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  • OT: some things never change

    'War Is A Racket'


    Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

    Smedley Butler


    WAR is a racket. It always has been

    It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious.
    It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the
    profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

    A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to
    the majority of the 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 very
    many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

    In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At
    least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States
    during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income
    tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one
    knows.

    How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a
    trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested
    dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and
    shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of
    an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

    Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They
    just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few –
    the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public
    shoulders the bill.

    And what is this bill?

    This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled
    bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability.
    Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for
    generations and generations.

    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.

    Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side by
    side. Italy and Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germany
    cast sheep's eyes at each other, forgetting for the nonce [one unique occasion],
    their dispute over the Polish Corridor.

    The assassination of King Alexander of Jugoslavia [Yugoslavia] complicated
    matters. Jugoslavia and Hungary, long bitter enemies, were almost at each
    other's throats. Italy was ready to jump in. But France was waiting. So was
    Czechoslovakia. All of them are looking ahead to war. Not the people – not those
    who fight and pay and die – only those who foment wars and remain safely at home
    to profit.

    There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and
    diplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making.

    Hell's bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers?

    Not in Italy, to be sure. Premier Mussolini knows what they are being trained
    for. He, at least, is frank enough to speak out. Only the other day, Il Duce in
    "International Conciliation," the publication of the Carnegie Endowment for
    International Peace, said:

    "And above all, Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the
    development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment,
    believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace... War
    alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of
    nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it."

    Undoubtedly Mussolini means exactly what he says. His well-trained army, his
    great fleet of planes, and even his navy are ready for war – anxious for it,
    apparently. His recent stand at the side of Hungary in the latter's dispute with
    Jugoslavia showed that. And the hurried mobilization of his troops on the
    Austrian border after the assassination of Dollfuss showed it too. There are
    others in Europe too whose sabre rattling presages war, sooner or later.

    Herr Hitler, with his rearming Germany and his constant demands for more and
    more arms, is an equal if not greater menace to peace. France only recently
    increased the term of military service for its youth from a year to eighteen months.

    Yes, all over, nations are camping in their arms. The mad dogs of Europe are on
    the loose. In the Orient the maneuvering is more adroit. Back in 1904, when
    Russia and Japan fought, we kicked out our old friends the Russians and backed
    Japan. Then our very generous international bankers were financing Japan. Now
    the trend is to poison us against the Japanese. What does the "open door" policy
    to China mean to us? Our trade with China is about $90,000,000 a year. Or the
    Philippine Islands? We have spent about $600,000,000 in the Philippines in
    thirty-five years and we (our bankers and industrialists and speculators) have
    private investments there of less than $200,000,000.

    Then, to save that China trade of about $90,000,000, or to protect these private
    investments of less than $200,000,000 in the Philippines, we would be all
    stirred up to hate Japan and go to war – a war that might well cost us tens of
    billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, and many more
    hundreds of thousands of physically maimed and mentally unbalanced men.

    Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit – fortunes would
    be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitions
    makers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They
    would fare well.

    Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn't they? It pays high
    dividends.

    But what does it profit the men who are killed? What does it profit their
    mothers and sisters, their wives and their sweethearts? What does it profit
    their children?

    What does it profit anyone except the very few to whom war means huge profits?

    Yes, and what does it profit the nation?

    Take our own case. Until 1898 we didn't own a bit of territory outside the
    mainland of North America. At that time our national debt was a little more than
    $1,000,000,000. Then we became "internationally minded." We forgot, or shunted
    aside, the advice of the Father of our country. We forgot George Washington's
    warning about "entangling alliances." We went to war. We acquired outside
    territory. At the end of the World War period, as a direct result of our
    fiddling in international affairs, our national debt had jumped to over
    $25,000,000,000. Our total favorable trade balance during the twenty-five-year
    period was about $24,000,000,000. Therefore, on a purely bookkeeping basis, we
    ran a little behind year for year, and that foreign trade might well have been
    ours without the wars.

    It would have been far cheaper (not to say safer) for the average American who
    pays the bills to stay out of foreign entanglements. For a very few this racket,
    like bootlegging and other underworld rackets, brings fancy profits, but the
    cost of operations is always transferred to the people – who do not profit.

    CHAPTER TWO

    WHO MAKES THE PROFITS?

    The World War, rather our brief participation in it, has cost the United States
    some $52,000,000,000. Figure it out. That means $400 to every American man,
    woman, and child. And we haven't paid the debt yet. We are paying it, our
    children will pay it, and our children's children probably still will be paying
    the cost of that war.

    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. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the
    money. Let's get it.

    Of course, it isn't put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches
    about patriotism, love of country, and "we must all put our shoulders to the
    wheel," but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket – and are safely pocketed.
    Let's just take a few examples:

    Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people – didn't one of them testify
    before a Senate committee recently that their powder won the war? Or saved the
    world for democracy? Or something? How did they do in the war? They were a
    patriotic corporation. Well, the average earnings of the du Ponts for the period
    1910 to 1914 were $6,000,000 a year. It wasn't much, but the du Ponts managed to
    get along on it. Now let's look at their average yearly profit during the war
    years, 1914 to 1918. Fifty-eight million dollars a year profit we find! Nearly
    ten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were pretty
    good. An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent.

    Take one of our little steel companies that patriotically shunted aside the
    making of rails and girders and bridges to manufacture war materials. Well,
    their 1910-1914 yearly earnings averaged $6,000,000. Then came the war. And,
    like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Did
    their profits jump – or did they let Uncle Sam in for a bargain? Well, their
    1914-1918 average was $49,000,000 a year!

    Or, let's take United States Steel. The normal earnings during the five-year
    period prior to the war were $105,000,000 a year. Not bad. Then along came the
    war and up went the profits. The average yearly profit for the period 1914-1918
    was $240,000,000. Not bad.

    There you have some of the steel and powder earnings. Let's look at something
    else. A little copper, perhaps. That always does well in war times.

    Anaconda, for instance. Average yearly earnings during the pre-war years
    1910-1914 of $10,000,000. During the war years 1914-1918 profits leaped to
    $34,000,000 per year.

    Or Utah Copper. Average of $5,000,000 per year during the 1910-1914 period.
    Jumped to an average of $21,000,000 yearly profits for the war period.

    Let's group these five, with three smaller companies. The total yearly average
    profits of the pre-war period 1910-1914 were $137,480,000. Then along came the
    war. The average yearly profits for this group skyrocketed to $408,300,000.

    A little increase in profits of approximately 200 per cent.

    Does war pay? It paid them. But they aren't the only ones. There are still
    others. Let's take leather.

    For the three-year period before the war the total profits of Central Leather
    Company were $3,500,000. That was approximately $1,167,000 a year. Well, in 1916
    Central Leather returned a profit of $15,000,000, a small increase of 1,100 per
    cent. That's all. The General Chemical Company averaged a profit for the three
    years before the war of a little over $800,000 a year. Came the war, and the
    profits jumped to $12,000,000. a leap of 1,400 per cent.

    International Nickel Company – and you can't have a war without nickel – showed
    an increase in profits from a mere average of $4,000,000 a year to $73,000,000
    yearly. Not bad? An increase of more than 1,700 per cent.

    American Sugar Refining Company averaged $2,000,000 a year for the three years
    before the war. In 1916 a profit of $6,000,000 was recorded.

    Listen to Senate Document No. 259. The Sixty-Fifth Congress, reporting on
    corporate earnings and government revenues. Considering the profits of 122 meat
    packers, 153 cotton manufacturers, 299 garment makers, 49 steel plants, and 340
    coal producers during the war. Profits under 25 per cent were exceptional. For
    instance the coal companies made between 100 per cent and 7,856 per cent on
    their capital stock during the war. The Chicago packers doubled and tripled
    their earnings.

    And let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the
    cream of the profits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather than
    incorporated organizations, they do not have to report to stockholders. And
    their profits were as secret as they were immense. How the bankers made their
    millions and their billions I do not know, because those little secrets never
    become public – even before a Senate investigatory body.

    But here's how some of the other patriotic industrialists and speculators
    chiseled their way into war profits.

    Take the shoe people. They like war. It brings business with abnormal profits.
    They made huge profits on sales abroad to our allies. Perhaps, like the
    munitions manufacturers and armament makers, they also sold to the enemy. For a
    dollar is a dollar whether it comes from Germany or from France. But they did
    well by Uncle Sam too. For instance, they sold Uncle Sam 35,000,000 pairs of
    hobnailed service shoes. There were 4,000,000 soldiers. Eight pairs, and more,
    to a soldier. My regiment during the war had only one pair to a soldier. Some of
    these shoes probably are still in existence. They were good shoes. But when the
    war was over Uncle Sam has a matter of 25,000,000 pairs left over. Bought – and
    paid for. Profits recorded and pocketed.

    There was still lots of leather left. So the leather people sold your Uncle Sam
    hundreds of thousands of McClellan saddles for the cavalry. But there wasn't any
    American cavalry overseas! Somebody had to get rid of this leather, however.
    Somebody had to make a profit in it – so we had a lot of McClellan saddles. And
    we probably have those yet.

    Also somebody had a lot of mosquito netting. They sold your Uncle Sam 20,000,000
    mosquito nets for the use of the soldiers overseas. I suppose the boys were
    expected to put it over them as they tried to sleep in muddy trenches – one hand
    scratching cooties on their backs and the other making passes at scurrying rats.
    Well, not one of these mosquito nets ever got to France!

    Anyhow, these thoughtful manufacturers wanted to make sure that no soldier would
    be without his mosquito net, so 40,000,000 additional yards of mosquito netting
    were sold to Uncle Sam.

