"Yes, beasts we are; beasts they have made us. Years of war and hell; beasts
they have made us!"
—The cry of a group of German workers driven by hunger in the aftermath of war to steal the hero and heroine's precious harvest of potatoes in D. W. Griffith's ISN'T LIFE WONDERFUL? (1924).
"While we fight
for them, they steal our homes--our fields! They kill us slow--why not
we die like soldiers die?"
Orders! Mud! Blood! Stinking stiffs! What the hell
do we get out of this war anyway? Cheers when we left and when we
get back! But who the hell cares--after this?"
In a speech entitled "Men Like War" that he made in Los Angeles in January, 1966, linking war to male dominance, King Vidor called for US withdrawal from Vietnam, "not tomorrow but today." In his 1972 book on filmmaking, Vidor wrote:
"Today's new freedom is a sign of the times, an indication of an era of debunking that has been brought to a head by the obvious phoniness of the Vietnam War. It stands to reason that we cannot expose the hypocrisies of this war without becoming aware of innumerable other hypocrisies we have blithely accepted over the years. After all, nudity and sex have been part of life since the dawn of time. As for violence, observe the dignity and honors showered on the warmakers of the past."
rotten about a world that's got to be wet down every thirty years with
the blood of boys like those."
"My men look
at me like whipped dogs--white-faced boys with the stink of the dead in
their nostrils--and all night long that wounded sniper in a tree screaming
for mercy! You talk about honor and courage, and a man bleeds to
death on a cross above your head. . . .WHAT PRICE GLORY, NOW?"
came back once--they came back twice--they will not come back three times.
They are so strong and beautiful. They are too young to--die--"
for men fresh from the front, whose minds carried the image of unutterable
horrors--here was forgetfulness. . . . ."
the name of the tsar, the fatherland and money!"
"War is now an
outlaw and will be hunted from the face of the earth. Those ten million
men have not died in vain."
"War is never
a solution-it's an aggravation."
"I think it's
more a kind of fever. Nobody wants it in particular and then all at once
there it is. We didn't want it, the English didn't want it, and yet
here we are fighting."
God, why did they do this to us? We only wanted to live, you and I. If
we threw away these rifles and these uniforms, you could be my brother
just like Kat and Albert."
"It's dirty and
painful to die for your country. When it comes to dying for your
country, it's better not to die at all. There are millions out there
dying for their countries and what good is it? . . . He says go out and
die. But oh, if you'll pardon me, it's easier to say go out and die than
it is to do it. And it's easier,.to say it than to watch it happen."
"All our lives
are ruined! All of us are to blame--every last one of us!"
A United States
senator on the efforts of the American ambassador to Sylvania to influence
its government to sign a commercial treaty:
fighting for something that doesn't exist."
"We're not women
anymore. I'm not. You don't suppose I can go through it, living in mud,
smelling the dead and still come out of it like I was. Betty, I kissed
a man once. He was dying. He'd got in the way of a shell. I'll never forget
the sight--just a thing with two blind eyes. He was off his nut and thought
I was his wife. I kissed him and heard the rattle. I went on my first bender
after that. I got cockeyed--it was the first time."
war isn't going to last forever."
people got slaughtered and they're already talking about another war. And
the next time there'll be ninety million, and the world calls that sane.
Well, then, I want to be insane."
"Who sent that
young man out to kill Germans? Huh? And who sent my boy, and
yours . . . Who gave them the bullets and gas and bayonets? We, the
fathers, here and on the other side. We're too old to fight but we're
not too old to hate. We're responsible! When thousands of other
men's sons were killed, we called it victory and celebrated with beer.
And when thousands of our sons were killed, they called it victory and
celebrated with wine. Fathers drink to the death of sons! My
heart isn't with you any longer, old men. My heart's with the young,
dead and living, everywhere, anywhere! I stood in front of this hotel
when my son marched by. He was going to his death and I cheered."'
"Here I am in
the trenches. Any moment an attack might begin. I have a revolver,
a gun, a bayonet and a hand grenade, and before God, I don't know why.
Whom am I going to kill and for what? For two years, I lived in Paris and
I love the French. And now I am told to kill them. The noise
is getting awful. How much longer will I live, and when I die, who will
benefit by it?
to the war, then! I'm not going to. I can't. Rule Britannia!
Send us victorious, happy and glorious! Drink, Joey, you're only
a baby still, but you're old enough for war. Drink as the Germans
are drinking tonight, to victory and defeat, and stupid, tragic, sorrow.
But don't ask me to do it, please!"
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