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U.S. presidents on war and peace.

U.S. PRESIDENTS ON WAR AND PEACE

From the time of George Washingtonto the present, our wars were fought to defend our freedom or to avert the threats endangering it.

Here, in the words of our presidentsin history, are echoed the hopes and fears for preserving our way of life, peace at home, and peace abroad. . . .

Presidents on War

My first wish is to see this plague ofmankind banished from the earth.

--George Washington

If ever there was a holy war, it wasthat which saved our liberties and gave us independence.

--Thomas Jefferson

Each generation should be made tobear the burden of its own wars instead of carrying them on at the expense of other generations.

--James Madison

Surely if the United States have aright to make war, they have a right to prevent it.

--James Monroe

I consider an unjust war as thegreatest of all human atrocities, but I esteem a just one as the highest of all human virtues.

--John Quincy Adams

War is a blessing compared withnational degradation.

--Andrew Jackson

The ballot is stronger than thebullet.

--Abraham Lincoln

The civil war was a fearful lessonand should teach us the necessity of avoiding wars in the future.

--Ulysses S. Grant

I abhor violence and bloodshed. Ibelieve that war should never be resorted to when, or so long as, it is honorably possible to avoid.

--Theodore Roosevelt

"War is hell,' as one of our greatgenerals has said, and nothing but a great and unavoidable cause can justify it.

--William Howard Taft

I can predict with absolute certaintythat within another generation there will be another war if the nations of the world do not concert the method by which to prevent it.

--Woodrow Wilson

Older men declare war. But it isyouth that must fight and die.

--Herbert Hoover

We cannot accept the doctrine thatwar must be forever a part of man's destiny.

--Franklin D. Roosevelt

I hate war. . . . There is nothingmore foolish than to think that war can be stopped by war. You don't prevent anything by war except peace.

--Harry S Truman

We are against war because it is destructive.We are for peace because it is constructive.

--Calvin Coolidge

Until war is eliminated from internationalrelations, unpreparedness for it is well nigh as criminal as war itself.

--Dwight D. Eisenhower

Mankind must put an end to war--or war will put an end to mankind.

--John F. Kennedy

Just because we have a button herethat will put off a blast over yonder is no reason you want to put that thumb on that button.

--Lyndon B. Johnson

If another world war is to be prevented,every step possible must be taken to avert direct confrontation between the nuclear powers.

--Richard M. Nixon

The nations now have the capacityto destroy civilization, and, therefore, all our foreign policies must have as their one supreme objective the prevention of a thermonuclear war.

--Gerald R. Ford

The world is still engaged in amassive armament race destined to insure continuing equivalent strength among potential adversaries. We will move a step forward our ultimate goal--the elimination of all nuclear weapons from this earth.

--Jimmy Carter

We could substantially reduce thedread threat of nuclear war, together --with Soviet agreement. This, like the first footsteps on the moon, would be a giant step for mankind.

--Ronald Reagan

Presidents on Peace

My temper leads me to peace andharmony with all men.

--George Washington

Peace is our passion.

--Thomas Jefferson

A universal and perpetual peace, itis to be feared, will never exist . . . and if any thing is to be hoped, every thing ought to be tried.

--James Madison

Peace is the best time for improvementand preparation of every kind; it is in peace that our commerce flourishes most, that taxes are most easily paid, and that the revenue is most productive.

--James Monroe

With malice toward none, withcharity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in . . . to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.

--Abraham Lincoln

And may He who searches thehearts of the children of men prosper your exertions to secure the blessings of peace.

--John Quincy Adams

Peace, above all things, is to bedesired, but blood must sometimes be spilled to obtain it on equable and lasting terms.

--Andrew Jackson

Let us have peace.

--Ulysses S. Grant

It must be a peace without victory.. . . Only a peace between equals can last.

--Woodrow Wilson

In my own judgment the most importantservice that I rendered to peace was the voyage of the battle fleet round the world.

--Theodore Roosevelt

We in America do not build monumentsto war. We do not build monuments to conquest. We build monuments to commemorate the spirit of sacrifice in war--reminders of our desire for peace.

--Franklin D. Roosevelt

I would rather have peace in theworld than be president.

--Harry S Truman

People want peace so much thatgovernments had better get out of their way and let them have it.

--Dwight D. Eisenhower

What kind of peace do we seek?The kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living.

--John F. Kennedy

And so the whole thrust, the wholepurpose of this administration's foreign policy--whether it's Vietnam or the Middle East or in Europe, or in our relations with the developing countries or with the Communist powers--is to meet our responsibilities in such a way that at last we can have what we have not had in this century, a full generation of peace.

--Richard M. Nixon

We owe it to our children, to thechildren of all continents, not to miss an opportunity, not to malinger for one minute, not to spare ourselves or allow others to shirk in the monumental task of building a better and safer world: a world of peace.

--Gerald R. Ford

There are risks involved in achievingany goal, and no goal can be higher than the search for peace. In war, we offer our very lives almost as a matter of routine. We must be no less daring, no less steadfast, in the pursuit of peace.

--Jimmy Carter

As for the enemies of freedom,those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, we will sacrifice for it, we will not surrender for it--now or ever.

--Ronald Reagan

Photo: George Washington's temperament ledhim to "peace and harmony with all men.'

Photo: The eagle on the president's seal holds arrowsof war and the olive branch of peace.
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Title Annotation:quotations
Author:Berger, Oscar
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Jan 1, 1987
Words:1100
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