The song lyrics, "Who victored over, the Seljuks/When the Holy Land was taken/We will fight the heathens", as with many of their songs, refers specifically to Armenian conflicts with Seljuk Turks.
This song can be generalized to mankind fighting wars for wealth and other material gains throughout the centuries while coming up with great reasons for it; one of the first reasons given for such wars was that God commanded the war. There is also a strong reminiscing present about The Crusades in the lyrics.
In the pamphlet of the band's self-titled album, before the lyrics, are notes apparently from the band stating that "We first fought the heathens in the name of religion, then Communism, and now in the name of drugs and terrorism", and that "our excuses for world domination always change."
Music Video Edit
The music video for War? features the band playing a live show. Unlike other music videos, this one is not dubbed over with the studio release. Rather, it uses the audio that the band recorded for their third demo tape. In the beginning of this video, tapes apparently showing events in the Yugoslav Wars are played while Serj says "Freedom will only be available through death!" three times. The first time, he says it as a whisper, then, he says it louder, and screams the words for the third time. The video then cuts to Daron playing the guitar intro, while Serj shouts, "Praise the lord and pass the ammunition! God wants you to go to war!" The entire band then breaks into the song.
The song is changed a great deal when played live. The song features a Middle Eastern Intro, backing vocals, keyboards, synths, and new lyrics. This new version was first performed at the band's show in Glasgow.
The song was used in the PlayStation game, Apocalypse.