Gary Littman


Garry Littman is the owner and director of The Language House in Geneva which organises English language training for professional people, companies and students. He was a radio and newspaper journalist in his native Australia and ran a restaurant in Kathmandu in his younger days. He is an English language trainer and an aficionado of pétanque.

Only the dead have seen the end of war

Are you ready for war?

Are you be armed with an opinion? Are you prepared for the gruelling slog of café and dinner table debates and discussions?

If you feel like you are a casualty lost in a cloud of dove and hawk feathers then here are a few timely and salient quotes and film clips of war. All guaranteed to ruffle a few feathers and perhaps allow you to feather your own cap. Be prepared.


Only the dead have seen the end of war.

Plato, Greek philosopher

God created war so that Americans would learn geography. 

Mark Twain, American writer

In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister World War II

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die.

Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher/writer

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.

Jimmy Carter, former USA president

Cinema: The first fight (part one) Space Odyssey 2001, Stanley Kubrick

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.

Jeannette Rankin, first woman in the United States Congress

There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.

Sun Tzu, Chinese General 6th centrury

No one won the last war, and no one will win the next war.

Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of USA president

Cinema: The first fight (part two) Space Odyssey 2001, Stanley Kubrick

What I discovered was that over ninety percent of all national deficits from 1921 to 1939 were caused by payments for past, present, and future wars.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, former USA president

War is what happens when language fails.

Margaret Atwood, writer

Cinema: I love the smell of napalm Apocolypse Now, Francic Ford Coppola

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.

Albert Einstein, physicist

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

George Orwell, British writer

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

Voltaire, French writer, historian and philosopher

There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for.

Albert Camus, French writer and philospher

Dad, how do soldiers killing each other solve the world's problems?

Calvin and Hobbes carton strip, written by Bill Watterson

Cinema: This country’s going to war - Duck Soup - The Marx Brothers

Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.

Martin Luther King Jr., leader of African-American Civil Rights movement

If you insist upon fighting to protect me, or ‘our’ country, let it be understood, soberly and rationally between us, that you are fighting to gratify a sex instinct which I cannot share; to procure benefits which I have not shared and probably will not share; but not to gratify my instincts, or protect either myself or my country. For, the outside will say, in fact, as a woman, I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world...

Virginia Woolf, English writer

How can you have a war on terrorism when war itself is terrorism?

 Howard Zinn, American historian and  playwright

Fighting for peace, is like f***ing for chastity

Stephen King, American novelist in his book Hearts in Atlantis

They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.

Ernest Hemingway, American writer

Cinema: This is the End, The Doors Apocolyspe Now

War and drink are the two things man is never too poor to buy.

William Faulkner, American writer and Nobel Prize laureate

Men make war to get attention. All killing is an expression of self-hate.

Alice Walker, American author and activist

 Cinema: Dance with the world The Dictator, Charlie Chaplin

The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on.

Joseph Heller, American writer

For war there is always enough. It's peace that's expensive.

Joseph Heller, American writer

One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror

George W. Bush former USA president

Cinema: He will see the big board Dr Strangeglove, Stanley Kubrick

The work of educating the world to peace is the woman’s job, because men have a natural fear of being classed as cowards if they oppose war.

Jeanette Rankin,  First woman to enter U.S. House of Representative in 1917.

War is to man what maternity is to a woman. 

 Benito Mussolini, Italian dictactor

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