O lord our god help us tear

O Lord our God, help us 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 their 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.  ~Mark Twain, "The War Prayer"

I recoil with horror at the ferociousness

I recoil with horror at the ferociousness of man.  Will nations never devise a more rational umpire of differences than force?  Are there no means of coercing injustice more gratifying to our nature than a waste of the blood of thousands and of the labor of millions of our fellow creatures?  ~Thomas JeffersonCOE

War is an ugly thing but not

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.  The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.  The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.  ~John Stewart Mill

We saw the lightning and that was

We saw the lightning and that was the guns and then we heard the thunder and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped.  ~Harriet Tubmanon the Civil War during which she was a spy for the Union; In “Divided Houses,” Ch. 7 by Lyde Cullen Sizer, 1992

They wrote in the old days that

They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.  But in modern war there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying.  You will die like a dog for no good reason.  ~Ernest Hemingway, Notes on the Next War; Esquire, September 1935; BMC

Have not i myself known five hundred

Have not I myself known five hundred living soldiers sabred into crows’ meat for a piece of glazed cotton, which they call their flag; which had you sold it at any market-cross, would not have brought above three groschen?  ~Thomas Carlyle, "Sartor Resartus"contributed by Dave Martucci, vexman.net

Theres a graveyard in northern france where

There’s a graveyard in northern France where all the dead boys from D-Day are buried.  The white crosses reach from one horizon to the other.  I remember looking it over and thinking it was a forest of graves.  But the rows were like this, dizzying, diagonal, perfectly straight, so after all it wasn’t a forest but an orchard of graves.  Nothing to do with nature, unless you count human nature.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

Every gun that is made every warship

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.  This world in arms is not spending money alone.  It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.  This is not a way of life at all in any true sense.  Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower, speech, American Society of Newspaper Editors, 16 April 1953LCD

What a cruel thing is war to

What a cruel thing is war:  to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.  ~Robert E. Lee, letter to his wife, 1864