"Now I am a general
And I am giving out the orders
I almost have an orgasm when the tanks are rolling
Crashing through the borders
It's good to be a general
Just tell these idiots what to do...hehe
Anyone in my position would love it, too"
—Brazilian Girls, "Never Met a German"
"Ninety-nine knights of the air
Riding super high-tech jet fighters
Everyone's a super hero
Everyone's a Captain Kirk"
—Nena, "99 Red Balloons"
"I learned that war is not so bad
I learned of the great ones we have had
We fought in Germany and in France
And some day I might get my chance"
—Tom Paxton, "What Did You Learn in School Today?"
"It can be argued, for instance, that war is grotesque. But in truth war is also beauty. For all its horror, you can't help but gape at the awful majesty of combat. You stare out at tracer rounds unwinding through the dark like brilliant red ribbons. You crouch in ambush as a cool, impassive moon rises over the nighttime paddies. You admire the fluid symmetries of troops on the move, the harmonies of sound and shape and proportion, the great sheets of metal-fire streaming down from a gunship, the illumination rounds, the white phosphorus, the purply orange glow of napalm, the rocket's red glare. It's not pretty, exactly. It's astonishing. It fills the eye. It commands you. You hate it, yes, but your eyes do not. Like a killer forest fire, like cancer under a microscope, any battle or bombing raid or artillery barrage has the aesthetic purity of absolute moral indifference — a powerful, implacable beauty — and a true war story will tell you the truth about this, though the truth is ugly."
— Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried
Father Armand was silent for a long time. He glanced over at the skull on a stake. "A Hunnic trophy," he said. "I think the man was a Visigoth. He died at the battle of the Catalaunian Fields. I keep it here so that I may see it every day and remember." "Remember what, father?" I asked him.
"The scent of a burning village. The sound of butchery. The way peasants would flee before the Hun riders. The way we would ride them down. The way it felt to conquer alongside Atilla and the Huns."
He leaned so close I could feel his breath. "Sometimes...
I miss it."
"War: it's fan-tastic!"
— Arvid Harbinger, Hot Shots!! Part Deux
"My friends, it has often been said that I like war. Friends, I like war. No friends, I LOVE war.
I love holocausts. I love blitzkriegs. I love defensive lines. I love sieges, charges, I love mop-up operations, and retreats.
Wars across prairies, in streets, in trenches, in grasslands, in frozen tundras, through deserts, on the sea, in the air, I love every act of war that can occur upon this earth.
I love blasting the enemy to smithereens with artillery salvos that thunder across the lines of battle. My heart leaps with joy whenever a soldier is tossed into the air and cut to pieces by well placed sniper rounds. And there is nothing like a tank operator using a Tiger 88 to destroy enemy tanks.
And the feeling that comes when a soldier runs screaming from his blazing tank only to be mowed down by heavy machine gun fire, is such an exquisite feeling. Like when ranks of infantry brandish their bayonets rushing into the enemy line.
It moves me deep within my heart to watch a fresh recruit stabbing over and over into the bloated chest of a long-dead enemy. The sight of deserters being strung up from a street lamp is an irresistible pleasure.
And there is nothing more arousing than the sounds made by prisoners of war dropping like flies, screaming in agony as they're mowed down by ear piercing schmeissers. When a band of pitiful resistance fighters makes their final stand with nothing but small arms, only to have their city smashed to atoms block by block by 4.8 ton bombshells, I'm in ecstasy.
I love it when my forces are ravaged by a Russian armored division. It's so sad to see towns and villages that were supposed to be defended at all costs, being laid to waste, their women and children being raped, and killed. I love to be squashed under the heel of the British and American war machines. The humiliation, as my men crawl around like vermin, ducking the yark bombers flying overhead.
