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War Ends Nothing[1]

I Believe in Peace – perhaps even peace at Any Price[2]

A peace of Oil, a peace of Gold, a peace of Shipping, a

Peace, in brief, Without Moral Purpose or Human Interest[3]

I’m not against Peace, peace is Against me – it wants to Eliminate me[4]

Suppose ye that I am come to give Peace on Earth? I tell you Nay, but rather Division[5]

When the Leaders speak of Peace the Common folk know War is coming –

When the leaders Curse War the Mobilization Order is already Written out[6]

Why are the Missiles called Peace Keepers when they’re aimed to Kill?[7]

I many times thought Peace had come when peace was Far away,

As Wrecked men deem they Sight the Land at the Center of the

Sea … how many the Fictitious Shores before the Harbor Lie?[8]

Oft we seek a Wicked Peace – to be well Changed for War[9]

I look for Peace and find my own Eyes Barbed[10]


I do not know what my Wars are Deciding[11]

The Policy is to Win the War First and work out the Meaning later[12]

When there is Peace, he is For the Peace – when there is War, he Goes[13]

‘Tis time to Leave the Books in Dust – and Oil the unused Armour’s Rust[14]

Theirs not to make Reply, theirs not to Reason Why, theirs but to Do and Die[15]

No one today Remembers Why the War had come about – or Who, if anyone, has Won[16]

Mind itself is to be Harnessed and Consumed as one of the Materials of War[17]

The World will Always have Simpletons enough, just like them, Fighting

And Dying for they know not what, and fancying that Posterity will take

The trouble to put Laurel Wreaths on their Rusty and Battered Helmets[18]

When the Wars are Over – no one ever Knows what they were About[19]

War’s Quick Fire Burn the Living Record of your Memory[20]


All Wars are Boyish and are Fought by Boys[21]

War: that little Shindy of Schoolboys with Gunpowder[22]

They don’t give a shit about you until you reach Military Age –

They want Live Babies so they can raise them to be Dead Soldiers[23]

Brood Sows Raise Children to get into the Army and to be made Fertilizer[24]

From the Nunnery of thy Chast Breast and quiet mind to War and Arms I fly[25]

Where are the joys for which our Children, Charred, have multiplied the Carcasses of War?[26]

It is Not for me to Offer my Son’s Blood as Lubricant for the Next Generation of Guns[27]

I didn’t Raise my Boy to be a Soldier, I brought him up to be my Pride and Joy – who

Dares to place a Musket on his Shoulder to Shoot some other Mother’s Darling Boy?[28]

The World fights its War in her Womb and so far Wins[29]

A Boy in Battle is a Danger only to His Side[30]


We’re Marching off in Company with Death[31]

The Cavalry of Blood comes Charging through[32]

I am a Lonely being Scarred by Swords, Wounded

By Iron, Sated with Battle-Deeds, Wearied by Blades[33]

Quit yourselves in Battle so as to Win Respect from One Another[34]

There’s a Man who sends her Medals – he is Bleeding from the War[35]

All Murderers are Punished unless they Kill in Large Numbers and to the sound of Trumpets[36]

Hauld your Tongue, ye auld-faced Knight – some Ill Death may ye Die[37]

If you bring the Boy back with his Head Blown to Bits by

A Musket, don’t look to me to put it back Together again[38]

Strengthened to Die for Medals and Position Victories[39]

The Soldiers seek their Victims, and if they find

Them – it is New Food for their Demoniac Fury[40]


War makes Corpses of us All[41]

My own People are Ruined in War – one by one

They go down to Death, look their Last on Sweet Life[42]

They send forth men to Battle but No such men Return –

And Home, to claim their Welcome, come Ashes in an Urn[43]

Great is the Battle-God, Great is his Kingdom: a Field with 1,000 Corpses[44]

Our Soldiers Home again Gone Home Gone again Home again and still Co-

Ming Home while you look in the Lost and Found for Limbs and Reasons[45]

They Await the Lost – who Lie Dead in Trench and Barrier and Foss[46]

Battlefields where the Dead live Unclaimed – not Mourned[47]

Home is a Book full of the Names of the Dead, the Dying,

The ones Lost to Blasts, the ones Leaving Home for Exile[48]

Summer Grasses: all that remains of Soldiers’ Dreams[49]

Tyrant Wars make Earth a Grave[50]


We Walk and Talk as Wars behind us Howl[51]

The Shepherd drives his Animals with the Con-

Voy – the Woman carries Water while they Shoot[52]

Peaceful Peasants live in Terror of the Thunder of approaching Hooves[53]

In the name of Peace and Preservation of life our Government wages Perpetual War[54]

It’s not a War that can be Won by any Country – but Winning is not the Point[55]

Neither race can Win the War – the War has Won, and will go on Winning[56]

