We are all tools of the machine that we call society. Most of us do not realize it. Some of us realize it, and do nothing. A few of us know it, and do what is trendy among our friends to oppose it. Then there are the rare few who make the conscious choice to rebel and risk it all regardless of what any of their family, friends, and colleagues, critiques and media may think. Major General Smedley Darlington Butler of the U.S. Marine Core was one such brave soul. He declared in 1935 that “War is a Racket,” a bloody racket that kills and cripples young men and makes the rich even richer. To the right is a video portrayal of Retired Major General Smedley D. Butler by Bart Haggin of Spokane, Wa giving one of his speeches.
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 [City] districts. I operated on three continents. –Wikipedia.
Filed under: Senator Patty Murray
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