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Publilius Syrus

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It is a very hard undertaking to seek to please everybody.
--
Maxim 675.

 
Publilius Syrus

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There is nothing in American experience or in American political life or in our culture that suggests we want to use hard power. But what we have found over the decades is that unless you do have hard power — and here I think you're referring to military power — then sometimes you are faced with situations that you can't deal with.
I mean, it was not soft power that freed Europe. It was hard power. And what followed immediately after hard power? Did the United States ask for dominion over a single nation in Europe? No. Soft power came in the Marshall Plan. Soft power came with American GIs who put their weapons down once the war was over and helped all those nations rebuild. We did the same thing in Japan.
So our record of living our values and letting our values be an inspiration to others I think is clear. And I don't think I have anything to be ashamed of or apologize for with respect to what America has done for the world.
We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we've done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own, you know, to seek our own lives in peace, to live our own lives in peace. But there comes a time when soft power or talking with evil will not work where, unfortunately, hard power is the only thing that works.

 
Colin Powell
 

There's no question that at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate. And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn't trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them. I found that I felt compelled to seek God's forgiveness. Not God's understanding, but God's forgiveness. I do believe in a forgiving God. And I think most people, deep down in their hearts hope there's a forgiving God. Somebody once said that when we're young, we seek justice, but as we get older, we seek mercy.

 
Newt Gingrich
 

Those with hard temperaments like to win through struggle; they don't like to be defeated. Inferior hard temperaments are explosive and rash, fierce and violent. Soft temperaments are placid and earnest. Inferior soft temperaments are weak-willed and do not seek a thorough understanding of the skills. Tai chi chuan stresses that hardness and softness complement each other. Training teaches one to be hard, but not excessively so, soft, yet not weak. This is to truly absorb the teachings.

 
Wu Kung-tsao
 

All my friends are always telling me how hard it is to have kids. 'Oh, David, it's so hard.' That's not hard. I'll tell you what hard is. Try talking your girlfriend into her third consecutive abortion. Yeah, that's hard, that takes finesse. You’re just inconvenienced.

 
David Cross
 

Americans officials have found it hard to believe, but leading officials and politicians in Europe really have worried more about how the United States might handle or mishandle the problem on Iraq — by undertaking unilateral and extralegal military action — than they have ever worried about Iraq itself and Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. (Of Paradise and Power, p. 61)

 
Robert Kagan
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