Hooray, I Wake from yesterday Alive – but the War is here to Stay[57]

I foresee a War and a Victory and after the Victory a War Again[58]

What can War but Endless War still Breed[59]

Wars: in All Centuries and Everywhere[60]


A Rich man’s War and a Poor man’s Fight[61]

War: when Money Rolls in and Blood Rolls out

But Blood is Far away from here – Money is Near[62]

The Primary aim of Modern Warfare is to use up the Products

Of the Machine without Raising the general Standards of Living[63]

The Guns Spell Money’s Ultimate Reason in Letters of Lead on the Spring Hillside[64]

Conscription: a Monstrous Deed against Humanity in the interest of the Financiers of Wall Street[65]

Pickers of Bone, Meddlers in other men’s Sorrows – Carrion-Fowl that grow Fat on War[66]

If there is War, you will Furnish the Corpses and the Taxes, and Others will

Get the Glory – Speculators will make Money out of it, that is, out of You[67]

Nobody wants the War – only the Money Fights on Alone[68]

Laws don’t Mean much to us Weapons Dealers[69]

Bodies count as Coins in Accountants Books[70]


It’s not a battle of Good against Evil – it’s a War be-

Tween forces that are fighting for the balance of Power[71]

The ones who call the Shots won’t be among the Dead

And Lame – and on each End of the Rifle we’re the Same[72]

A way of life whose Delicate Pleasures and Exquisite Comforts can

Only be delivered to the Chosen few by a Continuous, Protracted War[73]

The Common people, from whom all the Dead have come – Weep in Lamentation[74]

From you the Sword – from us the Blood, from you the Steel and Fire – from us the Flesh[75]

The Enemy is anybody who’s going to get you Killed – no matter which Side he’s on[76]

Children are used as All Poor Children have been used throughout History –

As Poorly paid Mercenaries Fighting to keep or put an Elite group in Power[77]

The Hapless Soldier’s Sigh runs in Blood down Palace-Walls[78]

Glory for the Generals, Death to the Privates, Wealth

To the Merchants, and Unemployment to the Poor[79]

The Master Class has always Declared the Wars –

The Subject Class has always Fought the Battles[80]


The Pity of War – the Pity War Distills[81]

Is not Life Miserable enough, comes not Death Soon

Enough, without Resort to the Hideous Enginery of War?[82]

Whoever says that War is not terrible knows Nothing about War[83]

What, then, is War? No mere Discord of Flags – but an Infection of the Common Sky[84]

If Civilization has an Opposite, it is War ­– you have either One or the Other, Not Both[85]

What others may view as a Policy Decision, we see clearly as the Murder of Innocent People[86]

War means Blood Spilling from Living Bodies, means Severed Limbs, Blindness, Terror,

Means Grief, Agony, Orphans, Starvation, prolonged Misery, prolonged Resentment and

Hatred and Guilt, means all of these Multiplied, means Death, Death, Death and Death[87]

I don’t think there should even be a thing called War … it Messes up a person’s Mind[88]

The Merry Wars – the Dance of Skeletons bathed in Human Tears – go on[89]

He knows he cannot Win his Freedom through Physical Force – but

Also he believes that through Physical Force he can Lose his Soul[90]


We’ll Lose the War after we’ve Won it[91]

Like it ever Matters which Side of a Fence or War[92]

The Pain of War cannot exceed the Woe of Aftermath[93]

Soldiers put One thing Straight – but leave a Dozen others Crooked[94]

The High Ideals for which we are Killing and Regimenting each other are

Empty and Abstract substitutes for the Unheeded Miracles that surround us[95]

War is a Foolish Choice for Men – whatever they Win, they will have only a

Handful of years to Enjoy before they Die – more likely they will Perish trying[96]

We’re Born in a Revolution and we Die in a Wasted War – it’s Gone that way Before[97]

How many times must the Cannonballs Fly, before they’re Forever Banned …

How many Deaths will it take till he knows too many People have Died?[98]

War ends in Defeat and a Complete and All-Embracing Dark-

Ness Descends and Pervades all four corners of the Globe[99]

War Wastes what it Wins – ends Worse than it Begins[100]

[1] Zaire Proverb

[2] J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians

[3] Archibald MacLeish, quoted by Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States

[4] DAM, Who’s the Terrorist?

[5] Luke 12:51 (King James)

[6] Bertolt Brecht tr. H. R. Hays, A German War Primer

[7] Tracy Chapman, Why?

