Seventy-seven years ago, Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, Marine Corps, gave a speech entitled, War is a Racket. What made this speech so credible, if not surprising, is the fact that Smedley Butler was the highest decorated Marine of all time. Marines all over still learn about him, but they aren’t taught that he came from Quaker roots and began to castigate the U.S. and its wars of aggression after his retirement from the Marines.
General Butler is not too well known outside of military/peace circles. Indeed, even though I was a U.S. History major at University and most of what we learned about was war, I don’t think I had ever heard of him until about a year after Casey’s death.
In about March of 2005, I received an email from a person who had read one of my articles and he sent me a link to the treatise, War is a Racket. By the time I first read Butler’s work, I didn’t need any more convincing that Casey died for no reason except profit, but after I read it, I began to understand that the concept of “good war,” was a bogus one. Indeed, Butler says this in the first chapter:
For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.
It seems like every generation, more or less, in the U.S. we wage a significant war. My generations’ “War on Terror” was Vietnam. Smedley Butler wrote War is a Racket between the “good wars” WWI and WWII.
What also makes this treatise so incredible is that in 77 years since the original speech, nothing much has changed. If you just change some of the names to the current crop of culprits, it is eerily identical to today.
The rich always benefit during war and the poor always pay—always, no exception.
From the booklet:
Yes, the soldier pays the greater part of the bill. His family pays too. They pay it in the same heart-break that he does. As he suffers, they suffer. At nights, as he lay in the trenches and watched shrapnel burst about him, they lay home in their beds and tossed sleeplessly – his father, his mother, his wife, his sisters, his brothers, his sons, and his daughters.
Peace of the Action and Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox is proud to offer a 75th Anniversary Edition of War is a Racket (which was published first in treatise form in 1935) with foreword by Cindy Sheehan—and personalized and autographed by Cindy Sheehan for only $10 (shipping and handling included).
The booklet contains a short bio of Major General Butler, and a short expose´ of the Military Industrial Complex—it is ideal for students, classrooms, living rooms, libraries, and peace libraries—anywhere that our children are in danger of being preyed upon by the Empire—which is pretty much everywhere these days. Military service seems to be the government’s new jobs’ program.
Discounts are available for bulk orders, email Joshua Smith for a quote: Josh@PeaceoftheAction.org