Quotes on War

George W. Bush, July 4, 2007: “Victory in this struggle will require more patience, more courage, and more sacrifice. And we’ve lost some good men and women in this fight. And so on this 4th of July, we pause to remember the fallen — and the grieving families they have left behind. We hold them in our hearts, we lift them up in our prayers, and we pledge to honor their memory by finishing the work for which they have given their life.”

Hermann Goering (Adolf Hitler’s second-in-command): “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out if it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war. . . . But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a Parliament, or a Communist dictatorship.”

George W. Bush, July 4, 2007: “[Y]our service is needed. We need for people to volunteer to defend America. Because in this war, we face dangerous enemies who have attacked us here at home. Oh, I know the passage of time has convinced some — maybe convinced some that danger doesn’t exist. But that’s not how I see it.”

Hermann Goering: “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”

George W. Bush, July 4, 2007: “Perhaps one way to differentiate between our thoughts is just think about religion. In the great country of the United States, we believe that you should be able to worship any way you see fit; that you’re equally American, regardless of your religious beliefs. They believe that if you don’t worship the way they see it, then they’re going to bring you harm.

“We believe in an Almighty, we believe in the freedom for people to worship that Almighty. They don’t. They don’t believe you should worship the way you choose. They believe the only way you should worship is the way they choose. And, therefore — and, therefore, they will do anything they can to spread that ideology. And it’s our charge, it’s our calling to keep the pressure on these people, to defend America and to spread an ideology of hope and an ideology of peace.”

Adolf Hitler: “[T]oday I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.

“My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison.”

George W. Bush: “Since the attacks of September the 11th, 2001, every operational unit of the West Virginia National Guard has been deployed — and some are on their second and third deployments.

“One member of the 167th Airlift Wing, Master Sergeant Richard Howland, has deployed seven times since the 9/11 attacks — and this good man just volunteered to go to Baghdad for an eighth deployment in September. Our fellow citizens should listen to what Richard has said, what this volunteer has said. He said: “It is my patriotic duty to do whatever I can do to help.” It feels “good that I’m keeping a lot of people safe.” We’re an incredible nation that has produced men like Richard Howland and you, who in the face of danger wear the uniform of the United States of America and step forward in freedom’s defense. And I thank you for that.

“Since September the 11th, members of the West Virginia Air National Guard have earned seven Bronze stars and four Purple Hearts. Two of those Purple Hearts were awarded to Staff Sergeants Brad Runkles and Derek Brown.

“[T]hey were driving together in the lead gun truck of a convoy in Iraq when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. Brad and Derek made it out, but they suffered burns on their hands and faces. They recovered from their wounds — and in May of last year, they both re-enlisted.”

William Tecumseh Sherman (Union General, Civil War): “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. . . . It is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated (friend or foe), that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation. . . .”

W.T. Sherman: “There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower (Commander of the Allied Forces, World War II): “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

9 Comments

Reluctant says:

Are you serious? Am I just reading this incorrectly, or are you actually comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Regime?

Please, please, please explain yourself… and tell me I’m mis-reading this post.

Centrist says:

Dan, I’m only juxtaposing quotes. If you see a relationship, it must be for the same reason I see a relationship. I’m just saying that Bush Jr. is following (ingenuously or not) a textbook written by despots rather than the wisdom of American generals of the past who have actually seen battle (not on video or by satelite). I think that’s ironic.

Reluctant says:

Oh come on… The only correlation I see is the fact that you are putting them together. The quotes are not even comparable. And even if they are, you cannot take quotes like this, completely out of context and try to make an argument out of it.

I’m sure there are many quotes from Adolf Hitler that we could pull out of context and make him sound like a brilliant and good world leader. But putting them in context with surrounding content as well as actions, you see a totally different story.

I’m sorry, but this is just completely ridiculous and totally radical. You are always criticizing the likes of Hannity and Limbaugh, but you are pulling the exact same crap. And that’s literally all it is… is complete crap.

I’ll stop now.

