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Lest we forget ...war is a racket
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Raoul DeGroot



Joined: 30 Apr 2009
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Why take it there?
So he lacks a little whimsy and let it slideness compared to most people

Arent you glad some jerks came along to say "yknow Columbus day is a little fucked up! I like the ships and all that, but it's slightly fucked how it came about" It's old news, but people still have to bring that shit up and people still get angry about it being brought up. Something they have almost no stake in.
People are going to get pissed of regardless of what day you bring it up.

Plus, not every veteran is your septegenarian granduncle you know. Let's not assume evryone who's been in a war feels there must be this hushed reverence on the magiical day.
Post Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:19 pm
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crash



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i agree - my dad was in vietnam and he doesn't celebrate veterns day. i'm sure he takes a moment to remember the friends that he lost but he's always kept it to himself. i know with out a doubt he would agree that war is a racket.

Last edited by crash on Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:22 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



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crash wrote:
Raoul DeGroot wrote:
Why isnt this just like the killjoys who post antiimperialism stuff on thanksgiving?
I think that's an appropriate counterbalancey thing to do, even though I like Thanksgiving and my particular interpretation of it.
Yknow, I recognize that it's not crazy to bing that issue up on that day. Regardless of how remedial you dudes seem to think it is- there's clearly a wide gap in how exactly we all consider and justify these days.

thanksgiving and columbus day aren't particularly emotional holidays. i don't think the kill joys are offending anyone as much as annoying.

what firefly is doing is more comparable to, say, posting up an article about the armenian genocide on turkish independence day.


That's a great thing to do though!
Maybe not if everyone was doing it.. and maybe its much less effective coming from someone who's not turkish, but I believe humans are capable of having a hint of complication to their traditions without completely hardening into defensive and resistant mode. Or melting into a wimpy puddle of regret and disillusionment.

Yeah, I guess you guys are just really lowballing the capacities of veterans. And their families.

And maybe highballing the meaning of veterans day to non-veterans.



Plus, am I the only one here who forgets that I have an opinion about stuff unless someone brings it up?
If the purpose of the thread was to get people to clarify or expand upon what they think about grey subjects, then mission accomplished from my end.
I think the social dynamics of our various responses to the thread alone is interesting to think about. Maybe even moreso than our actual opinions about Veterans Day.
Post Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:41 pm
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firefly



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My original post was in no way "shitting on" or disrespectul to veterans. If you don't get that at this point there's nothing that can be done about that.

Dr Sagacious wrote:
firefly wrote:

It's all about imaginary days and imaginary lines which are sometimes more real to people then facts and real things.



You don't celebrate anything? You haven't a tradition? Your life sounds like a bowl of mixed negative nuts.

"But, I see the lies that they give us!"

Still fucking boring, homie.


I celebrate real things! I don't just celebrate things simply because "we have to" or the government says we should. Do people actually "celebrate" on Veteran's day? It's more of a somber day here in Canada where people reflect on the war. Which is exactly what I was doing with that post. I reflect on the suffering of the vets as well as the reasons they went to war.
Post Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:40 am
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firefly



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Talk about shitting on the Veterans! Imagine the same people who sent you to war are allowing Nazis war criminals a safe haven in your own country.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/world-war-2/8132550/Secret-papers-reveal-Nazis-given-safe-haven-in-US.html

Secret papers reveal Nazis given 'safe haven' in US
A secret United States government report has offered fresh evidence that the CIA granted Nazi war criminals a "safe haven" in the US after the Second World War.

By Toby Harnden in Washington 5:45PM GMT 14 Nov 2010

The 600-page report, written in 2006 and which the US Justice Department has tried to keep secret ever since, describes what it calls Washington's "collaboration with persecutors".

Agents from the Justice Department's Nazi-hunting Office of Special Investigations (OSI) found that war criminals "were indeed knowingly granted entry" to the US, even though government officials were aware of their pasts, the report concluded.

"America, which prided itself on being a safe haven for the persecuted, became – in some small measure – a safe haven for persecutors as well."

The report, obtained by the New York Times, details cases of Nazis being helped by American intelligence officials.

In 1954, the CIA assisted Otto Von Bolschwing, an associate of Adolf Eichmann who had helped develop plans "to purge Germany of the Jews".

