War Crimes Quotes

Quotes tagged as "war-crimes" (showing 1-29 of 29)
Noam Chomsky
“For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.”
Noam Chomsky, Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World

Jennifer Egan
“It was the hat. He looked sweet in the hat. How could a man in a fuzzy blue hat have used human bones to pave his roads?”
Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad

Christopher Hitchens
“1. Bangladesh.... In 1971 ... Kissinger overrode all advice in order to support the Pakistani generals in both their civilian massacre policy in East Bengal and their armed attack on India from West Pakistan.... This led to a moral and political catastrophe the effects of which are still sorely felt. Kissinger’s undisclosed reason for the ‘tilt’ was the supposed but never materialised ‘brokerage’ offered by the dictator Yahya Khan in the course of secret diplomacy between Nixon and China.... Of the new state of Bangladesh, Kissinger remarked coldly that it was ‘a basket case’ before turning his unsolicited expertise elsewhere.

2. Chile.... Kissinger had direct personal knowledge of the CIA’s plan to kidnap and murder General René Schneider, the head of the Chilean Armed Forces ... who refused to countenance military intervention in politics. In his hatred for the Allende Government, Kissinger even outdid Richard Helms ... who warned him that a coup in such a stable democracy would be hard to procure. The murder of Schneider nonetheless went ahead, at Kissinger’s urging and with American financing, just between Allende’s election and his confirmation.... This was one of the relatively few times that Mr Kissinger (his success in getting people to call him ‘Doctor’ is greater than that of most PhDs) involved himself in the assassination of a single named individual rather than the slaughter of anonymous thousands. His jocular remark on this occasion—‘I don’t see why we have to let a country go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible’—suggests he may have been having the best of times....

3. Cyprus.... Kissinger approved of the preparations by Greek Cypriot fascists for the murder of President Makarios, and sanctioned the coup which tried to extend the rule of the Athens junta (a favoured client of his) to the island. When despite great waste of life this coup failed in its objective, which was also Kissinger’s, of enforced partition, Kissinger promiscuously switched sides to support an even bloodier intervention by Turkey. Thomas Boyatt ... went to Kissinger in advance of the anti-Makarios putsch and warned him that it could lead to a civil war. ‘Spare me the civics lecture,’ replied Kissinger, who as you can readily see had an aphorism for all occasions.

4. Kurdistan. Having endorsed the covert policy of supporting a Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq between 1974 and 1975, with ‘deniable’ assistance also provided by Israel and the Shah of Iran, Kissinger made it plain to his subordinates that the Kurds were not to be allowed to win, but were to be employed for their nuisance value alone. They were not to be told that this was the case, but soon found out when the Shah and Saddam Hussein composed their differences, and American aid to Kurdistan was cut off. Hardened CIA hands went to Kissinger ... for an aid programme for the many thousands of Kurdish refugees who were thus abruptly created.... The apercu of the day was: ‘foreign policy should not he confused with missionary work.’ Saddam Hussein heartily concurred.

5. East Timor. The day after Kissinger left Djakarta in 1975, the Armed Forces of Indonesia employed American weapons to invade and subjugate the independent former Portuguese colony of East Timor. Isaacson gives a figure of 100,000 deaths resulting from the occupation, or one-seventh of the population, and there are good judges who put this estimate on the low side. Kissinger was furious when news of his own collusion was leaked, because as well as breaking international law the Indonesians were also violating an agreement with the United States.... Monroe Leigh ... pointed out this awkward latter fact. Kissinger snapped: ‘The Israelis when they go into Lebanon—when was the last time we protested that?’ A good question, even if it did not and does not lie especially well in his mouth.

