War

1095 – Martin Luther King Jr on the Triple Evils

“Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both. Now, when I say question the whole society, it means ultimately coming to see that the problem of racism, the problem of exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated.”

-Martin Luther King Jr

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1021 – Wilhelm Reich on the Responsibility of War and The Masses

“The responsibility for war falls solely upon the shoulders of these same masses of people, for they have all the necessary means to avert war in their own hands. In part by their apathy, in part by their passivity, and in part actively, these masses of people make possible the catastrophes under which they themselves suffer more than anybody else. To stress this guilt on the part of masses of people, to hold them solely responsible, means to take them seriously. On the other hand, to commiserate masses of people as victims, means to treat them as small, helpless children. The former is the attitude held by genuine freedom-fighters; the latter the attitude held by the power-thirsty politicians.”

-Wilhelm Reich

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865 – “A professional soldier understands that war means killing people, war means maiming people, war means families left without fathers and mothers. All you have to do is hold your first dying soldier in your arms, and have that terribly futile feeling that his life is flowing out and you can’t do anything about it. Then you understand the horror of war.”

–General Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr, USA

Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion of France, which opened up the Western Front of the European Theater in World War II, leading to the downfall of Hitler and the NAZIs.

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793 – “Military cemeteries in every corner of the world are silent testimony to the failure of national leaders to sanctify human life. There is only one radical means of sanctifying human lives. Not armored plating, or tanks, or planes, or concrete fortifications. The one radical solution is peace.”

–Yitzhak Rabin

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761 – Washington on the State of the World and Its Future

“On these occasions I consider how mankind may be connected like one great family in fraternal ties—I endulge a fond, perhaps an enthusiastic idea, that as the world is evidently much less barbarous than it has been, its melioration must still be progressive—that nations are becoming more humanized in their policy—that the subjects of ambition & causes for hostility are daily diminishing—and in fine, that the period is not very remote when the benefits of a liberal & free commerce will, pretty generally, succeed to the devastations & horrors of war.”

–George Washington, 1st President of the United States of America

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702 – Quote on The Christmas Truce

“I went to rest, and lying on my cot, I must have drifted asleep. At once my friend awoke me, saying, ‘Come and see! See what the Germans are doing!’ I grabbed my rifle, stumbled out into the trench, and stuck my head cautiously above the sandbags. And I  saw clusters of tiny lights were shining all along the German line.

Bewildered by the sight I realized they were Christmas trees! And so it was. The Germans had placed Christmas trees along their trenches. And then we heard their voices raised in song, ‘Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht…’, they were singing the carol ‘Silent Night’.

When the song finished, the men in our trenches applauded the German soldiers. We thought that we ought to retaliate in some way, so we sang ‘The First Noel’, and when we finished that they all began clapping; and then they struck up another favourite of theirs, ‘O Tannenbaum’. And so it went on.

First the Germans would sing one of their carols, and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words ‘Adeste Fideles’. And I thought, well, this was really a most extraordinary thing – two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.”

–British Soldier During World War I on the Christmas Truce of 1914 [Likely derived from the work of Aaron Shepard, See Source for Details]

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