All the wrong people remember Vietnam. I think all the people who remember it should forget it, and all the people who forgot it should remember it.
The most persistent sound which reverberates through man’s history is the beating of war drums.
There are many things worse than war. Slavery is worse than war. Dishonor is worse than war.
There’s a consensus that it’s OK to kill when your government decides who to kill. If you kill inside the country, you get in trouble. If you kill outside the country, right time, right season, latest enemy, you get a medal.
We are the unwilling, led by the unqualified, doing the unnecessary for the ungrateful.
Formerly, a nation that broke the peace did not trouble to try and prove to the world that it was done solely from higher motives. . . . Now every nation assures us that it is bleeding for a human cause, the fate of which hangs in the balance of its victory. . . . No nation dares to admit the guilt of blood before the world.
America has made no reparation to the Vietnamese, nothing. We are the richest people in the world and they are among the poorest. We savaged them, though they never hurt us, and we cannot find it in our hearts, our honor, to give them help — because the government of Vietnam is communist. And perhaps because they won.
In America all too few blows are struck into flesh. We kill the spirit here, we are experts at that. We use psychic bullets and kill each other cell by cell.
Rambo isn’t violent. I see Rambo as a philanthropist.
There never was a war that was / not inward; I must / fight till I have conquered in myself what / causes war, but I would not believe it.
The chief nonhuman species that practice war, with organized armies engaging in deadly combat, are certain varieties of ant. Those social insects some sixty million years ago had invented all the major institutions of “civilization,” including “kingship” (actually, queenship), military conquest, the division of labor, the segregation of functions and castes, to say nothing of the domestication of other species, and even the beginnings of agriculture. Civilized man’s chief contribution to this anthill complex was to add the powerful stimulant of irrational fantasy.
An infallible method of conciliating a tiger is to allow oneself to be devoured.
To say that war is madness is like saying that sex is madness: true enough, from the standpoint of a stateless eunuch, but merely a provocative epigram for those who must make their arrangements in the world as given.
Wars make for better reading than peace does.
Does my behavior in respect of love affect nothing? That is because there is not enough love within me. Am I powerless against untruthfulness and the lies which have their being all around me? The reason is that I myself am not truthful enough. . . . Is my love of peace misunderstood and scorned? That means that I am not yet sufficiently peace-loving.
To love anything is to see it at once under the lowering clouds of danger.
Those who are awake all live in the same world. Those who are asleep live in their own worlds.