He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind… War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.
-John F. Kennedy
Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
-Mark Twain, “The Mysterious Stranger”
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
– Matt. 26:52