War! What Is It Good For?

2023-10-23 · 4 min read

Back when I was a pup I grooved to The Temptation’s tune asking, “War! What is it good for?”

The answer they offered was “ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!”

Now that I’m an old dog, however, I beg to differ. war War is good for lots of things.

War is good for silencing dissent. Once war is declared, questioning it is branded unpatriotic, disloyal, dangerous.

War is good for enemy-making. Once one dehumanizes “the other,” there is neither guilt nor shame in killing the sub-human, the enemy. It’s us or “them.”

War is good for stirring up emotions like “my country right or wrong,” and can foster a heightened sense of patriotism to make killing noble, even glorious.

War is good for skirting personal responsibility, even for war crimes. The combatants are, after all, only acting on behalf of the state, under orders.

War is good for Orwellian doublespeak: “love is hate,” “we had to destroy the village to save it,” “peace through strength,” etc.

War is good for “saving the ________ way of life.” (Fill in the blank with your nation’s name.)

War is good for training combat field surgeons, who learn how to treat patients with massive and multiple injuries, in quantities they might never have seen in civilian life.

War is good for eliciting the most noble of human attributes: courage, sacrifice, idealism, and the willingness to die for the cause, or die for a comrade in arms.

War is good for the economy as demand increases for flags, coffins, prosthetics, weapons, uniforms, drugs, propaganda, and everything else needed for the war machine.

War is good for the coffers of the military / corporate / educational / entertainment / religion / media / government complex—a cabal that has expanded immensely since Eisenhower cautioned against the “military industrial complex” and war profiteering.

War is good for settling any questions about the global pecking order, who has the biggest stick, and other testosterone-driven questions of mastery.

Yes, war is good. So good, in fact, what not make it endless?

Oh, you say it already is?

Then we should have world peace any day now.

Jim Hannah

Dad's short bio goes here.