War is a Racket

www.dissidentvoice.org claims many dedicated rants against the Iraq war, and against war in general.

Americans aren’t taught in school about Smedley Butler, an important figure in United States history who spent thirty-three years in the Marine Corps before retiring as a major general in 1931.

Widely respected (he’s one of only two Marines to win the Congressional Medal of Honor twice), he was recruited in 1933 by fascism-admiring, über-rich American businessmen to lead a coup against President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Imagine their surprise when Butler reported the plan to a congressional committee instead. Though the committee’s final report corroborated Butler’s testimony, no further action was taken.

Bluntly honest, Butler frequently spoke after his retirement to gatherings sponsored by “veterans, communists, pacifists and church groups” (Wikipedia) in which he made no bones about the masters he truly served during his career.

Probably Butler’s best-known quote comes from a 1935 issue of Common Sense, a socialist newspaper:

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and 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 benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.”

In 1935, Butler penned a damning, no-frills booklet, War is a Racket

People have not been horrified by war to a sufficient extent … War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige as the warrior does today. – John Fitzgerald Kennedy