Here you can find a selection of historical quotes, which have been selected by SIPER as particulary relevant for a critical examination of the issues of war and peace.
«Islamist terrorism is no more a consequence of Islam and reveals no more about that religion’s inner truths than do the autodafés of the Inquisition about the Catholic faith and the witch-hunts about Protestantism. Certainly it needs to be investigated how such belief systems could lead to such perversions but this is no ground for denying the first step of any reasonable assessment: to distinguish between Protestantism and organised with crazes, between Catholicism and the terror of the Inquisition and indeed also between Islam and Islamism. To deny this would be completely unreasonable and unacceptable from a humanist perspective. »
Frieder Otto Wolf (*1943), Political Scientist and Honorary Professor for Philosophy at the Free University Berlin.
Quoted: Wolf, F.O., 2015. Pegida: „Das ist nicht nur inhuman, sondern ganz bewusst antihuman“. Humanismus (accessed 09-01-2015), http://www.humanismus.de/aktuelles/pegida-nicht-nur-inhuman-sondern-ganz-bewusst-antihuman
Origin of photo: Prof. Dr. Frieder Otto Wolf / CC BY-SA 3.0
«On October 12, 2001, a couple of days after the bombing started, Bush publicly announced to the Afghan people that "we will continue to bomb you, unless your leadership turns over to us the people whom we suspect of carrying out crimes, although we refuse to give you any evidence ..." Notice that this is a textbook illustration of international terrorism, according to the US official definition ... It's very simple: If they do it, it's terrorism. If we do it, it's counter-terrorism ... If people cannot rise to the level of applying to ourselves the same standards we apply to others, we have no right to talk about right and wrong or good and evil.»
Noam Chomsky (*1928), American Professor Emeritus for Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in an interview for the Dissident Voice.
Quoted: Chomsky, N., 2002. The Middle East and the US War on Terror. Dissident Voice, published July 28, 2002, http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles/Chomsky_DV-HotType.htm (accessed January 24, 2013).
Origin of photo: Andrew Rusk / CC BY 2.0
«International politics never is about democracy or human rights. The interests of states are what really counts. Remember this, no matter what is being told to you in history class.»
Egon Bahr (1922-2015), German politician and Federal Minister for Special Affairs from 1972-1974 and Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation from 1974-1976.
«I believe that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are the two greatest dangers to world peace ... It is Saudi Arabia, through the Wahhabist doctrine, that is spreading terrorism across the globe. It’s not Iran, it’s not Syria or any other country ... Turkey is actively assisting the ISIS rebels and helping the Al-Nusra rebels which are linked with Al-Qaeda ... And it comes out of Turkey with approval from the highest levels of government.»
Dick Black (*1944), is an American politician and a Republican member of the Virginia State Senate.
Quoted: Dick Black in an interview on RT America, broadcasted in January 11, 2016.
Origin of photo: RT America via YouTube / Public Domain
«The US Consulate in Frankfurt is a CIA hacker base. People go there from the Central Intelligence Agency, they are given instructions about how to get passed German customs, and they operate out of their hacker base to attack targets within Europe, within Africa, and within the Middle East.»
Julian Assange (*1971), is an Australian computer programmer, publisher and journalist. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of the organisation WikiLeaks.
«Daesh [IS] is our [Sunni] response to your [American] support for the Dawa [the Iran-aligned Islamic Dawa Party of Iraq]. »
Prince Saud al-Faisal (1940-2015), was a member of the Saudi royal family, Saudi diplomat and statesman who served as Saudi Arabia's foreign minister from 1975 to 2015.
«By preying on the modern necessity to stay connected, governments can reduce our dignity to something like that of tagged animals, the primary difference being that we paid for the tags and they’re in our pockets. It sounds like fantasist paranoia, but on the technical level it’s so trivial to implement that I cannot imagine a future in which it won’t be attempted. It will be limited to the war zones at first, in accordance with our customs, but surveillance technology has a tendency to follow us home.»
Edward Snowden (*1983), is an American whistleblower.
«There are good reasons why the current debate on future military conflicts is mainly about territorial claims in the South China Sea … Developing countries continue to grow at an unprecedented rate and thus increase the competition for the resources on which such growth is based.»
Stanley McChrystal (*1954), US-General Stanley McChrystal, from 2003 until 2008: Commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and Head of the Operations of US Special Units in Iraq and Afghanistan.
«The US are bombarding the Middle East for many years, but it is as if the Europeans should have to cope with the flow of the refugees. Again, Merkel is revealing herself to be an abiding vassal of Big Brother. And yet it should primarily be the responsibility of the US to accept people who are fleeing from their oil wars.»
