A bunch of jazz musos from Los Angeles with a harmonica player from Denmark. They became one of the more fun US pop bands of the 70s, first gaining exposure via a shared-billing album with Eric Burdon (featuring "Spill the Wine"), then moving on to have a string of hits on their own, showing much more range than their funk band peers - "Slippin' Into Darkness", the latin-rock "Low Rider", which has lived on in TV commercials, the sing-a-long "Why Can't We Be Friends?", et al. Classic stuff.

A mass demonstration of stupidity, agression, meanness, and bullying. A way of demonstrating that the people in charge are incompetent enough to not be able to see any other method of doing things, or lack respect for life enough that they really don't care that they're making people die.

The only thing worse than the person in charge who's willing to sacrifice the lives of others (but not themselves) is all the people who go along with it.

A striking example of the fact that the human race is still, in the grand scheme of things, about as mature as a little child.


by Jack London (1876-1916)was first published in The Nation, July 29, 1911.

HE was a young man, not more than twenty-four or five, and he might have sat his horse with the careless grace of his youth had he not been so catlike and tense. His black eyes roved everywhere, catching the movements of twigs and branches where small birds hopped, questing ever onward through the changing vistas of trees and brush, and returning always to the clumps of undergrowth on either side. And as he watched, so did he listen, though he rode on in silence, save for the boom of heavy guns from far to the west. This had been sounding monotonously in his ears for hours, and only its cessation could have aroused his notice. For he had business closer to hand. Across his saddle-bow was balanced a carbine.

So tensely was he strung, that a bunch of quail, exploding into flight from under his horse's nose, startled him to such an extent that automatically, instantly, he had reined in and fetched the carbine halfway to his shoulder. He grinned sheepishly, recovered himself, and rode on. So tense was he, so bent upon the work he had to do, that the sweat stung his eyes unwiped, and unheeded rolled down his nose and spattered his saddle pommel. The band of his cavalryman's hat was fresh-stained with sweat. The roan horse under him was likewise wet. It was high noon of a breathless day of heat. Even the birds and squirrels did not dare the sun, but sheltered in shady hiding places among the trees.

Man and horse were littered with leaves and dusted with yellow pollen, for the open was ventured no more than was compulsory. They kept to the brush and trees, and invariably the man halted and peered out before crossing a dry glade or naked stretch of upland pasturage. He worked always to the north, though his way was devious, and it was from the north that he seemed most to apprehend that for which he was looking. He was no coward, but his courage was only that of the average civilized man, and he was looking to live, not die.

Up a small hillside he followed a cowpath through such dense scrub that he was forced to dismount and lead his horse. But when the path swung around to the west, he abandoned it and headed to the north again along the oak-covered top of the ridge.

The ridge ended in a steep descent-so steep that he zigzagged back and forth across the face of the slope, sliding and stumbling among the dead leaves and matted vines and keeping a watchful eye on the horse above that threatened to fall down upon him. The sweat ran from him, and the pollen-dust, settling pungently in mouth and nostrils, increased his thirst. Try as he would, nevertheless the descent was noisy, and frequently he stopped, panting in the dry heat and listening for any warning from beneath.

At the bottom he came out on a flat, so densely forested that he could not make out its extent. Here the character of the woods changed, and he was able to remount. Instead of the twisted hillside oaks, tall straight trees, big-trunked and prosperous, rose from the damp fat soil. Only here and there were thickets, easily avoided, while he encountered winding, park-like glades where the cattle had pastured in the days before war had run them off.

His progress was more rapid now, as he came down into the valley, and at the end of half an hour he halted at an ancient rail fence on the edge of a clearing. He did not like the openness of it, yet his path lay across to the fringe of trees that marked the banks of the stream. It was a mere quarter of a mile across that open, but the thought of venturing out in it was repugnant. A rifle, a score of them, a thousand, might lurk in that fringe by the stream.

Twice he essayed to start, and twice he paused. He was appalled by his own loneliness. The pulse of war that beat from the West suggested the companionship of battling thousands; here was naught but silence, and himself, and possible death-dealing bullets from a myriad ambushes. And yet his task was to find what he feared to find. He must on, and on, till somewhere, some time, he encountered another man, or other men, from the other side, scouting, as he was scouting, to make report, as he must make report, of having come in touch.

Changing his mind, he skirted inside the woods for a distance, and again peeped forth. This time, in the middle of the clearing, he saw a small farmhouse. There were no signs of life. No smoke curled from the chimney, not a barnyard fowl clucked and strutted. The kitchen door stood open, and he gazed so long and hard into the black aperture that it seemed almost that a farmer's wife must emerge at any moment.

