Charles Eliot Norton Quote

“There never was a good war," said Franklin. There have indeed been many wars in which a good man must take part, and take part with grave gladness to die if need be, a willing sacrifice, thankful to give life for what is dearer than life, and happy that even by death in war he is serving the cause of peace. But if a war be undertaken for the most righteous end, before the resources of peace have been tried and proved vain to secure it, that war has no defense, it is a national crime.”

~ Charles Eliot Norton


Ratings and Comments


Me Again
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Me Again    1/1/07

Agreed.Another timeless quote from centuries past that is relevant today.In 2007.Happy New Year.

Dick, Fort Worth

A good reason for everyone to read the Nation magazine. It is still as reasonable and important as it was when Norton was editor.

Robert, Los Angeles

While there's "never been a good war," there's also never been honorable negotiations with an enemy that wants to destroy your people and your nation. We bought into that foolish notion all the way up until the morning of December 7, 1941. But hey, that was 75 years ago and today's enemy is truly honorable and wants peace, right?

E Archer, NYC

Given the fact that years after every major war we discover the secret intents and deceptions that helped promote each war, we ought not rush into war as a solution which usually results in centralizing more power into the executive branch and the suspension of the rights of the People. War is the trade of kings.

Robert, Los Angeles

Thankfully, the Revolutionaries of 1776 decided not to negotiate trade with a certain king. Today, there is a misguided ideology that thinks our military is no longer a necessity and our freedom can be thrown on the table as a negotiating tool with viscious enemies who want to kill us and destroy our nation. Perhaps a wiser man than all forewarned: "Beware, lest in your anxiety to avoid war, you obtain a master." -- Demosthenes (384-322 BC)

Joe, Rochester, MI

And a "master" we have in our own government. More and more laws which steal our freedom. There is no greater "national crime" than the lives and money we waste attacking Iraq.

Robert, Los Angeles

Sorry to hear that you live as a slave in America because we apparently have a "master" in our own governemt. Really, could you elaborate how this "master" has deprived you from "More and more laws which steal your freedom"? And be quick before the "master" takes away your freedom of expression. Fortunately, here on the west coast, we're still a free people. However, "master" ahmadinejad has a few nukes he'd like to send to the east coast. "master" kim jong ill also has plans to send some nukes to Hawaii and the west coast. But don't worry about these two "masters" as they're really no threat. Instead, worry about the ficticious "master" in the White House, and then some day soon you will have a "master" if you're one of the few survivors.

Patrick Henry, Red Hill

War is a legacy of the Fall.

The descent of Man from Virtue has begotten in him pride, ambition, covetousness and a spirit of dissension - the signal bases of military conflict.

Mike, Norwalk

Robert, Los Angeles - an obvious happy slave that does not even comprehend the most simple of what liberty has to offer. Robert, Los Angeles' enslavement includes (by way of an extremely terse and incomplete list) compelled compliance, government licenses, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity (2nd plank of the communist manifesto, Social Security, police state confiscations, etc.), non-existence of perfected allodium, alienation of inalienable rights, and participation in the war on drugs, poverty and on those that infringe on the carnal gods fortunes, power and control.

Ronw13, OR

How gracious a "pause" in time, understanding gives light to Liberty. " As much as lieth in you, live at peace with all men."
War is wrath, let the hand of wrath be stayed, unless just. " Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and I will receive you." Saith the Lord.
This Nation was separated unto a purpose in grace. And warned of political entanglement with other nations and kingdoms. President Washington speaks very clearly of these devices. and warns us of the designing fancies of politicians. Wars of commercial greed, fueled by heated sentiment, blinding the minds of patriots as their liberties are stolen away. But now in 2018, Patriots in the U.S. and worldwide, awakening to the oppression of socialistic centralized government, and the tyrannical hand of excessive burden. Surly prosperity dulls the pains of usury and slavery, Yet it is the essence of Liberty that gives hope of Freedom from slavery.
" In the worlds broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of life,
Be not like dumb driven cattle !
Be a hero in the strife !
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, " A Psalm of Life "

robert, somewhere inthe USA

America has gone rogue and is the real global terrorist organization - what the hell are they doing in the Middle East funding a whole host of terrorist groups, including funding Saudi with weapons that are killing children and women in the Yemen - in the latest effort by the US, UK, France, and Israel to overthrow Assad with proxy terrorist factions, there has been no reports of SAA and Russian victories. The latest effort by Israel to cause WWIII with the bombing of Syrian locations has again fallen without a response from the bear. Israel's plan for the greater Israel is looking darker and darker. Israel air force and rockets entering Syrian air space need to be shot down. Until this happens Israel will continue to provoke Russia into a full out war. The latest illegal war crimes by the US, Israel and the West have one intention and that is to take Iran and finally Russia. So, Putin wake up before it's to late.

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