A call to arms

Courtesy of These * Are * My * Photons (Flickr)
Dwight D. Eisenhower  Courtesy of Marion Doss (Flickr)
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Courtesy of Marion Doss (Flickr)

I recently received communication from an American lady named Marlene Fitzpatrick  who wished to comment on an article I wrote about the international arms industry.

Having described herself as “ As a long time proponent of arms control and an objector to the whole insane arms race, and especially the part that my country (USA) plays in it”, Marlene went on to offer her opinion on the state of the arms industry as well as a relevant quote. 

“It is sad that, given the global economy, a supposedly neutral country such as Ireland is drawn into the whole insanity.  I found the Greek situation to be extremely interesting.  And that brought to mind a quote that I just re-read recently.  Dwight Eisenhower, distinguished soldier and American hero, had this to say:

  “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.  The world in arms is not spending money alone.  It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children….This is not the way of life at all, in any true sense.  Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.””

I found this comment  interesting and relevant and it has inspired me to seek out some other quotes from historical figures about the futility of war and the arms industry in general.

So here goes.


Courtesy of Chibong (Flickr)
Courtesy of Chibong (Flickr)

“God created war so that Americans would learn geography.” 
Mark Twain

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” 
Albert Einstein

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” 

“There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for.” 
-Albert Campus

“Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.” 
-Ernest Hemingway

“All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”

-John Steinbeck 

“So the curtain fell, over that tortured country of unmarked graves and unburied fragments of men. Murder and massacre. The innocent slaughtered for the guilty. The poor man for the sake of the rich. The man of no authority made the victim of the man who had gathered importance and wished to keep it”

David Starret, 9th Royal Irish Rifles

The Arms Industry

Courtesy of These * Are * My * Photons (Flickr)
Courtesy of These * Are * My * Photons (Flickr)

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defence than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The problem in defence is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without”

-Dwight D. Eisenhower

“The means of defence against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.”

James Madison

“Education is the cheap defence of nations”

Edmund Burke

I will leave you with a short documentary about an annual arms expo in Jordan. It’s disturbing, compelling and essential viewing.

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