Traveler says:

I’ll say one thing regarding Hitler and leave it that. The man was crazy, irrational, sadistic, etc, etc, etc, but he had a brilliant understanding of how to manipulate a populace in crisis. That is precisely how he came to power.

Though I don’t draw the same comparisons of Jr to Hitler as Dave, I do see how his administration has greatly polarized America. We have watched basic freedoms taken away due to war-time national security only to have politicians try to make them permanent.

The political parties have all radicalized. There is no room for reason anymore. The GOP and the Dems can’t seem to find common ground on much of anything. The art of compromise that used to be evident in the halls of Congress has all but disapeared.

The American people’s political involvement has become so lassez faire that few even show up to exercise their basic right to vote. This only further empowers the radicals from both poles. In order to be involved with politics at the grass roots level one must adopt radical ideologies. This isolates the rational majority and leaves power with the radical minority. Luckily our radical minority is divided among itself in many ways, but the parallels to the above references are hauntingly familiar. I think that is precisely the point Dave is trying to make.

Centrist says:

I’m not comparing Bush Jr. to Hitler in terms of motivation, ambition, or sadism. But I AM comparing their use of fear, disinformation, and glorification of war to achieve their desired objectives. I think Bush Jr.’s objectives are more along the lines of hoarding money for the rich, creating an environment even more beneficial to the wealthy, grabbing power for the executive (and for the fourth branch of government known as the Vice Presidency), and making a name for himself as a war President. The problem is that the other end of the stick is a falling real wage for most of the country, more of the tax burden on the middle and lower classes, a move toward legalized despotism, and $442 billion spent on a poorly-conceived, -planned, and -executed war in Iraq.

The bottom line is, he’s either unintentionally bad (incompetent) or intentionally bad (evil)–I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and just say he’s not that smart. Either way, he doesn’t belong where he is and he hasn’t done any good for the country–I’m still waiting for a list from ANYONE of 5-10 things Bush has done right.

Traveler says:

I agree that Bush Jr is not intentionally bad, but he is cursed with a fatal flaw. Hubris, one could argue, is the key to his administration’s inability to make meaningful progress.

His vast stores of political capital that were touted, and outright bragged about, earlier in the administration are long gone. This was to be used to reformed social security (failed), reform immigration (failed), etc. One thing that did succeed was an increase in the minimum wage by $2. That’s great for the working poor, but middle class will continue to be squeezed while the elite pay minute percentatges in taxes.

My last point, is that I also don’t think that Bush is sadistic, etc, etc, etc (all of the things listed in my previous post). I think he is in over his head. The problem is the result wil be the same whether he is unintentionally or inentionally bad.

Centrist says:

More interesting information on the Bush/Nazi comparison can be found at http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/05/verschfte_verne.html. It looks at the issue of “enhanced interrogation” techniques advocated by the Bush administration.

Centrist says:

Paul, I agree that a bump in the minimum wage is a good thing (although its effects are minimal), but I wouldn’t give Bush credit for it. It was initiated by the Democrats in Congress, and was shot down until they took power and forced it through. He simply signed the bill (I’m not sure what kind of signing statement he attached to it).

His one redeeming act could have been immigration reform, but he’s lost so much “political capital” that he can’t even get his own party to support his salvation.

Some bad Presidents are bad because they don’t do anything good, others because they make colossal mistakes. Bush is the convergence of both problems in a perfect storm. He will be remembered as THE worst president in history.

Mike W. says:

Reluctant,

Dave’s point is that all leaders who try to motivate their country for war use the same justifications. This has been happening for centuries, even eons. You could find similar quotes from Greek and Roman leaders, African strongmen, Latin American caudillos. The point is that those is power tend to abuse that power in order to promote their interest. Until the common man is willing and able to stand up (and unfortunately they are the ones who are paying the price of their life for the interests of the elite) to the power-brokers, this will not change. And the common man cannot stand up unless he gets the correct information, not the propaganda that is fed him by the official party/government line. Until we question everything that someone in power says, we will continually be dragged into bad/aggressive/pre-emptive wars in order to justify power grabs and shifts.

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