Colonel Walter E. Kurtz quotes

Have you ever thought about any real freedoms? Freedom from the opinions of others...even from the opinions of yourself?

You're neither! You're an errand boy sent by grocery clerks....to collect a bill.

I went down that river once when I was a kid. There's a place in the river.. I can't remember... Must have been a gardenia plantation at one time. All wild and overgrown now, but for about five miles you'd think that heaven just fell on the earth in the form of gardenias...

We must kill them. We must incinerate them. Pig after pig. Cow after cow. Village after village. Army after army. And they call me an assassin. What do you call it when the assassins accuse the assassin? They lie. They lie, and we have to be merciful, for those who lie. Those nabobs. I hate them. I do hate them.

I've seen horrors ... horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that ... but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face ... and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with Special Forces. Seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate the children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for Polio, and this old man came running after us, and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. And I remember ... I ... I ... I cried. I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized ... like I was shot ... like I was shot with a diamond ... a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought: My God ... the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters. These were men ... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love ... but they had the strength ... the strength ... to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, then our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral ... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling ... without passion ... without judgment ... without judgment. Because it's judgment that defeats us.

We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write "****" on their airplanes because it's obscene!

I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream. It's my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor ... and surviving.

I worry that my son might not understand what I've tried to be. And if I were to be killed, Willard, I would want someone to go to my home and tell my son everything – everything I did, everything you saw – because there's nothing that I detest more than the stench of lies. And if you understand me, Willard, you will do this for me.

The horror ... the horror ... (Kurtz' last words)

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