Oskar Lafontaine (*1943), is a German politician who served in the government of Germany as Minister of Finance from 1998 to 1999. Previously he was Minister-President of the state of Saarland from 1985 to 1998, and he was also Chairman of the Social Democratic Party from 1995 to 1999.
«I believe that NATO intentionally fuels the perception of Russia as a threat … Like any organization, the North Atlantic Alliance wants to continue existing and the only reason for prolonging its existence is you … the Russians.»
Yves Bonnet (*1935), French politician and former head of Directorate of Territorial Surveillance, DST (Direction de la Surveillance du territoire) between 1982-1985.
«It is not the case, as preached by the propaganda of political and medial headquarters, that terror comes from the Middle East and that our societies have to react to it relentlessly. Quite the opposite: terror emanates from Washington and its allies and also comes back to those centers in its entirety.»
Hannes Hofbauer (*1955), is an Austrian historian, journalist and publisher.
Quoted: Hannes Hofbauer in: Hintergrund, Der Nahe Osten brennt (08-11-2016)
Origin of photo: YouTube / Public Domain
«War, defined as destructive group aggression, is the result of cultural evolution and can therefore also be culturally overcome. War uses some universal properties of man, like his aggressive emotionality and his willingness of group defense, his pursuit of dominance, his territorial inclination, his readiness to respond to agonal signals of strangers, and much more. Yet all of this would never lead to war. War requires planning, leadership, destructive weapons and the overcome of compassion via dehumanization of the enemy. At this point, man proves to be easily indoctrinable.»
Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt (*1928), is an Austrian biologist, behavioral scientist and founder of human ethology.
Quoted: Eibl-Eibesfeldt. I., 1984. Die Biologie des menschlichen Verhaltens - Grundriß der Humanethologie: Zwischengruppenaggressionen - Krieg. Piper, München, 3. edition, p. 565.
Origin of photo: Peter Korneffel / CC BY-SA 3.0
«Evil can be characterized as follows: no feeling of empathy and a focus on an extreme exertion of power ... War includes everything that defines the evil code: sadism, authorization of aggression, dehumanization of the enemy, detailed planning and severe instrumental violence.»
Reinhard Haller (*1951), is an Austrian psychiatrist, psychotherapist und neurologist.
Quoted: Reinhard Haller in: "Die dunkle Macht bleibt immer konstant", interview moderated by Sibylle Fritsch, published in "PSYCHOLOGIE HEUTE" (7 / 2010)
Origin of photo: Sven Wolter / CC BY-SA 3.0 DE
«They don’t hate ‘our freedoms.’ They hate that we’ve betrayed our ideals in their own countries — for oil.»
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr (*1954), is an American radio host, environmental activist, author and attorney specializing in environmental law.
«I think its implausible to believe that 19 people, most of whom didn't speak English, most of whom had never been in the United States before, many didn't have a high school education, could have carried out such a complicated task [the hijacking and target-oriented piloting of airliners on 9/11] without some support from within the United States.»
Bob Graham (*1936), is an American politician and author. He was the 38th Governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987 and a United States Senator from that state from 1987 to 2005.
«First to spread terror and then to fight it with arms shipments and terrorist wars while destabilizing whole regions, inhumane suffering and millions of refugees included, and everything only in order to enlarge one own's sphere of influence and to secure lucrative resources - who sees this NATO-strategy as a world-oriented policy and who thinks Germany's responsibility in the world is to stand in the front line of this policy, I think, should check up his state of mind.»
Sahra Wagenknecht (*1969), is a German politician, graduated economist, and publicist.
«Money has little to do with wealth. The real rich are carefree. Those who are healthy, are not dependent. The greatest wealth is independence.»
Oswald Grübel (*1943), is a German banker who was the Group Chief Executive Officer of Swiss bank UBS AG from 2009 until 2011. Previously, he has been head of Crédit Suisse between 2003 and 2007.
«It is NATO that is moving towards our border and we aren't moving anywhere.»
Vladimir Putin (*1952), President of the Russian Federation since 2012.
«Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.»
Martin Gilens & Benjamin Page (year unknown & 1939), are professors of politics at Princeton University & of decision making at Northwestern University.
Quoted: Martin Gilens & Benjamin I. Page (2014). Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens. Perspectives on Politics, vol. 12. p. 564.
Origin of photo: Daniel Schwen / CC BY-SA 4.0
«The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public.»
Harold Pinter (1930-2008), was a Nobel Prize-winning English playwright, screenwriter, director and actor.