He licked the pollen and dust from his dry lips, stiffened himself, mind and body, and rode out into the blazing sunshine. Nothing stirred. He went on past the house, and approached the wall of trees and bushes by the river's bank. One thought persisted maddeningly. It was of the crash into his body of a high-velocity bullet. It made him feel very fragile and defenseless, and he crouched lower in the saddle.

Tethering his horse in the edge of the wood, he continued a hundred yards on foot till he came to the stream. Twenty feet wide it was, without perceptible current, cool and inviting, and he was very thirsty. But he waited inside his screen of leafage, his eyes fixed on the screen on the opposite side. To make the wait endurable, he sat down, his carbine resting on his knees. The minutes passed, and slowly his tenseness relaxed. At last he decided there was no danger; but just as he prepared to part the bushes and bend down to the water, a movement among the opposite bushes caught his eye.

It might be a bird. But he waited. Again there was an agitation of the bushes, and then, so suddenly that it almost startled a cry from him, the bushes parted and a face peered out. It was a face covered with several weeks' growth of ginger-colored beard. The eyes were blue and wide apart, with laughter-wrinkles in the comers that showed despite the tired and anxious expression of the whole face.

All this he could see with microscopic clearness, for the distance was no more than twenty feet. And all this he saw in such brief time, that he saw it as he lifted his carbine to his shoulder. He glanced along the sights, and knew that he was gazing upon a man who was as good as dead. It was impossible to miss at such point blank range.

But he did not shoot. Slowly he lowered the carbine and watched. A hand, clutching a water-bottle, became visible and the ginger beard bent downward to fill the bottle. He could hear the gurgle of the water. Then arm and bottle and ginger beard disappeared behind the closing bushes. A long time he waited, when, with thirst unslaked, he crept back to his horse, rode slowly across the sun-washed clearing, and passed into the shelter of the woods beyond.


Another day, hot and breathless. A deserted farmhouse, large, with many outbuildings and an orchard, standing in a clearing. From the woods, on a roan horse, carbine across pommel, rode the young man with the quick black eyes. He breathed with relief as he gained the house. That a fight had taken place here earlier in the season was evident. Clips and empty cartridges, tarnished with verdigris, lay on the ground, which, while wet, had been torn up by the hoofs of horses. Hard by the kitchen garden were graves, tagged and numbered. From the oak tree by the kitchen door, in tattered, weatherbeaten garments, hung the bodies of two men. The faces, shriveled and defaced, bore no likeness to the faces of men. The roan horse snorted beneath them, and the rider caressed and soothed it and tied it farther away.

Entering the house, he found the interior a wreck. He trod on empty cartridges as he walked from room to room to reconnoiter from the windows. Men had camped and slept everywhere, and on the floor of one room he came upon stains unmistakable where the wounded had been laid down.

Again outside, he led the horse around behind the barn and invaded the orchard. A dozen trees were burdened with ripe apples. He filled his pockets, eating while he picked. Then a thought came to him, and he glanced at the sun, calculating the time of his return to camp. He pulled off his shirt, tying the sleeves and making a bag. This he proceeded to fill with apples.

As he was about to mount his horse, the animal suddenly pricked up its ears. The man, too, listened, and heard, faintly, the thud of hoofs on soft earth. He crept to the corner of the barn and peered out. A dozen mounted men, strung out loosely, approaching from the opposite side of the clearing, were only a matter of a hundred yards or so away. They rode on to the house. Some dismounted, while others remained in the saddle as an earnest that their stay would be short. They seemed to be holding a council, for he could hear them talking excitedly in the detested tongue of the alien invader. The time passed, but they seemed unable to reach a decision. He put the carbine away in its boot, mounted, and waited impatiently, balancing the shirt of apples on the pommel.

He heard footsteps approaching, and drove his spurs so fiercely into the roan as to force a surprised groan from the animal as it leaped forward. At the comer of the barn he saw the intruder, a mere boy of nineteen or twenty for all of his uniform jump back to escape being run down. At the same moment the roan swerved and its rider caught a glimpse of the aroused men by the house. Some were springing from their horses, and he could see the rifles going to their shoulders. He passed the kitchen door and the dried corpses swinging in the shade, compelling his foes to run around the front of the house. A rifle cracked, and a second, but he was going fast, leaning forward, low in the saddle, one hand clutching the shirt of apples, the other guiding the horse.

