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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war."
"In war...there are no winners."—Ramman Kenoun
"Kill the enemy....Dress it up however you want, that's what war is about. If there's glory in there somewhere, I must have missed it."—Jake, Animorphs
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
"War! What is it good for? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!"—Edwin Starr
"Nothing but a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won."
"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers."—Jose Narosky
"War does not determine who is right -- only who is left."—Bertrand Russell
"This is a war without victory."—The President of the USA, Future War 198X
"Join the Imperial Guard or die. Then die."—The Internet on Warhammer 40000's Imperial Guard faction.
"There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell."—General William Tecumseh Sherman
"War is sweet to them that know it not."
"Hey! ...War is dumb."—Sgt. Slaughter, Motivational Speaker
"Up at the front you're alive or you're dead, and that's all! You can't fool anybody about that very long. Up there we know we're lost and done for whether we're dead or alive. Three years we've had of it... four years. Every day a year and every night a century. Our bodies are earth and our thoughts are clay, and we sleep and eat with death."—Paul Bäumer, All Quiet on the Western Front (film)
"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. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war."—All Quiet on the Western Front (epigraph)
"There was a little girl. Maybe, eight years old? I dunno. She'd lost both her legs. Just kept staring at them. Little stumps, cauterized by fire somehow. A little girl, all alone, looking at where her legs were, not understanding anything. Just . . . staring. Blank little eyes. Staring."
"They built Shepard Stadium about 2011 for sports shows. They upgraded it in 2019 as a makeshift shelter in case of ion storms. Capacity was about forty thousand people. Three weeks into TW 3, it was filled with three hundred thousand.They didn't mind. None of them. They were all in black bags."
—Anonymous GDI medical worker, Tiberium Wars
"We forge futures out of pain and grief, Commander. The computers and the communications officers and the EV As and the displays only serve to isolate us so we can be inhuman. We're monsters, son. Cold, mechanical, rational monsters, and the only way we win is by being colder, more mechanical, and more rational than the next monster moving his little pieces on the screen. That's how war has been fought since Stalin rolled into the Allies a century ago. You point, you click, and they die. It's how it works."—Colonel Nick Parker, Tiberium Wars "Chapter XVIII"
"If in some smothering dreams you too could pacePro patria mori."
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
—Wilfred Owen, Dulce Et Decorum Est
"Captain's report February 4th, 2531. Five years, five long years. That's how long it took us to get Harvest back..At first it was going well. Then setback after setback..Loss after loss...Made what was going to be a quick and decisive win..Into five years of Hell...Of course that's all Harvest is today..It's hell down there..But it's ours again."—Captain James Cutter, Halo Wars
"I confess, without shame, I am sick and tired of fighting—its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands and fathers ... tis only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated ... that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation."—General William Tecumseh Sherman
"Since the war started, they were the first to lose their lives. But you were there too, commanding in the midst of fighting. Peasants that were cheerfully delivering milk until yesterday, return all banged up today. Every day. Until the war ends, it will continue day in and day out. Can you really handle that?"
"In the battlefield, there is no place for hope. What lies there is only cold despair and a sin called victory, built on the pain of the defeated. All those people who met there have wholeheartedly admitted the evil and foolishness of this act called 'war'. As long as people don't repent and don't regard it as the most evil taboo, then hell would endlessly reappear in the world."—Emiya Kiritsugu, Fate/Zero
So how do y'do, Private William McBrideOh Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?
D'you mind if I sit me down by your graveside
and rest for a while in the warm summer sun?
I've been walking all day now, and I'm nearly done.
And I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916.
Well I hope you died quick, and I hope you died clean.
—Eric Bogle, "No Man's Land" (often known as "Green Fields of France" or "Willie McBride")
"Now arms, however beautiful, are instruments of evil omen, hateful, it may be said, to all creatures. Therefore they who have the Tao do not like to employ them.On occasions of festivity to be on the left hand is the prized position; on occasions of mourning, the right hand. The second in command of the army has his place on the left; the general commanding in chief has his on the right;--his place, that is, is assigned to him as in the rites of mourning. He who has killed multitudes of men should weep for them with the bitterest grief; and the victor in battle has his place (rightly) according to those rites."
The superior man ordinarily considers the left hand the most honourable place, but in time of war the right hand. Those sharp weapons are instruments of evil omen, and not the instruments of the superior man;--he uses them only on the compulsion of necessity. Calm and repose are what he prizes; victory (by force of arms) is to him undesirable. To consider this desirable would be to delight in the slaughter of men; and he who delights in the slaughter of men cannot get his will in the kingdom.
"Hear the sound of the machine gunKnee-deep in mud, stuck in the trench with no way out"
Hear it echo in the night
Mortars firing, rains the scene
Scars the fields that once were green
It's a stalemate at the frontline
Where the soldiers rest in mud
Frozen houses, all is gone
There's no glory to be won
[[Men Are the Expendable Gender Know that many men will suffer
know that many men will die]]
Half a million lives at stake
past the fields of Paschendale
And as the night falls, the general calls
And the battle carries on
What is the purpose of it all?
What's the price of a mile?
Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army on the march
Long way from home, paying the price in young men's lives
Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army in despair
"War...War never changes.."
