The aim and end of war is murder; the weapons employed in war are espionage, treachery and the encouragement of treachery, the ruining of a country, the plundering and robbing of its inhabitants for the maintenance of the army, and trickery and lying which all appear under the heading of the art of war. The military world is characterized by the absence of freedom – in other words, a rigorous discipline – enforced inactivity, ignorance, cruelty, debauchery, and drunkenness.
The pioneers of a warless world are the [youth] who refuse military service.
Every age, however destitute of science or virtue, sufficiently abounds with acts of blood and military renown.
I wonder whether even in the past total victory was not really an illusion from the standpoint of the victors. In a sense, there is not total victory short of genocide, unless it be a victory over the minds of men. But the total military victories are rarely victories over the minds of men.
Throughout history the political influence of nations has been roughly correlative to their military power.
Who are the really disloyal? Those who inflame racial hatreds, who sow religious and class dissensions. those who subvert the Constitution by violating the freedom of the ballot box. Those who make a mockery of majority rule by the use of the filibuster. Those who impair democracy by denying equal educational facilities. Those who frustrate justice by lynch law or by making a farce of jury trials. Those who deny freedom of speech and of the press and of assembly. Those who demand special favors against the interest of the commonwealth. Those who regard public office as a source of private gain. Those who exalt the military over the civil. Those who for selfish and private purposes stir up national antagonisms and expose the world to the ruin of war.
Instead of sending troops and planes and aircraft carriers, we could send food and medicine. That's what I mean by our becoming a humanitarian superpower instead of a military superpower.
Should we welcome the huge growth of the military budget at the expense of health, education, the needs of children, one fifth of whom grow up in poverty? I suggest that a patriotic American who cares for his or her country might act on behalf of a different vision. Instead of being feared for our military prowess, we should want to be respected for our dedication to human rights.
The money, technology, and human energy now devoted to the military could perform miracles in cleaning up the earth we live on. But the cost of the arms race is not only the enormous waste of resources. There is a psychic cost - the creation of an atmosphere of fear all over the world.
We should take our example not from our political and military leaders shouting “Retaliate!” and “War!” but from the doctors and nurses and medical students and firefighters and police officers who have been saving lives in the midst of mayhem – whose first thoughts are not violence, but healing; not vengeance, but compassion.
Yes, we have in this country, dominated by corporate wealth and military power and two antiquated political parties, what a fearful conservative characterized as “a permanent adversarial culture” challenging the present, demanding a new future. It is a race in which we can all choose to participate, or to just watch. But we should know that our choice will help determine the outcome.
The elementary idea, likewise, of the Promised Land cannot originally have referred to a part of this earth to be conquered by military right, but to a place of spiritual peace in the heart, to be discovered through contemplation.
The sound of the drum drives out thought; for that very reason it is the most military of instruments.
All occurrences of violence, negativity, conflict crisis, or problems in any society are just the expression of growth of stress in collective consciousness. When the level of stress becomes sufficiently great, it bursts out into large-scale violence, war, and civil uprising necessitating military action.
Are we so devoid of spiritual and moral force and intellectual ingenuity that we cannot possibly prevent war by any means other than military preparedness?
The State of Israel will prove itself not by material wealth, not by military might or technical achievement, but by its moral character and human values.
Such a weapon goes far beyond any military objective and enters the range of very great natural catastrophes. By its very nature it cannot be confined to a military objective but becomes a weapon which in practical effect is almost one of genocide. It is clear that the use of such a weapon cannot be justified on any ethical ground which gives a human being a certain individuality and dignity even if he happens to be a resident of an enemy country... The fact that no limits exist to the destructiveness of this weapon makes its very existence and the knowledge of its construction a danger to humanity as a whole. It is necessarily an evil thing considered in any light.
But courage which goes against military expediency is stupidity, or, if it is insisted upon by a commander, irresponsibility.
Courage which goes against military expediency is stupidity, or, if it is insisted upon by a commander, irresponsibility.
A very strong military posture is vitally necessary today. How long it must continue I am not prepared to estimate, but I am sure that it is too narrow a basis on which to build a dependable, long-enduring peace. The guarantee for a long continued peace will depend on other factors in addition to a moderated military strength, and no less important. Perhaps the most important single factor will be a spiritual regeneration to develop goodwill, faith, and understanding among nations. Economic factors will undoubtedly play an important part. Agreements to secure a balance of power, however disagreeable they may seem, must likewise be considered. And with all these there must be wisdom and the will to act on that wisdom.