AND SO IT ALL BEGAN (NO MORE WAR)

AND SO IT ALL BEGAN (NO MORE WAR)
(To tune of “And I love You So,” by Don McClean (1970)).

God created Man.
With free-will from above.
And Man created war.
The opposite of love.

And so it all began.
His finger touched the ground.
So hard to see the plan.
When peace nowhere is found.

And so I ask the heaven’s up on-high.
Do children have to die?
Though I try to comprehend.
And God, you know, we’re all at your command.
You’d need but raise a hand.
And all war would surely end.

God created man.
Oft-times I ask, “what for?”
To hate and to make war?
That cannot be the plan.

The truth would be sublime
Light given from above
God would not waste His time.
And not believe in love.

And so I ask the heaven’s up on-high.
Do children have to die?
War is hard to comprehend.
And God, you know, we’re all at your command.
You’d need but raise a hand.
And all war would surely end.

No more war, it has to end.

Lyric © 2017 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS?

CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS?
(To tune of “Can’t We be Friends,” by Kay Swift and Paul James)

Why can’t we people just get along?
Right what’s wrong?
Let’s begin to make amends.
Now, don’t you think it’s time?
People, can’t we be friends?

Why only seek solutions in war?
Why? What for?
One begins as soon as one ends.
You’d think we’d learn one time.
People, can’t we be friends?

I say I’m right, still I don’t want to fight.
Imagine we could disagree, and that’d be quite alright
with me.

Why quote the bible chapter and verse?
Then go curse
someone in your eyes who offends.
Say, don’t you think it’s time?
People, can’t we be friends?

Your home’s divine, while a thimble is mine.
Why should I care, feel despair? Climb that jealousy
vine?

Why can’t we learn to live and let live?
To forgive
if somebody’s rude or pretends?
I think it’s about time.
People, can’t we be friends?

Lyric © 2015 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved.

CIVILIZED WAR: A POEM

CIVILIZED WAR: A POEM  

We’ve not become so civilized as to end war:
But we’ve become too civilized to win war.
We decry the necessary brutality that war summons
taking pains to avert another Dresden,
While our enemies lop off heads;
and, laugh at our Geneva Convention vanity,
from urban redoubts behind civilian kryptonite.

They are not hypocrites like us,
who pretend that war has rules,
lest we not feel good about ourselves.
Perhaps it is that the wars we have
chosen to fight of late, are not of survival.
Perhaps they have been mechanisms
of greed to oil the economic wheels.

Perhaps we would recover the strength of will
to see war clearly, if the threat were existential.
Perhaps we would then deploy at war
the fullest, most brutal measure of our power
adhering only to the one honest rule of war,
should we be dragged into its madness –
that immoral slaughterhouse –
“Win by whatever device necessary.”

Knowing that afterwards, it is the victors
who will order rules, the vanquished
will be charged to have violated.

© 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

WHEN WAR WAS WAR

Most celebrated another memorial day by shopping.  This post deals with the ambiguity and technology of present war.  It should not be read to deprecate by any measure our current men and women in arms for whom I hold the deepest respect and admiration.  Technology makes war too antiseptic.  Non-state foes, asymmetrical insurgencies and the absence of a direct existential threat to our survival, make doubtful the logic for military intervention.  War itself has always been brutal, immoral and in most instances folly.  The Geneva Conventions serve to legitimize war by imposing rules as if it war were a cricket match.  You cannot civilize with rules what is essentially bestial.   The Nazis gave us no choice.  War was war then because the necessity was clear and the battle symmetrical, large armies facing large armies.  Not so in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan where it often has been difficult to distinguish civilians from combatants.    

 WHEN WAR WAS WAR
(To tune of “Where or When” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart)

There was another time when we were sure
When soldiers wore uniforms of gray or green
The enemy was near and seen
When war was war

Now drones hunt terrorists on sea and shore
Remotely eliminated on a screen
The killing wasn’t neat or clean
When war was war

Back then the wide world was in conflict
We knew what we were fighting for

 The honest carnage when men stormed a beach
Into the breach,
A hero each,
We were, when war was war

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

WHAT WE NEED IS GORT

The industrial machinery of man may in time destroy our tiny oasis of light in the black desert of space.  We may commit planetary suicide even before climate warming’s impact has a chance to do the job.  The nuclear trigger is now held by unstable hands in North Korea, and another radical regime, Iran, seeks its prestige and power.  Even peaceful use of the atom has proved uncontrollable (see earlier posts “Unforeseen” and “Scream Fukushima Scream.”  Yet, war, more than ever poses the greatest threat of the nuclear genie escaping the silos.  Cormac McCarthy’s novel, “The Road,” presages the bleak landscape of a post-apocalyptic world. How can we stop the madness?

 Gort is a robot character from the classic 1951 science fiction movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”  An alien Klaatu visits earth with Gort to warn that our warring ways is causing concern among the advanced inhabitants of the universe.  Earth is told to cease its aggressive behavior or face destruction at the hands of Gort, one of a super-powerful, indestructible, interplanetary robot police-force, pre-programmed to destroy any aggressor in the universe.

WHAT WE NEED IS GORT
(To the tune of “All You Need is Love,” by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, released by the Beatles in their 1967 album “Yellow Submarine”)

 (No more war)
(No more war)
(No more war)

How many nuclear missiles can you build?
And how many million people can be killed?
Meanwhile how many hungry children are crying for a meal?
Let’s all get real

How many Fukushima’s will we stand?
And how many 9/11s yet are planned?
And how many homeless people need a bed in which to curl?
A wiser world

What we need is Gort!
What we need is Gort!
Klaatu call him to report
Gort is what we need

How many foolish issues lead to wars?
And how many foolish people settle scores?
How many weary people here would love to get along?
Join in our song

What we need is Gort!
What we need is Gort!
Klaatu call him to report
Gort is what we need

What we need is Gort!  (He’d insist on law)
What we need is Gort!  (He’d allow no war)
Klaatu call him to report
Gort we’d have to heed

(No more war)
(No more war)
(No more war)

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved