War Is A Racket – USMC General Smedley Butler on Security Cooperation (1934)

 

Book title:  War Is A Racket, by USMC General Smedley Butler

War Is A Racket : I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an original thought until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher- ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service

Smedley Butler

My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military.

Smedley Butler

If only more of today’s military personnel would realize that they are being used by the owning elite’s as a publicly subsidized capitalist goon squad

Smedley Butler

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.

Smedley Butler

War is just a racket… I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else.

Smedley Butler

It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country…but the profits…skyrocket…

War like any other racket, pays high dividends to the very few. The cost of operations is always transferred to the people who do not profit.

Smedley Butler

War is a racket. It always has been… A few profit – and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can’t end it by disarmament conferences. You can’t eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can’t wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war.

Smedley Butler

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.

Smedley Butler

No one told these American soldiers they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross might be torpedoed by submarines built with US patents.

Smedley Butler

Why don’t those damn oil companies fly their own flags on their personal property-maybe a flag with a gas pump on it.

Smedley Butler

I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long…. Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. We Marines operated on three CONTINENTS

Smedley Butler

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We must take the profit out of war.

Smedley Butler

War, Profit

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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.

Smedley Butler

Wall, Marine, Men

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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.

Smedley Butler

War, Believe, People

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War is a racket. It always has been… A few profit – and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can’t end it by disarmament conferences. You can’t eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can’t wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war.

Smedley Butler

War, Groups, Wipe

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I selected an enormous Marine Corps emblem to be tattooed across my chest. It required several sittings and hurt me like the devil, but the finished product was worth the pain. I blazed triumphantly forth, a Marine from throat to waist. The emblem is still with me. Nothing on earth but skinning will remove it.

Smedley Butler

Hurt, Pain, Marine

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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.

Smedley Butler

Brother, Wall, Boys

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If only more of today’s military personnel would realize that they are being used by the owning elite’s as a publicly subsidized capitalist goon squad

Smedley Butler

Military, Squad, Today

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War Is A Racket : I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an original thought until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher- ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service

Smedley Butler

Military, War, Order

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There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights.

Smedley Butler

Peace, War, Home

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No one told these American soldiers they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross might be torpedoed by submarines built with US patents.

Smedley Butler

Brother, Dark, Soldier

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Why don’t those damn oil companies fly their own flags on their personal property-maybe a flag with a gas pump on it.

Smedley Butler

Oil, Flags, Pumps

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One hundred and twenty Marines were detailed to officer a force of twenty-six hundred Haitians.

Smedley Butler

Marine, Twenties, Six

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My interest is, my one hobby is, maintaining a democracy. If you get these 500,000 soldiers advocating anything smelling of Fascism, I am going to get 500,000 more and lick the hell out of you, and we will have a real war right at home.

Smedley Butler

Real, War, Home

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I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long…. Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. We Marines operated on three CONTINENTS

Smedley Butler

Wall, Marine, Cities

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The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits – ah! that is another matter – twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent – the sky is the limit.

Smedley Butler

War, Eight, Sky

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War is just a racket… I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else.

Smedley Butler

Peace, War, Believe

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War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious.

Smedley Butler

War, Vicious, Racket

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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.

Smedley Butler

War, Years, Soldier

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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.

Smedley Butler

America, Soldier, Dollars

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My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military.

Smedley Butler

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