HERE ARE SOME GREAT QUOTES:
“There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory; but boys, it is all HELL!” – General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891; Union general in the Civil War)
“You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is CRUELTY, and you cannot refine it.” – General William Tecumseh Sherman (in a letter dated September 12, 1864)
“War is at best BARBARISM… It is only those who have NEITHER fired a shot [in battle], NOR heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded, who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. WAR IS HELL!” – General William Tecumseh Sherman (statement made in 1879)
“War loses a great deal of its romance after a soldier has seen his first battle.”
John S. Mosby, Confederate guerrilla leader
“Those who do NOT go to war roar like lions.” – Kurdish saying
“A great war leaves a country with three armies – an army of cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves.” – German proverb
“War is sweet to those who have NEVER experienced it.” – Pindar (Greek lyric poet)
“I discovered to my amazement that average men and women were DELIGHTED at the prospect of war. I had fondly IMAGINED what most pacifists contended, that wars were forced upon a reluctant population by despotic and Machiavellian governments.” – Bertrand Russell
“The GENERAL PUBLIC shoulders the bill [for war]. The bill renders a horrible accounting: newly placed gravestones; mangled bodies; shattered minds; broken hearts and homes; economic instability; depression and all its attendant miseries; back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.” [Ed. Note: And often, a LOSS OF LIBERTY for citizens on both sides of the conflict occurs!] – Smedley D. Butler, Major General, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired); (1881-1940); double Medal of Honor recipient
“Those looking ahead to war [are] NOT the people – NOT those who fight and pay and die…” – Major General Smedley D. Butler
“[War] pays high dividends. But what does [war] profit the men who are killed? What does it profit their mothers and sisters, their wives and their sweethearts? What does it profit their children? Yes, and what does it profit the nation?” – Major General Smedley D. Butler
((Speaking of World War I)) “We used PROPAGANDA to make the boys accept conscription. They were made to feel ashamed if they didn’t join the Army. So vicious was this war PROPAGANDA that even God was brought into it. With few exceptions our clergymen joined in the CLAMOR to KILL, KILL, KILL.”
Major General Smedley D. Butler
((Editor’s note: Major General Smedley D. Butler, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), was NOT a pacifist. He was a marine’s marine who was also a double Medal of Honor recipient! He paid his dues, and who has more right to speak about war than he? This editor (who spent 20 years in the U.S. military) most highly recommends that you obtain the booklet, “Slick Willie & the Amazing American Bodybag Factory, Inc.” (which includes Major General Butler’s 1935 classic “War is a Racket” and Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer”). To order, call 410-374-4255 .))
War is indeed HELL!
I was “inspired” to write this issue of “Tackling the Tough Topics” after listening to a couple individuals making such statements as “Kill all those rag-heads!”, and “Let’s get the war [with Iraq] started!”
How can people make such “ignorant” statements? What kind of nation have we become that so many people can be heard making such statements, including some of the media types on TV? How can any of us categorize a whole race or people, or an entire religious group, as being evil? How can people WANT to kill “all those (fill in the blank)”, including men, women, and children? Don’t these people know the horrible price of war?
II. THE HORRIBLE PRICE OF WAR
Let’s take another (and a closer) look at Major General Smedley D. Butler’s quote in regard to the horrible price of war:
“The GENERAL PUBLIC shoulders the bill [for war]. The bill renders a horrible accounting: newly placed gravestones; mangled bodies; shattered minds; broken hearts and homes; economic instability; depression and all its attendant miseries; back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.”
((Ed. Note: I will be using the term “soldier” in its generic sense, i.e., to include members of ALL branches of service.))
A.) Newly Placed Gravestones: It is a given that in any war there will be battlefield deaths. What is often not considered prior to initiating war is that many of the casualties of war will frequently include LARGE NUMBERS of CIVILIANS. Deaths of civilians were quite high in such wars as World War II and Vietnam. Aerial bombing of large population centers invariably produces heavy CIVILIAN casualties, such as occurred in Dresden, Germany in World War II.
B.) Mangled Bodies: Sadly, many of those who serve in the military during war return home with missing limbs, or with their hearing or sight taken from them. Likewise, the mangled bodies are NOT limited just to the soldiers who fight in the war. Often, many civilians (including women, children, infants, and the elderly) suffer mangled bodies.
C.) Shattered Minds: Many of the soldiers returning from war NEVER fully “get over” the experiences of war. Some are haunted by nightmares until the day they die. Some become so distraught over these “war experiences” that they take their own lives. And, again, the “shattered minds” are NOT just limited to the soldiers who fight in the war. Many civilians in the war zones also suffer “shattered minds”. Try to imagine the horror of a young mother and her small children sitting in a dark basement night after night as bombs or artillery shells or cruise missiles rain down upon their neighborhood. Can we, who have not experienced such bombing, even begin to fathom the SHEER TERROR they would be facing in that dark basement? And, what about the terror faced by the elderly, the infirm, etc., during such bombardments?
