Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Corporate Treason

Smedley Butler, is a U.S. marine general who was first published in 1935 with "War is a Racket." Not much has changed since then except for a brash, increase in the seemingly insatiable appetite of a voracious, unethical,criminal, corporate America,with perpetual war - at any cost to fellow human beings on the planet.

Smedley Butler's account is astounding only in the amount of time it has been around, and how few Americans have:

a. read it,
b. still don't believe it
c. seen Smedley on ANY mainsteam TV media.

The world is waiting for Americans to turn the light on and see what corporate treason is doing to the world in the name of America.

The Nuremberg Trials will be dusted off and the corporate media complicit in selling the "shock and awe" campaign to terrorize Iraq prior to bombing, WILL be brought to justice. Not just the lame reporters who mime their corporate puppet administration, but the owners of networks like NBC (GE) who funded the Nazis in WWII (U.S. National Archives) and now fire reporters for publishing the truth about American corporations making a mint on murder. They block the truth about the Bush family funding both sides of every war because their funders have too.

This retired marine general merely shows us how long it has been going on.

The link below will take you to the site where Smedley's book is sold, and I've included an excerpt below. Please feel free to pass it far and wide.

Let's keep shining light. What we cannot, or refuse to see, cannot be healed.

"War is a Racket" is marine general, Smedley Butler's classic treatise on why wars are conducted, who profits from them, and who pays the price. Few people are as qualified as General Butler to advance the argument encapsulated in his book's sensational title. When "War is a Racket" was first published in 1935, Butler was the most decorated American soldier of his time. He had lead several successful military operations in the Caribbean and in Central America, as well as in Europe during the First World War. Despite his success and his heroic status, however, Butler came away from these experiences with a deeply troubled view of both the > purpose and the results of warfare. Butler's central thesis is that regardless of the popular rhetoric that often accompanies warfare, it is waged almost exclusively for profit. He advances this argument in three decisive examples.


In an early version of "follow the money", Butler provides pre- and
post-World War I data on some of America's leading corporations to
demonstrate the surge in profits that they experienced from the war, often
totaling several hundred percent. While some companies, such as Dupont,
arguably produced goods that contributed directly to America's military
victory in 1918, others such as saddle manufacturers did not. Even when
these companies failed to contribute directly to the war effort, they
still managed to lobby the government to retrain or expand their contracts. Its
as though powerful, well connected oil services company today were to
contract with the government to supply oil to the military during a foreign
campaign and then deliberately overcharge it.


Butler argues that the United States practically doomed itself to entering
the First World War the moment it began lending money and material to the
allies. Once the allies were faced with certain defeat, argues Butler,
they approached American government and business officials and flatly told them
that unless they were victorious they would not be able to repay their
staggering debt. In the event that Germany and the axis powers won the
war, they would have no motivation to assume and repay the allied debt to the
United States. America entered the First World War, according to Butler,
in order to guarantee the repayment of its massive military loans to the
allies. No allied victory meant no repayment, which meant no profit.
Thousands of American soldiers were killed or maimed, argues Butler, to
protect corporate profits.


Based on his own service experience in Central America and the Caribbean
Butler argues that most American military interventions in small countries
were done in order to "clear the way" for American corporations to set up
shop and commence pillaging. It would be as if the United States were to
occupy an oil-rich nation and then start doling out "rebuilding" contracts
to some of its largest and best-connected corporations.


Having focused on who profits from war, Butler then examines who pays the
price. The answer, unsurprisingly enough is the average taxpayer and the
young people who are either slaughtered in wartime or who return home
physically and psychologically damaged. Sadly, Butler points out, once
these young people are no longer useful they are ignored by their own government
and are left to suffer without assistance. It's as though a president were
to employ a lot of rhetoric about supporting our troops while using them
to occupy and oil-rich nation, but were to secretly slash their hazardous
duty pay and veterans benefits.


Butler's solution to preventing the carnage and social injustices of war is
to eliminate business leaders' ability to make a profit from war or to avoid
serving in it themselves. He also argues that those who put their lives at
risk should have a say in whether or not to wage war. This may sound like
a lot of idealistic, socialist nonsense, but thing about it. Would the
United States have invaded an oil-rich nation if its unelected president had been
forced to serve in the front lines as part of the process? Would business
interests have supported the war if they never stood to profit from it?
Probably not.

"War is a Racket" also contains other interesting factoids including
General Butler's successful prevention of a right-wing coup against President
Franklin D. Roosevelt. Unfortunately, no one of General Butler's caliber
was able to prevent a similar coup from taking place in 2000.
General Butler also makes a persuasive case for the United States to
remain isolationist and to avoid involving itself in the coming European war
(This book was published shortly before World War II.). Using his considerable
grasp of military logistics, Butler counters many of the prevailing
arguments of his day that Hitler posed a direct military threat to the
United States. Unfortunately, no one of General Butler's caliber was
available to counter a similar argument that right wing policy makers
advanced about a tiny oil-rich nation in the Middle East posing a direct
military threat to the United States.

To anyone who doubts the veracity or efficacy of this book, I have a humble but useful suggestion. Ask yourself who makes money off of war. Then ask yourself if they ever make the physical, mental, or fiscal sacrifices for war.

Finally ask yourself who ultimately makes the sacrifices and pays the prices. Most people who favor war either profit from it, or are seduced by the idea of it. General Butler's book is a concise, and brilliantly argued treatise on the reality of war. Of course most people prefer a beautiful idea to harsh reality, and that is why propagandists and politicians are so successful.


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