War Is A Racket By Major General Smedley Butler Contents Chapter 1: War Is A Racket Chapter 2: Who Makes The Profits? Chapter 3: Who Pays The Bills?. General Smedley Butler’s frank book shows how American war efforts were animated by big-business interests. This extraordinary argument against war by an. Major General Smedley D. Butler was a military hero of the first rank, the winner of two Medals of Honour, a true ‘fighting marine’ whose courage and patriotism.
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The United States of America is in a state of perpetual war, which requires perpetual war spending.
The reason for this is simple: To be more specific, tax-payer money allocated by politicians to defense contractors who produce wildly expensive and unnecessary equipment, and power of controlling certain resources and markets for profit-driven corporations and industries.
In this case, there is little press coverage at all of a military project so enormously wasteful as to defy imagination. The word boondoggle is too benign for the cancer of corrupt and bungled arms contracts that is the F Here is a recent article in The Daily Beast describing, for example, how faulty software will prevent the jet from firing its own gun and will delay the project for at least another five years.
The issues we are dealing with, however, are by no means new and did not start with the F or even during the Reagan administration. War profiteering, monopolistic corporate practices, excessive lobbying of government by vested interests, manipulation of opinion with propaganda, and public ignorance or indifference have existed since the beginning of the republic, and are shared in common with all democracies.
One common misconception may be that this collusion between government and industry was a relatively new thing that grew after World War Two, when in fact it has been a serious problem at least since America got involved in the imperialism game in the Spanish-American War in Here is a powerful summary of his opinions that comes from a article in the socialist magazine Common Sense:.
In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in In China in I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might 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. War is a racket.
War Is a Racket – Wikipedia
It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. Wwr is the only one international in scope.
It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in teneral and the losses in lives. He gives the reason for his conviction and correctly predicts a coming war in Europe and Asia, specifically mentioning how the US Navy was provoking Japan with war games in the Pacific.
His solution for breaking, or at least limiting the war racket, is threefold:. Had that been the law in the Maine would never have gone to Havana Harbor. She never would have been blown up. There would have been no war with Spain with its attendant loss of life. Two hundred miles is ample, in the opinion of experts, for defense purposes. Planes might be permitted to go as far as miles from the coast for purposes of reconnaissance. And the army should never leave the territorial limits of our nation.
I fully endorse the second proposal, and the other two should be realized in some form or another. Smedley Butler was a man not just uncommonly brave on the battlefield, but even braver to speak out against the masters of war who would rule mahor country, and the world. Back to the original point. America is in a continual state of war not because its citizens like it that way but because it is highly, hugely profitable to the powerful interests that hold more influence with politicians than millions of individual citizens combined.
I can think of very few people who raxket have voted to spend over a Trillion dollars fighting a war in Iraq, and even fewer who would vote to allocate over a Trillion dollars of their tax revenue to an unnecessary jet that may not ever work properly.
So why does it continue like this? It comes down to the fact that not enough Americans know or care about what happens in other countries or what their government and military is doing in their name.
Do many Americans know that there are at least American military bases around the world, or that there is a fast growing Africa Command branch of the military that is involved in almost every country in Africa? Such a thing has been unimaginable since the Carter presidency.
With the possible exception of Bernie Sanders, there are no politicians today brave enough to take on this problem, and certainly none with as high a profile as president. Sadly, this means that it must be time for new politicians. Only a citizenry which not only votes, but is also informed and involved, can do this.
War is still ‘a racket’
He now teaches English in Italy and writes at generxl. He is not a pacifist, but he does believe that the number of just wars in history can be counted on one hand. Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola.
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Create a Foreign Policy account to access 3 articles per month and free newsletters developed by policy experts. Ricks January 15, His solution for breaking, or at least limiting the war racket, is threefold: Ricks covered the U.
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