    There were pretty good profits in mosquito netting in those days, even if there
    were no mosquitoes in France. I suppose, if the war had lasted just a little
    longer, the enterprising mosquito netting manufacturers would have sold your
    Uncle Sam a couple of consignments of mosquitoes to plant in France so that more
    mosquito netting would be in order.

    Airplane and engine manufacturers felt they, too, should get their just profits
    out of this war. Why not? Everybody else was getting theirs. So $1,000,000,000 –
    count them if you live long enough – was spent by Uncle Sam in building airplane
    engines that never left the ground! Not one plane, or motor, out of the billion
    dollars worth ordered, ever got into a battle in France. Just the same the
    manufacturers made their little profit of 30, 100, or perhaps 300 per cent.

    Undershirts for soldiers cost 14’ [cents] to make and uncle Sam paid 30’ to 40’
    each for them – a nice little profit for the undershirt manufacturer. And the
    stocking manufacturer and the uniform manufacturers and the cap manufacturers
    and the steel helmet manufacturers – all got theirs.

    Why, when the war was over some 4,000,000 sets of equipment – knapsacks and the
    things that go to fill them – crammed warehouses on this side. Now they are
    being scrapped because the regulations have changed the contents. But the
    manufacturers collected their wartime profits on them – and they will do it all
    over again the next time.

    There were lots of brilliant ideas for profit making during the war.

    One very versatile patriot sold Uncle Sam twelve dozen 48-inch wrenches. Oh,
    they were very nice wrenches. The only trouble was that there was only one nut
    ever made that was large enough for these wrenches. That is the one that holds
    the turbines at Niagara Falls. Well, after Uncle Sam had bought them and the
    manufacturer had pocketed the profit, the wrenches were put on freight cars and
    shunted all around the United States in an effort to find a use for them. When
    the Armistice was signed it was indeed a sad blow to the wrench manufacturer. He
    was just about to make some nuts to fit the wrenches. Then he planned to sell
    these, too, to your Uncle Sam.

    Still another had the brilliant idea that colonels shouldn't ride in
    automobiles, nor should they even ride on horseback. One has probably seen a
    picture of Andy Jackson riding in a buckboard. Well, some 6,000 buckboards were
    sold to Uncle Sam for the use of colonels! Not one of them was used. But the
    buckboard manufacturer got his war profit.

    The shipbuilders felt they should come in on some of it, too. They built a lot
    of ships that made a lot of profit. More than $3,000,000,000 worth. Some of the
    ships were all right. But $635,000,000 worth of them were made of wood and
    wouldn't float! The seams opened up – and they sank. We paid for them, though.
    And somebody pocketed the profits.

    It has been estimated by statisticians and economists and researchers that the
    war cost your Uncle Sam $52,000,000,000. Of this sum, $39,000,000,000 was
    expended in the actual war itself. This expenditure yielded $16,000,000,000 in
    profits. That is how the 21,000 billionaires and millionaires got that way. This
    $16,000,000,000 profits is not to be sneezed at. It is quite a tidy sum. And it
    went to a very few.

    The Senate (Nye) committee probe of the munitions industry and its wartime
    profits, despite its sensational disclosures, hardly has scratched the surface.

    Even so, it has had some effect. The State Department has been studying "for
    some time" methods of keeping out of war. The War Department suddenly decides it
    has a wonderful plan to spring. The Administration names a committee – with the
    War and Navy Departments ably represented under the chairmanship of a Wall
    Street speculator – to limit profits in war time. To what extent isn't
    suggested. Hmmm. Possibly the profits of 300 and 600 and 1,600 per cent of those
    who turned blood into gold in the World War would be limited to some smaller figure.

    Apparently, however, the plan does not call for any limitation of losses – that
    is, the losses of those who fight the war. As far as I have been able to
    ascertain there is nothing in the scheme to limit a soldier to the loss of but
    one eye, or one arm, or to limit his wounds to one or two or three. Or to limit
    the loss of life.

    There is nothing in this scheme, apparently, that says not more than 12 per cent
    of a regiment shall be wounded in battle, or that not more than 7 per cent in a
    division shall be killed.

    Of course, the committee cannot be bothered with such trifling matters.

    CHAPTER THREE

    WHO PAYS THE BILLS?

    Who provides the profits – these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and
    1,800 per cent? We all pay them – in taxation. We paid the bankers their profits
    when we bought Liberty Bonds at $100.00 and sold them back at $84 or $86 to the
    bankers. These bankers collected $100 plus. It was a simple manipulation. The
    bankers control the security marts. It was easy for them to depress the price of
    these bonds. Then all of us – the people – got frightened and sold the bonds at
    $84 or $86. The bankers bought them. Then these same bankers stimulated a boom
    and government bonds went to par – and above. Then the bankers collected their
    profits.

    But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill.

    If you don't believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefields
    abroad. Or visit any of the veteran's hospitals in the United States. On a tour
    of the country, in the midst of which I am at the time of this writing, I have
    visited eighteen government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about
    50,000 destroyed men – men who were the pick of the nation eighteen years ago.
    The very able chief surgeon at the government hospital; at Milwaukee, where
    there are 3,800 of the living dead, told me that mortality among veterans is
    three times as great as among those who stayed at home.

    Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the fields and offices and
    factories and classrooms and put into the ranks. There they were remolded; they
    were made over; they were made to "about face"; to regard murder as the order of
    the day. They were put shoulder to shoulder and, through mass psychology, they
    were entirely changed. We used them for a couple of years and trained them to
    think nothing at all of killing or of being killed.

    Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another "about face" !
    This time they had to do their own readjustment, sans [without] mass psychology,
    sans officers' aid and advice and sans nation-wide propaganda. We didn't need
    them any more. So we scattered them about without any "three-minute" or "Liberty
    Loan" speeches or parades. Many, too many, of these fine young boys are
    eventually destroyed, mentally, because they could not make that final "about
    face" alone.

    In the government hospital in Marion, Indiana, 1,800 of these boys are in pens!
    Five hundred of them in a barracks with steel bars and wires all around outside
    the buildings and on the porches. These already have been mentally destroyed.
    These boys don't even look like human beings. Oh, the looks on their faces!
    Physically, they are in good shape; mentally, they are gone.

    There are thousands and thousands of these cases, and more and more are coming
    in all the time. The tremendous excitement of the war, the sudden cutting off of
    that excitement – the young boys couldn't stand it.

    That's a part of the bill. So much for the dead – they have paid their part of
    the war profits. So much for the mentally and physically wounded – they are
    paying now their share of the war profits. But the others paid, too – they paid
    with heartbreaks when they tore themselves away from their firesides and their
    families to don the uniform of Uncle Sam – on which a profit had been made. They
    paid another part in the training camps where they were regimented and drilled
    while others took their jobs and their places in the lives of their communities.
    The paid for it in the trenches where they shot and were shot; where they were
    hungry for days at a time; where they slept in the mud and the cold and in the
    rain – with the moans and shrieks of the dying for a horrible lullaby.

    But don't forget – the soldier paid part of the dollars and cents bill too.

    Up to and including the Spanish-American War, we had a prize system, and
    soldiers and sailors fought for money. During the Civil War they were paid
    bonuses, in many instances, before they went into service. The government, or
    states, paid as high as $1,200 for an enlistment. In the Spanish-American War
    they gave prize money. When we captured any vessels, the soldiers all got their
    share – at least, they were supposed to. Then it was found that we could reduce
    the cost of wars by taking all the prize money and keeping it, but conscripting
    [drafting] the soldier anyway. Then soldiers couldn't bargain for their labor,
    Everyone else could bargain, but the soldier couldn't.

    Napoleon once said,

    "All men are enamored of decorations...they positively hunger for them."

    So by developing the Napoleonic system – the medal business – the government
    learned it could get soldiers for less money, because the boys liked to be
    decorated. Until the Civil War there were no medals. Then the Congressional
    Medal of Honor was handed out. It made enlistments easier. After the Civil War
    no new medals were issued until the Spanish-American War.

    In the World War, we used propaganda to make the boys accept conscription. They
    were made to feel ashamed if they didn't join the army.

    So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With few
    exceptions our clergymen joined in the clamor to kill, kill, kill. To kill the
    Germans. God is on our side...it is His will that the Germans be killed.

    And in Germany, the good pastors called upon the Germans to kill the allies...to
    please the same God. That was a part of the general propaganda, built up to make
    people war conscious and murder conscious.

    Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was
    the "war to end all wars." This was the "war to make the world safe for
    democracy." No one mentioned to them, as they marched away, that their going and
    their dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American soldiers
    that 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 United States patents. They were just told it was to be a
    "glorious adventure."

    Thus, having stuffed patriotism down their throats, it was decided to make them
    help pay for the war, too. So, we gave them the large salary of $30 a month.

    All they had to do for this munificent sum was to leave their dear ones behind,
    give up their jobs, lie in swampy trenches, eat canned willy (when they could
    get it) and kill and kill and kill...and be killed.

    But wait!

    Half of that wage (just a little more than a riveter in a shipyard or a laborer
    in a munitions factory safe at home made in a day) was promptly taken from him
    to support his dependents, so that they would not become a charge upon his
    community. Then we made him pay what amounted to accident insurance – something
    the employer pays for in an enlightened state – and that cost him $6 a month. He
    had less than $9 a month left.

    Then, the most crowning insolence of all – he was virtually blackjacked into
    paying for his own ammunition, clothing, and food by being made to buy Liberty
    Bonds. Most soldiers got no money at all on pay days.

    We made them buy Liberty Bonds at $100 and then we bought them back – when they
    came back from the war and couldn't find work – at $84 and $86. And the soldiers
    bought about $2,000,000,000 worth of these bonds!

    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.

