a desiderative pastiche
The word experience is like a shrapnel shell, and bursts into a
George Santayana (1920, 1956)
Congressmen who willingly take actions during wartime that damage
morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be
arrested, exiled or hanged.
Many people surmise that one of the reasons we haven't been
attacked here, is because they are being so successful at doing
what they need to do to attack us in Iraq and elsewhere.
John Kerry [not
We enter parliament in order to supply ourselves, in the arsenal
of democracy, with its own weapons .... If democracy is so stupid
as to give us free tickets and salaries for this bear's work,
that is its affair .... We do not come as friends, nor even as
neutrals. We come as enemies. As the wolf bursts into the flock,
so we come.
Joseph Goebbels (30 April 1928)
It could take a hundred years, or as little as a generation, to
rediscover the freedom our Founders hammered into the U.S.
Constitution. Much of our freedom has already been lost, but the
rediscovery cannot even begin to emerge until the weight of
government oppression grows too heavy to bear. Early Americans
felt the weight of King George's oppression, until they could
bear it no more. Then, they acted. Not all of the early Americans
had reached the tipping point in 1776. In fact, many, if not most
of the people, preferred to suffer oppression by the king, rather
than to pay the cost of freedom. Many, if not most, of the people
in America today, prefer to suffer governmental oppression,
rather than to pay the cost of freedom. So far, governmental
oppression is not too heavy; people can still do almost anything
they wish – if they can get a permit.
Commerce may be a better or happier inducement to change, but
without the prospect of enforcement, even unto war, it is merely
an invitation to exploit the weak and unwary with chicanery and
brigandage under the guise of trade.
If there's "peace and order" in the land, then how will soldiers
win medals? ... how will lawyers earn money? ... how will
reporters make their reputation? ... how will women manipulate
paraphrase of Thomas B. Costain
Half the world's suffering is caused by earnest messages
contained in grand theories bearing no relation to reality.
P.J. [Patrick Jake] O'Rourke
Almost anything that can be praised or advocated has been put to
some disgusting use. There is no principle, however immaculate,
that has not had its compromising manipulator.
Wyndham Lewis ["The Family and Feminism" ch 8 The
Art of Being Ruled (1926)]
If peace reigns supreme, how will people exploit
each other? ... and what will everyone do with their anger?
Peace never lasts long because it frustrates our
natural tendencies toward violence and hatred! ... and wars never
last long because our gross and bloody lusts, so shamelessly
displayed for everyone to see, are so utterly shocking that we
are stunned into cessation.
... and when ye may hear of wars and reports of wars, be not
troubled, for these behove to be, but the end [is] not yet; for
nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,
and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall
be famines and troubles; beginnings of sorrows [are] these. And
take ye heed to yourselves, for they shall deliver you up to
sanhedrims, and to synagogues, ye shall be beaten, and before
governors and kings ye shall be set for my sake, for a testimony
to them; ... And brother shall deliver up brother to death, and
father child, and children shall rise up against parents, and
shall put them to death, and ye shall be hated by all ....
Mark 13:7-13 YLT Bible
Our vengeance shall equal the cruelties of the Spaniards, for our
forbearance is exhausted. Since our oppressors forced us into
this deadly war, they will vanish from the face of America. ...
Our hatred knows no bounds, and the war shall be to the death!
Simón "El Libertador" Bolívar
Everyone needs someone or something to hate. It gives their
endurance more strength than anything else possibly could. It
gives purpose to their suffering.
paraphrase of James Jones [Whistle
then they shall deliver you up to tribulation, and shall kill
you, and ye shall be hated by all the nations because of my name;
and then shall many be stumbled, and they shall deliver up one
another, and shall hate one another.
Matthew 24:9-10 YLT Bible
[L]iberals tend to blame outside forces for evil. This emanates
from the secular humanistic view of people as basically good
– and therefore human evil must come not from the bad
choices and bad values of the evildoer, but from the unfortunate
socioeconomic and other circumstances of the person's life ....
[A]s you go further left on the political spectrum, it becomes
increasingly difficult to blame the weak for any
atrocities they commit. The Left does not divide the world
between good and evil nearly as much as it does between rich and
poor, and between strong and weak. Israel is stronger and richer,
so Palestinian terror is excused. White America is stronger and
richer than black America, so black violence is excused. The West
is stronger and richer than the Muslim world, so Muslim violence
is explained accordingly .... We don't know who will be the next
target of Islamic or other murderers from poor or non-Western or
non-white groups. All we can know is that liberal and leftist
thought will find reasons to hold the targeted group largely
responsible [for its own targeted position].
Islam does not need improvement of its image .... But there are
some ignorant Muslims who do not understand the tenets of their
faith .... It is [our] duty to repel any enemy of the Islamic and
Arab countries, using 'terrorism' rather than using violence. We
need an accurate definition of [the term] 'terrorism' in the
negative climate in which we live – a climate that makes no
distinction between a criminal and one who is prepared to
sacrifice his life or a terrorist. In defining [this term], we
must not be influenced by American pressures, but consider the
issues in the light of shari'a. They should not tell us to fight
terrorism and to fight it as they command us to. The Americans
are the ones who perpetrate violence in the Arab countries! ...
