Monday, January 29, 2007

War Is A Racket

Major-General Smedley D. Butler: Common Sense (November 1935)
I spent thirty-three years and four months in active service as a member of our country's most agile military force---the Marine Corps. I have served in all commissioned ranks from a 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 for capitalism
Thus, I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place to live for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in…. 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. I helped make Honduras "right" for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in1927 I helped 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. I was rewarded honors, medals, promotion. Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was operate his racket in three city districts. We Marines operated on three continents."
So what is a quote like that doing on an avowedly neo-con blog? Sit down swollow your drink. Get your hands off the computer.

I agree with the General.

Whoa. Say it isn't so. Nope. It is true. The purpose of the American military in 2007 and well beyond is to open trade possiblities and keep the trade routes open. If we don't do that job as I explained in Decline and Fall, the world and all its people will be worse off. In fact the outcome would lead to Desolation Row.

What people do not understand is that if war is done as a way to increase trade flows (Gen. S. Butler was right about that part - his Marines were sent to make opportunities for American companies or to protect assets the companies had already invested in) every one involved gets richer.

If it is purely a blood sucking operation (as the Soviets did to their "clients") every one gets poorer.

Now in general (and yes from time to time we have screwed the pooch badly) where do you think America stands?

What about people who think that if we stopped spending on the military the money could go to better uses.


However, those people needn't wait to get the Feds to move on it. They could start in their own communities by demanding the police force be disbanded. Think of all the money that could go to better uses.

Some one is going to be the world's policeman. Given the options I'd rather it was us. We are not so good. But there is lots worse out there.

Suggested by the discussion at Rose Colored Glasses

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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