    When he returned home minus an eye, or minus a leg or with his mind broken, they
    suffered too – as much as and even sometimes more than he. Yes, and they, too,
    contributed their dollars to the profits of the munitions makers and bankers and
    shipbuilders and the manufacturers and the speculators made. They, too, bought
    Liberty Bonds and contributed to the profit of the bankers after the Armistice
    in the hocus-pocus of manipulated Liberty Bond prices.

    And even now the families of the wounded men and of the mentally broken and
    those who never were able to readjust themselves are still suffering and still
    paying.

    CHAPTER FOUR

    HOW TO SMASH THIS RACKET!

    WELL, it's a racket, all right.

    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.

    The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor
    before the nations manhood can be conscripted. One month before the Government
    can conscript the young men of the nation – it must conscript capital and
    industry and labor. Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered
    executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our
    shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other
    things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the
    speculators, be conscripted – to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in
    the trenches get.

    Let the workers in these plants get the same wages – all the workers, all
    presidents, all executives, all directors, all managers, all bankers –

    yes, and all generals and all admirals and all officers and all politicians and
    all government office holders – everyone in the nation be restricted to a total
    monthly income not to exceed that paid to the soldier in the trenches!

    Let all these kings and tycoons and masters of business and all those workers in
    industry and all our senators and governors and majors pay half of their monthly
    $30 wage to their families and pay war risk insurance and buy Liberty Bonds.

    Why shouldn't they?

    They aren't running any risk of being killed or of having their bodies mangled
    or their minds shattered. They aren't sleeping in muddy trenches. They aren't
    hungry. The soldiers are!

    Give capital and industry and labor thirty days to think it over and you will
    find, by that time, there will be no war. That will smash the war racket – that
    and nothing else.

    Maybe I am a little too optimistic. Capital still has some say. So capital won't
    permit the taking of the profit out of war until the people – those who do the
    suffering and still pay the price – make up their minds that those they elect to
    office shall do their bidding, and not that of the profiteers.

    Another step necessary in this fight to smash the war racket is the limited
    plebiscite to determine whether a war should be declared. A plebiscite not of
    all the voters but merely of those who would be called upon to do the fighting
    and dying. There wouldn't be very much sense in having a 76-year-old president
    of a munitions factory or the flat-footed head of an international banking firm
    or the cross-eyed manager of a uniform manufacturing plant – all of whom see
    visions of tremendous profits in the event of war – voting on whether the nation
    should go to war or not. They never would be called upon to shoulder arms – to
    sleep in a trench and to be shot. Only those who would be called upon to risk
    their lives for their country should have the privilege of voting to determine
    whether the nation should go to war.

    There is ample precedent for restricting the voting to those affected. Many of
    our states have restrictions on those permitted to vote. In most, it is
    necessary to be able to read and write before you may vote. In some, you must
    own property. It would be a simple matter each year for the men coming of
    military age to register in their communities as they did in the draft during
    the World War and be examined physically. Those who could pass and who would
    therefore be called upon to bear arms in the event of war would be eligible to
    vote in a limited plebiscite. They should be the ones to have the power to
    decide – and not a Congress few of whose members are within the age limit and
    fewer still of whom are in physical condition to bear arms. Only those who must
    suffer should have the right to vote.

    A third step in this business of smashing the war racket is to make certain that
    our military forces are truly forces for defense only.

    At each session of Congress the question of further naval appropriations comes
    up. The swivel-chair admirals of Washington (and there are always a lot of them)
    are very adroit lobbyists. And they are smart. They don't shout that "We need a
    lot of battleships to war on this nation or that nation." Oh no. First of all,
    they let it be known that America is menaced by a great naval power. Almost any
    day, these admirals will tell you, the great fleet of this supposed enemy will
    strike suddenly and annihilate 125,000,000 people. Just like that. Then they
    begin to cry for a larger navy. For what? To fight the enemy? Oh my, no. Oh, no.
    For defense purposes only.

    Then, incidentally, they announce maneuvers in the Pacific. For defense. Uh, huh.

    The Pacific is a great big ocean. We have a tremendous coastline on the Pacific.
    Will the maneuvers be off the coast, two or three hundred miles? Oh, no. The
    maneuvers will be two thousand, yes, perhaps even thirty-five hundred miles, off
    the coast.

    The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to see
    the united States fleet so close to Nippon's shores. Even as pleased as would be
    the residents of California were they to dimly discern through the morning mist,
    the Japanese fleet playing at war games off Los Angeles.

    The ships of our navy, it can be seen, should be specifically limited, by law,
    to within 200 miles of our coastline. Had that been the law in 1898 the Maine
    would never have gone to Havana Harbor. She never would have been blown up.
    There would have been no war with Spain with its attendant loss of life. Two
    hundred miles is ample, in the opinion of experts, for defense purposes. Our
    nation cannot start an offensive war if its ships can't go further than 200
    miles from the coastline. Planes might be permitted to go as far as 500 miles
    from the coast for purposes of reconnaissance. And the army should never leave
    the territorial limits of our nation.

    To summarize: Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket.

    We must take the profit out of war.

    We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or
    not there should be war.

    We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.

    CHAPTER FIVE

    TO HELL WITH WAR!

    I am not a fool as to believe that war is a thing of the past. I know the people
    do not want war, but there is no use in saying we cannot be pushed into another war.

    Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that
    he had "kept us out of war" and on the implied promise that he would "keep us
    out of war." Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany.

    In that five-month interval the people had not been asked whether they had
    changed their minds. The 4,000,000 young men who put on uniforms and marched or
    sailed away were not asked whether they wanted to go forth to suffer and die.

    Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly?

    Money.

    An allied commission, it may be recalled, came over shortly before the war
    declaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group of
    advisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language,
    this is what he told the President and his group:



    "There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost.
    We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, American
    manufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billion
    dollars.

    If we lose (and without the help of the United States we must lose) we, England,
    France and Italy, cannot pay back this money...and Germany won't.

    So..."

    Had secrecy been outlawed as far as war negotiations were concerned, and had the
    press been invited to be present at that conference, or had radio been available
    to broadcast the proceedings, America never would have entered the World War.
    But this conference, like all war discussions, was shrouded in utmost secrecy.
    When our boys were sent off to war they were told it was a "war to make the
    world safe for democracy" and a "war to end all wars."

    Well, eighteen years after, the world has less of democracy than it had then.
    Besides, what business is it of ours whether Russia or Germany or England or
    France or Italy or Austria live under democracies or monarchies? Whether they
    are Fascists or Communists? Our problem is to preserve our own democracy.

    And very little, if anything, has been accomplished to assure us that the World
    War was really the war to end all wars.

    Yes, we have had disarmament conferences and limitations of arms conferences.
    They don't mean a thing. One has just failed; the results of another have been
    nullified. We send our professional soldiers and our sailors and our politicians
    and our diplomats to these conferences. And what happens?

    The professional soldiers and sailors don't want to disarm. No admiral wants to
    be without a ship. No general wants to be without a command. Both mean men
    without jobs. They are not for disarmament. They cannot be for limitations of
    arms. And at all these conferences, lurking in the background but all-powerful,
    just the same, are the sinister agents of those who profit by war. They see to
    it that these conferences do not disarm or seriously limit armaments.

    The chief aim of any power at any of these conferences has not been to achieve
    disarmament to prevent war but rather to get more armament for itself and less
    for any potential foe.

    There is only one way to disarm with any semblance of practicability. That is
    for all nations to get together and scrap every ship, every gun, every rifle,
    every tank, every war plane. Even this, if it were possible, would not be enough.

    The next war, according to experts, will be fought not with battleships, not by
    artillery, not with rifles and not with machine guns. It will be fought with
    deadly chemicals and gases.

    Secretly each nation is studying and perfecting newer and ghastlier means of
    annihilating its foes wholesale. Yes, ships will continue to be built, for the
    shipbuilders must make their profits. And guns still will be manufactured and
    powder and rifles will be made, for the munitions makers must make their huge
    profits. And the soldiers, of course, must wear uniforms, for the manufacturer
    must make their war profits too.

    But victory or defeat will be determined by the skill and ingenuity of our
    scientists.

    If we put them to work making poison gas and more and more fiendish mechanical
    and explosive instruments of destruction, they will have no time for the
    constructive job of building greater prosperity for all peoples. By putting them
    to this useful job, we can all make more money out of peace than we can out of
    war – even the munitions makers.

    So...I say, TO HELL WITH WAR.

    Smedley Darlington Butler

    Major General - United States Marine Corps [Retired]

    Born West Chester, Pa., July 30, 1881

    Educated Haverford School

    Married Ethel C. Peters, of Philadelphia, June 30, 1905

    Awarded two congressional medals of honor, for capture of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1914,

    and for capture of Ft. Riviere, Haiti, 1917

    Distinguished service medal, 1919

    Retired Oct. 1, 1931

    On leave of absence to act as director of Department of Safety, Philadelphia, 1932

    Lecturer - 1930's

    Republican Candidate for Senate, 1932

    Died at Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, June 21, 1940

    For more information about Major General Smedley Butler, contact the United
    States Marine Corps.

  • #2
    OT: some things never change

    War has been with us since Abel slew Cain and will be with us when as
    a race we breathe our last breath on this planet. With luck, we will
    have managed to export it and ourselves to other worlds before then.

