Saturday, October 21, 2006

I Followed A Link At Bilmon's Blog

And this is where it led me. . .interesting stuff.

Smedley Butler on Interventionism
-- 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.

plus ca la meme chose and stuff huh?

crossposted at 3B's


Blogger BadTux said...

Yowsa, you just found out about Smedley Butler? Yeah, ole' Smedley got to do a lot of kickin' about when he was in the Marines. He was in China kicking the Chinese around to get preferential trade rights. He was in the Phillipines killing Moros for Jesus and opening the southern Phillipines for plantation farming. He was sent to Haiti and Cuba and all over central America invading whenever a local government did something that upset United Fruit such as threaten to actually (gasp) TAX THEIR PROFITS! (the Chiquita Banana people in case you don't know, and yes, they're just as evil today as they were back then). Then he came home to the Great Depression, and was ordered to break up labor strikes at gunpoint. When ordered to shoot his fellow Americans, well, that was the final straw for him, he resigned his commission and became a flamin' lefty.

Which, of course, is why he does not appear in the American propaganda err history textbooks, no moreso than all the banana wars, the million or so Filipinos killed during the American-Filipino war (which has been written out of the American history textbooks as thoroughly as the Rape of Nanking has been written out of Japanese history textbooks), etc... after all, can't let some flamin' pinko say stuff like that, even if he WAS the most decorated Marine ever until Chesty Puller took the title from him...

- Badtux the History Penguin

12:55 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

I got hip to Smedley while studying with Victor Davis Hanson at Cal State Fresno. Yes, Hanson's a bullet head and neocon rag writer. But, I found him to be a solid historian and great teacher. He loves the slightly unhinged types like Butler, Sherman, Patton and even LeMay (his father served under LeMay in the Pacific and believed until the day he died that LeMay's insanity was one of the things that helped to bring a lot of Americans home alive) who are geniuses on the battlefield, but less suited to a life of peace and harmony.

1:12 PM  

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