This is what I saw in my inbox the first thing this morning, courtesy of the Randi Rhodes Show, and I want to pass it on to you verbatim. No words of mine can begin to touch this:
"In the first half of the 20th century, Gen. Butler was as well known as Colin Powell is today. He served 33 years in the US Marines and is one of only 19 people ever to receive TWO Congressional Medals of Honor - the highest decoration the US Military awards.
Gen. Butler served with unquestionable distinction on battlefields spanning three continents. And when his service was through and the only orders he followed were his own he did what all great men do: he asked himself "Why?"
History now remembers General Smedley Butler for his answer that very simple question. An answer that holds as true today as it did 73 ago…
WAR IS A RACKET!"
The following is an excerpt from a speech Gen. Butler delivered in 1933…one of over 1,200 speeches he delivered in over 700 US cities.
"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. 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."
In 1935, Gen. Butler published his famed short work titled War is a Racket. Click here to read it in its entirety.
Thanks to the Randi Rhodes Show.