    General Smedley Butler was not alone in his belief that war is a
    racket. A selection of viewopoints, from
    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/War
    War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and imposes the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to make it. — Benito Mussolini
    We make war that we may live in peace. — Aristotle
    War is a continuation of politics by other means. — Karl Von Clausewitz
    The purpose of all war is ultimately peace. — Saint Augustine
    War is God's way of teaching Americans geography. — Ambrose Bierce
    The most persistent sound which reverberates through man's history is the beating of war drums. — Arthur Koestler
    War is not a pathology that, with proper hygiene and treatment, can be wholly prevented. War is a natural condition of the State, which was organized in order to be an effective instrument of violence on behalf of society. Wars are like deaths, which, while they can be postponed, will come when they will come and cannot be finally avoided. — Philip Bobbitt, "The Shield of Achilles"
    In war, the moral is to the material as three is to one. — Napoleon Bonaparte
    Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. — Napoleon Bonaparte
    In war there is no prize for the runner-up — General Omar Bradley
    Don't rejoice in his defeat, you men. For the world stood up and stopped the *******, the ***** that bore him is in heat again. — Bertolt Brecht, 1945-05-06
    In wartime truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies. — Winston Churchill
    If we give up all future wars we must give up our empires and all hope of empire. — Georges Clemenceau
    War is over, if you want it. — John Lennon
    War is too serious a matter to entrust to military men. — Georges Clemenceau
    War kills men, and men deplore the loss; but war also crushes bad principles and tyrants, and so saves societies. — Charles Caleb Colton
    There is no war crimes, war is a crime. — D.R.I.
    The purpose of war is to push back the unrighteous enemy, not to exterminate the human race. — Marshal Daun of Austria.
    I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. — Albert Einstein
    So long as there are men there will be wars — Albert Einstein
    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. — Dwight David Eisenhower, 1953, a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors
    I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity. — Dwight David Eisenhower
    War in our time has become an anachronism. Whatever the case in the past, war in the future can serve no useful purpose. A war which became general, as any limited action might, would only result in the virtual destruction of mankind. — General of the Army Dwight David Eisenhower
    War is sweet to those who haven't tasted it. — Erasmus
    If soldiers were to begin to think, not one of them would remain in the army. — Frederick the Great
    A pre-emptive war in 'defense' of freedom would surely destroy freedom, because one simply cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian, because one cannot defend human values by calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the values one is trying to defend. — J. William Fulbright
    This war, like the next war, is a war to end war. — David Lloyd George
    Don't talk to me about atrocities; all war is an atrocity. — Field-Marshall Horatio Herbert, Lord Kitchener
    War should be made a crime, and those who instigate it should be punished as criminals. — Charles Evans Hughes
    Then, Sir, we will give them the bayonet! — Stonewall Jackson', 1861-07, in reply to Colonel B.E. Bee when he reported that the enemy were beating them back, first battle of Bull Run
    I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes. — Douglas MacArthur
    We have seen the enemy and they are us. — Walt Kelly
    War is the mother of invention. But who is the father? — Gerhard Kocher
    It is well that war is so terrible — lest we should grow too fond of it. — Robert E. Lee
    It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it. — General Douglas MacArthur
    I went into the British Army believing that if you want peace you must prepare for war. I believe now that if you prepare for war, you get war. — Major-General Frederick B. Maurice
    There can only be peace when they will start to love their children more then they hate us. — Golda Meir
    In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. — Jose Narosky
    How good bad music and bad reasons sound when one marches against an enemy! — Friedrich Nietzsche
    Nobody ever won a war by dying for his country, he won it by making the other ******* die for his. — George S. Patton
    Only the dead have seen the end of war. — Plato
    When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader. — Plato
    You can't say civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way. — Will Rogers
    Sweat saves blood. — Erwin Rommel
    I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war. — Franklin Delano Roosevelt
    Patriots always talk of dying for their country, and never of killing for their country. — Bertrand Russell
    War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left. — Bertrand Russell
    Quand les riches se font la guerre, ce sont les pauvres qui meurent. — Jean-Paul Sartre
    When the rich make war, it's the poor that die.
    I regard the death and mangling of a couple thousand men as a small affair, a kind of morning dash — and it may be well that we become so hardened. — General William Tecumseh Sherman, 1864-07, letter to his wife, July 1864
    It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell. — General William Tecumseh Sherman
    The object of war is a more perfect peace. — General William Tecumseh Sherman
    War is cruel. There is no use trying to reform it. But the crueler it is, the sooner it's over. — General William Tecumseh Sherman
    A nice war is a war where everybody who is heroic is a hero, and everybody more or less is a hero in a nice war. Now this war [World War II] is not at all a nice war. — Gertrude Stein
    War is harmful, not only to the conquered but to the conqueror. — Ludwig von Mises
    In war, with its enormous friction, even the mediocre is quite, an achievement. — Helmuth Johann Ludwig von Moltke
    If you want peace, prepare for war — an ancient Roman expression, derived fromEpitoma Rei Militaris — Vegetius.
    Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum. - LatinTherefore, whoever wishes for peace, let him prepare for war.
    It is a tribute to the humanity of ordinary people that horrible acts must be camouflaged [with words] like security, peace, freedom, democracy, the 'national interest'. — Howard Zinn, Boston University professor and former Second World War bomber pilot, USA.
    Look, there is one statement that bothers me more than anything else, and that's the idea that when the troops are in combat everybody has to shut up. Imagine if we put troops in combat with a faulty rifle, and that rifle was malfunctioning and troops were dying as a result. I can't think anyone would allow that to happen, that would not speak up. Well, what's the difference between a faulty plan and strategy that's getting just as many troops killed? — Gen. Anthony Zinni, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), former CENTCOM Commander-in-Chief, 2004-05-21, television interview on CBS's "60 Minutes"
    O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle-be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it-for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their
    bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen. The War Prayer, Mark Twain.
    It is fun to be in the same decade with you. — Franklin D. Roosevelt to Sir Winston Churchill during World War II

    War quotations in fiction
    This is the field where the battle did not happen, where the unknown soldier did not die. This is the field where grass joined hands, where no monument stands, and the only heroic thing is the sky*-William StaffordOnce more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; or close the wall up with our English dead! In peace, there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage — King Henry, in King Henry V, act 3 scene 1, by William Shakespearewe few, we happy few, we band of brothers: for he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; — King Henry, in King Henry V, act 4 scene 3, by William Shakespeare
    Anyone who clings to the historically untrue — and thoroughly immoral — doctrine that 'violence never settles anything' I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence settled their fates quite nicely. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms. — Mr. Dubois in Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
    The purpose of war is to support your government's decisions by force. — Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers
    WAR IS PEACE. — The Party in Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
    On the battlefield, there is but one commandment: Thou Shalt Kill. - tagline of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Yet we stand here in the middle of no man's land. — Sergeant Steiner considers the causes of WW2's eastern front as he releases a young russian soldier, Cross of Iron
    They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say '****, it's raining!' &mdash Ruby in Cold Mountain 2003
    War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Edwin Starr
    "War is good for business." 34th Rule Of Acquisition (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - 'Destiny')
    J.

