On War

Wars are declared by generals and world leaders
Men who won't be among the fighters and bleeders.
War may actually serve the collective national good,
But the individual fighting soldiers themselves would
Rather be spending their lives in some other way.
Of course, about their fate they get no actual say.
Wars are declared for various reasons without hesitation.
The conquest of land has resulted in many whole races' subjugation.
Nations are taken to war by tyrants with egos massive,
Especially if their people about politics remained too passive.
Economic factors have frequently plunged the world into turmoil.
Quite recently desert sand ran red over millions of barrels of oil.
Religious fanatics joyfully kill their enemies in the name of God,
Wrapped in righteousness down a path of hatred they have so willingly trod.
Whole nations learn from birth to regard their neighbors with hate,
One day going to war is inevitably their sorry fate.
Throughout history whole generations of sons have been sent to their slaughter,
Creating generations of grieving parents, wives, and daughters.
Only the young and the foolish view war as a gallant enterprise,
For veterans the reality of war has opened their eyes.
Before the first battle the talk is of victory and glory,
Afterwards the truth has been revealed to be desolate and gory.
Sometimes war is forced on a people whose nature is peaceful and good,
Such civilized countries would always avoid war if they could,
Since they realize war has only survivors, but never any true winners at all.
Sadly in our nuclear age some war seems destined to cause Man's ultimate downfall.

Harry Edward Gilleland      09.11.01    printer friendly