Quotes on futile

  Across the river he could see the burnt and crushed buildings of Fredericksburg, the debris piled along the streets, the scattered ruins of people's lives, lives that were changed forever. His men had done that. Not all of it, of course. The whole corps had seemed to go insane, had turned the town into some kind of violent party, a furious storm that blew out of control, and he could not stop it. The commanders had ordered the provost guards at the bridges to let no goods leave the town, nothing could be carried across the bridges, and so what the men could not keep, what they could not steal, they had just destroyed. And now, he thought, the people will return, trying to rescue some fragile piece of home, and they will find this...and they will learn something new about war, more than the quiet nightmare of leaving your home behind. They will learn that something happens to men, men who have felt no satisfaction, who have absorbed and digested defeat after bloody stupid defeat, men who up to now have done mostly what they were told to do. And when those men begin to understand that it is not anything in them, no great weakness or inferiority, but that it is the leaders, the generals and politicians who tell them what to do, that the fault is there, after a while they will stop listening. Then the beast, the collective anger, battered and bloodied, will strike out, will respond to the unending sights of horror, the deaths of friends and brothers, and it will not be fair or reasonable or just, since there is no intelligence in the beast. They will strike out at whatever presents itself, and here it was the harmless and innocent lives of the people of Fredericksburg.  
Jeff Shaara

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