War never changes..
Since the dawn of human kind, when our ancestors first discovered the killing path with rock and bone, blood has been spilled in the name of everything, from God, to justice, to simple psychotic rage.
In the year 2077, after millenia of armed conflict, the destructive nature of man could sustain itself no longer. The world was plunged into an abyss of nuclear fire and radiation.
But it was not, as some had predicted, the end of the world. Instead, the apocalypse was just the prologue to another bloody chapter of human history. For man, had succeeded destroying the world.
al-Jilani: Sources claim you were at the heart of the Presidium during the Battle of the Citadel. It's fair to say the course of the battle hinged on your words. If true, you told Admiral Hackett to assist the Destiny Ascension, costing hundreds of human lives and securing the continued dominance of the Citadel Council.Shephard: The Alliance lost eight cruisers. Shenyang. Emden. Jakarta. Cairo. Seoul. Cape Town. Warsaw. Madrid. And yes, I remember them all. Everyone in the 5th fleet is a hero. The Alliance owes them all medals, the Council owes them a lot more than that. And so do you.
Shephard: The Turians lost 20 cruisers. Figure each had a crew of around 300. The Ascension - the Asari dreadnought we saved - had a crew of nearly 10,000.
al-Jilani: But surely the human cost-
—Mass Effect 2
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."
"War is stupid."—Doug
It was war, you dumb kid. Everybody I liked got killed, and most of the folks I'd just as soon have shot made it out with medals on their chests. It wasn't fair and it sure as hell wasn't any fun.—Cherie Priest, Boneshaker
You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.—Bumper sticker
Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.—William T. Sherman
Only the dead have seen the end of war.—George Santayana, Soliloquy #25, "Tipperary"
War is not heroic. War is not exhilarating.That is why people fear war. That is why people choose to avoid it.
It is dark. It is dreadful. It is a thing of sorrow and gloom.
—Izuru Kira, Bleach
War is never really won by anyone who participates in it. War simply rearranges the way things were and steals the promise of tomorrow from each side. To succeed at war you have to lose a part of your humanity. After you win enough wars, you have no humanity left because you lost a piece of it each time you killed someone.—Major Leon James, MechWarrior 2
Glory is just memory putting a brave face on horror.—Anonymous, from a Napoleonic War vet
"Broken men are more deserving of our pity, though they may be just as dangerous. Almost all are common-born, simple folk who had never been more than a mile from the house where they were born until the day some lord came round to take them off to war. Poorly shod and poorly clad, they march away beneath his banners, ofttimes with no better arms than a sickle or a sharpened hoe, or a maul they made themselves by lashing a stone to a stick with strips of hide. Brothers march with brothers, sons with fathers, friends with friends. They’ve heard the songs and stories, so they go off with eager hearts, dreaming of the wonders they will see, of the wealth and glory they will win. War seems a fine adventure, the greatest most of them will ever know.He turns and runs, or crawls off afterward over the corpses of the slain, or steals away in the black of night, and he finds someplace to hide. All thought of home is gone by then, and kings and lords and gods mean less to him than a haunch of spoiled meat that will let him live another day, or a skin of bad wine that might drown his fear for a few hours. The broken man lives from day to day, from meal to meal, more beast than man. Lady Brienne is not wrong. In times like these, the traveler must beware of broken men, and fear them... but he should pity them as well.”
Then they get a taste of battle.
For some, that one taste is enough to break them. Others go on for years, until they lose count of all the battles they have fought in, but even a man who has survived a hundred fights can break in his hundred-and-first. Brothers watch their brothers die, fathers lose their sons, friends see their friends trying to hold their entrails in after they’ve been gutted by an axe.
They see the lord who led them there cut down, and some other lord shouts that they are his now. They take a wound, and when that’s still half-healed they take another. There is never enough to eat, their shoes fall to pieces from the marching, their clothes are torn and rotting, and half of them are shitting in their breeches from drinking bad water.
If they want new boots or a warmer cloak or maybe a rusted iron halfhelm, they need to take them from a corpse, and before long they are stealing from the living too, from the smallfolk whose lands they’re fighting in, men very like the men they used to be. They slaughter their sheep and steal their chickens, and from there it’s just a short step to carrying off their daughters too. And one day they look around and realize all their friends and kin are gone, that they are fighting beside strangers beneath a banner that they hardly recognize. They don’t know where they are or how to get back home and the lord they’re fighting for does not know their names, yet here he comes, shouting for them to form up, to make a line with their spears and scythes and sharpened hoes, to stand their ground. And the knights come down on them, faceless men clad all in steel, and the iron thunder of their charge seems to fill the world...
And the man breaks.
—Septon Meribald, A Feast for Crows
Listen, you folks at home... Today we won a piece of Sov-Cities' dirt. So what? Three good men died for it - that's what matters. Sometimes war is necessary - but don't ever let creeps like this one tell you it's fun.WAR IS HELL!
War is pointless. War is evil.
"Five years ago, I lost 30,000 men in the blink of an eye, and the world just fucking watched. Tomorrow there will be no shortage of volunteers, no shortage of patriots. I know you understand."—General Shepherd, Modern Warfare 2