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A democracy is peace-loving. It does not like to go to war. It is slow to... Video
A democracy is peace-loving. It does not like to go to war. It is slow to rise to provocation. When it has once been provoked to the point where it must grasp the sword, it does not easily forgive its adversary for having produced this situation. The fact of the provocation then becomes itself the issue. Democracy fights in anger â€” it fights for the very reason that it was forced to go to war. It fights to punish the power that was rash enough and hostile enough to provoke it â€” to teach that power a lesson it will not forget, to prevent the thing from happening again. Such a war must be carried to the bitter end. This is true enough, and, if nations could afford to operate in the moral climate of individual ethics, it would be understandable and acceptable. But I sometimes wonder whether in this respect a democracy is not uncomfortably similar to one of those prehistoric monsters with a body as long as this room and a brain the size of a pin: he lies there in his comfortable primeval mud and pays little attention to his environment; he is slow to wrath â€” in fact, you practically have to whack his tail off to make him aware that his interests are being disturbed; but, once he grasps this, he lays about him with such blind determination that he not only destroys his adversary but largely wrecks his native habitat. You wonder whether it would not have been wiser for him to have taken a little more interest in what was going on at an earlier date and to have seen whether he could have prevented some of these situations from arising instead of proceeding from an undiscriminating indifference to a holy wrath equally undiscriminating.
Kennan, George F.
Loving compatriots, at this moment, as I speak these words, our soldiers entrenched along the countryâ€™s borders are defending their homeland. In our schools, teachers are educating a whole generation and right at this moment our doctors are healing the wounds of our brothers and sisters. Today we have come together to heal another wound, a wound inflicted upon our nationâ€™s body by these elections. We have to prevail over this trial and we must do everything for this wound to heal as soon as possible. I am saying this with pain. With pain, because I am weary of seeing only scars on our nationâ€™s body, with pain, since the time is long overdue for our country and our people to move ahead. With pain, because some people have failed to thoroughly grasp the value of our accomplishment. The value of democracy. The value of forming the authorities through elections. The value of the opinion of the majority. Dear citizens of the Republic of Armenia, I am grateful to you for the high trust you have placed in me. I swear to do everything to justify your trust. I assure you that you will never have to regret casting your vote for Serzh Sargsyan in these elections. From this high lectern I call on the former candidates and the political forces that support them to let us co-operate. Up to and including the formation of a coalition government. It is my purpose, amongst others, to claim all constructive and foundational powers to the benefit of Armeniaâ€™s development. For me, this victory of all of us is just a beginning. The beginning of triumphs to come, victories of our state, of our entire nation. Through our joint efforts we turn the history of the Armenian people into a story of triumphs that our coming generations shall take pride in. These pages of our history, which we are writing together, shall bear witness only to victories. Today I do not see a problem of "our people" and "theirs," no issue of incumbents and opposition. The issue at stake today is that of Armenia, the permanence of our statehood, protection of our values, the protection of our upbringings, an issue we have come together here to resolve. And this is why I try to appeal to everyone, regardless of their political views and their ideological approaches: to overcome this artificial divide introduced into our nation! We have won as well against this separation. We will win. The victory will always be for Armenia's citizens. The victory will be for Armenia. Loving compatriots, I ask you not to succumb to mean-ness, because it is our sisters and brothers in the other square over there. I am certain that they were driven to the square by a desire to have a better Armenia but alas, they are no longer allowed to notice how they have been turned into an instrument of vengeful and power-hungry aspirations of a handful of people. I am aware how upset you have become these days watching everything that occurs. I know that there are many people today who are ready to go out in the street to defend their vote. I know all this very well. But I ask you to curb your temper and, if you have something to say, let it only be pleas for seeing reality and if you want to revert to action let it be by steps of kindness and tolerance. Please, always and constantly remember that, in the other square, they are our sisters and brothers. These elections have shown us that the time has come for "Ahead, Armenia!" That the time has come for tireless work and struggle against disgraceful practices against our lives. This has been very well perceived by several individuals, buried in filth up to their ears, who hurried to announce their adherence to ambiguous ideas and the launch of the so-called struggle. Today many describe these people as traitors, defectors to the camp. I, for one, have a good understanding of their rationale: they know me well, they know that I am not the kind of person to keep tolerating the conduct they have grown to consider acceptable, who will turn a blind eye to the shady aspects of our reality. They know that I shall cut the problem at its root, this brazen behavior, zorba-ic behavior, non-payment of taxes, arm-twisting and gunslinging attitudes. For those whose lives were in dark corners, there were no choices left but to flee and start verbalizing off the podium about democracy, something they are as far away from as from the worries and concerns of our people. What is most unacceptable for me in all this, dear compatriots, is the ignoble stance of a few of my friends in combat, whom the devil succeeded in tempting with promises and false words. Hypocrisy, groundless aspirations, unrealistic cravings, unfounded reasons, these are all unacceptable to me. I shall protect the right to freedom of speech. Though free speech does not license slander and foul language. I shall protect the right of free assembly. Though the freedom to hold rallies does not imply that the metropolis has to grind to a standstill. I shall protect the right to protest but the right to protest shall not mean that constitutional and other rights of our citizens have to be trampled upon. It does not mean that the right of the majority to form a government must be overridden. We are not afraid of strong opposition. On the contrary, we maintain that we may succeed in assuring our countryâ€™s progressive development only upon the existence of powerful constructive opposition. The Holy Scripture says: "There is time for everything." Today is not the time to gather stones. Today is the time to let the stones drop from our clothing. Today is not the time for spite and grudges. Today is the time for peace. Today is not the time to draw new watersheds. Today is the time for unity. Today is the time for work. Today is the time for new national victories. The time for dignity and democracy. Today is the time to overcome our disagreements and today is the time for the entire nation to say: "We are able to withstand any ordeal," and we shall. "We can move ahead fast," and we shall. "We can have the Armenia of our dreams," and I give you my word: we shall have it! So let us move ahead, ahead, towards new triumphs! Ahead, Armenia!
