"I see what you think you mean," said the magician, "but you are wrong. There is no excuse for war, none whatever, and whatever the wrong which your nation might be doing to mine -- short of war -- my nation would be in the wrong if it started a war so as to redress it. A murderer, for instance, is not allowed to plead that his victim was rich and oppressing him -- so why should a nation be allowed to? Wrongs have to be redressed by reason, not force."
[Sir Kay probes the argument.]
Merlyn was annoyed.
"Only because you want it to seem so," he said. "Obviously Lot would be the aggressor, for making the threat of force. You can always spot the villain, if you keep a fair mind. In the last resort, it is ultimately the man who strikes the first blow ... if there is nothing else to decide by"