    On Sat, 26 Mar 2005 15:44:32 -0800, "pb..." <[email protected]>
    wrote:
    'War Is A Racket'Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.Smedley ButlerWAR is a racket. It always has beenIt is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious.It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which theprofits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems tothe majority of the 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 verymany. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. Atleast 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United Statesduring the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their incometax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no oneknows.How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug atrench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infesteddug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells andshrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust ofan enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. Theyjust take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few –the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general publicshoulders the bill.And what is this bill?This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangledbodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability.Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation forgenerations and generations.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 theinternational war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side byside. Italy and Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germanycast sheep's eyes at each other, forgetting for the nonce [one unique occasion],their dispute over the Polish Corridor.The assassination of King Alexander of Jugoslavia [Yugoslavia] complicatedmatters. Jugoslavia and Hungary, long bitter enemies, were almost at eachother's throats. Italy was ready to jump in. But France was waiting. So wasCzechoslovakia. All of them are looking ahead to war. Not the people – not thosewho fight and pay and die – only those who foment wars and remain safely at hometo profit.There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen anddiplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making.Hell's bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers?Not in Italy, to be sure. Premier Mussolini knows what they are being trainedfor. He, at least, is frank enough to speak out. Only the other day, Il Duce in"International Conciliation," the publication of the Carnegie Endowment forInternational Peace, said:"And above all, Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and thedevelopment of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment,believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace... Waralone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp ofnobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it."Undoubtedly Mussolini means exactly what he says. His well-trained army, hisgreat fleet of planes, and even his navy are ready for war – anxious for it,apparently. His recent stand at the side of Hungary in the latter's dispute withJugoslavia showed that. And the hurried mobilization of his troops on theAustrian border after the assassination of Dollfuss showed it too. There areothers in Europe too whose sabre rattling presages war, sooner or later.Herr Hitler, with his rearming Germany and his constant demands for more andmore arms, is an equal if not greater menace to peace. France only recentlyincreased the term of military service for its youth from a year to eighteen months.Yes, all over, nations are camping in their arms. The mad dogs of Europe are onthe loose. In the Orient the maneuvering is more adroit. Back in 1904, whenRussia and Japan fought, we kicked out our old friends the Russians and backedJapan. Then our very generous international bankers were financing Japan. Nowthe trend is to poison us against the Japanese. What does the "open door" policyto China mean to us? Our trade with China is about $90,000,000 a year. Or thePhilippine Islands? We have spent about $600,000,000 in the Philippines inthirty-five years and we (our bankers and industrialists and speculators) haveprivate investments there of less than $200,000,000.Then, to save that China trade of about $90,000,000, or to protect these privateinvestments of less than $200,000,000 in the Philippines, we would be allstirred up to hate Japan and go to war – a war that might well cost us tens ofbillions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, and many morehundreds of thousands of physically maimed and mentally unbalanced men.Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit – fortunes wouldbe made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitionsmakers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. Theywould fare well.Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn't they? It pays highdividends.But what does it profit the men who are killed? What does it profit theirmothers and sisters, their wives and their sweethearts? What does it profittheir children?What does it profit anyone except the very few to whom war means huge profits?Yes, and what does it profit the nation?Take our own case. Until 1898 we didn't own a bit of territory outside themainland of North America. At that time our national debt was a little more than$1,000,000,000. Then we became "internationally minded." We forgot, or shuntedaside, the advice of the Father of our country. We forgot George Washington'swarning about "entangling alliances." We went to war. We acquired outsideterritory. At the end of the World War period, as a direct result of ourfiddling in international affairs, our national debt had jumped to over$25,000,000,000. Our total favorable trade balance during the twenty-five-yearperiod was about $24,000,000,000. Therefore, on a purely bookkeeping basis, weran a little behind year for year, and that foreign trade might well have beenours without the wars.It would have been far cheaper (not to say safer) for the average American whopays the bills to stay out of foreign entanglements. For a very few this racket,like bootlegging and other underworld rackets, brings fancy profits, but thecost of operations is always transferred to the people – who do not profit.CHAPTER TWOWHO MAKES THE PROFITS?The World War, rather our brief participation in it, has cost the United Statessome $52,000,000,000. Figure it out. That means $400 to every American man,woman, and child. And we haven't paid the debt yet. We are paying it, ourchildren will pay it, and our children's children probably still will be payingthe cost of that war.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 anothermatter – twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundredper cent – the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has themoney. Let's get it.Of course, it isn't put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speechesabout patriotism, love of country, and "we must all put our shoulders to thewheel," but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket – and are safely pocketed.Let's just take a few examples:Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people – didn't one of them testifybefore a Senate committee recently that their powder won the war? Or saved theworld for democracy? Or something? How did they do in the war? They were apatriotic corporation. Well, the average earnings of the du Ponts for the period1910 to 1914 were $6,000,000 a year. It wasn't much, but the du Ponts managed toget along on it. Now let's look at their average yearly profit during the waryears, 1914 to 1918. Fifty-eight million dollars a year profit we find! Nearlyten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were prettygood. An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent.Take one of our little steel companies that patriotically shunted aside themaking of rails and girders and bridges to manufacture war materials. Well,their 1910-1914 yearly earnings averaged $6,000,000. Then came the war. And,like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Didtheir profits jump – or did they let Uncle Sam in for a bargain? Well, their1914-1918 average was $49,000,000 a year!Or, let's take United States Steel. The normal earnings during the five-yearperiod prior to the war were $105,000,000 a year. Not bad. Then along came thewar and up went the profits. The average yearly profit for the period 1914-1918was $240,000,000. Not bad.There you have some of the steel and powder earnings. Let's look at somethingelse. A little copper, perhaps. That always does well in war times.Anaconda, for instance. Average yearly earnings during the pre-war years1910-1914 of $10,000,000. During the war years 1914-1918 profits leaped to$34,000,000 per year.Or Utah Copper. Average of $5,000,000 per year during the 1910-1914 period.Jumped to an average of $21,000,000 yearly profits for the war period.Let's group these five, with three smaller companies. The total yearly averageprofits of the pre-war period 1910-1914 were $137,480,000. Then along came thewar. The average yearly profits for this group skyrocketed to $408,300,000.A little increase in profits of approximately 200 per cent.Does war pay? It paid them. But they aren't the only ones. There are stillothers. Let's take leather.For the three-year period before the war the total profits of Central LeatherCompany were $3,500,000. That was approximately $1,167,000 a year. Well, in 1916Central Leather returned a profit of $15,000,000, a small increase of 1,100 percent. That's all. The General Chemical Company averaged a profit for the threeyears before the war of a little over $800,000 a year. Came the war, and theprofits jumped to $12,000,000. a leap of 1,400 per cent.International Nickel Company – and you can't have a war without nickel – showedan increase in profits from a mere average of $4,000,000 a year to $73,000,000yearly. Not bad? An increase of more than 1,700 per cent.American Sugar Refining Company averaged $2,000,000 a year for the three yearsbefore the war. In 1916 a profit of $6,000,000 was recorded.Listen to Senate Document No. 259. The Sixty-Fifth Congress, reporting oncorporate earnings and government revenues. Considering the profits of 122 meatpackers, 153 cotton manufacturers, 299 garment makers, 49 steel plants, and 340coal producers during the war. Profits under 25 per cent were exceptional. Forinstance the coal companies made between 100 per cent and 7,856 per cent ontheir capital stock during the war. The Chicago packers doubled and tripledtheir earnings.And let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had thecream of the profits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather thanincorporated organizations, they do not have to report to stockholders. Andtheir profits were as secret as they were immense. How the bankers made theirmillions and their billions I do not know, because those little secrets neverbecome public – even before a Senate investigatory body.But here's how some of the other patriotic industrialists and speculatorschiseled their way into war profits.Take the shoe people. They like war. It brings business with abnormal profits.They made huge profits on sales abroad to our allies. Perhaps, like themunitions manufacturers and armament makers, they also sold to the enemy. For adollar is a dollar whether it comes from Germany or from France. But they didwell by Uncle Sam too. For instance, they sold Uncle Sam 35,000,000 pairs ofhobnailed service shoes. There were 4,000,000 soldiers. Eight pairs, and more,to a soldier. My regiment during the war had only one pair to a soldier. Some ofthese shoes probably are still in existence. They were good shoes. But when thewar was over Uncle Sam has a matter of 25,000,000 pairs left over. Bought – andpaid for. Profits recorded and pocketed.There was still lots of leather left. So the leather people sold your Uncle Samhundreds of thousands of McClellan saddles for the cavalry. But there wasn't anyAmerican cavalry overseas! Somebody had to get rid of this leather, however.Somebody had to make a profit in it – so we had a lot of McClellan saddles. Andwe probably have those yet.Also somebody had a lot of mosquito netting. They sold your Uncle Sam 20,000,000mosquito nets for the use of the soldiers overseas. I suppose the boys wereexpected to put it over them as they tried to sleep in muddy trenches – one handscratching cooties on their backs and the other making passes at scurrying rats.Well, not one of these mosquito nets ever got to France!Anyhow, these thoughtful manufacturers wanted to make sure that no soldier wouldbe without his mosquito net, so 40,000,000 additional yards of mosquito nettingwere sold to Uncle Sam.There were pretty good profits in mosquito netting in those days, even if therewere no mosquitoes in France. I suppose, if the war had lasted just a littlelonger, the enterprising mosquito netting manufacturers would have sold yourUncle Sam a couple of consignments of mosquitoes to plant in France so that moremosquito netting would be in order.Airplane and engine manufacturers felt they, too, should get their just profitsout of this war. Why not? Everybody else was getting theirs. So $1,000,000,000 –count them if you live long enough – was spent by Uncle Sam in building airplaneengines that never left the ground! Not one plane, or motor, out of the billiondollars worth ordered, ever got into a battle in France. Just the same themanufacturers made their little profit of 30, 100, or perhaps 300 per cent.Undershirts for soldiers cost 14’ [cents] to make and uncle Sam paid 30’ to 40’each for them – a nice little profit for the undershirt manufacturer. And thestocking manufacturer and the uniform manufacturers and the cap manufacturersand the steel helmet manufacturers – all got theirs.Why, when the war was over some 4,000,000 sets of equipment – knapsacks and thethings that go to fill them – crammed warehouses on this side. Now they arebeing scrapped because the regulations have changed the contents. But themanufacturers collected their wartime profits on them – and they will do it allover again the next time.There were lots of brilliant ideas for profit making during the war.One very versatile patriot sold Uncle Sam twelve dozen 48-inch wrenches. Oh,they were very nice wrenches. The only trouble was that there was only one nutever made that was large enough for these wrenches. That is the one that holdsthe turbines at Niagara Falls. Well, after Uncle Sam had bought them and themanufacturer had pocketed the profit, the wrenches were put on freight cars andshunted all around the United States in an effort to find a use for them. Whenthe Armistice was signed it was indeed a sad blow to the wrench manufacturer. Hewas just about to make some nuts to fit the wrenches. Then he planned to sellthese, too, to your Uncle Sam.Still another had the brilliant idea that colonels shouldn't ride inautomobiles, nor should they even ride on horseback. One has probably seen apicture of Andy Jackson riding in a buckboard. Well, some 6,000 buckboards weresold to Uncle Sam for the use of colonels! Not one of them was used. But thebuckboard manufacturer got his war profit.The shipbuilders felt they should come in on some of it, too. They built a lotof ships that made a lot of profit. More than $3,000,000,000 worth. Some of theships were all right. But $635,000,000 worth of them were made of wood andwouldn't float! The seams opened up – and they sank. We paid for them, though.And somebody pocketed the profits.It has been estimated by statisticians and economists and researchers that thewar cost your Uncle Sam $52,000,000,000. Of this sum, $39,000,000,000 wasexpended in the actual war itself. This expenditure yielded $16,000,000,000 inprofits. That is how the 21,000 billionaires and millionaires got that way. This$16,000,000,000 profits is not to be sneezed at. It is quite a tidy sum. And itwent to a very few.The Senate (Nye) committee probe of the munitions industry and its wartimeprofits, despite its sensational disclosures, hardly has scratched the surface.Even so, it has had some effect. The State Department has been studying "forsome time" methods of keeping out of war. The War Department suddenly decides ithas a wonderful plan to spring. The Administration names a committee – with theWar and Navy Departments ably represented under the chairmanship of a WallStreet speculator – to limit profits in war time. To what extent isn'tsuggested. Hmmm. Possibly the profits of 300 and 600 and 1,600 per cent of thosewho turned blood into gold in the World War would be limited to some smaller figure.Apparently, however, the plan does not call for any limitation of losses – thatis, the losses of those who fight the war. As far as I have been able toascertain there is nothing in the scheme to limit a soldier to the loss of butone eye, or one arm, or to limit his wounds to one or two or three. Or to limitthe loss of life.There is nothing in this scheme, apparently, that says not more than 12 per centof a regiment shall be wounded in battle, or that not more than 7 per cent in adivision shall be killed.Of course, the committee cannot be bothered with such trifling matters. CHAPTER THREEWHO PAYS THE BILLS?Who provides the profits – these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and1,800 per cent? We all pay them – in taxation. We paid the bankers their profitswhen we bought Liberty Bonds at $100.00 and sold them back at $84 or $86 to thebankers. These bankers collected $100 plus. It was a simple manipulation. Thebankers control the security marts. It was easy for them to depress the price ofthese bonds. Then all of us – the people – got frightened and sold the bonds at$84 or $86. The bankers bought them. Then these same bankers stimulated a boomand government bonds went to par – and above. Then the bankers collected theirprofits.But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill.If you don't believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefieldsabroad. Or visit any of the veteran's hospitals in the United States. On a tourof the country, in the midst of which I am at the time of this writing, I havevisited eighteen government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about50,000 destroyed men – men who were the pick of the nation eighteen years ago.The very able chief surgeon at the government hospital; at Milwaukee, wherethere are 3,800 of the living dead, told me that mortality among veterans isthree times as great as among those who stayed at home.Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the fields and offices andfactories and classrooms and put into the ranks. There they were remolded; theywere made over; they were made to "about face"; to regard murder as the order ofthe day. They were put shoulder to shoulder and, through mass psychology, theywere entirely changed. We used them for a couple of years and trained them tothink nothing at all of killing or of being killed.Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another "about face" !This time they had to do their own readjustment, sans [without] mass psychology,sans officers' aid and advice and sans nation-wide propaganda. We didn't needthem any more. So we scattered them about without any "three-minute" or "LibertyLoan" speeches or parades. Many, too many, of these fine young boys areeventually destroyed, mentally, because they could not make that final "aboutface" alone.In the government hospital in Marion, Indiana, 1,800 of these boys are in pens!Five hundred of them in a barracks with steel bars and wires all around outsidethe buildings and on the porches. These already have been mentally destroyed.These boys don't even look like human beings. Oh, the looks on their faces!Physically, they are in good shape; mentally, they are gone.There are thousands and thousands of these cases, and more and more are comingin all the time. The tremendous excitement of the war, the sudden cutting off ofthat excitement – the young boys couldn't stand it.That's a part of the bill. So much for the dead – they have paid their part ofthe war profits. So much for the mentally and physically wounded – they arepaying now their share of the war profits. But the others paid, too – they paidwith heartbreaks when they tore themselves away from their firesides and theirfamilies to don the uniform of Uncle Sam – on which a profit had been made. Theypaid another part in the training camps where they were regimented and drilledwhile others took their jobs and their places in the lives of their communities.The paid for it in the trenches where they shot and were shot; where they werehungry for days at a time; where they slept in the mud and the cold and in therain – with the moans and shrieks of the dying for a horrible lullaby.But don't forget – the soldier paid part of the dollars and cents bill too.Up to and including the Spanish-American War, we had a prize system, andsoldiers and sailors fought for money. During the Civil War they were paidbonuses, in many instances, before they went into service. The government, orstates, paid as high as $1,200 for an enlistment. In the Spanish-American Warthey gave prize money. When we captured any vessels, the soldiers all got theirshare – at least, they were supposed to. Then it was found that we could reducethe cost of wars by taking all the prize money and keeping it, but conscripting[drafting] the soldier anyway. Then soldiers couldn't bargain for their labor,Everyone else could bargain, but the soldier couldn't.Napoleon once said,"All men are enamored of decorations...they positively hunger for them."So by developing the Napoleonic system – the medal business – the governmentlearned it could get soldiers for less money, because the boys liked to bedecorated. Until the Civil War there were no medals. Then the CongressionalMedal of Honor was handed out. It made enlistments easier. After the Civil Warno new medals were issued until the Spanish-American War.In the World War, we used propaganda to make the boys accept conscription. Theywere made to feel ashamed if they didn't join the army.So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With fewexceptions our clergymen joined in the clamor to kill, kill, kill. To kill theGermans. God is on our side...it is His will that the Germans be killed.And in Germany, the good pastors called upon the Germans to kill the allies...toplease the same God. That was a part of the general propaganda, built up to makepeople war conscious and murder conscious.Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This wasthe "war to end all wars." This was the "war to make the world safe fordemocracy." No one mentioned to them, as they marched away, that their going andtheir dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American soldiersthat they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No onetold them that the ships on which they were going to cross might be torpedoed bysubmarines built with United States patents. They were just told it was to be a"glorious adventure."Thus, having stuffed patriotism down their throats, it was decided to make themhelp pay for the war, too. So, we gave them the large salary of $30 a month.All they had to do for this munificent sum was to leave their dear ones behind,give up their jobs, lie in swampy trenches, eat canned willy (when they couldget it) and kill and kill and kill...and be killed.But wait!Half of that wage (just a little more than a riveter in a shipyard or a laborerin a munitions factory safe at home made in a day) was promptly taken from himto support his dependents, so that they would not become a charge upon hiscommunity. Then we made him pay what amounted to accident insurance – somethingthe employer pays for in an enlightened state – and that cost him $6 a month. Hehad less than $9 a month left.Then, the most crowning insolence of all – he was virtually blackjacked intopaying for his own ammunition, clothing, and food by being made to buy LibertyBonds. Most soldiers got no money at all on pay days.We made them buy Liberty Bonds at $100 and then we bought them back – when theycame back from the war and couldn't find work – at $84 and $86. And the soldiersbought about $2,000,000,000 worth of these bonds!Yes, the soldier pays the greater part of the bill. His family pays too. Theypay it in the same heart-break that he does. As he suffers, they suffer. Atnights, as he lay in the trenches and watched shrapnel burst about him, they layhome in their beds and tossed sleeplessly – his father, his mother, his wife,his sisters, his brothers, his sons, and his daughters.When he returned home minus an eye, or minus a leg or with his mind broken, theysuffered too – as much as and even sometimes more than he. Yes, and they, too,contributed their dollars to the profits of the munitions makers and bankers andshipbuilders and the manufacturers and the speculators made. They, too, boughtLiberty Bonds and contributed to the profit of the bankers after the Armisticein the hocus-pocus of manipulated Liberty Bond prices.And even now the families of the wounded men and of the mentally broken andthose who never were able to readjust themselves are still suffering and stillpaying. CHAPTER FOURHOW TO SMASH THIS RACKET!WELL, it's a racket, all right.A few profit – and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can't end itby 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 besmashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war.The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and laborbefore the nations manhood can be conscripted. One month before the Governmentcan conscript the young men of the nation – it must conscript capital andindustry and labor. Let the officers and the directors and the high-poweredexecutives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and ourshipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the otherthings that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and thespeculators, be conscripted – to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads inthe trenches get.Let the workers in these plants get the same wages – all the workers, allpresidents, all executives, all directors, all managers, all bankers –yes, and all generals and all admirals and all officers and all politicians andall government office holders – everyone in the nation be restricted to a totalmonthly income not to exceed that paid to the soldier in the trenches!Let all these kings and tycoons and masters of business and all those workers inindustry and all our senators and governors and majors pay half of their monthly$30 wage to their families and pay war risk insurance and buy Liberty Bonds.Why shouldn't they?They aren't running any risk of being killed or of having their bodies mangledor their minds shattered. They aren't sleeping in muddy trenches. They aren'thungry. The soldiers are!Give capital and industry and labor thirty days to think it over and you willfind, by that time, there will be no war. That will smash the war racket – thatand nothing else.Maybe I am a little too optimistic. Capital still has some say. So capital won'tpermit the taking of the profit out of war until the people – those who do thesuffering and still pay the price – make up their minds that those they elect tooffice shall do their bidding, and not that of the profiteers.Another step necessary in this fight to smash the war racket is the limitedplebiscite to determine whether a war should be declared. A plebiscite not ofall the voters but merely of those who would be called upon to do the fightingand dying. There wouldn't be very much sense in having a 76-year-old presidentof a munitions factory or the flat-footed head of an international banking firmor the cross-eyed manager of a uniform manufacturing plant – all of whom seevisions of tremendous profits in the event of war – voting on whether the nationshould go to war or not. They never would be called upon to shoulder arms – tosleep in a trench and to be shot. Only those who would be called upon to risktheir lives for their country should have the privilege of voting to determinewhether the nation should go to war.There is ample precedent for restricting the voting to those affected. Many ofour states have restrictions on those permitted to vote. In most, it isnecessary to be able to read and write before you may vote. In some, you mustown property. It would be a simple matter each year for the men coming ofmilitary age to register in their communities as they did in the draft duringthe World War and be examined physically. Those who could pass and who wouldtherefore be called upon to bear arms in the event of war would be eligible tovote in a limited plebiscite. They should be the ones to have the power todecide – and not a Congress few of whose members are within the age limit andfewer still of whom are in physical condition to bear arms. Only those who mustsuffer should have the right to vote.A third step in this business of smashing the war racket is to make certain thatour military forces are truly forces for defense only.At each session of Congress the question of further naval appropriations comesup. The swivel-chair admirals of Washington (and there are always a lot of them)are very adroit lobbyists. And they are smart. They don't shout that "We need alot of battleships to war on this nation or that nation." Oh no. First of all,they let it be known that America is menaced by a great naval power. Almost anyday, these admirals will tell you, the great fleet of this supposed enemy willstrike suddenly and annihilate 125,000,000 people. Just like that. Then theybegin to cry for a larger navy. For what? To fight the enemy? Oh my, no. Oh, no.For defense purposes only.Then, incidentally, they announce maneuvers in the Pacific. For defense. Uh, huh.The Pacific is a great big ocean. We have a tremendous coastline on the Pacific.Will the maneuvers be off the coast, two or three hundred miles? Oh, no. Themaneuvers will be two thousand, yes, perhaps even thirty-five hundred miles, offthe coast.The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to seethe united States fleet so close to Nippon's shores. Even as pleased as would bethe residents of California were they to dimly discern through the morning mist,the Japanese fleet playing at war games off Los Angeles.The ships of our navy, it can be seen, should be specifically limited, by law,to within 200 miles of our coastline. Had that been the law in 1898 the Mainewould never have gone to Havana Harbor. She never would have been blown up.There would have been no war with Spain with its attendant loss of life. Twohundred miles is ample, in the opinion of experts, for defense purposes. Ournation cannot start an offensive war if its ships can't go further than 200miles from the coastline. Planes might be permitted to go as far as 500 milesfrom the coast for purposes of reconnaissance. And the army should never leavethe territorial limits of our nation.To summarize: Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket.We must take the profit out of war.We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether ornot there should be war.We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes. CHAPTER FIVETO HELL WITH WAR!I am not a fool as to believe that war is a thing of the past. I know the peopledo not want war, but there is no use in saying we cannot be pushed into another war.Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform thathe had "kept us out of war" and on the implied promise that he would "keep usout of war." Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany.In that five-month interval the people had not been asked whether they hadchanged their minds. The 4,000,000 young men who put on uniforms and marched orsailed away were not asked whether they wanted to go forth to suffer and die.Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly?Money.An allied commission, it may be recalled, came over shortly before the wardeclaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group ofadvisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language,this is what he told the President and his group:"There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost.We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, Americanmanufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billiondollars.If we lose (and without the help of the United States we must lose) we, England,France and Italy, cannot pay back this money...and Germany won't.So..."Had secrecy been outlawed as far as war negotiations were concerned, and had thepress been invited to be present at that conference, or had radio been availableto broadcast the proceedings, America never would have entered the World War.But this conference, like all war discussions, was shrouded in utmost secrecy.When our boys were sent off to war they were told it was a "war to make theworld safe for democracy" and a "war to end all wars."Well, eighteen years after, the world has less of democracy than it had then.Besides, what business is it of ours whether Russia or Germany or England orFrance or Italy or Austria live under democracies or monarchies? Whether theyare Fascists or Communists? Our problem is to preserve our own democracy.And very little, if anything, has been accomplished to assure us that the WorldWar was really the war to end all wars.Yes, we have had disarmament conferences and limitations of arms conferences.They don't mean a thing. One has just failed; the results of another have beennullified. We send our professional soldiers and our sailors and our politiciansand our diplomats to these conferences. And what happens?The professional soldiers and sailors don't want to disarm. No admiral wants tobe without a ship. No general wants to be without a command. Both mean menwithout jobs. They are not for disarmament. They cannot be for limitations ofarms. And at all these conferences, lurking in the background but all-powerful,just the same, are the sinister agents of those who profit by war. They see toit that these conferences do not disarm or seriously limit armaments.The chief aim of any power at any of these conferences has not been to achievedisarmament to prevent war but rather to get more armament for itself and lessfor any potential foe.There is only one way to disarm with any semblance of practicability. That isfor all nations to get together and scrap every ship, every gun, every rifle,every tank, every war plane. Even this, if it were possible, would not be enough.The next war, according to experts, will be fought not with battleships, not byartillery, not with rifles and not with machine guns. It will be fought withdeadly chemicals and gases.Secretly each nation is studying and perfecting newer and ghastlier means ofannihilating its foes wholesale. Yes, ships will continue to be built, for theshipbuilders must make their profits. And guns still will be manufactured andpowder and rifles will be made, for the munitions makers must make their hugeprofits. And the soldiers, of course, must wear uniforms, for the manufacturermust make their war profits too.But victory or defeat will be determined by the skill and ingenuity of ourscientists.If we put them to work making poison gas and more and more fiendish mechanicaland explosive instruments of destruction, they will have no time for theconstructive job of building greater prosperity for all peoples. By putting themto this useful job, we can all make more money out of peace than we can out ofwar – even the munitions makers.So...I say, TO HELL WITH WAR.Smedley Darlington ButlerMajor General - United States Marine Corps [Retired]Born West Chester, Pa., July 30, 1881Educated Haverford SchoolMarried Ethel C. Peters, of Philadelphia, June 30, 1905Awarded two congressional medals of honor, for capture of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1914,and for capture of Ft. Riviere, Haiti, 1917Distinguished service medal, 1919Retired Oct. 1, 1931On leave of absence to act as director of Department of Safety, Philadelphia, 1932Lecturer - 1930'sRepublican Candidate for Senate, 1932Died at Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, June 21, 1940For more information about Major General Smedley Butler, contact the UnitedStates Marine Corps.

