What millions died that Caesar might be great!
This is one version given by the New Age Chinese-English dictionary for 一将功成万骨枯 or 功成骨枯, and it turns out to be a famous quote of Thomas Campbell. It will take some effort to fit it into your context!
Name a war and the alleged causes are numerous: man's innate aggression, vainglorious princes, stupid tyrants, imbalances of power, preserving the union, the military industrial complex, ties to al-Qaeda, WMDs, democracy, freedom, and a hundred other reasons. And what about access to natural resources like, say, black gold? Such issues are rarely mentioned.
With regard to war, Hobbes asserted three principal causes, "First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory. The first maketh men invade for gain; the second, for safety; the third, for reputation."
Many of us suspect that G.W. Bush thirsts for the last. Major politicians wear buttons saying, "ME," don't they? As Thomas Campbell wrote in 1799, "What millions died—that Caesar might be great!"
It is hard to see Bush the younger as great, but his imagination may be more fertile than mine.
Bush and his supporters argue that Hobbe's motive number two really drives their astute invasions: we launch preemptive wars against the bad guys over there to make you folks safer back here. There's doubt about how well this theory will work out in practice. Somehow, a manual on "How to win friends and influence people around the world" authored by the gentle souls at the Pentagon, with superior firepower at the center, and then executed on unwilling subjects in distant lands, is not all that reassuring.
HISTORICAL INVISIBILITY AND ETHNIC STUDIES
Local time: 20:35
Native speaker of: Chinese
PRO pts in category: 12