War Is A Racket

Posted: January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

“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.” – Smedley Butler

Take some time to google Smedley Butler, (after reading my post of course) an amazing man that you’ve most likely never heard of.

I know it can seem very generic to start a post with a quote. Having conceded that, I have to say that there is nothing generic or redundant about the words of great men and women who stood or are still standing for the freedom of our people. Smedley Butler spoke out about the American military industrial complex in its infancy, he was followed by several other great military men over time, including President Dwight Eisenhower who warned of the dangers of the military industrial complex in his last speech before leaving office.

Today we see the effects of decades of militarism on our economy, on our society, and on our foreign relations.

Militarism has co-opted the fiscal policy and monetary policy of the United States. Military spending (black budget not included) is 28-38% of the Federal Governments budget. Our currency is the reserve currency of the world and has been been turned into a weapon. The federal government uses debt, interest rates, and issuance of currency to wage economic wars on foreign nations.

The military industrial complex employs vast numbers of Americans making it a part of the social fabric of the nation, thus making military budget cuts painful to the individuals employed in that sector. America has developed a “War First” attitude as a result, this is a dangerous paradigm. We now must wage war to prevent economic destitution, as explained in my previous post, “War Is Not An Export”, war is highly destructive to the economy of a nation over the long term despite its seeming benefits to economy in the short term and its capability to make billions of dollars for well connected companies.

Blowback is a term coined originally by the CIA in reference to retaliation¬† against American intelligence officers for the actions of the CIA or US military. Blowback is a definite factor in the suffering state of American foreign relations. America’s actions as the worlds policeman and dominant currency holder have undoubtedly created hard feelings between America and other nations. We are all familiar with the term “bad press”, war is an ugly affair and can create a lot of “bad press” for a country, even from accidents.

Smedley Butler said that “war is a racket” used to benefit the few at the expense of many. I have no doubt in my mind that war has been used in that fashion by the United States in the past and in all likelihood it will happen again in the future. Let’s just hope we have someone like Smedley Butler with the courage to stand up and speak out.


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