One of America’s genuine heroes, Major General Smedley D Butler revealed in his memoirs the true, abhorrent nature of Washington’s foreign policy. Butler had led countless military operations in Central America and the Caribbean as a US Marines Corp commander in the era of “gunboat diplomacy” during the early 1900s. Years after his retirement, he spoke out candidly and ruefully of his highly decorated military service in a book entitled War is a Racket. Here is how Butler characterized with unsparing words his service for country in 1935, five years before his death:
In 1935, a book was published, War Is a Racket , by retired Marine General Smedley Butler. In this brief book Butler embellishes his belief that our nation’s foreign policy was controlled and manipulated by private corporate interests… all in the name of greed. Wars, invasions and occupations by our military, according to General Butler, were all predicated on the desire for profit by corporations. He himself called his past life as a Marine general as being a gangster for these private industrial interests. He used WW1 as an example of who made the profits for our military being sent ‘Over there’. Apparently, most of our American public at that time could not care less for what Smedley Butler was selling.
“War is a racket,” warned the retired Marine,
Veteran of wars, sick of what he’d seen.
Planned and ordered by the callous and mean,
It’s brutal and savage, and truly obscene.
“A gangster for capitalism” is what he became,
In his own words, years later, after his fame,
The book “War Is A Racket”, above his name,
Told how he was used in that deadly greed game.
This year, 2011, we all can sense that a storm is brewing, environmentally, economically and politically. We have an empire called Pax Americana (an oxymoron is there ever was one) that is candidly quite near its end. Oh, the few thousand people who control America’s business, military and politics are still holding out for greater expansion of this dying killer weed in the garden Earth. After over a century of strangling most of the world, Pax Americana is quickly running out of steam, with bankrupt cities whose citizenry is lost in the hypnotic trance of consumerism, false patriotism and discriminations of all sorts. Propaganda and jingoism are doing their best to keep the Pandora’s Box of truth from popping open. Yet, we have seen many converts to this truth that felt a sincere love of humanity which needed expression. Here are a few examples:
Now! Click here to listen or download Cindy’s interview with Matt ‘maximum gonzo’ Taibbi and David Swanson, author of War is a Lie, the new blockbuster revelation masterpiece. The discussion moves on, through the current fake mortgage crisis. Matt Taibbi has much published material in Rolling Stone, and knows what he’s talking about. David Swanson is a well established activist with a long history in the peace movement. He contributes his expert insight here, using his expertise to discuss the lies behind all wars.
WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
Major General Smedley Butler
For this Mother’s Day, I am not going to write about Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day proclamation and how Mother’s Day is a “Day for Peace.”