It goes on and on and on until one cannot eat enough to vomit enough.”
Christopher Hitchens

Noam Chomsky
“The new crimes that the US and Israel were committing in Gaza as 2009 opened do not fit easily into any standard category—except for the category of familiarity.”
Noam Chomsky, Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians

Christopher Hitchens
“Hitherto, the Palestinians had been relatively immune to this Allahu Akhbar style. I thought this was a hugely retrograde development. I said as much to Edward. To reprint Nazi propaganda and to make a theocratic claim to Spanish soil was to be a protofascist and a supporter of 'Caliphate' imperialism: it had nothing at all to do with the mistreatment of the Palestinians. Once again, he did not exactly disagree. But he was anxious to emphasize that the Israelis had often encouraged Hamas as a foil against Fatah and the PLO. This I had known since seeing the burning out of leftist Palestinians by Muslim mobs in Gaza as early as 1981. Yet once again, it seemed Edward could only condemn Islamism if it could somehow be blamed on either Israel or the United States or the West, and not as a thing in itself. He sometimes employed the same sort of knight's move when discussing other Arabist movements, excoriating Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, for example, mainly because it had once enjoyed the support of the CIA. But when Saddam was really being attacked, as in the case of his use of chemical weapons on noncombatants at Halabja, Edward gave second-hand currency to the falsified story that it had 'really' been the Iranians who had done it. If that didn't work, well, hadn't the United States sold Saddam the weaponry in the first place? Finally, and always—and this question wasn't automatically discredited by being a change of subject—what about Israel's unwanted and ugly rule over more and more millions of non-Jews?

I evolved a test for this mentality, which I applied to more people than Edward. What would, or did, the relevant person say when the United States intervened to stop the massacres and dispossessions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo? Here were two majority-Muslim territories and populations being vilely mistreated by Orthodox and Catholic Christians. There was no oil in the region. The state interests of Israel were not involved (indeed, Ariel Sharon publicly opposed the return of the Kosovar refugees to their homes on the grounds that it set an alarming—I want to say 'unsettling'—precedent). The usual national-security 'hawks,' like Henry Kissinger, were also strongly opposed to the mission. One evening at Edward's apartment, with the other guest being the mercurial, courageous Azmi Bishara, then one of the more distinguished Arab members of the Israeli parliament, I was finally able to leave the arguing to someone else. Bishara [...] was quite shocked that Edward would not lend public support to Clinton for finally doing the right thing in the Balkans. Why was he being so stubborn? I had begun by then—belatedly you may say—to guess. Rather like our then-friend Noam Chomsky, Edward in the final instance believed that if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Eastward and westward storms are breaking,--great, ugly whirlwinds of hatred and blood and cruelty. I
“Eastward and westward storms are breaking,--great, ugly whirlwinds of hatred and blood and cruelty. I will not believe them inevitable.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois

Christopher Hitchens
“The burden therefore rests with the American legal community and with the American human-rights lobbies and non-governmental organizations. They can either persist in averting their gaze from the egregious impunity enjoyed by a notorious war criminal and lawbreaker, or they can become seized by the exalted standards to which they continually hold everyone else. The current state of suspended animation, however, cannot last. If the courts and lawyers of this country will not do their duty, we shall watch as the victims and survivors of this man pursue justice and vindication in their own dignified and painstaking way, and at their own expense, and we shall be put to shame.”
Christopher Hitchens, The Trial of Henry Kissinger

Savitri Devi
“A 'civilization' that makes such a ridiculous fuss about alleged 'war crimes' - acts of violence against the actual or potential enemies of one's cause - and tolerates slaughterhouses and vivisection laboratories, and circuses and the fur industry (infliction of pain upon creatures that can never be for or against any cause), does not deserve to live.”
Savitri Devi

Helen Thomas
“You cannot criticize Israel in this country (USA) and survive”
Helen Thomas

Thisuri Wanniarachchi
“War crimes, you say?

No matter how many policies you put on paper, in reality, there are no rights and wrongs in war. War itself is a crime. War cannot be justified.

I believe, the only people, in this world, whose opinions matter, are the ones who go the extra mile to help other people expecting nothing in return.

Soldiers who fight fiercely for their country, the doctors in Sri Lanka's public hospitals attending to hundreds of patients at a time for no extra pay , the nuns who voluntarily teach English and math to children of refugee camps in the north, the monks who collect food to feed entire villages during crises, they are the people worth listening to, their opinion matters.

So find me one of them who will say: they wish the war didn't end in 2009, that they wish Sri Lanka was divided into two parts. Find me one of them who agrees with the international war crime allegations against Sri Lanka, and I will listen.

But I will not listen to the opinions of those who are paid to find faults in a war they were never a part of, a war they never experienced themselves. I will not listen to the opinions of those who watched the war on tv or read about it on the internet or were moved by a documentary on Al Jazeera.

