War Is A Racket
It has always been so
by Shorty Dawkins
Major General Smedley Butler, a highly decorated US Marine, (received 2 Congressional Medals of Honor),, gave a speech and created a pamphlet called “War Is A Racket”. In it, he asks, who benefits from war? Certainly not the soldiers who die, or are disabled, or live the rest of their lives remembering the pain of losing their comrades. Nor is it the Mothers, Fathers, wives, sisters, brothers or children of the soldiers, many of whom lose their loved ones, or find them coming home as mere shells of the young men they knew. The Nation they bravely fight for finds itself deep in debt, and bereft of its best young men. Who does benefit? Smedley Butler tells us. It is the arms merchants who make great profits while the Nation, and its people, sacrifice. It is any businessman who sells goods, be they blankets, uniforms, canteens or spare parts for vehicles at enormous profits. He itemizes some of the worst examples from WWI. Supplying the military, particularly in wartime, is a racket. It has always been so.
Today, we find ourselves in war. In Afghanistan troops are sacrificing daily. We still have troops in Iraq. Troops are in Somalia, Kuwait, Mali, Libya and other places of conflict. We are in a state of perpetual war. War for peace. It is Orwellian. Meanwhile the arms merchants, the suppliers of fuel, food, clothing,, etc. to our military, are making tidy profits. It is to be expected.
I was reminded of Smedley Butler’s pamphlet when I came across an article titled, 10 companies profiting the most from war. The ten companies listed are British and American. The one thing that surprised me about the list is that Halliburton wasn’t on it. Or are they now a subsidiary of one of those listed companies? I’ll look into it at another time.
The point is, all wars are rackets. They always have been. They benefit the few while the common man, the soldiers, their families, their loved ones, suffer. The best a soldier can hope to do in a war is make it back home in one piece with his emotions intact. The merchants of death, however, stay at home and make big profits. As Bob Dylan said, When will they ever learn.
Note: Here is our article on General Butler from back in 2011. Included is the entire text of the book “War Is A Racket”.
The book is available at Amzaon dot com in paperback. Click <here> to buy.
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