    Comment


    • #3
      OT: some things never change

      J. <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>. ..
      War has been with us since Abel slew Cain and will be with us when as a race we breathe our last breath on this planet. With luck, we will have managed to export it and ourselves to other worlds before then. General Smedley Butler was not alone in his belief that war is a racket. A selection of viewopoints, from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/War
      I like this one best:

      A pre-emptive war in 'defense' of freedom would surely destroy
      freedom, because one simply cannot engage in barbarous action without
      becoming a barbarian, because one cannot defend human values by
      calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the
      values one is trying to defend. - J. William Fulbright

      Helen

      Comment


      • #4
        OT: some things never change

        In article <[email protected] >,
        [email protected] (helicon) wrote:

        A pre-emptive war in 'defense' of freedom would surely destroy freedom, because one simply cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian, because one cannot defend human values by calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the values one is trying to defend. - J. William Fulbright

        Golly gee, Helen, seems to be working well in Iraq.

        Saddam (aka, your hero) is in jug.

        Lots of Ba'athists dead or in jug.

        Zarqawi upset 'cause the Iraqis are ignoring him (wonder why?)

        Elections for a new parliament (I'm told Ireland has those too).

        New constitution to be written.

        Prosperity hitting the country.

        Oh, and no one tossed into a Ba'athist mass grave lately.

        Yep, pre-emptive war just can't work ...





        steve

        Comment


        • #5
          OT: some things never change

          "Steve White" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
          In article <[email protected] >, [email protected] (helicon) wrote:
          A pre-emptive war in 'defense' of freedom would surely destroy freedom, because one simply cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian, because one cannot defend human values by calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the values one is trying to defend. - J. William Fulbright
          Golly gee, Helen, seems to be working well in Iraq.
          What exactly "seems to be working well in Iraq", Steve? The slaughter
          of tens of thousands of Iraqis and the maiming of countless more
          hardly counts as something any civilised human being should regard
          with less than horror.

          The 1,700+ deaths of (mostly young) men and women sent to fight this
          unjust, pre-emptive war, together with the very many more injured, are
          surely a terrible loss to their families, friends and country. The
          unheralded return home of US casualties reflects the contempt of those
          who sent them out to kill and be killed.

          Your jingoistic attitude shows a callousness that belies the tenets of
          your profession.
          Saddam (aka, your hero) is in jug.
          You are so predictable. Bush should be in there with him. They could
          compare the bloodiness of their hands. The only difference is that
          Saddam Hussein never concealed his brutality. Bush though is the
          perfect hypocrite, a true soldier of Jesus. God help us.
          Lots of Ba'athists dead or in jug.
          "Lots of Ba'athists" were just ordinary people, doing their best to
          survive, living under the rule of a monstrous tyrant.
          Zarqawi upset 'cause the Iraqis are ignoring him (wonder why?)
          I am quite sure you have your sources - they can fill you in.
          Elections for a new parliament (I'm told Ireland has those too).
          Yeah yeah yeah. You are so facile. How many more people have died in
          Iraq since January?

          "Data provided on the http://www.iraqbodycount.net website show that,
          far from abating, the monthly death rate in 2005 continues to rise,
          and that the number of media-reported incidents involving the deaths
          of civilians and captives in the three months to March 2005 [376] is
          more than double the number for the same months a year ago [140].
          April and November 2004 show the highest civilian death totals since
          the end of the "invasion phase", and result from the two US assaults
          on Falluja." IBC
          New constitution to be written. Prosperity hitting the country.
          LOL. You canNOT be serious.
          Oh, and no one tossed into a Ba'athist mass grave lately.
          No. There are many other ways of disposing of bodies, Steve. Blow them
          to smithereens. Leave them to rot and explode in the heat. Bulldoze
          the houses over them. Feral dogs grow fat. Let us count the ways...

          Now that I think about it, I wonder what exactly happened to all the
          dead of Fallujah. Hard to believe, but it is a year since that city
          was just about flattened.
          Yep, pre-emptive war just can't work ...
          I never thought I'd see you agreeing with anything that I said.
          Granted it took you a long time to come around to it...

          "Amnesty International, which criticized and drew attention to the
          brutality of the Saddam Hussein regime long before the governments
          which launched the 2003 attack on Iraq, estimated that violent deaths
          attributable to Saddam's government numbered at most in the hundreds
          during the years immediately leading up to 2003. Those wishing to make
          the "more lives ultimately saved" argument will need to make their
          comparisons with the number of civilians likely to have been killed
          had Saddam Hussein's reign continued into 2003-2004, not in comparison
          to the number of deaths for which he was responsible in the 1980s and
          early 1990s, or to casualty figures during WWII."

          http://www.iraqbodycount.net/press/

          Yeah, I still think that J. William Fulbright was a perceptive and
          thoughtful man, so you can sneer all you like.

          Helen
          steve

          Comment


          • #6
            OT: some things never change

            In article <[email protected] >,
            [email protected] (helicon) wrote:

            "Amnesty International, which criticized and drew attention to the brutality of the Saddam Hussein regime long before the governments which launched the 2003 attack on Iraq, estimated that violent deaths attributable to Saddam's government numbered at most in the hundreds during the years immediately leading up to 2003. ...

