This is a repost from a year ago. In the past twelve months, we have gotten in one more war, that we know of. The economic turmoil in America is caused, in large part, because of these conflicts.
There was a feature the other day on the innertube called War is a racket . It was about a man with the unlikely name of Smedley Butler . Pictures for today’s adventure are from The Library of Congress. The video features an actor named Graham Frye in the role of General Butler. The video is courtesy of Smedley D. Butler Brigade Chapter 9 Veterans For Peace.
Major General Smedley Darlington Butler was a star of the U.S. Marine Corps. He lied about his age to enlist during the Spanish American War. Mr. Butler served in Philippines, China , Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and World War I. With the exception of World War I, most of these conflicts are forgotten today.
Smedley Butler received the Medal of Honor twice. “His first Medal of Honor was presented following action at Vera Cruz, Mexico, 21-22 April 1914, where he commanded the Marines who landed and occupied the city. Maj Butler “was eminent and conspicuous in command of his Battalion. He exhibited courage and skill in leading his men through the action of the 22nd and in the final occupation of the city…The following year, he was awarded the second Medal of Honor for bravery and forceful leadership as Commanding Officer of detachments of Marines and seamen of the USS Connecticut in repulsing Caco resistance on Fort Riviere, Haiti, 17 November 1915.”
After his retirement in 1931, Mr. Butler had a change of heart, and decided that killing for Uncle Sam was not such a great idea. He wrote a book, “War is a Racket”, and became a popular speaker. Here is a “money quote”… “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and 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 benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might 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.”
Smedley Butler died June 21, 1940. Eighteen months later, America was at War again. How he would have reacted to that conflict is a mystery.