On the 8th of November in 2002, the United Nations Security Council reviewed Resolution 1441, which would censure Iraqi behavior and warn serious consequences if it remained defiant of limiting removing nuclear weapons. This was seen as the a “just” reason to engage in war against Iraqi, despite many American allies refusing to join the war until a United Nations mandate would have to be given. As in the live performances, Billie Joel Armstrong said that Holiday, “is not Anti-American, it’s Anti-War” saying the song is a big “F**K YOU” to the powerful politicians that can wage war against other nations, as soldiers are risking their lives on the battlefields to fight for the cause of a better world.

Even in the music video it shows, bomber planes with the Green Day logo on one of the atomic bombs as it hits a combat zone, possibly with civilians in there or evacuated because war is being fought in the area. That title card shows that this song is against the use of bombs in war, as it is against the use of bombs (probably providing social commentary to the use of the Atomic Bomb against Japanese civilians in WW2).

This song criticizes the governments because they have the power, makes the decisions and receives the payoff despite not doing the work on the ground. The political elites are just in their offices playing the game but not involving themselves in the game.


As looking at the historical context behind the song, it is giving me a clearer sense of the lyrics.

The lyrics in the first verse pays homage to those who are battling the war on the ground but aren’t being recognized for their efforts, and even in the music video shows Billie Joel Armstrong voicing the opinions of those that are either refugees fleeing for Iraqi or having to endure the carnage of war as being “dogs howling out of key to a hymn called faith & misery” showing that they have no choice and are tied to the decisions that the government decides.

The lyrics in the bridge criticize French and German refusal to enter the war and would bomb those that don’t agree with you.