D.) Broken Hearts and Homes: Sometimes the soldier sent off to war does NOT return. Can we imagine the heartache (if we have never lost a loved one in battle) of the families of those soldiers who die in battle, or who are captured and never return? America had a fairly large number of prisoners-of-war and missing-in-action (POW/MIA) from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam who never came home! Think how the hearts of their loved ones were broken (and many of these hearts are STILL broken) wondering if their loved ones were still alive! And, if they were still alive, what kind of treatment were these POW/MIAs receiving?
((The excellent movie, “We Were Soldiers”, starring Mel Gibson, gives us a glimpse of the tremendous heartache experienced by the wives of some of those soldiers killed-in-action in Vietnam when they received notification of their husbands’ deaths. I most highly recommend that you watch this movie if you’ve never seen it before.))
((NOTE: Speaking of “war movies”: Many of the older war movies did NOT present an accurate picture of the horrible suffering, maiming, etc., that goes on during war. War is NOT quite as mild as the earlier war movies portrayed it, e.g., John Wayne shoots twenty enemy soldiers and they all fall down dead without a cry or scream of pain. The more recent movies, such as “We Were Soldiers”, “Blackhawk Down”, etc., give a more realistic portrayal of the suffering that occurs on the battlefield.))
E.) Economic Instability; Depression; Back-breaking Taxation: This is also one of the “price tags” of war. The losing side in a war often suffers horrible economic consequences – sometimes including having to pay “war reparations” for generations.
F.) Some Other Horrors
Indeed, war is almost too horrible for “words” – it almost defies description. Besides all the above, there is also the mass raping of women and girls that occurs when enemy troops come in contact with female civilians. We need only look back as far as World War II to see the mass raping of German females by the Russian Red Army hordes as they advanced through Germany; or the mass raping of Chinese females by the Japanese Army as they occupied large portions of China.
And then there are the “prisoner-of-war” camps – not only for enemy soldiers, but also “camps” for many of the civilian population, especially the many refugees created during war time. Females in these camps also find themselves often being raped and physically assaulted. Quite frequently, the sanitation in these camps is “little to none”. Often, prisoners receive poor medical treatment, and very little in the way of nutritional food.
During the military occupation of a conquered country, “FORCED prostitution” often raises its ugly head! In recent history, we have seen United Nations peacekeeping forces set up brothels (of young girls) for their soldiers, e.g., during their occupation of Cambodia!
And then there are the landmines and the unexploded ordnance that frequently get “left behind” in the aftermath of war. For example, long after hostilities ceased between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan, Afghani children were still losing legs as they stepped on landmines or unexploded ordnance in the countryside!
There is also the use of chemical and biological weapons in warfare that injure and kill not only soldiers, but also civilians. Some of these individuals remain ill through the rest of their lives, suffering horribly until death ends their pain.
Yes, all of the above are but a sampling of the horrible price of war!
War is indeed HELL! This editor could have listed much more under the previous section on the horrible price of war. But I believe that I have listed a sufficient amount to make the following point: War is NOT something we should ever lightly enter into! The “price tag” of war is so very high – not only for us Americans, but also for those people with whom we make war!
We all need to closely examine the MOTIVE for war, and try our best to separate the “war propaganda” from the “truth”. It has often been said that the first casualty in wartime is truth.
Our government is telling us that this war against Iraq is but a first step in this “perpetual war on terrorism” that could last 100 years or more. There is talk of a universal draft, both for men and women. We are being told that after we defeat Iraq, other nations are on America’s “hit list”, such as North Korea, Iran, Syria, Libya, etc. And it is the American people who will be footing the “bill” for this “perpetual war” – having their sons and daughters coming home maimed or in body bags. The price for this “endless war on terrorism” will also see the further gutting of our constitutionally-guaranteed God-given rights! The price for this “perpetual war on terrorism” will also include an increase in terrorism against Americans. This is because we will be making more and more enemies as the U.S. military continues to attack more and more nations around the globe!
We, as good citizens, need to go outside the establishment-CONTROLLED mainstream media to find the truth. ((We are certainly NOT getting the “whole picture” from ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, etc. – because the dominant media is totally CONTROLLED by big bankers, big corporations, and “Big Government”!)) That means we need to seek information from the best of the “alternative media”. Once we have informed ourselves on the key issues of the day, then we need to INFORM OTHERS!
V. GREAT CLOSING QUOTE
“…They [Ed. Note: the ‘Feds’] are establishing SECRET military trials where you will NOT have ANY rights. NOW it’s just for…supposedly for…foreign terrorists, or people who are here illegally. But it’s A VERY SHORT STEP from taking foreign terrorists into the secret courts to taking Americans into the secret courts.
And this is what it’s really all about, ladies and gentlemen! Freedom hangs like a thread – what are YOU willing to do?
I got a call from a fellow today who said he wanted to get some of my material, but he didn’t want to be put on our web [site] list, because he didn’t want anyone knocking on his door. You know, this is what makes COWARDS of men – an unwillingness to SPEAK OUT for righteousness! We have ‘right’ on our side, and the question is: ‘Are there enough Americans out there who are willing to stand with us?’ Or are they going [to] run for cover and say, as did so many of the Jews in Germany: ‘Well, maybe if we don’t say anything, they’ll leave us alone.’?”–Dr. Stanley Monteith, host of “Radio Liberty” broadcast