The top bar of the fence was four feet high, but he knew his roan and leaped it at full career to the accompaniment of several scattered shots. Eight hundred yards straight away were the woods, and the roan was covering the distance with mighty strides. Every man was now firing. pumping their guns so rapidly that he no longer heard individual shots. A bullet went through his hat, but he was unaware, though he did know when another tore through the apples on the pommel. And he winced and ducked even lower when a third bullet, fired low, struck a stone between his horse's legs and ricochetted off through the air, buzzing and humming like some incredible insect.

The shots died down as the magazines were emptied, until, quickly, there was no more shooting. The young man was elated. Through that astonishing fusillade he had come unscathed. He glanced back. Yes, they had emptied their magazines. He could see several reloading. Others were running back behind the house for their horses. As he looked, two already mounted, came back into view around the comer, riding hard. And at the same moment, he saw the man with the unmistakable ginger beard kneel down on the ground, level his gun, and coolly take his time for the long shot.

The young man threw his spurs into the horse, crouched very low, and swerved in his flight in order to distract the other's aim. And still the shot did not come. With each jump of the horse, the woods sprang nearer. They were only two hundred yards away and still the shot was delayed.

And then he heard it, the last thing he was to hear, for he was dead ere he hit the ground in the long crashing fall from the saddle. And they, watching at the house, saw him fall, saw his body bounce when it struck the earth, and saw the burst of red-cheeked apples that rolled about him. They laughed at the unexpected eruption of apples, and clapped their hands in applause of the long shot by the man with the ginger beard.

Public Domain

War is also a simple card game.

The game is usually between two people (any more than three and the game becomes difficult), who each have a full deck of cards.

Each player turns over the top card on their pile at the same time. The player with the highest card wins the other player's card. (The card with the lowest value is 2 and the greatest is an ace.) If both players have a card of equal value, then the next card is shown until someone has a card larger than everyone elses.

Repeat until someone runs out of cards, then count all of the cards won by each side. The player with the highest number of cards wins the war.


Sepoy Diwan Singh of the 14 Grenadiers washes tea cups for a living. Hands that once proudly held a rifle now pick leftovers off used vessels as he scrubs them clean. The olive green shirt of his youth, worn out with time, clings to his thin, drooping shoulders. And eyes that once gleamed with pride are stony with cataract. The 1971 war hero can barely drag himself, crippled by shrapnel which cut through his stomach and liver in the Longewala sector. He sits in a muddy corner, scrubbing tea vessels, while his wife tends the stall. The Army sent him home with a pension of Rs 75 per month.

The country might have won the war, but Singh was defeated the moment an injury incapacitated him. ``With three daughters, an illiterate wife, and no property in my village in Kumaon, I came to starvation,'' he mumbles. After a long struggle, managed to get a `Jai Jawan' stall on rent.

While patriotism is whipped to a frenzy in the backdrop of the Kargil conflict that has once again taken its toll on the young, veterans who have seen it all before, are not moved. The country has a short memory and an even smaller conscience, they say. Even as Diwan Singh lovingly wipes the dust off a framed photograph of late General K Sundarji having tea at his stall, he hopes history won't be repeated.


The young, the uneducated and the people without memory will remember Operation Desert Storm. Sending out young men to kick ass somewhere far, far away.

Video game war. "Wow, did you see that bridge collapse ?" war. Couple of weeks later, justice and peace have been restored, the young men, now turned into heroes, return. Cool !
So - that is war ? Sounds like something we should do more often, imagine all the cool war movies ! And I can go and shoot some evil foreigner, just like uncle Joey !

Enough, already. War is not a glorious adventure, war means killing people. Violence. Going home (if you still can) to find your home burned down, your kids killed, your wife raped. The evil foreigner to kill might be you. Maybe you are lucky. The company you worked for has been bombed. Getting a new job ? Sure - difficult to do after you lost a leg in the mine field. (Did you really believe that your college degree and a couple of weeks of basic training make you invulnerable ? That the enemy only employs people who can't shoot ?)

War is delightful to those who have never experienced it.

- Desiderius Erasmus, Dulce bellum inexpertis, 1515

Warre is alwayes a physick too strong, which entring the body with a force greater than the infirmity, must needs increase the distemper, and like thunder purging the bad qualities, corrupt the good.

- Anthony Ashcam, A Discourse wherein is examined, what is particularly lawfull
during confusions and revolutions of government
, (1648)

There never was a good war or a bad peace.

- Benjamin Franklin, Letter to Josiah Quincy, September 11, 1773

War's a game, which, were their subjects wise, kings would not play at.