Islam Encourages Terrorism and Jihad – [Though] Not
Terrorism in the Common Sense of the Term.
Ragab Hilal Hamida (Egyptian Member of Parliament from
the Muslim Brotherhood)
Let us pray in this hour that nothing can divide us, and that God
will help us against the Devil! Almighty Lord, bless our fight!
Adolf Hitler (1930)
The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by
men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
Louis D. Brandeis [obiter dictum Olmstead v. United
Years after 9-11 and the crazy zeitgeist that permeated
the United States, Americans have still not learned to know their
enemies instead of just hating them. If we stop trying to figure
out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side
is not evil, they just have a different perspective. The smartest
people understand the enemy's point of view, because they
understand what's driving them.
Chris Matthews [20 Nov 2005 speech at the University of
To learn without thinking is fruitless;
To think without learning is dangerous.
Most people can't think, most of the remainder won't think, the
small fraction who do think, mostly can't do it very well. The
extremely tiny fraction who think regularly, accurately,
creatively, and without self-delusion – in the long run,
these are the only people who count.
Robert A. Heinlein
I have no trouble with my enemies, but my friends are a constant
Choose your enemy with care, for in time you will become just
So long as there are men there will be wars.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace
alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it
with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
Henry Louis Mencken
Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always
been the systematic organization of hatreds.
Henry Adams [The Education of Henry Adams
Politics is the continuation of war by other means.
restatement of Karl von Clausewitz by Vladimir Ilyich
In a crisis, don't ever expect accuracy or authenticity, because
politics is just another form of war ... and the first casualty
of any war is truth.
paraphrase of Jeff Greenfield
In a crisis, civilians seek causes while soldiers make effects.
In a crisis, civilians seek policies while soldiers make
strategies. In a crisis, civilians seek scapegoats while soldiers
make leaders. In a crisis, civilians seek escape while soldiers
make resolution. In a crisis, civilians seek security while
soldiers make security.
War is the trade of kings.
The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it
in his hand and it's good-by to the Bill of Rights.
Henry Louis Mencken
Just as nobody wins a lawsuit, except the lawyers, so nobody ever
wins a war, except the politicians and businessmen who promote
paraphrase of Robert A. Heinlein
When you listened to the president talking, you forgot the reek
of unburied bodies, the mud, the lice, the barbed wire, the
machineguns ... you saw farther than your [short] length of
trench. You got a glimpse of the country that would come out the
other side of this war. It was a place where you wanted to be
too. The president made you feel the war had a point, a goal,
beyond the miseries of the front.
That skull had a tongue in it and could sing once.
William Shakespeare [Hamlet (1599)]
When you read that a town was taken, or a certain hill was taken,
remember that in the process of that accomplishment, lives of
fine fellows were lost, and also that during this accomplishment,
for the participants, life was a horrifying massacre. You lose
your buddies, fellows with whom you laughed, ate, slept, sweated.
They grow to be more than mere buddies. They become blood
relations to you, and they die before your eyes. Not a pleasant
natural death, but an unimaginable kind of mutilation, mixed with
groans and prayers, ending with a gurgling last breath. Only five
minutes ago you might have been laughing with that buddy of
in a letter from an unknown Japanese-American soldier
serving with the 100th Infantry Battalion, a Hawaiian National
Guard unit composed of Neisei, Kibei, and Sansei citizens, that
was integrated into the 442nd Regimental Combat Team after its
baptism by fire in WWII Italy
In every field of endeavor, the boys want to
become something, while the men want to
paraphrase of Eric Severide
If you're not making mistakes then you're not making an effort to
These men are not an army, they are citizens defending their
country. General Wright is not a soldier, he is a lawyer. The
soldiers know their duties better than the general officers do
and they have fought magnificently. ... You understand all this,
but if you humiliated General Wright, the people of Georgia would
not understand. Besides, whom would you put in his place? You
will have to do as I do: when a man makes a mistake, I call him
to my tent, talk to him, and use the authority of my position to
make him do the right thing the next time.
Robert E. Lee [in restraining Ambrose Powell Hill at
Admiral: That part of a war-ship which does the talking while the
figure-head does the thinking.
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce
As with so many other ruthless men who have attained the highest
possible position of power, the general's talent was not for
governing, but for relentlessly climbing to the top. With nowhere
left to climb, these men devote themselves to retaining their
authority. Having succeeded, they do not suddenly acquire a
conscience, for any reformation that might improve the system
would be perceived as a vulnerability.
paraphrase of Donald E. Westlake
Nothing lingers longer in a soldier's mind than a bad
idea ... and the worst is that rationalized for not
having come to fruition.
a Murphy Law of Combat
The quality of ideas seems to play a minor role in mass movement
leadership. What counts is the arrogant gesture, the complete
disregard of the opinion of others, the singlehanded defiance of
Eric Hoffer [p107 The True Believer]
It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate,
tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.
