Quotes on War

Washington on Peace and Prosperity

If we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.

-- George Washington

Jefferson on revolution

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

-- Thomas Jefferson

Madison on War and Economic Growth

Under the benign influence of our republican institutions, and the maintenance of peace with all nations whilst so many of them were engaged in bloody and wasteful wars, the fruits of a just policy were enjoyed in an unrivaled growth of our faculties and resources.

-- James Madison, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1809

Just war

Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just.

-- Mark Twain

Patton on dying

The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his.

-- General George S. Patton

Eisenhower on war

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 David Eisenhower

Kennedy on revolution

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

-- John F. Kennedy

Old story

I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.

-- George McGovern

Prefer peace

No one is so foolish as to prefer to peace, war, in which, instead of sons burying their fathers, fathers bury their sons.

-- Croesus, King of Lydia, in Herodotus' The Persian Wars

Revolt on the way

Tell Astyages that I shall appear in his presence sooner than he will like.

-- Cyrus, King of the Persians, after being commanded by Astyages, King of the Medes, to appear on charges of planning a revolt, as quoted in Herodotus' The Persian Wars

On patriotism

He loves his country best who strives to make it best.

-- R.G. Ingersoll

Long history

There have been 5,600 years of written history and 14,600 wars have been recorded.

-- James Hillman, A Terrible Love of War