Prophets Of War

Album: Systematic Chaos (2007)


  • When this song was written, the United States had invaded Iraq under the false pretense that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. It had become clear that many companies were profiting the war, some of which had ties to US Vice President Dick Cheney. The Iraq War was a response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, which lowered the threshold for war in the interest of preventing terrorism.

    In a Songfacts interview with Dream Theater lead singer James LaBrie, who wrote the lyric, he explained: "That's all about 9/11 and the way that governments responded to it. What we witness around us, there are hidden agendas that unfortunately create the divide, create the hate, create the ignorance. There are things that are being orchestrated through governments that unfortunately have a detrimental effect on humankind and on society."
  • A "prophet" is one who knows the future, typically a messenger of God. In this song, the word has a double meaning: "profits," meaning those who benefit from the atrocity of war. Rush did something similar in their song "The Spirit Of Radio" with the line "the words of the prophets (profits) are written on the studio wall," a play on a line in the Simon & Garfunkel song "The Sound Of Silence"


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