„Here, for the first time, I felt an unshakable conviction that no momentary military advantage — even if such could have been calculated to exist — could have justified this stupendous, careless destruction of civilian life and of material values, built up laboriously by human hands over the course of centuries for purposes having nothing to do with war.“

—  George F. Kennan, Context: Here, for the first time, I felt an unshakable conviction that no momentary military advantage — even if such could have been calculated to exist — could have justified this stupendous, careless destruction of civilian life and of material values, built up laboriously by human hands over the course of centuries for purposes having nothing to do with war. Least of all could it have been justified by the screaming non sequitur: "They did it to us." And it suddenly appeared to me that in these ruins there was an unanswerable symbolism which we in the West could not afford to ignore. If the Western world was really going to make a pretense of a higher moral departure point — of greater sympathy and understanding for the human being as God made him, as expressed not only in himself but in the things he had wrought and cared about — then it had to learn to fight its wars morally as well as militarily, or not fight them at all; for moral principles were a part of its strength. Shorn of this strength, it was no longer itself; its victories were not real victories; and the best it would accomplish in the long run would be to pull down the temple over its own head. The military would stamp this as naïve; they would say that war is war, that when you're in it you fight with every means you have, or go down in defeat. But if that is the case, then there rests upon Western civilization, bitter as this may be, the obligation to be militarily stronger than its adversaries by a margin sufficient to enable it to dispense with those means which can stave off defeat only at the cost of undermining victory. Written in regard to the Allied destruction of Hamburg and other German cities, p. 437
George F. Kennan photo
George F. Kennan
1904 - 2005
Publicité

Citations similaires

H. G. Wells photo

„Nothing could have been more obvious to the people of the early twentieth century than the rapidity with which war was becoming impossible. And as certainly they did not see it.“

—  H. G. Wells English writer 1866 - 1946
Context: Nothing could have been more obvious to the people of the early twentieth century than the rapidity with which war was becoming impossible. And as certainly they did not see it. They did not see it until the atomic bombs burst in their fumbling hands. The World Set Free (1914)

Abraham Lincoln photo

„Without the military help of the black freedman, the war against the South could not have been won.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865
As quoted in Freedom's Unfinished Revolution: An Inquiry Into the Civil War https://books.google.com/books?id=8-dtOwigLNIC&pg=PA8&dq=freedman, by William Friedheim and Ronald Jackson.

Publicité
John Maynard Keynes photo
Karl Jaspers photo
David Dixon Porter photo
Andrei Sakharov photo
Jonathan Safran Foer photo
James Hetfield photo
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn photo

„Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction.“

—  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Russian writer 1918 - 2008
Context: Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. We cannot avoid revising the fundamental definitions of human life and human society. Is it true that man is above everything? Is there no Superior Spirit above him? Is it right that man's life and society's activities have to be determined by material expansion in the first place? Is it permissible to promote such expansion to the detriment of our spiritual integrity? If the world has not come to its end, it has approached a major turn in history, equal in importance to the turn from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It will exact from us a spiritual upsurge, we shall have to rise to a new height of vision, to a new level of life where our physical nature will not be cursed as in the Middle Ages, but, even more importantly, our spiritual being will not be trampled upon as in the Modern era. This ascension will be similar to climbing onto the next anthropologic stage. No one on earth has any other way left but — upward.

Richelle Mead photo
Harry Truman photo
Jeff Lindsay photo
Vannevar Bush photo
John Seigenthaler photo

„I think journalism was the most important thing I could have done with my life. I just can't think of anything I could have done with my life that would have been more meaningful.“

—  John Seigenthaler American journalist, writer, and political figure 1927 - 2014
Reported in his Tennessean's obituary; quoted in "John Seigenthaler dies at 86" http://www.poynter.org/2014/john-seigenthaler-dies-at-86/258597/ by Andrew Beaujon, poynter.org (11 July 2014)

Zelda Fitzgerald photo

„Nothing could have survived our life.“

—  Zelda Fitzgerald, Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

Haruki Murakami photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“