[8] Emily Dickinson, I Many Times Thought Peace Had Come

[9] Samuel Daniel, Ulysses and the Siren

[10] Sidney Keys, War Poet

[11] W.S. Merwin, My Brothers the Silent

[12] Muriel Rukeyser, The Life of Poetry

[13] W.H. Auden, The Unknown Citizen

[14] Andrew Marvell, An Horatian Ode

[15] Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Charge of the Light Brigade

[16] Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

[17] Hermann Hesse tr. Richard & Clara Winston, Magister Ludi

[18] Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Golden Fleece

[19] Sidney Howard, Gone with the Wind

[20] William Shakespeare, Sonnet LV

[21] Herman Melville, The March into Virginia

[22] Virginia Woolf,Mrs. Dalloway

[23] George Carlin, Back in Town

[24] Kate Richards O’Hare, quoted by Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States

[25] Richard Lovelace, To Lucasta, Going to the Wars

[26] Ion Caraion tr. Marguerite Dorian & Elliott B. Urdang, Song for the Occupation Time

[27] Isabella Leitner, quoted by Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States

[28] Alfred Bryan, I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier

[29] Alan Dugan, What the Hell, Rage, Give in to Natural Graces

[30] C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy

[31] Alfred Lichtenstein, Leaving for the Front

[32] Ross Gay, Ode to Sleeping in My Clothes

[33] Old English Riddle tr. Richard Hamer

[34] Homer tr. Samuel Butler, The Iliad

[35] Joni Mitchell, Cactus Tree

[36] Voltaire

[37] Anonymous, Tam Lin

[38] Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

[39] Marianne Moore, In Distrust of Merits

[40] Hans Christian Andersen, The Wicked Prince

[41] Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, & Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

[42] Beowulf tr. Seamus Heaney

[43] Aeschylus, Agamemnon

[44] Stephen Crane, Do Not Weep

[45] Mona Nicole Sfier, Z.

[46] Ford Madox Ford, Antwerp

[47] Bell Hooks, Appalachian Elegy 45

[48] Rasaq Malik Gbolahan, What My Children Remember

[49] Basho tr. Lucian Stark & Takashi Ikemoto, Summer Grasses

[50] Alberry Alston Whitman, Twastinta’s Seminoles; or Rape of Florida

[51] Ghassan Zaqtan tr. Fady Joudah, In Praise of Exile

[52] Mary Gaitskill, The Arms and Legs of the Lake

[53] Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto & Hideo Oguni, Seven Samurai

[54] George Monbiot, Bomb Everyone

[55] Naomi Klein, Building a Booming Economy Based on War With No End: The Lessons of Israel

[56] Edmund Blunden, quoted in Introduction to War and the Pity of War

[57] The Grateful Dead, 1983 … (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)

[58] Kenneth Fearing, End of the Seers’ Convention

[59] John Milton, On the Lord General Fairfax at the Siege of Colchester

[60] Primo Levi tr. Raymond Rosenthal, Dear Horace

[61] IWW, quoted by Paul LeBlanc in A Brief History of the U.S. Working Class

[62] Langston Hughes, Green Memory

[63] George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

[64] Stephen Spender, Ultima Ratio Regum

[65] Charles Schnenck (leaflet), quoted by Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States

[66] J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

[67] Bolton Hall, The Effect of War on Workingmen, 1898

[68] Philip Whalen, The War Poem for Diane di Prima

[69] Hayao Miyazaki, Porco Rosso

[70] L. Renée, Exodus: Gilliam Coal Camp, West Virginia, 1949

[71] Paulo Coelho tr. Alan R. Clarke, The Alchemist

[72] John McCutcheon, Christmas in the Trenches

[73] Arundhati Roy, Things That Can and Cannot Be Said

[74] Lao Tzu tr. Charles Muller, Tao Te Ching 31

[75] Mahmoud Darwish, O Those Who Pass Between Fleeting Words

[76] Joseph Heller,Catch-22

[77] Patricia Robinson, Poor Black Women

[78] William Blake, London

[79] Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States

[80] Eugene Debs

[81] Wilfred Owen, Strange Meeting

[82] Horace Greerly, on Mexican-American War, quoted by Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States

[83] Yuliya Drunina tr. Albert C. Todd, So Many Times I’ve Seen

[84] Robert Graves, Recalling War

[85] Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

[86] 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Not in Our Names

[87] Denise Levertov, The Certainty

[88] Charles Hutto (soldier who participated in the My Lai massacre)

[89] Pullman Strikers, quoted by Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States

[90] Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can’t Wait

[91] Marilyn Young

[92] Rosebud Ben-Oni, Poet Wrestling with Surface Tension

[93] Led Zeppelin,The Battle of Evermore

[94] E.M. Forster, A Passage to India

[95] Alan Watts, This Is It

[96] Madeline Miller, Circe

[97] Phil Ochs, Another Age

[98] Bob Dylan, Blowin’ in the Wind

[99] Tayeb Salih tr. Denys Johnson-Davies, Seasons of Migration to the North

[100] Ebenezer Elliott, War

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