- William Cowper, "The Winter Morning Walk," 1783

My first wish is to see this plague to mankind banished from off the Earth, and the sons and daughters of this world employed in more pleasing and innocent amusements than in preparing implements and exercising them for the destruction of mankind.

- George Washington, speaking of war, letter to David Humphreys, July 25, 1785

War is Hell.

- William Tecumseh Sherman, speech of August 11, 1880, Columbus, Ohio

War is a contagion.

- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, speech of October 5, 1937, Chicago

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.

- Dwight Eisenhower, speech of January 10, 1946, Ottawa, Canada

War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

- Edwin Starr, "War" (song, 1970)

War, a contest between nations and States (international war), or between parties in the same State (civil war), carried on by force of arms, and resorted to either for purposes of advantage or of revenge. Formerly, war was waged at the will of despotic monarchs; now wars usually arise, in the first instance, from disputes concerning territorial possessions and frontiers, unjust dealings with the citizens of one State by another, questions of race and sentiment, jealousy of military prestige, or mere lust of conquest. Civil wars arise from the claims of rival competitors for the supreme power in a State, or for the establishment of some important point connected with civil or religious liberty. In all cases, the object of each contending party is to destroy the power of the other by defeating or dispersing his army or navy, by the occupation of some important part of his country, such as the capital, or the principal administrative and commercial centers, or the ruin of his commerce, thus cutting off his sources of recuperation in men, money, and material. An international or public war can only be authorized by the sovereign power of the nations, and previous to the commencement of hostilities it is now usual for the State taking the initiative to issue a declaration of war, which usually takes the form of an explanatory manifesto addressed to the neutral States. An aggressive or offensive war is one carried into the territory of a hitherto friendly power; and a defensive war is one carried on to resist such aggression. Certain laws, usages, or rights of war are recognized by international law. By such laws it is allowable to seize and destroy the persons or property of armed enemies, to stop up all their channels of traffic or supply, and to appropriate everything in an enemy's country necessary for the support of subsistence of the invading army. On the other hand, though an enemy may lawfully be starved into a surrender, wounding, except in battle, mutilation, and all cruel and wanton devastation, are contrary to the usages of war, as are also the bombarding of a defenseless town, firing on a hospital, the use of poison in any way, or torture to extort information from an enemy.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

War is transspecies, and so, shouldn't be over-anthromorphicized, for example, as merely "a result of human stupidity". Other primates, particularly anthropoids, including chimpanzees engage in social warfare, as do ants, of course, amongst other species. However unpleasant, wars can't, therefore, be entirely un-natural or accidental.

Wars over resources, food and land are common across species. The Agricultural Revolution in human pre-history greatly stepped up the pace and violence of human warfare however, as it meant that large food stocks had to be preserved between seasons and could be reserved for hard times over several seasons. In times of famine these non-portable food stocks had to be defended in place, while they might mean survival to an attacking tribe that would otherwise starve. This can be seen in the pre-Columbian history and pre-history of the New World, as well as that of the Old.

The evils of "patriarchy" and caste systems are largely the effects of warfare: when a society was conquered and held by other's swords, as happened in ancient Rome, India, and China, those swords were being held captive by males, who would then appropriate most power in that society for themselves. Similarly, the second highest caste is usually the remnant population of the second-last conquering tribe or nation, and so on - with many conquests, India developed many layers of castes, with the most aboriginal population generally at the bottom.

Unfortunately, the capacity for warfare creates a "Prisoner's Dilemma" (from the mathematics of Game Theory). Those who don't dedicate themselves to warfare may not survive to pass on their peaceful wisdom or blissful serenity to other generations. (i.e., an arms race easily develops.) More positively, military needs have spurred invention and both technological and scientific progress throughout time. Galileo's calculations concerning the predictable ballistic behavior of cannonballs, and American WW II computer prototypes built to calculate artillery trajectory tables more accurately are only a couple of examples. The massive advances of neurological science during WW I (from the abundance of bizarre head wounds suffered in trench warfare) and the acceptance of penicillin and blood plasma as a result of WW II are other examples - small comfort to the dead and their kin, but an accumulating heritage for the rest of us.

It shouldn't surprise us, then, given the importance of resources (whether land, loot, or food) in motivating warfare, that genocide is historically the usual aim in war, with enslavement or other aims generally being quite secondary. The European Christian invention of defined periods of warfare without genocide as an endpoint is an aberration historically, and is not commonly shared by other cultural traditions, even today. Therefore, many other cultures don't tend to "quit when they're beaten" but continue irregular warfare without pause, since in their tradition gentlemanly ends to wars were extremely uncommon: wars simply continued until genocide or pacification by widespread death or enslavement was complete, if that was possible.

