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War, What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing


War, What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing.

Tom Engelhardt

It may be hard to believe now, but in 1970 the protest song “War,” sung by Edwin Starr, hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. That was at the height of the Vietnam antiwar movement and the song, written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, became something of a sensation. Even so many years later, who could forget its famed chorus?


War, what is it good for...absolutely nothing! But it is one of the best rackets ever devised by man, if you are a war profiteer!

" Nothing, in other words, succeeds ( for weapons makers ) like failure."


I find music from that era unfailingly inspiring. Particularly when I think of love songs in terms of their being sung to humanity in general. Just imagine instead of the 'exceptional' trope of sentiment for a private 'other' being totally separate from one's sentiments for humanity in general - some songs become amazingly rich.
Chain of Fools comes immediately to mind. Especially in retrospect of the meaning of 'the man'.


There wouldn't be any wars if that were the case. These non-ending wars are very good for the bottom lines of certain companies. Mr. Engelhardt must know that.



He said that.

Peace back at ya'


I know I should not say this but I must. The United States of America is one murderous, sick sob'n country with a bunch of narcissistic sob's running it. May god have mercy on our souls.


Might this song be helpful? https://johnterlazzo.bandcamp.com/track/prisoners-of-war


Aretha could really "tell it," couldn't she? Thanks for a great concept and a fine example.

As our war-besotted nation-state rushes headlong toward its Ozymanidas moment, another song from "back in the day" that remains appropriate is Pride of Man, by Quicksilver Messenger Service. Remember that one?


Fantastic song! Thanks for that.


Great point, Mr. E.

Remember that "peace dividend?" Yeah, I'd forgotten about it, too. (Well, not really, but I almost did.) One of the more tragic mistakes I've had to watch this nation make over my objections. It doesn't get much more stark:

Possibility: Peace Dividend

Choice: All War, All the Time

Ugly. Crude. Evil. Stupid.

Yeah, I'm offended.


fantastic article, tom englehardt!

"War, what is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!"


He mentioned the word "profit" only once in a long article. He also called it a "theory" of the conspiratorially minded that success or failure is beside the point for the MIC.



Everyone - at least a good portion of the journalists writing articles on the subject - seem to think that the US has not accomplished anything in it misadventures in the Middle East. I look at it as completely successful. They have created an atmosphere that perpetually creates enemies. They have created an atmosphere in which various groups fight among themselves. Who benefits? The arms manufacturers benefit. They arm all sides of the conflict and reap the benefits of the created bedlam in these countries. They are laughing all the way to the bank.


Tom, seriously?
War is for profits ya big nut! And that is N O T a fringe conspiracy theory !