«Tax the rich. End the wars. Break the power of lobbies in Washington. These are the demands of Occupy Wall Street. They are very important. The US corporations dominate Washington. The big oil companies, Wall Street banks and the military-industrial complex – they rule this country and their influence and power has to be broken.»
Jeffrey Sachs (*1954), US Economist, Professor für sustainable development, Columbia University New York.
Quoted: Unterstützung der «Occupy Walllstreet»-Aktivisten von ungewohnter Seite, NZZ, November 17, 2011. Videolink Youtube Mandorousti 7.10.11: Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University professor) Supports Occupy Wall Street.
Origin of photo: ImagineCup / CC BY 2.0
«We've destabilized the entire region, created chaos. And then we blame ISIS for the chaos we have created.»
Oliver Stone (*1946), is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. Many of Stone's films primarily focus on controversial American political issues during the late 20th century. We won 3 Oscars for his works.
«I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows. The Iraq war is largely about oil.»
Alan Greenspan (*1926), is an American economist who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006.
«I think that the dangerous, you know, edges here are that [Trump] is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts ... [Trump] could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job.»
Mika Brzezinski (*1967), is an American television host, author and political commentator. She is the daughter of Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter and counselor to President Lyndon B. Johnson.
«The US will not be able to geopolitically withdraw from the Middle East because the Gulf States remain the petrol station for the world economy. Moreover, the US will not yield control over this economic powerhouse to any other, or even hostile, power as long as it seeks to retain its status as a global super power.»
Joschka Fischer (*1948), is former Minister for Foreign Affairs in Germany, lobbyist and now a political consultant with Joschka Fischer & Company.
«German law forbids a war of aggression as well. Under Article 26, Paragraph 1 of the German Constitution, actions that are appropriate and have the purpose of disrupting the peaceful coexistence of nations, especially the preparation of a war of aggression, are against the constitution. They should be penalized.»
Jürgen Grässlin (*1957) is a German teacher, publicist and peace activist. He is regarded since the 1990ies as the leading German critic of the arms industry and has published a multitude of books about this subject.
«Once when he happened in some connexion to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, ‘just to keep people frightened’.»
George Orwell (1903-1950), pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic.
Quoted: Julia talking to Winston in: Orwell, G., 1949. Nineteen Eighty-Four. Secker and Warburg, London, Part Two, Chapter 5, p. 193.
Origin of photo: Branch of the National Union of Journalists / Public Domain
«If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Why does our gov get a free pass on this?»
Tulsi Gabbard (*1981), is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who has been the United States Representative for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district since 2013.
Quoted: Twitter, @TulsiGabbard, 10-12-2016, https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/807680789928407040
Origin of photo: United States Congress - Office of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard / Public Domain
«I don’t think there is a war on terror. I think that’s a propaganda notion. The attacks of September 11 were appropriated by a clique in the US establishment in order to further its aims around the world. If that isn’t clear to most people as I belive it is, then I don’t know where they have been for the last few years … It’s as if there really is a war on terror. And there isn’t a war on terror. There is a war of terror.»
John Pilger (*1939) Australian journalist, writer and documentary film producer in an interview with the theme "Iraq, Terrorism and 9/11", discussing the reporting on the "War on Terror" after the events of 11 September, 2001.
Quoted: Interview piece from the documentary "Iraq, Terrorism and 9/11" for the Media Workers Against the War-Konferenz "THE FIRST CASUALTY? War, Truth and the Media Today" at the London School of Economics on November 17. 2007.
Origin of photo: Walnut Whippet / CC BY 2.0
«You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that: it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.»
Rahm Emanuel (*1959), is an American politician who serves as the 55th Mayor of Chicago. A member of the Democratic Party, Emanuel was elected in 2011, becoming Chicago's first Jewish mayor. He was reelected on April 7, 2015.
«I have the suspicion that all terrorisms, no matter if the German RAF, the Italian Red Brigades, The French, the Irish, the Spanish or the Arabs, are equal in their disrespect for human life. Only certain forms of state terrorism outperform them.»
Helmut Schmidt (1918-2015), was a German statesman and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), who served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1974 to 1982.
«It's on a day-to-day basis, about 7,500 men and women across SOCOM are deployed to somewhere between 80 and 90 countries around the world. And that's pretty much steady state for us right now. And then on top of that there's probably another 3,800 that are forward positioned around the world, in forward locations outside of the United States and then of course a sizeable portion that every day stands ready to respond to a crisis and be ready to do things, that's a key part of it.»
Joseph Votel (*1958), is a four-star general in the United States Army who currently serves as the 10th commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command.