The last century has shown that democracies are more reluctant to go to war, that they rarely go to war with each other (other than civil wars and revolutions), and tend to support each other in wars. However it should be noted that none of these obvious truths were apparent to citizens of democracies at the early part of the century. However, the cost of wars to all citizens has motivated this reluctance, historically, and that cost is now in steep decline.

Warfare is becoming immensely more economically efficient, and for the most technologically advanced societies, also vastly more efficient in soldiers lives lost, as remotely piloted machines, autonomous devices, and pinpoint bomb delivery take to the field.

Barring new forms of political organization, spiritual movements, or immense technological progress in the third world; we should probably expect in the decades to come, therefore, to see that warfare is increasingly common and that democracies in particular lose their historical reluctance to engage in warfare. Instead, it seems likely that more Democratic nations will become far more warlike for the same reason that rich men date supermodels - simply because they can, and at increasingly small cost to themselves (from a historical perspective). Even wars and acts of war between democratic nations may become much more common, however lamentable.

It is common historically, for societies to complacently assume that they have evolved beyond war or forever learned better from the last "War to End All Wars". As this has never proven true in the past, we should be most wary of being complacent about the possibilities now.

War (?), a.

Ware; aware.




© Webster 1913.

War (?), n. [OE. & AS. werre; akin to OHG. werra scandal, quarrel, sedition, werran to confound, mix, D. warren, G. wirren, verwirren, to embroil, confound, disturb, and perhaps to E. worse; cf. OF. werre war, F. querre, of Teutonic origin. Cf. Guerrilla, Warrior.]


A contest between nations or states, carried on by force, whether for defence, for revenging insults and redressing wrongs, for the extension of commerce, for the acquisition of territory, for obtaining and establishing the superiority and dominion of one over the other, or for any other purpose; armed conflict of sovereign powers; declared and open hostilities.

Men will ever distinguish war from mere bloodshed. F. W. Robertson.

As war is the contest of nations or states, it always implies that such contest is authorized by the monarch or the sovereign power of the nation. A war begun by attacking another nation, is called an offensive war, and such attack is aggressive. War undertaken to repel invasion, or the attacks of an enemy, is called defensive.

2. Law

A condition of belligerency to be maintained by physical force. In this sense, levying war against the sovereign authority is treason.


Instruments of war.


His complement of stores, and total war. Prior.


Forces; army.


On their embattled ranks the waves return, And overwhelm their war. Milton.


The profession of arms; the art of war.

Thou art but a youth, and he is a man of war from his youth. 1 Sam. xvii. 33.


a state of opposition or contest; an act of opposition; an inimical contest, act, or action; enmity; hostility.

"Raised impious war in heaven."


The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart. Ps. lv. 21.

Civil war, a war between different sections or parties of the same country or nation. -- Holy war. See under Holy. -- Man of war. Naut. See in the Vocabulary. -- Public war, a war between independent sovereign states. -- War cry, a cry or signal used in war; as, the Indian war cry. -- War dance, a dance among savages preliminary to going to war. Among the North American Indians, it is begun by some distinguished chief, and whoever joins in it thereby enlists as one of the party engaged in a warlike excursion. Schoolcraft. -- War field, a field of war or battle. -- War horse, a horse used in war; the horse of a cavalry soldier; especially, a strong, powerful, spirited horse for military service; a charger. -- War paint, paint put on the face and other parts of the body by savages, as a token of going to war. "Wash the war paint from your faces." Longfellow. -- War song, a song of or pertaining to war; especially, among the American Indians, a song at the war dance, full of incitements to military ardor. -- War whoop, a war cry, especially that uttered by the American Indians.


© Webster 1913.

War, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Warred (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Warring.]


To make war; to invade or attack a state or nation with force of arms; to carry on hostilities; to be in a state by violence.

Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it. Isa. vii. 1.

Why should I war without the walls of Troy? Shak.

Our countrymen were warring on that day! Byron.


To contend; to strive violently; to fight.

"Lusts which war against the soul."

1 Pet. ii. 11.


© Webster 1913.

War (?), v. t.


To make war upon; to fight.


To war the Scot, and borders to defend. Daniel.


To carry on, as a contest; to wage.


That thou . . . mightest war a good warfare. Tim. i. 18.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.