— Chris Hedges, What Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, 2003
"The warrior in battle may feel connected with the cosmos, but afterward he cannot always resolve these inner contradictions. It is fairly well established that there is a strong taboo against killing our own kind—an evolutionary stratagem that helped our species to survive. Still, we fight. But to bring ourselves to do so, we envelop the effort in a mythology—often a 'religious' mythology—that puts distance between us and the enemy. We exaggerate his differences, be they racial, religious, or ideological. We develop narratives to convince ourselves that he is not really human but monstrous, the antithesis of order and goodness. Today we may tell ourselves that we are fighting for God and country or that a particular war is 'just' or 'legal.'
— Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood, 2014