The war is over. The damage is done. Let Sri Lanka move on. So our children will never have to see what we've seen.”
Thisuri Wanniarachchi

Paul Fussell
“Wars damage the civilian society as much as they damage the enemy. Soldiers never get over it.”
Paul Fussell

“Humility is a virtue of the heavenly, not arrogance. Are we the most superior beast on earth? No, not in strength and not in intelligence. It is very arrogant to assume that we are the most intelligent species when we keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Both rats and monkeys have been shown to learn from error, yet we have not. More people have died in the name of religion than any other cause on earth. Is massacring God’s creations really serving God – or the devil? And what father would want to see his children constantly divided and fighting? What God would allow a single human life to be sacrificed for monetary gain? Again, the Creator or the devil?”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Christopher Hitchens
“Kissinger projects a strong impression of a man at home in the world and on top of his brief. But there are a number of occasions when it suits him to pose as a sort of Candide: naive, and ill-prepared for and easily unhorsed by events. No doubt this pose costs him something in point of self-esteem. It is a pose, furthermore, which he often adopts at precisely the time when the record shows him to be knowledgeable, and when knowledge or foreknowledge would also confront him with charges of responsibility or complicity.”
Christopher Hitchens, The Trial of Henry Kissinger

Randolph Bourne
“The American intellectuals, in their preoccupation with reality, seem to have forgotten that the real enemy is War rather than imperial Germany. There is work to be done to prevent this war of ours from passing into popular mythology as a holy crusade. What shall we do with leaders who tell us that we go to war in moral spotlessness or who make “democracy” synonymous with a republican form of government?”
Randolph Bourne

Christopher Hitchens
“Suppose that we agree that the two atrocities can or may be mentioned in the same breath. Why should we do so? I wrote at the time (The Nation, October 5, 1998) that Osama bin Laden 'hopes to bring a "judgmental" monotheism of his own to bear on these United States.' Chomsky's recent version of this is 'considering the grievances expressed by people of the Middle East region.' In my version, then as now, one confronts an enemy who wishes ill to our society, and also to his own (if impermeable religious despotism is considered an 'ill'). In Chomsky's reading, one must learn to sift through the inevitable propaganda and emotion resulting from the September 11 attacks, and lend an ear to the suppressed and distorted cry for help that comes, not from the victims, but from the perpetrators. I have already said how distasteful I find this attitude. I wonder if even Chomsky would now like to have some of his own words back? Why else should he take such care to quote himself deploring the atrocity? Nobody accused him of not doing so. It's often a bad sign when people defend themselves against charges which haven't been made.”
Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

Noam Chomsky
“Respectable opinion would never consider an assessment of the Reagan Doctrine or earlier exercises in terms of their actual human costs, and could not comprehend that such an assessment—which would yield a monstrous toll if accurately conducted on a global scale—might perhaps be a proper task in the United States. At the same level of integrity, disciplined Soviet intellectuals are horrified over real or alleged American crimes, but perceive their own only as benevolent intent gone awry, or errors of an earlier day, now overcome; the comparison is inexact and unfair, since Soviet intellectuals can plead fear as an excuse for their services to state violence.”
Noam Chomsky, The Culture of Terrorism

E.A. Bucchianeri
“I dispute the point that nuclear energy is 'clean' and 'cost-effective'. As I recall, when we first harnessed nuclear power it was to drop an atom bomb on a civilian population, not to save the environment. However, you must admit, the victors are never tried for war crimes.”
E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly,

“At the end of this journey, it seems to me that reconciling the long shadows cast by the uneasy past may ultimately depend on elements so basic that they bring to mind a simple Slav proverb I once came across and never forgot: Eat bread and salt and speak the truth. They are the recovery of fact, public accountability and the instituting of fair trials of one sort or another, to help mark ends and beginnings and to return the moral compass as close to the centre as possible.”
Erna Paris, Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History

“But witnesses incur responsibilities, as anyone who has ever seen a traffic accident and had to go to court to testify, knows. In the new world of globally televised war crimes, the defence of 'not knowing,' or neutrality, will dissolve for everyone. To be a witness or bystander is not a value-free choice but, inadvertently, a moral position; and in this sense the 'guilt' of people who live with the memory of crimes committed by members of their families, or communities, has been unwittingly extended to everyone who watches appalling pictures on the news.”
Erna Paris, Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History

