Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Quotes: Military

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

In the military there is no turmoil such as occurs in the outside world as we exercise free will.
Military 462 Here [in the Regiment] was none of that turmoil of the world at large in which he found himself out of his element and made mistakes in exercising his free will. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

In war the cruel and incompetent have power over the helpless and the sensitive.
Military 83 …the armed services in the protest novels of the war gave to the cruel and the incompetent power over the lives of the helpless and the sensitive. [military] Blum, V Was for Victory

Even the presentiment of dread was dulled by the drab military routine.
Military 36 …even the dull presentiment of dread, like the first hint of a toothache—with which the day began, was utterly stifled, deadened by drab army routine. [military] Childers, Wings of Morning

Hitler’s party was military not merely militant.
Military 149 The main attribute of the “new party” was its military, not merely militant, character. Bracher, The German Dictatorship.

Out of the army, a man longs for certitude, camaraderie, freedom from individual responsibility different from the competitive free society.
Military 47 He [the man just out of the army] longs for certitude, camaraderie, freedom from individual responsibility, and a vision of something altogether different from the competitive free society around him…. Hoffer, The True Believer

Uniforms, flags, emblems, parades, music and elaborate etiquette are designed to remove the sense of individuality and mask the reality of death.
Military 70 Their [the army’s] uniforms, flags, emblems, parades, music, and elaborate etiquette and ritual are designed to separate the soldier from his flesh-and-blood self and mask the overwhelming reality of life and death. Hoffer, The True Believer

Mass movements and armies are collective bodies, strip the individual of his separateness and distinctness, demand self-sacrifice and unquestioning obedience and are a refuge for the frustrated who cannot endure an autonomous existence.
Military 91 The similarities [between armies and mass movements] are many: both mass movements and armies are collective bodies; both strip the individual of his separateness and distinctness; both demand self-sacrifice, unquestioning obedience and single hearted allegiance; both make extensive use of make-believe to promote daring and united action; and both can serve as a refuge for the frustrated who cannot endure an autonomous existence. Hoffer, The True Believer

Unlike mass movements, armies are not to achieve salvation but an instrument for the preservation of established order.
Military 92 …the differences [between armies and mass movements] are fundamental: an army…is not a road to salvation…mainly an instrument devised for the preservation of an established order. Hoffer, The True Believer

Armies are designed to protect the present.
Military 92 The army is an instrument for bolstering, protecting, and expanding the present. Hoffer, The True Believer

JFK: The U.S. will never strike the first blow.
Military 681 JFK: “Our arms will never be used to strike the first blow in any attack.” Sorenson, Kennedy

The military must always be subject to civilian control.
Military 682 “Our arms must be subject to ultimate civilian control and command at all times, in war as well as peace. Sorenson, Kennedy

Military conflicts need more than military solutions.
Military 715 Military conflicts required more than military solutions…the Communists exploited genuine noncommunist grievances. Sorenson, Kennedy

War pricks the democratic bubble: People go from being citizens with equal rights to slaves of the military.
Military 150 One of the most amusing by-products of war is its pricking of the fundamental democratic delusion…Homo boobus…flapping his wings over his God-given rights, his inalienable freedom, his sublime equality to his masters…of a sudden he is thrust into a training camp, and discovers that he is a slave after all--that even his life is not his own.
Mencken, Minority Report.

We need a professional military just as we need businessmen, scientists, clergymen and scholars.
Military 481 Maxwell Taylor: We must perhaps progress further toward maturity before there will be a whole hearted acceptance at home of the continuing need for a large and respected military profession in the United States in the same way as there is a need for a class of businessmen, professional men, scientists, clergymen and scholars. Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest.

Our business is to fight, not to think.
Military 489 Our business is to do our duty, to fight, and not to think! Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Marching leads to a feeling of being part of an irresistible force.
Military 59 …when marching…I had a thrilling feeling of being part of a living, irresistible force…. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

The military uniform was a convict suit for a prison of the human spirit.
Military 63 We regarded the uniform as a convict suit, worn by inmates of the prison house of the human spirit….

The true test of an army is its spirit.
Military 203 I clung to my intuitive belief that the true test of any army is a matter of the spirits of men, which alone could not be improvised by American ingenuity or purchased by American wealth. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

The myth that the military was a melting pot.
Military 377 The popular belief that army life was melting all Americans from whatever social strata, of whatever personal interests, into one common amalgam was pure legend. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

In the crisis of battle, men became as one, but battles are brief and men return to making life as much like normal as possible.
Military 377 It is true that in the crisis of battle men became as one, but battles are of brief duration, and meanwhile life goes on—each man making it as nearly like the life he had left as he possibly could. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

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