The War Racket

by SixofNine 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • SixofNine

    -- Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC. General Butler was the recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor - one of only two Marines so honored.

    War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

    I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight.

    The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

    I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

    There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

    It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

    I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

    During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
  • SixofNine

    He also published this small book on the subject:

    War Is A Racket
    By Major General Smedley Butler

    Chapter 1: War Is A Racket
    Chapter 2: Who Makes The Profits?
    Chapter 3: Who Pays The Bills?
    Chapter 4: How To Smash This Racket!
    Chapter 5: To Hell With War!

    Smedley Darlington Butler

    • Born: West Chester, Pa., July 30, 1881
    • Educated: Haverford School
    • Married: Ethel C. Peters, of Philadelphia, June 30, 1905
    • Awarded two congressional medals of honor:
      1. capture of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1914
      2. capture of Ft. Riviere, Haiti, 1917
      3. Distinguished service medal, 1919
      4. Major General - United States Marine Corps
      5. Retired Oct. 1, 1931
      6. On leave of absence to act as
        director of Dept. of Safety, Philadelphia, 1932
      7. Lecturer -- 1930's
      8. Republican Candidate for Senate, 1932
      9. Died at Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, June 21, 1940
      10. For more information about Major General Butler,
        contact the United States Marine Corps.
    • nvrgnbk

      Thank you for sharing this, 6o9.

    • SixofNine

      and thank you for all your good efforts, nvrgnbk.

      President of the United States (and former General of the Army) Dwight D. Eisenhower in his Farewell Address to the Nation on January 17, 1961:

      A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction...

      This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

      In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

      We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

    • Mincan

      Good stuff, Americans need to hear it...

    • greendawn

      Interesting reading, apart from the second world war and perhaps the first, the rest of the wars were fought to promote the interests of the elite few. The rest of society got little or no benefit out of them.

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