War Is A Racket

War is a Racket is the title of an essay written by General Smedley Butler.

This general won two Congressional Medals of Honor, and after retiring in 1933 summarized his experience like this:

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…..

I invite you to read his essay in the forums. I have placed it under the Politics thread. here (the link will go to my personal blog, until the forums are fixed. See “Other people’s essays.”)

It is a little long, but well worth reading. Our families and friends are at risk in foreign lands, we should consider the reasons why.

Today we seem to be in the same historical position as we were 70 years ago. Those creators of history are all long dead. but maybe we can change our future this time, instead of repeating past mistakes. This story sounds all too familiar, even without the anticipation of nuclear weapons.

While I see the trigger for corporate behavior as stemming from the interest mechanism and the monopolies issued by the Patent Office, the effect of corporate behavior would appear to be unchanged. We The People bear the consequences. There is no refuge from ourselves.

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