There are certain sad appreciations we have to come to about human nature on the basis of these recent wars. One of them is that suffering does not always make men better. Another is that people are not always more reasonable than governments; that public opinion, or what passes for public opinion, is not invariably a moderating force in the jungle of politics. It may be true, and I suspect it is, that the mass of people everywhere are normally peace-loving and would accept many restraints and sacrifices in preference to the monstrous calamities of war. But I also suspect that what purports to be public opinion in most countries that consider themselves to have popular government is often not really the consensus of the feelings of the mass of the people at all, but rather the expression of the interests of special highly vocal minorities â€” politicians, commentators, and publicity-seekers of all sorts: people who live by their ability to draw attention to themselves and die, like fish out of water, if they are compelled to remain silent. These people take refuge in the pat and chauvinistic slogans because they are incapable of understanding any others, because these slogans are safer from the standpoint of short-term gain, because the truth is sometimes a poor competitor in the market place of ideas â€” complicated, unsatisfying, full of dilemma, always vulnerable to misinterpretation and abuse. The counsels of impatience and hatred can always be supported by the crudest and cheapest symbols; for the counsels of moderation, the reasons are often intricate, rather than emotional, and difficult to explain. And so the chauvinists of all times and places go their appointed way: plucking the easy fruits, reaping the little triumphs of the day at the expense of someone else tomorrow, deluging in noise and filth anyone who gets in their way, dancing their reckless dance on the prospects for human progress, drawing the shadow of a great doubt over the validity of democratic institutions. And until people learn to spot the fanning of mass emotions and the sowing of bitterness, suspicion, and intolerance as crimes in themselves â€” as perhaps the greatest disservice that can be done to the cause of popular government â€” this sort of thing will continue to occur.
Kennan, George F.
The partisan situation in the Italian theater, particularly central Italy, has deteriorated to such an extent that it constitutes a serious danger to troops, supply lines, war industry and economic potential. The fight against the partisans must be carried out with all means at our disposal and with utmost severity. I will protect any commander who exceeds our usual restraint in the choice of methods in executing one's orders is better than failure or neglect to act.
Some of the strongest supporters of the war declare that we are a Christian nation, yet use their religious beliefs to justify the war. They claim it is our Christian duty to remake the Middle East and attack the Muslim infidels. Evidently I have been reading from a different Bible. I remember something about â€œBlessed are the peacemakers.â€� My beliefs aside, Christian teaching of nearly a thousand years reinforces the concept of â€œThe Just war theory.â€� This Christian theory emphasizes six criteria needed to justify Christian participation in war... The war in Iraq fails to meet almost all of these requirements. This discrepancy has generated anger and division within the Christian community. Some are angry because the war is being fought out of Christian duty, yet does not have uniform support from all Christians. Others are angry because they see Christianity as a religion as peace and forgiveness, not war and annihilation of enemies.
The strength of a civilization is not measured by its ability to fight wars, but rather by its ability to prevent them.
And the war rages on in a land called somewhere And Generals order their men to kill And to fight for a cause theyve long ago forgotten While a little cloud weeps on the side of a hill.
War is the great scavenger of thought. It is the sovereign disinfectant, and its red stream of blood is the Condy's Fluid that cleans out the stagnant pools and clotted channels of the intellect. We have awakened from an opium-dream of comfort, of ease, of that miserable poltroonery of the sheltered life. Our wish for indulgence of every sort, our laxity of manners, our wretched sensitiveness to personal inconvenience, these are suddenly lifted before us in their true guise as the specters of national decay; and we have risen from the lethargy of our dilettantism to lay them, before it is too late, by the flashing of the unsheathed sword.
Gosse, Sir Edmund
We have lost a battle, but I assure to you that we will not lose the war! I cannot say more at the present moment although I know the losses are crowded in your minds. That this happened does not hold importance. What counts is not to lose confidence in the future of Germany. At the same time everyone must understand the gravity of the situation. This moment will be enough to distinguish the true men from the inept ones. Every soldier has the same responsibilities: if the advancing one falls, another must be ready to take his place in order to go on.
Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked [â€¦] and we who fail to prevent them must share the guilt for the dead.
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