Saddam Hussein was sitting in his office wondering who to invade next when his telephone rang. "Hallo! Mr. Hussein," a heavily accented voice said. "This is Paddy down in County Cavan, Ireland. I am ringing to inform you that we are officially declaring war on you!" "Well, Paddy," Saddam replied, "This is indeed important news! Tell me, how big is your army?" "At this moment in time," said Paddy after a moment's calculation, "there is myself, my cousin Sean, my next door neighbor Gerry, and the entire dominoes team from the pub -- that makes 8!" Saddam sighed. "I must tell you Paddy that I have 1 million men in my army waiting to move on my command." "Begorra!", said Paddy, "I'll have to ring you back!" Sure enough, the next day Paddy rang back. "Right Mr. Hussein, the war is still on! We have managed to acquire some equipment!" "And what equipment would that be, Paddy?" Saddam asked. "Well, we have 2 combine harvesters, a bulldozer and Murphy's tractor from the farm." Once more Saddam sighed. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 16 thousand tanks, 14 thousand armored personnel carriers, and my army has increased to 1 and a half million since we last spoke." "Really?!" said Paddy "I'll have to ring you back!" Sure enough, Paddy rang again the next day. "Right Mr. Hussein, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne! We've modified Ted's ultra-light with a couple of rifles in the cockpit and the bridge team has joined us as well!" Saddam was silent for a minute, then sighed. "I must tell you Paddy that I have 10 thousand bombers, 20 thousand MiG 19 attack planes, my military complex is surrounded by laser-guided surface-to-air missile sites, and since we last spoke, my army has increased to 2 million." "Faith and begorra!", said Paddy, "I'll have to ring you back. "Sure enough, Paddy called again the next day. "Right Mr. Hussein, I am sorry to tell you that we have had to call off the war." "I'm sorry to hear that" said Saddam. "Why the sudden change of heart?" "Well," said Paddy "We've all had a chat, and there's no way we can feed 2 million prisoners."permalink source: Anonymous
Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive, as we did during the war. And then, to mention the subject at all is to be greeted with howls of anger. It is not that people think this too high and difficult a virtue: it is that they think it hateful and contemptible. ‘That sort of talk makes me sick,’ they say. And half of them already want to ask me, ‘I wonder how you’d feel about forgiving the Gestapo if you were a Pole or a Jew?’ So do I. I wonder very much. -permalink source: C.S. Lewis, Learning in War-Time
A group of scholars recently reported that since 3,600 B.C. our world has known only 292 years of peace! In 5,603 years, about 4 billion people (that's two-thirds of today's world population!) have died in more than 14,000 wars, large and small.permalink source: R. Leslie Holmes: Wanted, Winning Warriors!
J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, made clear in his private writings he intended to proclaim a Christian message through his fictional writings. Tolkien lived through the two world wars, yet he never lost his faith that those catastrophes the devil intends for evil, God turns to good. He embedded that faith in the very creation of his famous imaginative world. In the posthumously published book The Silmarillion, Tolkien has the spirits sing Middle-earth into existence. The melody of Illuvatar (God) was "deep and wide and beautiful, but slow and blended with an immeasurable sorrow, from which its beauty chiefly came." Melkor (Satan) interfered with a loud, brash tune, trying to "drown the other music by the violence of its voice." But the "most triumphant notes" of Melkor's discordant song were "taken up by the other and woven into its own solemn pattern." As a man who himself had faced the monstrous evil that lay behind war, Tolkien didn't sugarcoat his message. He knew the horrific events God uses for good are no less horrific for those who experience them. In The Silmarillion, he put it this way: "Evil may yet be good to have been, and yet remain evil."permalink source: Chris Armstong, Christian History, "9/11, History, and the True Story"
It seems some people in Afghanistan are preparing for peacetime, as weapons are going for bargain prices these days. According to Time magazine, prices on knives, Kalashnikov rifles, and rocket-propelled grenades have dropped 50 percent since December: One dealer tried to interest a Time reporter in a Kalashnikov for the bargain price of $200, with 100 rounds thrown in "to close the sale." The man, who identified himself only as Abdul, said he wouldn't need his weapons anymore. "Peace has come to Afghanistan," he says. "The King is coming home, and people are sick of fighting." [note: this is as the war was winding down]permalink source: Simon Robinson, "Today's a Great Day to Buy a Used AK," TIME.com (4-9-02), (accessed 4-17-02);
Retired U.S. Marine Corps General Charles Krulak recounted a critical event in the Gulf War of 1991: The prevailing winds in the Gulf area blow from northeast to southwest. If you attack from the southwest, your enemy can release biological weapons into the air, and the chemicals will blow right into your face. It was a tremendous concern for the military in the southwestern desert and a grave prayer concern for many, both overseas and back home. On February 21, 1991, American forces began an attack from the southwest at four in the morning. Only three hours before, the prevailing winds had shifted from southwest to northeast, exactly 180 degrees from the direction the prevailing winds normally blow. The winds blew in that direction for four days, the four days of the duration of the war. Within thirty minutes of the surrender, the winds shifted back. That is the unbelievable power of prayer.permalink source: Marine General Charles Krulak, in a message given at the Wheaton, Illinois, Leadership Prayer Breakfast, October, 2000
I've been told that there are places in Europe where you can sink a spade into the earth, and in just two or three spadefuls of earth, you can dig up prehistoric artifacts and also bits of metal from much more modern times. In one spadeful of earth you might come up with a flint fist hatchet, which was used in prehistoric times to crush the skull of an enemy, and in that same bunch of earth, you will also find a bit of shrapnel from some shell fired during the Second World War. Crushing the skull in the one instance, blowing a person to bits in the other--that is a kind of parable of the history of humankind, isn't it? War after war after war. The absence of peace.permalink source: Bruce W. Thielemann, "Hark! The Herald Angels," Preaching Today, Tape No. 63.
“All killing is no more murder than all sexual intercourse is adultery.”permalink source: C. S. Lewis
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. “permalink source: John Stuart Mill
"You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war."permalink source: Churchill's remark after Chamberlain returned from signing the Munich pact with Hitler:
Let him who desires peace prepare for war. – Vegetius,375permalink source: Anonymous
Has anybody here seen “The Last Samurai?” That’s a great movie. I love samurais. I love ninja, too. But I really love samurai. There’s something cool about them—they’re these fierce warriors who live by a strict code of honor and assiduously cultivate their artistic sides. They do calligraphy and painting and poetry and all sorts of cool stuff. I think that’s one of the reasons that King David of Israel is one of my favorite heroes. He’s like a Jewish samurai. I mean think about it—this is a guy who leads the way in warfare no matter what the odds, who is passionately devoted to virtue and values, and who is one of the most famous poets in all of history. He’s totally a samurai. Now here’s the amazing thing. In Acts 13:22 we read God’s opinion of David, the warrior king of Israel: “‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; ” That’s cool—God likes samurais, too.permalink source: Anonymous
Nonviolent Resistance Only Works With Moral Opponents
The simple fact is that non-violent means do not work against Evil. Gandhi's non-violent resistance against the British occupiers had some effect because Britain was wrong, but not Evil. The same is true of the success of non-violent civil rights resistance against de jure racism. Most people, including those in power, knew that what was being done was wrong. But Evil is an entirely different beast. Gandhi would have gone to the ovens had he attempted non-violent resistance against the Nazis. When one encounters Evil, the only solution is violence, actual or threatened. That's all Evil understands.permalink source: Robert Bruce Thompson