“To advocate war is to advocate murder on a grand scale.”
Anthony T.Hincks

Seth Dickinson
“The Hierarchic Qualm: The sword kills. But the arm moves the sword. Is the arm to blame for murder? No. The mind moves the arm. Is the mind to blame? No. The mind has sworn an oath to duty, and that duty moves the mind, as written by the Throne. So it is that a servant of the Throne is blameless.”
Seth Dickinson, The Traitor Baru Cormorant

“The Allied governments, for example, with the British as executors, maintained in place the food blockade of Germany that had been in effect since 1917. A British authority would note that “in the last two years of the war, nearly 800,000 noncombatants died in Germany from starvation or diseases attributed to undernourishment. The biggest mortality was among children between the ages of 5 and 1 5, where the death rate increased by 55 percent. . . a whole generation [the one which had been born and lived during Hitler’s rise to power] grew up in an epoch of undernourishment and misery such as we [British] have never in this country experienced.”3 A distinguished American authority on United States foreign policy in the first half of the twentieth century, Stanford University professor Thomas A. Bailey, noted that “the Allied slow starvation of Germany’s civilian population was quiet, unspectacular, and censored.”4 The Englishman Gilbert Murray, writing in 1933, noted that future historians would probably regard the establishment and continuation of the blockade as one of those many acts of almost incredible inhumanity which made World War I conspicuous in history.
-- Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny, p. 122”
Russel H.S. Stolfi

Leon Wieseltier
“Surely it is foolish to hate facts. The struggle against the past is a futile struggle. Acceptance seems so much more like wisdom. I know all this. And yet there are some facts that one must never, never accept. This is not merely an emotional matter. The reason that one must hate certain facts is that one must prepare for the possibility of their return. If the past were really past, then one might permit oneself an attitude of acceptance, and come away from the study of history with a feeling of serenity. But the past is often only an earlier instantiation of the evil in our hearts. It is not precisely the case that history repeats itself. We repeat history—or we do not repeat it, if we choose to stand in the way of its repetition. For this reason, it is one of the purposes of the study of history that we learn to oppose it.”
Leon Wieseltier, Kaddish

Widad Akreyi
“I Will Follow Anyone
And Remind Everyone
Of The Targeted Civilians...
In Kurdistan Regions”
Widad Akrawi

Henry V. O'Neil
“Well tonight we’re passing an amendment. I call it Jander’s Law.”
Henry V. O'Neil, Live Echoes

“I felt entangled now: this March, this South, this war, history. History could not possibly let the South get away with slavery; history would not possibly let us get away with what we were doing to the South. Somehow or other, we'd both have to pay.”
Cynthia Bass, Sherman's March

Mark  Ferguson
“In all bluefolk the immune system is quite advanced. A large number of relevant genes seem to be imported from the crocodile: those creatures live in stagnant, muddy water in much warmer climates, where they are exposed to many diseases and parasites. Wrestling with prey or each other, they may be wounded, but the dirty swamp water in the cut is mostly harmless. It was a very important acquisition by the Auravelus; it meant that virtually none of the old bioweapons were effective against them. More ordinary bluefolk could still suffer under a few recipes, but often no more than a rash. Chemical weapons had to be used instead. Infection or contamination through wounds was largely useless; our Asian friends determined that inhalation was a more viable route. Concoctions made against the lungs, as aerosols, were the most successful”
Mark Ferguson, Terra Incognita

Amnesty International
“The vast majority of arrests carried out by the military appear to be entirely arbitrary, often based solely on the dubious word of a paid informant. Military sources repeatedly told Amnesty International that the informants are unreliable and often provide false information in order to get paid.

One officer said: "The military uses civilian informants to get information and arrest suspects. Most of these informants are liars. They give false information to the soldiers who are desperate to simply shoot and kill. Many of the soldiers don't know about investigations. The soldiers take these rash actions mainly out of frustration, especially after seeing their colleagues killed.”
Amnesty International, Nigeria: Stars on their shoulders. Blood on their hands: War crimes committed by the Nigerian military

“I refuse to watch or listen to Tony Blair, unless he is on trial at the Hague.”
Fuad Alakbarov, Exodus