War Is A Racket

Introduction Torture Glossary Cindy Sheehan Protest
9/11 Bush’s Five Big Lies The Muslims Will Kill Us All!
Bush’s Untrue WMD Statements Don’t Marry A Soldier
American Terrorists How You Know Bush Lied about WMDs Don’t Enlist
American War Criminals Iraq War Motives Do Enlist
Disrespecting American Soldiers Altruistic War Motives The Coming Draft
Joke Selfish War Motives The Ideal War
Iraq War Casualty Pictures Popular War Motives Spoken Word Links
Abu Ghraib Torture Pictures Economic Cost of the Iraq War Video Links
Navy Seals Pictures Beheadings Books
Fallujah Pictures History Related Essays by Roedy
DU Baby Pictures Why The Iraqis Fight So Hard Links
Culprit Pictures What The Iraqis Want Taking Action
Protestor Pictures Republican Denial What You can Do
Links To Pictures Republicans Pretend Not To Notice Mark Twain’s War Prayer
Body Counts Saddam Hussein War Is A Racket
Defense Science Board Future Wounds by Dr. Norman Bethune
Atrocities Mind Your Own Business! How Will The Iraq War End?
Tortures Why I Despise Most Americans Conclusions
Guilty of Torture God On Our Side

War Is A Racket

This is piece was written way back in 1933, but is still just as relevant. It is an excerpt from a speech by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC (United States Marine Corps). Smedley Butler is one of only 19 people in the entire history of the US military to have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor twice. The Medal of Honor is the highest award given by the US military.

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 19091912. 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.

This page is posted
on the web at:


Optional Replicator mirror
of mindprod.com
on local hard disk J:

Please the feedback from other visitors, or your own feedback about the site.
Contact Roedy. Please feel free to link to this page without explicit permission.

Your face IP:[]
You are visitor number