The reason territorial monarchs failed time after time against maritime powers was not that absolutist, non-consensual governments were incapable of building great fleets in peace - quite the reverse - but that they were unable to fund them in the crises of war. Mainly this was because they were forced to divert resources from the fleet to their armies, to fight territorial rivals frequently financed by their maritime enemy from the profits of sea trade.
In the Islamic world, the U.S. is seen in two quite different ways. One view recognizes what an extraordinary country the U.S. is. Every Arab or Muslim that I know is tremendously interested in the United States. Many of them send their children here for education. Many of them come here for vacations. They do business here or get their training here. The other view is of the official United States, the United States of armies and interventions.
We in astrophysics we think of the universe all the time. So to us, Earth is just another planet. From a distance, it's a speck. And I'm convinced that if everyone had a cosmic perspective you wouldn't have legions of armies waging war on other people because someone would say, "Stop, look at the universe."
The soul may be compared to a field of battle, where the armies are ready every moment to encounter. Not a single vice but has a more powerful opponent, and not one virtue but may be overborne by a combination of vices.
There are guerrilla armies that make little boys kill their own families. Such acts rip out the soul and make space for beasts to grow inside. Armies need beasts, don’t they? Pet beasts, to do their terrible work!
The compelling thing about making art—or making anything, I suppose—is the moment when the vaporous, insubstantial idea becomes a solid there, a thing, a substance in a world of substances. Circe, Nimbue, Artemis, Athena, all the old sorceresses: they must have known the feeling as they transformed mere men into fabulous creatures, stole the secrets of the magicians, disposed armies: ah, look, there it is, the new thing. Call it a swine, a war, a laurel tree. Call it art.
The potential savings in the national budgets from the elimination of police, criminal courts, standing armies, pollution control agencies, drug enforcement, and many poverty programs is almost beyond calculation.
In circumstances as dark as these, it becomes us, as Men and Christians, to reflect that whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments, ...at the same time all confidence must be withheld from the means we use; and reposed only on that God rules in the armies of Heaven, and without His whole blessing, the best human counsels are but foolishness.
Suppose we were (as we might be) an influence, an idea, a thing intangible, invulnerable, without front or back, drifting about like a gas? Armies were like plants, immobile, firm-rooted, nourished through long stems to the head. We might be a vapour, blowing where we listed Ours should be a war of detachment. We were to contain the enemy by the silent threat of a vast, unknown desert
War is not two great armies meeting in the clash and frenzy of battle. War is a boy being carried on a stretcher, looking up at God’s blue sky with bewildered eyes that are soon to close; war is a woman carrying a child that has been injured by a shell; war is spirited horses tied in burning buildings and waiting for death; war is the flower of a race, battered, hungry, bleeding, up to its knees in filthy water; war is an old woman burning a candle before the Mater Dolorsa for the son she has given.