Updated: May 11, 2020
"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers.” - Smedley D. Butler
In 1938, War is a Racket was written by Major General Smedley D. Butler (ret.). He served 33 years in the United States Marine Corps and his was the highest rank authorized at that time. He died in 1940, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. Butler had received 16 medals, five for heroism. To date, he is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor and the only Marine to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.
You’ll see in a bit why it’s important to tell you who this man was…
His main point, hence the title, is that War is a Racket for money and unless we are truly fighting for the freedom of our country, we have no business being anywhere. He argued that none of our wars were for anything but material conquest and 1950 onward has seen no exception to his experience. Korea, Vietnam, Central and South America, and seven current wars we’re fighting in the Middle East all make Butler’s point: we’re fighting wars for corporate interests and the dollar, regardless of political party.
His book cited the profits of military suppliers before and after each of the wars he was involved in (names like Dupont and Haliburton may ring a bell), where profits went up 1,000% in some cases. He discussed the ploys used to manufacture consent; invoking God, patriotism, the flag, and protecting democracy. These are noble things, if indeed any of them were threatened. They’re not, especially not today and especially not God who, by the way, doesn’t need our help.
In the last 20 years we have seen these ploys play out in our media like it was a Hearst newspaper in 1898. The Washington Post and New York Times made you out to be a fool and a Communist if you criticized the Iraq War. For the first time in U.S. history, we invaded a sovereign nation. Why? Bogus charges of WMDs. Members of both parties would later feign sadness over bad coordinates, and claim they went with the “information at hand.” Obama and Trump would serve no better and now, Joe Biden can’t moonwalk away fast enough from one of the biggest blunders of the twenty-first century.
Bush and Cheney knew it'd be trillions of dollars and so far, 8,000 of our kids are dead and we have killed two million Iraqi civilians. They knew it wasn’t going to cost $50 billion over three months. You want to make a terrorist, kill his kids, Ron Paul warned for three decades. We knew what the blowback would be. Colin Powell warned the W. Administration before capitulating. Then he did his Adlai Stevenson impression at the U.N. with phony dummy boards that our glorious CIA bought from Ahmed Chalabi, who later got a cushy gig as Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq.
Not long after getting off the Gold Standard in 1971, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger made a deal with OPEC nations (the Arabs to you and me) in which the U.S. dollar would be the sole currency for any and all oil trade, the world over. Even countries who couldn’t afford the oil increases would borrow U.S. dollars and pay the interest back in U.S. dollars and the petrodollar was born. In exchange, we’d offer “protection” from radicals. The end result was that our main export would now be the dollar.
There are no coincidences, only the illusion of coincidence…
In 2000, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were running for president, when Saddam Hussein got off the U.S. dollar and started trading in Euros. Obviously, the Gulf War, brutal sanctions and Bill Clinton bombing Iraq to deflect from Monica Lewinsky got stuck in his craw a little bit!
In the 90s, Cheney belonged to a conservative think tank called, the Project for a New American Century. In 2000, shortly after Saddam’s highly raised middle finger to U.S. currency, PNAC put out a paper on what this could mean long term. In it, the group said that Hussein getting off the dollar could send a dangerous message to other OPEC Nations, thus giving them permission to dump the dollar as well. It said that the petrodollar and thus, the U.S. economy could crumble. It further made the case that we must send a message and yet, predicted that the shift would come about slowly, unless there was "some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor."Otherwise, it’d be a painful and costly waiting game.
Christmas Came Early
On September 11, 2001, the newly minted W. Administration got their wish, 9/11. We invaded Iraq in March of 2003 and remember all those questions asked earlier about the dollar? “Mission Accomplished” of Day One was Iraq was back on the dollar! Hussein also served as a grim warning to OPEC, “Fuck with us, and we’ll chase you into a hole.” Lest anyone think the Arab Spring was an organic “uprising,” I got a Blockbuster video store for sale in Tunis, real cheap.
Here’s the thing; I only talked about one dirt war, one experience. You think terrorists just make themselves? We’re still doing it in Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan. Why? We can’t just buy bombs to sit! They must go boom! Also, these countries have resources, oil, lithium, opium, ore, gold, silver. It’s the second oldest game in the world. Obama and Hilary Clinton took W.’s two wars and turned them into seven with nary a peep from the so-called liberal.
That Raytheon money tastes the same going down whether you’re a Republicrat or Demublican…
FDR had a jobs program. If you wanted a job, building airports, subways and infrastructure; we have a job for you!!! We invested in people, people who pay taxes. Eleven million were put to work.
We have spent over 50 years shipping our jobs overseas. But we got a job for you; go overseas and kill poor black and brown people so we can take their natural resources and make corporations rich and maybe we’ll pay for college, that is if you make it back alive or not come back dead, maimed or insane.
Twenty-two American veterans commit suicide every day. Twenty-two. That’s around eight needless deaths a year! Where’s the call for help from our leaders? This goes ignored…But hey! Russia and emails come first because covering up for a fraud candidate losing a no choice election is more important, right?
“There are no victors in wars only victims…” - Connie Tallada
We’re so ready to send these kids to die for nothing. Our armies have been voluntary a long time and it’s our responsibility to send them into harm’s way only when it is necessary. Of course, as Hillary Clinton said, while Secretary of State, “There’s a tremendous business opportunity in Iraq,” and “Growing faster than China in the next two years.” She said that in 2011, so I guess it was necessary.
We pitch our kids God and country and a flag. I pledge my allegiance to the Constitution of United States and if you’re offended because this flies in the face of your partisan hackery, or phony god, then you’re part of the problem and I, as an American, refuse to treat stupid as a theory anymore. War is a Racket. A real veteran said that. Sleep tight.
Abe Abdelhadi hosts the Bitter Truth with Abe Abdelhadi on Texas Free Press and all the usual outlets.