I did not realize that the song was about war until the second verse when he sang, "yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist, before they're allowed to be free?" This explicates the first verse as well. Dylan means that the men are soldiers and the white dove represents peace.
His solemn voice seems to be sad and fed up with war, killing, and hurt. Dylan wants to know when people will start recognizing that these actions add to the problem instead of cure it. However, no one knows when enough will be enough and this destruction of society will cease.
The most striking lyrics that drive home Dylan's message are the last ones', "how many ears must one man have, before he can hear people cry? Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows, that too many people have died?" These lines evoke emotion in me that let me know I heard and felt what Dylan probably wished to convey with his song.
The song has a constant guitar strum in the background that has a slow upbeat tempo, but Dylan's voice does not always stay with the beat. This technique makes his powerful lyrics stand out more. Furthermore, the harmonica that plays after each verse compliments the sad, wondering feeling Dylan creates with his voice and he enunciates the strong words in each line that would help deliver his message. Every element of this song intertwine beautifully to create a powerful and emotional song.