            AI is simply nuts on this. The mass graves alone contain tens of
            thousands of people. How do you explain those?





            steve

            Comment


            • #7
              OT: some things never change

              In article <[email protected] >,
              [email protected] (helicon) wrote:
              "Steve White" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
              In article <[email protected] >, [email protected] (helicon) wrote:
              A pre-emptive war in 'defense' of freedom would surely destroy freedom, because one simply cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian, because one cannot defend human values by calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the values one is trying to defend. - J. William Fulbright
              Golly gee, Helen, seems to be working well in Iraq.
              What exactly "seems to be working well in Iraq", Steve? The slaughter of tens of thousands of Iraqis and the maiming of countless more hardly counts as something any civilised human being should regard with less than horror.

              Far fewer than Saddam killed, and was continuing to kill.

              Saddam (aka, your hero) is in jug. You are so predictable. Bush should be in there with him. They could compare the bloodiness of their hands. The only difference is that Saddam Hussein never concealed his brutality.

              So does that make Saddam acceptable to you? I'd once like to see you
              condemn the man unequivocally and without a qualifier.

              Lots of Ba'athists dead or in jug. "Lots of Ba'athists" were just ordinary people, doing their best to survive, living under the rule of a monstrous tyrant.

              And lots of them had blood on their hands.

              Zarqawi upset 'cause the Iraqis are ignoring him (wonder why?) I am quite sure you have your sources - they can fill you in.

              Yep, the Iraqi bloggers are doing well on that score.

              Prosperity hitting the country. LOL. You canNOT be serious.

              But I am. The standard of living has jumped substantially. Imports,
              particularly of automobiles, is way up. Consumer goods are flooding the
              country. Salaries are way up, particularly for teachers, hospital
              workers, construction workers and the like.

              Oh, and no one tossed into a Ba'athist mass grave lately. No. There are many other ways of disposing of bodies, Steve. Blow them to smithereens. Leave them to rot and explode in the heat. Bulldoze the houses over them. Feral dogs grow fat. Let us count the ways...

              But brown-on-brown killing, however it was done, is okay with you.

              Pretty racist of you, Helen, pretty racist.





              steve

              Comment


              • #8
                OT: some things never change


                "Steve White" <[email protected]> wrote in message
                news:[email protected]
                In article <[email protected] >, [email protected] (helicon) wrote:
                "Steve White" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
                In article <[email protected] >, [email protected] (helicon) wrote: > A pre-emptive war in 'defense' of freedom would surely destroy > freedom, because one simply cannot engage in barbarous action without > becoming a barbarian, because one cannot defend human values by > calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the > values one is trying to defend. - J. William Fulbright Golly gee, Helen, seems to be working well in Iraq.
                What exactly "seems to be working well in Iraq", Steve? The slaughter of tens of thousands of Iraqis and the maiming of countless more hardly counts as something any civilised human being should regard with less than horror.
                Far fewer than Saddam killed, and was continuing to kill.
                Saddam (aka, your hero) is in jug. You are so predictable. Bush should be in there with him. They could compare the bloodiness of their hands. The only difference is that Saddam Hussein never concealed his brutality.
                So does that make Saddam acceptable to you? I'd once like to see you condemn the man unequivocally and without a qualifier.
                Lots of Ba'athists dead or in jug. "Lots of Ba'athists" were just ordinary people, doing their best to survive, living under the rule of a monstrous tyrant.
                And lots of them had blood on their hands.
                Zarqawi upset 'cause the Iraqis are ignoring him (wonder why?) I am quite sure you have your sources - they can fill you in.
                Yep, the Iraqi bloggers are doing well on that score.
                Prosperity hitting the country. LOL. You canNOT be serious.
                But I am. The standard of living has jumped substantially. Imports, particularly of automobiles, is way up. Consumer goods are flooding the country. Salaries are way up, particularly for teachers, hospital workers, construction workers and the like.
                Oh, and no one tossed into a Ba'athist mass grave lately. No. There are many other ways of disposing of bodies, Steve. Blow them to smithereens. Leave them to rot and explode in the heat. Bulldoze the houses over them. Feral dogs grow fat. Let us count the ways...
                But brown-on-brown killing, however it was done, is okay with you. Pretty racist of you, Helen, pretty racist. steve
                It's none of our business.

                Marley



                Comment


                • #9
                  OT: some things never change

                  In article <[email protected]>,
                  "Marley Greiner" <[email protected]> wrote:

                  But brown-on-brown killing, however it was done, is okay with you. Pretty racist of you, Helen, pretty racist. It's none of our business.

                  Yeah, screw 'em, it's just brown-on-brown, eh?





                  steve

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OT: some things never change


                    "Steve White" <[email protected]> wrote in message
                    news:[email protected]
                    In article <[email protected]>, "Marley Greiner" <[email protected]> wrote:
                    But brown-on-brown killing, however it was done, is okay with you. Pretty racist of you, Helen, pretty racist. It's none of our business.
                    Yeah, screw 'em, it's just brown-on-brown, eh?
                    Or white- on- white. What other countires do is none of our business.
                    Remember the fuss that was made the last election when some English
                    newspaper adopted Springfield, Ohio to get them to vote for Kerry? What's
                    good for the goose. Screw 'em all. I've reverted to listening to Perry
                    Como records.


                    Marley
                    steve

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      OT: some things never change

                      In article <[email protected]>,
                      "Marley Greiner" <[email protected]> wrote:
                      > But brown-on-brown killing, however it was done, is okay with you. > > Pretty racist of you, Helen, pretty racist. > > It's none of our business. Yeah, screw 'em, it's just brown-on-brown, eh? Or white- on- white. What other countires do is none of our business.

                      Unless what they do kills our people. Or puts them at risk. Then it's
                      our business. I know you don't like GWB but you should listen
                      occasionally to what he says.

                      Remember the fuss that was made the last election when some English newspaper adopted Springfield, Ohio to get them to vote for Kerry? What's good for the goose.

                      But that was just retarded and demonstrated the idiocy of the
                      al-Guardian folks. Humor like that is priceless.

                      Screw 'em all. I've reverted to listening to Perry Como records.

                      It's worse than I thought.





                      steve

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OT: some things never change


                        "Steve White" <[email protected]> wrote in message
                        news:[email protected]
                        In article <[email protected]>, "Marley Greiner" <[email protected]> wrote:
                        > > But brown-on-brown killing, however it was done, is okay with you.> >> > Pretty racist of you, Helen, pretty racist.> >> >>> It's none of our business. Yeah, screw 'em, it's just brown-on-brown, eh? Or white- on- white. What other countires do is none of our business.
                        Unless what they do kills our people. Or puts them at risk. Then it's our business. I know you don't like GWB but you should listen occasionally to what he says.
                        Well, what did the Iraqis do the US? GWB was born in a brothel and he
                        thinks he's still there. And yes, the Bushes shared an apartment with a
                        prostitute in New Haven after the war. Barbara has written about it. The
                        average person could care less what happens in other countries. If they
                        did, average USians wouldn't be so stupid. The US is the only country I've
                        ever lived in where people don't read books on the bus. They stare
                        aimlessly out the window, but that may indicate that they know they have no
                        place to go anyway, so what's the point.
                        Remember the fuss that was made the last election when some English newspaper adopted Springfield, Ohio to get them to vote for Kerry? What's good for the goose.
                        But that was just retarded and demonstrated the idiocy of the al-Guardian folks. Humor like that is priceless.
                        Screw 'em all. I've reverted to listening to Perry Como records.
                        It's worse than I thought.
                        It certainly is. My first husband's aunt was a loon who was convinced that
                        Perry Como, Dean Martin, Al Martino and other Italian singers were in a
                        conspiracy to get her and that they controlled her appliances. In fact,
                        Dean Martin frequently sent her vaccuum cleaner and lamps signals from his
                        TV show. Not surprisingly, she was married to a 2-timing Italian.

                        Marley
                        steve

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          OT: some things never change

                          In article <[email protected]>,
                          "Marley Greiner" <[email protected]> wrote:

                          Unless what they do kills our people. Or puts them at risk. Then it's our business. I know you don't like GWB but you should listen occasionally to what he says. Well, what did the Iraqis do the US?

                          GWB told you. Listen.

                          GWB was born in a brothel and he thinks he's still there. And yes, the Bushes shared an apartment with a prostitute in New Haven after the war. Barbara has written about it.

                          This matters because ...

                          The average person could care less what happens in other countries.

                          The whole debate on the war is sufficient proof that you're wrong.

                          If they did, average USians wouldn't be so stupid. The US is the only country I've ever lived in where people don't read books on the bus. They stare aimlessly out the window, but that may indicate that they know they have no place to go anyway, so what's the point.

                          It's rather hard to try to change the minds of people if you go into it
                          thinking that they're nothing but stoopid sheepeople. I do hope you
                          don't politic for open records that way.




                          steve

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OT: some things never change

                            Steve White wrote:
                            In article <[email protected]>, "Marley Greiner" <[email protected]> wrote:
                            In reply to Marley:
                            It's rather hard to try to change the minds of people if you go into it thinking that they're nothing but stoopid sheepeople. I do hope you don't politic for open records that way. steve
                            Amazing, Steve. You've just described your personal MO. I've yet to
                            see you NOT speak down to anyone who happens to either get on your
                            nerves or simply disagree with you.

                            pb...


                            "What a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man! Who
                            can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment & death itself
                            in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment ...
                            inflict on his fellow men a bondage, one hour of which is fraught
                            with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to
                            oppose."
                            --Thomas Jefferson

                            Comment

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