„Ladies and gentlemen: War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children.“

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„We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children.“

— Jimmy Carter American politician, 39th president of the United States (in office from 1977 to 1981) 1924

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„Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.“

— Ernest Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway: A Literary Reference
Context: An aggressive war is the great crime against everything good in the world. A defensive war, which must necessarily turn to aggressive at the earliest moment, is the necessary great counter-crime. But never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead.

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Paul Fussell photo

„One of my favorite quotes is from Hemingway, who said, "Never persuade yourself that war, no matter how necessary, is not a crime." … It is. Sometimes it's necessary, but it's always awful, and that's my point.“

— Paul Fussell Recipient of the Purple Heart medal 1924 - 2012
Fussell here slightly paraphrases Hemingway's statement from his Foreword to Treasury for the Free World (1946): Never think that war, no matter how necessary nor how justified, is not a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead.

Margaret Mead photo

„It seems to me very important to continue to distinguish between two evils. It may be necessary temporarily to accept a lesser evil, but one must never label a necessary evil as good.“

— Margaret Mead American anthropologist 1902 - 1978
As quoted in Margaret Mead : Some Personal Views (1979) edited by Rhoda Métraux Variant: At times it may be necessary temporarily to accept a lesser evil, but one must never label a necessary evil as good. As quoted in American Quotations (1992) by Gorton Carruth and Eugene H. Ehrlich

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„Most "necessary evils" are far more evil than necessary.“

— Richard Branson, Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way

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 Menander photo

„Marriage, if one will face the truth, is an evil, but a necessary evil.“

—  Menander Athenian playwright of New Comedy -342 - -291 a.C.
Unidentified fragment 651.

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„All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.“

— Edmund Burke Anglo-Irish statesman 1729 - 1797
This is probably the most quoted statement attributed to Burke, and an extraordinary number of variants of it exist, but all without any definite original source. They closely resemble remarks known to have been made by the Utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill, in an address at the University of St. Andrew (1 February 1867) http://books.google.com/books?id=DFNAAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA36&dq=%22Bad+men+need+nothing+more+to+compass+their+ends,+than+that+good+men+should+look+on+and+do+nothing%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RUh5U6qWBLSysQT0vYGAAw&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%22Bad%20men%20need%20nothing%20more%20to%20compass%20their%20ends%2C%20than%20that%20good%20men%20should%20look%20on%20and%20do%20nothing%22&f=false : Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. The very extensively used remarks attributed to Burke might be based on a paraphrase of some of his ideas, but he is not known to have ever declared them in so succinct a manner in any of his writings. It has been suggested that they may have been adapted from these lines of Burke's in his Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents http://oll.libertyfund.org/Texts/LFBooks/Burke0061/SelectWorks/HTMLs/0005-01_Pt02_Thoughts.html (1770): "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." (see above)

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