WAR is a terrible thing; and it was never more terrible than it is and must be to-day, by reason of the deadly elements with which modern science has supplied it. Appreciating this fact, but convinced that hostilities are a necessity of the situation, the Government is conducting a “peaceful” blockade of Cuban ports, the commanders of the naval forces having been instructed not to fire into the cities nor against the forts of the enemy. A blockade of course means the cutting off of supplies, with the object of forcing the enemy to choose between starvation and surrender.
But wherein is it worse to kill people by a bombardment than to kill them by starvation? Starvation is a lingering form of death, and attacks every individual in the beleaguered place, while a bombardment would at the worst be short and would leave many of the inhabitants uninjured. There can we think be no question but that a bombardment is more merciful to a city than a “peace” blockade, when the blockade is, as it is meant to be, effective.
No, Mr. President; you cannot conduct war in a peaceful manner. War—if it is war in fact—is the opposite of peace, everywhere and always. There is no use trying to make real war by Christian and humane  methods. Such methods do not apply to real war at all, and the attempt to unite things so incongruous can only make it worse in the end. “You can no more conduct a war on benevolent principles than you can let a gun go off easy.”