What the world thinks of Bush and his war

frontline.jpgAfter Downing Street | To kill one man is to be guilty of a capital crime, to kill ten men is to increase the guilt ten-fold, to kill a hundred men is to increase it a hundred-fold. This the rulers of the earth all recognize and yet when it comes to the greatest crime-waging war on another state-they praise it!

It is clear they do not know it is wrong, for they record such deeds to be handed down to posterity; if they knew they were wrong, why should they wish to record them and have them handed down to posterity?

If a man on seeing a little black were to say it is black, but on seeing a lot of black were to say it is white, it would be clear that such a man could not distinguish black and white. Or if he were to taste a few bitter things were to pronounce them sweet, clearly he would be incapable of distinguishing between sweetness and bitterness. So those who recognize a small crime as such, but do not recognize the wickedness of the greatest crime of all-waging war on another state-but actually praise it-cannot distinguish right from wrong. So as to right or wrong, the rulers of the world are in confusion.

– Mozi, China, circa 470-391 B.C.

If the force of arms is considered the only means of authority, it is not an auspicious instrument.

– Lao Tsu, the Tao te ching, fifth century B.C.

[We call for peace] in the name of God, since without peace no one will see God.

– Peace meeting at Le Puy, 994

How he would have lashed out against anyone who dared to eat pork on a Friday, and yet now he cannot make the shedding of men’s blood a matter of conscience…

– Petr Chelcicky on his 1420 debate in Prague with Jakoubek of Stribro

We abhor fighting for Freedom. Freedom gotten by the sword is an established bondage to some part or other of the creation. Victory that is gotten by the sword is a victory that slaves get one over another.

– Gerrard Winstanley, leader of the Diggers, 1650

The professed object of war generally is to preserve liberty and produce a lasting peace; but war never did and never will preserve liberty and produce a lasting peace, for it is a divine decree that all nations who take the sword shall perish with the sword. War is no more adapted to preserve liberty and produce a lasting peace than midnight darkness is to produce noonday light.

– David Low Dodge, War Inconsistent with the Religion of Jesus Christ, 1815

We expect to prevail through the foolishness of preaching.

– William Lloyd Garrison, Declaration of Sentiments adopted by the Peace Convention of Boston, 1838

Our country is the world, our countrymen are all mankind. We love the land of our nativity only as we love all other lands. The interests, rights, liberties of American citizens are no more dear to us than are those of the whole human race. Hence, we can allow no appeal to patriotism, to revenge any national insult or injury.

– William Lloyd Garrison, Declaration of Sentiments adopted by the Peace Convention of Boston, 1838

The governments of the earth have built up a structure that exists only by the power of money. The head of the land-the Queen-is honored in proportion to the pomps and vanities of her immediate attendants. Her governors all hold out their hands for their wages, without which their patriotism would shrivel up.

– Te Whiti, Maori chief, 1879

I find it so difficult not to hate; and when I do not hate I feel we few are so lonely in the world.

– Bertrand Russell, Letter to Colette, 1918

The kind of pacifism that does not actively combat the war preparations of the governments is powerless and will always stay powerless. Would that the conscience and common sense of the people awaken!

– Albert Einstein, speech in New York, December 14, 1930

Whether mankind will consciously follow the law of love, I do not know. But that need not perturb us. The law will work, just as the law of gravitation will work whether we accept it or no. And just as a scientist will work wonders out of various applications of the laws of nature, even so a man who applies the law of love with scientific precision can work greater wonders.

– Mahandas Gandhi, published in Young India, October 1, 1931

From Nonviolence: Twenty-Five Lessons From the History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlanskey publish by The Modern Library, New York, 2006.