Gentlemen... All I ask for is war, a war so grand as to make Hell itself tremble. Gentlemen, I ask you as fellow brothers in arms, what is it you really want? Do you wish for further war as I do? Do you wish for a merciless, bloody war? A war whose fury is built with iron, and lightning, and fire? Do you ask for war to sweep in like a tempest, leaving not even ravens to scavenge, from this Earth? Very well. Then war is what you shall have. We are a clenched fist, ready to strike down all who oppose us, with our might. But... After enduring over half a century wallowing in the darkness, for us, a simple "ordinary" war will no longer be sufficient. We need a MASSIVE war! A war beyond any other that man's history has ever known!
We are but a single battalion... The remnants of a defeated army numbering less than a thousand strong. However, I believe that each of you old warriors is worth a thousand of their sickly soft children! We represent a force that could easily defeat an army of a million and one men! It is time for us to awake the ones who sent us screaming into oblivion, and who now lie sleeping.
Let's drag them out of bed by the hair, and remind them of what we are! We will remind them of what it feels like to live in fear. We will remind them of the sound our jackboots make against their throats. We will remind them, that there are more things between Heaven and Hell than are dreamt of in their philosophy.
Our Kampfgruppe of one thousand battle-hardened warriors will burn this world down to ash. Yes, my friends! Soon, Europe's charred remains will illuminate the night sky! I have brought you all back just as I promised I would. Back to our favorite battlefield. Back to our beloved war!
At last, the sea lion has crossed the ocean and is heading up the hill! Attention soldiers of the Millennium battalion, this is a message from your commander: Friends... let's bring them Hell."
— The Major, Hellsing
"'Bloodless victory'? Where's the fun in that?!"
— Fructose Riboflavin, The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!
"I tell you that neither eating, drinking, nor sleep has as much savor for me as to hear the cry 'Forwards!' from both sides, and horses without riders shying and whinnying, and the cry 'Help! Help!', and to see the small and great fall to the grass at the ditches and the dead pierced by the wood of the lances decked with banners."
— Bertran de Born
"The pleasant season is drawing nigh when our ships shall land, when King Richard shall come, merry and proud as he never was before. Now we shall see gold and silver spent; the newly built stonework will crack to the heart's desire, walls crumble, towers topple and collapse, our enemies taste prison and chains. I love the melee of blue and vermilion shields, the many-colored ensigns and the banners, the tents and rich pavilions spread out on the plain, the breaking lances, the pierced shields, the gleaming helmets that are split, the blows given and received."
— Bertran de Born
"The nightmares? They never go away, Snake. Once you have been on the battlefield, tasted the thrills, the exhilaration, the tension... It all becomes part of you. Once you've awakened the warrior within, it never sleeps again."
— Big Boss, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
"Just because I can give multiple orgasms to the furniture just by sitting on it, doesn't mean I'm not sick of this damn war. The blood. The noise. The endless poetry!"
"Three cheers for the war. Three cheers for Italy's war and three cheers for war in general. Peace is hence absurd or rather a pause in war."
—Benito Mussolini, 1921
"I think a curse should rest on me — because I love this war. I know it's smashing and shattering the lives of thousands every moment — and yet — I can't help it — I enjoy every second of it."
— Winston Churchill, A letter to a friend (1916)
"I love it. God help me, I do love it so. I love it more than my life."
— General Patton in the 1970 film Patton
"Certainly the war is hurting the economy, and the people donít like that. But at a deeper level, I think our people revel in war and blood, particularly if the victims belong to 'inferior' races."
"The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it can give us what we long for in life. It can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living."
— Chris Hedges, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
"I remember vividly and guiltily how, in the lead up to the Gulf War, I longed for war. It was natural. A view of history that treated war as the interesting bits, reinforced by a view of mass media that taught me that wars were where fun things like cartoons and video games happened meant that by 1990, at the age of 8, I was positively bitter that my life had dragged on without a proper war to keep things interesting.
The viewpoint is, like so much of being eight, barbaric in hindsight. It is not quite bloodlust, but rather a sort of blood blindness — the complete failure to recognize war as something other than the skeleton upon which a textbook is draped."