When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or
treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is
always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people
may require a leader.
Power over men belongs to men alone, as God is not responsible
for the order and disorder of the world ... His realm is not of
this world, but of the next.
paraphrase of William of Occam/Ockham
It is sad to remember that when anyone has fairly mastered the
art of command, the necessity for that art usually expires
– either through the termination of the war or through the
advanced age of the commander.
George S. Patton Jr [War As I Knew It
Some commanders will put their butt on the line to protect their
troops, while other commanders will put their troops on the line
to protect their butt!
a military chiasmus
Too often commanders take refuge from confronting morality by
issuing lawful orders, the results of which may be
indistinguishable from irresponsibility or inhumanity ... this is
not leadership but dictatorship, and is reprehensible and
dishonorable, unworthy of the bond and trust of comradeship.
A good battlefield commander is rare because he is always
suspended between dismissal and disrespect, between praise and
punishment – if he isn't left hanging over the edge, then
he's getting a medal hung on him or a court martial hung over
him, and he can be lowered anytime into his grave.
paraphrase of World War Two German soldier
We have already eaten breakfast to the accompaniment, in our
morning newspapers, of too many Yankee Go Home
signs, too many riots, too many denunciations of ourselves, to
believe that leadership, even in the cause of peace, can reward
us with international laurel wreaths.
Hubert H. Humphrey [31 May 1966 address at Huron
Peace, the deeper concept of peace, is not [appropriate] for the
human race, never was meant for [the use of] the human race.
Conflict is our meat. The desire to beat the other fellow to it,
the hankering for glorification, the tendency to heave out one's
chest and say: "I'm the guy that done it!", the
satisfaction of tackling a hard job and doing it, even looking
for a hard job just for the hell of doing it!
Clifford D. Simak
It seems that the wrong people always speak first, shouting so
loud that they cannot listen. I don't understand why it's always
easier to fight than talk. As a man who tries to understand both
sides, I am always miserable; but a man who sees only his own
side is at peace with himself.
paraphrase of Elmer Kelton
It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the
world and moral courage so rare.
Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens]
People with virtue must speak out;
People who speak are not all virtuous.
Friendship: A ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but
only one in foul.
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce
Domestic policy can only defeat us; but foreign policy can
attributed to John F. Kennedy by Arthur M. Schlesinger
Jr [The Imperial Presidency (1973)]
You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
Victory sometimes carries more responsibilities than gains. That
is because it marks the return of conscience. In a time of war,
conscience is put aside, and it used to be kept aside, at least
in so far as the conquered were concerned. It used to be a case
of the spoils for the victors and woe for the conquered. War had
some sense then. But nowadays we suffer from the mistake of being
half civilized. We turn barbarian during the war as a matter of
patriotism, and civilized when the war is over as a matter of
humanitarianism. We first kill off as many of the enemy as we can
by as efficient a method as we can devise, and then save as many
of them as we're able, with all the energy involved at our
disposal. War, in fact, has become an atrocious waste of time.
Unconditional surrender brings, as its corollary, unrestricted
rehabilitation. If it were possible to devise a method whereby
each side could half win a war and no more,
things of course would be different. But then, that cannot be
Leonard Wibberley [The Mouse that Roared
The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants.
The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for
the urge to rule it.
Henry Louis Mencken
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of
its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live
under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
A friend cannot be known in prosperity; and an enemy cannot be
hid in adversity.
Ecclesiasticus 12:8 Apocrypha
Each sunset and every mile leaves more than dust behind ... they
mark the passage of remembered friendships, of forlorn dreams,
and of abandoned hope.
He doesn't want you for friends, that's why he did it. You see,
when guys have been in the line as long as we have, you find out
it's no good to make friends, 'cause when a friend gets it
— well, it's rough on you. The buddies that come with you
you're stuck with, but you don't make no new ones. It's the dyin'
Gil Doud and Jesse Hibbs [1955 film version of To
Hell and Back by Audie Murphy]
Friendless: Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune.
Addicted to utterance of truth and common sense.
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce
True friends stab you in the front.
Oscar Wilde [Fingal O'Flahertie Wills]
Truth exists ... only falsehood has to be invented.
Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives
acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices
of his friends.
Dwight David Eisenhower [12 July 1945 speech at
Guildhall in London, England]
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life
for his friends.
John 15:13 Bible
War was hell on men, but in its way, it was as bad or worse on
women [who stayed at home and could not fight].
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
J. Rudyard Kipling (1919)
Most women defend themselves. It is the female of the species
– it is the tigress and lioness in you – which tends
to defend when attacked.
Margaret Hilda Thatcher
War is a woman ... so beautiful when first kissed.
Ernest Haycox [Bugles in the Afternoon
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Psalms 85:10 Bible
compiled by Ed Staff