Absolutely nothing? Think again!
War is exciting for everyone in and around it, young and old, all creatures great and small. Men historically get most of the credit.
War is fun for kids. Most boys play army (a reason to roll in dirt and yell), and own little plastic men of war. (Flashback: watching the TV show “Combat" and telling Mom I wanted to be in a war. That was the end of that show.)
|Gold King Mine, Jerome, Arizona|
War is a blessing for Owners and Workers. Weapons must be built and delivered, soldiers must be trained and shipped and supplied, and survivors must bury bodies and rebuild. And the info-tainment providers will amuse us with all we need to know, between advertisements.
War is delicious, for dogs, crows, millions of bugs and a bajillion trillion microbes.
|Glenbar cemetery, Pima Arizona|
Wars far away are good for everyone who stays home. “All you tough guys go ahead, I’ll stay here and take care of all the women and stuff.” With the herd thinned on both sides, less competition for what’s left, and jobs for all.
War provides criminally insane citizens a way to live productive lives, without wasting precious taxpayer pennies on mental health care. Feel like killing a bunch of people? Armed state-funded missions to non-believers can convert “psychotic” acts to “heroic.”
War has been a legitimate career choice for single and/or unemployed males since the days when rape and plunder were part of the benefits package. New and improved armies provide a salary, housing, and college money. Best of all, free health care, important in a profession that may cost you an arm and a leg.
Yes, war progresses, thankfully. The biggest military in recorded history now hires openly gay people too! Except for the raping, armies have always been a bit gay--camping with 10,000 dudes? Now, no one has to pretend otherwise. First “minorities," then women, now everyone is welcome to bathe together in blood.
War is fantastic for all who enjoy tales of terror and horror movies. The bigger your military, the more can be provided. The fear and panic, like Coca-Cola, is the Real Thing!
War brings lost souls back to church, trying to make sense of it all. Love thy neighbor--or not? Shalt not kill--or shalt? Is war “pro-life"? Good luck!
War fills folks with patriotism, on both sides. We salute our flags, and give up our spouses, parents, siblings, and children, for truth and righteousness! Hopefully we didn’t like 'em all that much anyhow.
So hurray for war! Why do politicians bother lying to justify it? Fear not, wise leaders: if the gods won’t be on our side, the energy companies and military industry always will.
|Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Arizona|
Bored with endless war? Too much of a good thing? There is a solution: televised baseball and soccer. Sports evolved to channel humankind’s violent impulses somewhat safely. At every game, on every broadcast, spontaneous joyful hugging, among persons of every size, shape, and race.
The same know-it-alls who happily support endless war can just as easily be tricked into happily embracing everyone. Simply take the Pentagon’s mass killing budget, and invest in grass fields, television equipment, and cute uniforms. Don’t worry, General, it’s still propaganda. Broadcast all ball-game celebrations world-wide, and let the hugging begin!
|Gold King Mine, Jerome|
“For the last three or four thousand years, Hebrew prophets, Greek philosophers, Indian mystics, Chinese sages, Christian preachers, French humanists, English utilitarians, German moralists, American pragmatists, have discussed the perils of violence and appealed to man’s better nature, without much noticeable effect….
“…[T]he crimes of violence committed for selfish, personal motives are historically insignificant compared to those committed…out of a self-sacrificing devotion to a flag, a leader, a religious faith, or a political conviction. Man has always been prepared not only to kill but also to die for good, bad, or completely futile causes.”
Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine, 1967, pp. 233-234
|Phoenix, Arizona "downtown"|
War (What Is It Good For?) Original version, 1969 by Edwin Starr