Memorial Day is a federal holiday designated for honoring those who have died while serving in our military. Or as we are often told, died fighting for us.
But most did not die for anything having to do with the American people. Because most wars have nothing to do with national defense. You won’t hear that from anyone connected to the US government, normally. But once in a great moon comes one who speaks the truth. Retired USMC Major General Smedley Butler, at that time the most decorated Marine officer, gave a speech in 1933. He labeled war a scam. Tune in to a few of his words:
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 “muscle 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 (where have I heard that name before?). 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 continents.
It’s highly unpopular to say such things, but when you are decorated hero of WWI, people have to just shut-up and listen. Many like to brand such men as traitors. Hard to do that with General Butler, who received the Medal of Honor, twice. And was instrumental in exposing to Congress a plot to overthrow the US government.
But that was then. America was a far different country in the 1930’s. Not the world’s super power engaged in policing the world to maintain US hegemony. But, as General Butler, makes clear, it was still involved in using its military for all the wrong reasons. And those reasons are never honestly revealed at the time but are covered over by false-flag events and outright lies.
We are always given good reasons, of course. And while there are always an ample number of young men looking for the romance of combat, you don’t get public approval for military actions by honestly stating that it is always about money. Or that American blood and money will be spent to finance operations that will profit the rich and powerful.
Americans, like all humans, are killers by nature. We have Cain’s blood coursing through our veins. There were times when we were a wiser people, at least when it came to being concerned about the affairs of nations half-way around the world. Modern America is a militarized nation. We have the most powerful military force in the history of the world. And we like using it, for a myriad of reasons.
The people who control the nation’s government like using it for gain. For some it is idealogical—transforming the world into some way that they feel privileged to determine. For others, it’s purely financial. We aren’t the largest seller of arms to the world for no reason. It shouldn’t surprise us that CEO’s from the major military weapons and technology firms are key advisors to the government. War is our business.
If winning war is our desire, then we aren’t very good at it, at least not anymore. But it’s questionable that the foreign policy of the US is really about winning wars. It’s about fomenting conflict. Keeping the world in a state of instability.
Don’t tell the soldiers that. But it is only logical reason why the world’s greatest economic and military power hasn’t won a war since WWII—it has no desire to. War’s won result in stability, not weapon purchases. Nor will peace produce the never-ending list of enemies needed to justify continued theft of taxpayer monies to be spent on the military-industrial complex.
All good politicians know that a crisis is their best friend. When the people of a nation feel threatened, they are easily fleeced and controlled. And once the massive bureaucratic monstrosities are created, they become self-perpetuating. Zombies that can’t be killed.
Recently the FBI revealed that not one true terrorist threat has been prevented by all of the data gathering and snooping created by the US Patriot Act. Not one. Billions of dollars are being spent and privacy of the American people sacrificed for no good reason. Or so they admit. Of course, this is the reason that the Congress will likely continue the Patriot Act and its multitude of bastard children. But, as with Memorial Day, you’ll be told it has to do with our freedom. Our defense.
We’ve been scammed, again. Not unwillingly. Flag-waving acolytes of the god of war and god of the modern state will shed a tear on Memorial Day. Politicians will visit ceremonies and give patriotic speeches ending with “God Bless America.” On Tuesday, the powers that be will continue on their destiny to create the next war. And, unless something miraculous happens, Americans will be none the wiser.