MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

War And Why, According To Smedley Butler, The Winners Are Always The Same

Posted by Martin C. Fox on August 2, 2015

July 28 was the one hundred year anniversary of the US Marine invasion of Haiti.  A strangely honest accounting of the event is available from the US state department.

Between 1911 and 1915, seven presidents were assassinated or overthrown in Haiti, increasing U.S. policymakers’ fear of foreign intervention. In 1914, the Wilson administration sent U.S. Marines into Haiti. They removed $500,000 from the Haitian National Bank in December of 1914 for safe-keeping in New York, thus giving the United States control of the bank.

Safe-keeping!  For whom?

Following the successful manipulation of the 1915 elections, the Wilson administration attempted to strong-arm the Haitian legislature into adopting a new constitution in 1917. This constitution allowed foreign land ownership, which had been outlawed since the Haitian Revolution as a way to prevent foreign control of the country. Extremely reluctant to change the long-standing law, the legislature rejected the new constitution. Law-makers began drafting a new anti-American constitution, but the United States forced President Dartiguenave dissolve the legislature, which did not meet again until 1929.

Reading elsewhere there was a quote from Marine general Smedley Butler stating he helped make Haiti safe for National City Bank.  I have read similar Smedley quotes regarding United Fruit Company and Honduras.  A wiki search of Butler shows he spent much of his career invading our neighbors.

I have seen Butler quoted much lately so I looked up his “War is a Racket” on B&N and found the E version available for $0.99.  I bit.  It is only eighteen pages.  To those with functioning eyes and ears there is nothing profound although it likely was in the thirties when it was first printed.

Butler gives many examples of profit taking and graft that occurred as a result of WWI.  Profit increases of 2-15 times.  Tens of thousands of saddles sold to the government when there was no US cavalry in Europe.  Hundreds of millions spent on US aircraft when no US aircraft were used. Etc.

The government, its crony industrialists and bankers had screwing the public refined to a high art back then.  Just imagine how they have improved their skills since.  We do not have to imagine, just look at the F35 stealth fighter that ate the pentagon.

War Is A Racket is no literary masterpiece but is short and to the point.  Most importantly it is written by the most highly decorated US soldier who in the end saw the light.  It is worth your $0.99.

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