View Full Version : War is Just a Racket

6th January 03, 03:53 PM
Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

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.

>>>Always walk on a bright, wide road. If you choose to live with your right posture, you don't have to go on a dark road or a malodorous place. Oyama

6th January 03, 05:49 PM
cool speech.
I'll bet that guy would shit a brick if he saw what was happening today.

"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind"

The Wastrel
6th January 03, 06:09 PM
I agree almost completely.

**The most miraculous power that can verifiably be attributed to "chi" is its ability to be all things to virtually all people, depending on what version of the superstition they are attempting to defend at any given moment.**

7th January 03, 03:17 AM
At first I thought, "Man, Ashcroft is going to have this guy arrested for thoughtcrime soon..." and then I looked at the date and went, "Holy shit, 1933?!"

Man, just goes to show you, this shit's been going on since before we were born, and it's going to be going on until after we're dead, unless we're the people who put a stop to it.

Is this article linked or archived somewhere, like Salon.com or something like that? I've got some people I want to show it to, plus I'll see what I can do about submitting it to FARK.com.

"God is dead." -Nietzsche
"Nietzsche is dead." -God

7th January 03, 12:13 PM
I read it in one of these sites, http://www.utahpeace.org/pcnov1.htm: http://cal.uarc.com/display.pl
but it didn't paste to documents well, so I put the tittle on Dogpile, multi search engine and found it right away in a copy-able form. pat

>>>Always walk on a bright, wide road. If you choose to live with your right posture, you don't have to go on a dark road or a malodorous place. Oyama

7th January 03, 04:19 PM
I pretty much agree with most of the things he says. If you are fighting to defend your homeland and the Bill of rights then its justifiable. If you are fighting to make someone else's wallet thicker thats mess up.


8th January 03, 12:48 AM
I agree completely, that to fight a war so some corporate raider can buy another yacht is complete einescheisse.

However, let me sort of play "devil's advocate" and introduce another question: What other use of the military is justified beyond "adequate defense of the coastline"?

Some examples: In World War II, we couldn't let Japan and Germany, the perpetrators of the Rape of Nanking and the Holocaust, take over the world, and thusly when our hand was forced by Pearl Harbor we acted, and I'd find it hard to argue that the world would be a better place today otherwise.

Also, recently against the Taliban, we invaded and liberated the citizens of Afghanistan, and now they enjoy unprecedented freedom. Women are allowed to be educated, men have freedom of speech and freedom of thought, along with many things that weren't possible under the Taliban.

Certainly, the people of Europe, Asia, and Afghanistan are better off because of the intervention of the US military. Had the military not intervened, how else could we solve their situation?

Granted, there was much at stake for America in those theatres, and our military could have been defending that and not the freedom to live of the Chinese or Jews.

However, how bad is it if our military causes our country profit while at the same time doing good?

My opinion on this, and the upcoming war with Iraq, is that our military should seek to defend our country first, our allies and the world's downtrodden at a close second, and our corporate interests a distant third.

War to fatten a bank account is like a CEO bathing in the blood of young men to restore his youth. A rich nation like the US can do much better, at home and abroad, without resorting to war. Our homeless need employment, and the Iraqi and Afghan people need freedom.

As the world's biggest free democratic nation, we have a special burden to shelter and defend the world's oppressed and champion their causes worldwide. If the Iraqi people cannot tolerate their condition and wish to rebel, we will support them fully (and most certainly not until the golden goose stops laying eggs). If the Afghani people go hungry, we feed them. If they are uneducated, we teach them. If their leaders violate the rights of their people, we and the UN can bring them to justice, using the military only as a last resort.

Just look at the "people power" revolutions in Poland and the Philippines. There, the influence of the people effected a change in their government without war, but formerly in Afghanistan and currently in Iraq, that's not possible, and they require our help. We can help them without resorting to war.

Food, money, influence, and "people power" can effect as much change, if not more, than guns and mortar shells. If we reach and capture the minds, hearts, and stomachs of a nation's students, women, and disaffected men, their power and ours will be too much for their corrupt leadership to resist.

"God is dead." -Nietzsche
"Nietzsche is dead." -God

9th January 03, 02:53 PM
I dont know Mercurous with all respect. Some of the things you have said seem to be a regurgitation of media propaganda. When the U.S. military intervene in Panama, Grenada and other place the lives of these pople have change at all. They are still living in extreame poverty. I doubt the people of Afghanistan would improve much a few yaers from now after the world have forgotten about them. It is history that has shown that Western Nations or "democracy" have done much to shelter the oppress. Countries that have been financialy supported by the U.S. government like Hondurus to El Salvador to the Shah of Iran has some of the worst human right records in the world. Look at Somali. The U.S. military intervene there for "humanitarian aid" but at the same time there are thousands of people starving in the Sudan, The Congo and elswhere let alone in America's door step. The U.S. military spends billions but yet there are so many homeless people on America's own streets. You have so many poeople living in ghettos and what not. You have aborginal people living in third world conditions. And the list goes on.
If you dwell into the history of Colonialism you all have nations giving a good pretext for invading and exploiting other nations. You have those who try to justify what they do to "liberate hethen savages" and to "enlighten the ignorant" and so forth. I dont think many countries have forgotten their history. Certainly not the various people of afica, South and Central America and Asia or Australia or even North America. ie. The Chinese havnt forgotten the Boxer Rebellion; Indonesia havnt forgotten about the Dutch; The Congo havnt forgotten about the Belguim; South Africa havnt forgotten about the British and Germans; India havnt forgotten the British and the list goes on. (I just want to point out when I say British or whatever I dont mean British people but the British ruling elite).
I dont want to get into World War1 or 2 theres alot of politics behind it way before any shots were fire.
A further note the "Taliban" are the same people who were at one time refer as "Freedom fighters" and better know as the "Mujahadeen". The Taliban was a creation of the CIA. They were both trained and armed by the military. Of course theres alot of politics with this subject as well and I dont want to get into it either.
It would be nice if there was real Democracy and justice in the world but I dont see that anywhere.


9th January 03, 02:55 PM
oops it should read " history have shown that the West.... havnt done much to shelter the oppress.."


10th January 03, 02:30 PM
Amen to that. Right from the mouth of a former General.