advantage, for ideology." --Ronald Reagan
- "People do not make wars; governments do." --Ronald Reagan
- "We must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals
of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and
women." --Ronald Reagan
- "I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only
as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity." --Dwight D.
- "How far can you go without destroying from within what you
are trying to defend from without?" --Dwight D. Eisenhower
- "We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom."
--Dwight D. Eisenhower
- "We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute
security." --Dwight D. Eisenhower
- "Preventive war was an invention of Hitler. Frankly, I would
not even listen to anyone seriously that came and talked about such a thing."
--Dwight D. Eisenhower
- "You can't have this kind of war. There just aren't enough
bulldozers to scrape the bodies off the streets." --Dwight D. Eisenhower
- "War settles nothing." --Dwight D. Eisenhower
- "There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs." --Dwight
- "We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence,
whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." --Dwight D.
- "Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing
imperative." --Dwight D. Eisenhower
- "When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell
them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war." --Dwight
- "This world of ours... must avoid becoming a community of
dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust
and respect." --Dwight D. Eisenhower
- "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
- "Statism needs war; a free country does not. Statism survives
by looting; a free country survives by producing." --Ayn Rand
- "Do not ever say that the desire to 'do good' by force is
a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives." --Ayn Rand
- "No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a
democratic country." --Alexis de Tocqueville
- "All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic
nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish
it." --Alexis de Tocqueville
- "If we dont stop extending our troops all around the world
in nation-building missions, were going to have a serious problem coming down
the road." --George W. Bush, before becoming president and doing exactly what
he promised not to.
- "Free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack
each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction." --George
W. Bush (I wish he had governed according to the principles in this quotation.)
- "War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed
classes think they are going to profit from it." --George Orwell
- "Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented
not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac." --George
- "The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily
of human lives, but of the products of human labor." --George Orwell
- "Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful
and murder respectable." --George Orwell
- "War is a way of shattering to pieces...materials which might
otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable and... too intelligent."
- "All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred,
comes invariably from people who are not fighting." --George Orwell
- "The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities
committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing
about them." --George Orwell
- "What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have
no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood."
- "A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny."
- "The next war ... may well bury Western civilization forever."
- "In all history there is no war which was not hatched by
the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the
people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful." --Leo Tolstoy
- "A man who says that no patriot should attack the war until
it is over...is saying no good son should warn his mother of a cliff until she
has fallen." --G.K. Chesterton
- "War is the greatest plague that can affect humanity; it
destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is
preferable to it." --Martin Luther
- "How vile and despicable war seems to me! I would rather
be hacked to pieces than take part in such an abominable business." --Albert
- "It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war
is nothing but an act of murder." --Albert Einstein
- "There is no way to peace. Peace is the way." --The Mahatma
- "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 the holy name of liberty and democracy?" --The Mahatma Gandhi
- "Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat,
for it is momentary." --The Mahatma Gandhi
- "Liberty and democracy become unholy when their hands are
dyed red with innocent blood." --The Mahatma Gandhi
- "I object to violence because when it appears to do good,
the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent." --The Mahatma Gandhi
- "If we don't stop behaving like the British Empire, we will
end up like the British Empire." --Pat Buchanan
- "All forms of violence, especially war, are totally unacceptable
as means to settle disputes between and among nations, groups and persons."
--The Dalai Lama
- "The best defense is no offense." --Dr. Ivan Eland
- "It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary
to love peace and sacrifice for it." --Martin Luther King, Jr.
- "The chain reaction of evil--wars producing more wars ---
must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
- "We have guided missiles and misguided men." --Martin Luther
- "The bombs in Vietnam explode at home; they destroy the hopes
and possibilities for a decent America." --Martin Luther King, Jr.
- "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means
by which we arrive at that goal." --Martin Luther King, Jr.
- "The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is
my own government." --Martin Luther King, Jr.
- "'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the
safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded." --F.A. Hayek
- "The essence of so-called war prosperity; it enriches some
by what it takes from others. It is not rising wealth but a shifting of wealth
and income." --Ludwig von Mises
- "Economically considered, war and revolution are always bad
business." --Ludwig von Mises
- "The attainment of the economic aims of man presupposes peace."
--Ludwig von Mises
- "History has witnessed the failure of many endeavors to impose
peace by war, cooperation by coercion, unanimity by slaughtering dissidents.
A lasting order cannot be established by bayonets." --Ludwig von Mises
- "War prosperity is like the prosperity that an earthquake
or a plague brings." --Ludwig von Mises
- "War...is harmful, not only to the conquered but to the conqueror."
--Ludwig von Mises
- "Society has arisen out of the works of peace; the essence
of society is peacemaking. Peace and not war is the father of all things." --Ludwig
- "Whoever wants peace among nations must seek to limit the
state and its influence most strictly." --Ludwig von Mises
* * *
Libertarian * * *
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
Related - relevant:
More US military personnel have taken their OWN lives than have died in action:
A Sign of Empire Pathology