Carlyle Group Exposed
From Paul Source
Information Clearing House
A 48 minute documentary well worth watching. It's Dutch
but almost all of it is in spoken English with Dutch subtitles so we
English speakers don't miss much.
Exposed: The Carlyle Group:
Shocking documentary uncovers the subversion of Americas democracy.
I defy you to watch this 48 minute documentary and not be outraged about
the depth of corruption and deceit within the highest ranks of our government
and the first family.
Perhaps the naive will be shocked. The foreign policies of nations have
long been linked to the business aspirations of their corporations (ex.
Hudson's Bay Co, East India Company...etc.) . It is completely normal.
Where the investment dollar goes the soldiers follow. I have tacked
on below another item I post repeatedly, the confessions of war hero
Smedley Butler. Anyone who knows a soldier might consider printing it
out for them.
More shocking than this video is the one I helped edit "The War
on the Third World, What I've Learned About US Foreign Policy"
by Frank Dorrel. http://www.addictedtowar.com. It has been shown to
perhaps a million people so far and is starting to be shown in movie
theatres in the Los Angeles area. For decades people have killed and
been killed for the private profits of an elite they are not even aware
of. I highly recommend that list members buy a copy and show it to as
many people as you can.
War Is A Racket
From The Konformist
Smedley Butler on Interventionism
Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General
Smedley Butler, USMC.
War is just a racket.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not
what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside
group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the
very few at the expense of the masses.
I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else.
If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble
with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over
here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent.
Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.
I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy
investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should
fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the
Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is
blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its
men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war
preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.
It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a
comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three
years and four months in active military service as a member of
this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served
in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General.
And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class
muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In
short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure
of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had
a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties
remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of
higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil
interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place
for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in
the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the
benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I
helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of
Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican
Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped
to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would
say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have
given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to
operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three
Subject: US General S.Butler's book: "War is a Racket" 1935
For several decades, Major General Smedley Butler (US Marines) helped
lead many a US war in Latin America and elsewhere. However, he later
became one of the most eloquent opponents of war and war profiteering
that has ever existed! Ever heard of him? He exposed, as few can, exactly
how wars were being fought to promote the interests of a corporate elite.
His book is reprinted below.
Attempts were even made by US industrialists to recruit Butler to lead
a fascist coup in the US in 1933! He turned them down, told FDR about
the plot and went public. Not surprisingly, few people in the US (or
elsewhere) have still ever heard of Butler or the fascist plot of 1933.
Clearly if this and similar information were common knowledge, the war
planners would have a more difficult time deceiving us with their trickery.
A word of caution to those who may think that this is a merely a "conspiracy
theory" -- and therefore automatically not true. Please do some
research on the internet for yourself and see what you find. Here then
is Smedley Butler's little book, first published in 1935. Enjoy!
WAR IS A RACKET
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
But don't forget - the soldier paid part of the dollars and cents bill
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
TO HELL WITH WAR!
Smedley Darlington Butler
Major General - United States Marine Corps [Retired] Born West Chester,
Pa., July 30, 1881