Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of death’s construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds
Oh lord yeah!
Humans have become exceedingly good at it. Of course, throughout the millennia, we’ve had lots of practice. I daresay it is one of man’s favorite pastimes. And the extent to which we have learned to kill with such efficiency just shows that if you really want something badly, you’ll find a way to make it happen. Our killing machines now are capable of global devastation. And the ease in which they are deployed is a modern marvel. Gone are the days of hauling around heavy catapults or trebuchets. No more do we need to fly or ship our troops or battle toys to foreign lands in order to smite our enemies. Now, with just a nod and a push of a button, whole cities just… whoosh… disappear under a pretty mushroom cloud! (I wonder if that’s the same cloud the Care Bears dance on?)
Kill for gain or shoot to maim
But we don’t need a reason
The Golden Goose is on the loose
And never out of season
Of course, in order to engage in war correctly, there must be a reason. It doesn’t have to be a good reason as long as it makes everyone feel good. Simplicity is usually best in these cases. For example, if you’re looking to wage war with a neighbor, friend, or just any old group of people that pissed you off on any given day, try one of these tried and true war time platitudes:
1. Our God is better than your God. This gem has worked for centuries. It’s based on the same principle as comparing penis sizes. The biggest wins. Having a small penis or an inferior God is just asking to be picked on and what better way to settle the matter of whose God is more loving and peaceful than by bashing your enemy’s skull in? It’s a great way to proliferate your way of thinking, as the Christians have learned over the past thousand years or so.
2. This land is our land; it is not your land. Yeah, real estate. It’s a limited resource and humans LOVE having lots of land to stretch out and molest. What? Why do I use the word molest? Well think about it. When humans acquire chunks of Mother Earth, what do we do? We raze the vegetation from the surface, construct buildings on top of it, dig below the surface for “treasure”, spill toxic waste upon it, level it’s mountains, dam it’s rivers and when we’re done with it, we just walk away leaving it tainted and mangled. And if we see a group of people that have some land we want, by golly that’s grounds for war. But hey, sometimes the victor can show mercy and allow the conquered folks to keep small bits of their previous residence. What a deal, right? Just ask a Native American how well that worked out.
3. We lost the remote control. Empires hate losing any of the many pieces that well… make up an empire. Rome fought to retain control of the vast lands under its rule as did the British. Funny how people living thousands of miles from the center of power, people who may not benefit from the ruler ship of a long distance dictator or monarch might want this crazy thing we call autonomy. And if they choose to live freely outside of the laws of the empire, they may find themselves battling armies of their oppressor. Do as we say or we’ll kill you. Sounds like a pretty simple concept to me. Who wouldn’t want to sign up for that?
4. Our economic principles are better than your economic principles. Ok, this is basically the same as the “Our God is better than your God” reason, but we’ve replaced religion with whatever socio-economic system is in vogue. You know, our Gross Domestic Product is bigger than your… well, you get the idea. The Cold War has been milking this one for a long time. Hello Korea. Hello Vietnam.
If you kill a man, you’re a murderer. Kill many, and you’re a conqueror. Kill them all and you’re a God.
War is good for business too. Dwight Eisenhower called what we have in America the “Military/Industrial Complex”. Companies that make war machines need to sell them so they “incentivize” our legislators to approve military spending so that in turn, our military can keep making newer and better weapons (because nobody likes a loser). And what good are new toys if you don’t get a chance to take them out and play with them once in a while, right? After all, we need to justify why we spend billions on planes, tanks, bombs and guns rather than caring for our sick and elderly, feeding the poor or educating our children. (Honestly, what kind of person would want to do those kinds of things?) So every few decades we engage in war, just to keep our killing skills from getting rusty.
Some may argue that man is generally a peace loving creature. We tend gardens, write poetry, paint landscapes and drink lots of herbal tea. Surely we are not violent creatures with a bloodlust. But if that’s so, why are people still dying every day as wars rage on and on throughout the planet? Why do we love our violent sports like boxing, MMA fighting and football? Why do we have an organization who’s sole purpose is promoting the ownership of guns?
War, huh good God y’all
What is it good for?
Is there an upside to war? Certainly, war along with famine and pestilence (three of the Four Horsemen) have done wonders in controlling population and let’s face it, an overcrowded planet is a planet in danger. Those who support the idea of Eugenics, or the promotion of improved human population with superior genetics and the reduction of those with inferior genetics might suggest that war is a way to filter out some of the “undesirables”. After all, while the rich and powerful might engineer a war, they will not be the ones taking up arms and fighting it.
Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor
So will we see an end to war? Perhaps. But most likely that will only happen once we’ve destroyed ourselves and no humans remain to fight. We haven’t reached that point yet but it seems like, by golly we’re going to keep trying until we do.