In a series of CIA memos, officials pondered what to do if Von Bolschwing was confronted about his past, debating whether to deny any Nazi affiliation or "explain it away on the basis of extenuating circumstances", according to the report.

The Justice Department sought to deport Von Bolschwing after it learned in 1981of his Nazi past but he died the same year.

Another case involved Arthur L. Rudolph, a Nazi scientist who ran the Mittelwerk munitions factory. He was brought to the US in 1945 for his rocket-making prowess as part of Operation Paperclip, an American initiative to recruit scientists who had worked in Nazi Germany.

The report highlights a 1949 note from a very senior Justice Department official urging immigration officers to let Rudolph back into the US after visiting Mexico because excluding him would be "to the detriment of the national interest".

Justice Department investigators later discovered that Rudolph was much more implicated in using Jewish slave labour at Mittelwerk than he or the CIA had admitted. Some intelligence officials objected when the Justice Department tried to deport him in 1983.

The report states that prosecutors filed a motion in 1980 that "misstated the facts" in insisting that CIA and FBI records revealed no information on the Nazi past of Tscherim Soobzokov, a former Waffen SS soldier.

Instead, the Justice Department "knew that Soobzokov had advised the CIA of his SS connection after he arrived in the United States", the report found.

The report details the government’s posthumous pursuit of Dr Josef Mengele, the German SS officer and physician known as the “Angel of Death”. A piece of Mengele’s scalp was kept in the drawer of an OSI director in the hope that it would establish whether he was still alive.

Investigators used diaries and letters supposedly written by Mengele and German dental records to follow his trail. After the development of DNA, the piece of scalp, which had been handed over to Brazil, helped to establish that Mengele had died in Brazil in 1979, without ever entering the US, the report stated.

The US government has resisted making the report public ever since it was written four years ago. Under the threat of legal action, it provided an expurgated version last month to the National Security Archive, a private research group. The New York Times then obtained a complete version.

The US Justice Department told the newspaper that the report, which was the product of six years of research, was never formally completed, did not represent official findings and claimed there were "numerous factual errors and omissions" though it declined to detail these.

Since the creation of the OSI in 1979, several hundred Nazis have been deported, stripped of their American citizenship or excluded from entering the United States. The OSI was merged with another unit this year.
Post Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:47 am
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mortalthoughts
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crash wrote:
i agree - my dad was in vietnam and he doesn't celebrate veterns day. i'm sure he takes a moment to remember the friends that he lost but he's always kept it to himself. i know with out a doubt he would agree that war is a racket.


its not about disagreeing with the article its about having a little bit of common decency on veterans day
Post Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:01 am
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phataccino



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mortalthoughts wrote:
crash wrote:
i agree - my dad was in vietnam and he doesn't celebrate veterns day. i'm sure he takes a moment to remember the friends that he lost but he's always kept it to himself. i know with out a doubt he would agree that war is a racket.


its not about disagreeing with the article its about having a little bit of common decency on veterans day

What wasn't decent about it? What Firefly posted wasn't a knock on veterans, it was a knock on the people who put veterans in harm's way for nefarious or greed-driven purposes. Saying 'those in power that wage wars are assholes' isn't saying anything bad about veterans.
Post Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:25 am
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crash



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phataccino wrote:
mortalthoughts wrote:
crash wrote:
i agree - my dad was in vietnam and he doesn't celebrate veterns day. i'm sure he takes a moment to remember the friends that he lost but he's always kept it to himself. i know with out a doubt he would agree that war is a racket.


its not about disagreeing with the article its about having a little bit of common decency on veterans day

What wasn't decent about it? What Firefly posted wasn't a knock on veterans, it was a knock on the people who put veterans in harm's way for nefarious or greed-driven purposes. Saying 'those in power that wage wars are assholes' isn't saying anything bad about veterans.

i think you're oversimplifying the issue. many veterans made huge sacrifices for what they see (rightly or wrongly) as the security and well being of all of us and a good number of them aren't fond of hearing that those sacrifices were for nothing. certainly, that shouldn't keep anyone from criticizing the military industrial complex, but i would imagine one could pick a better day to make that criticism than the one set aside to remember their sacrifices.
Post Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:40 am
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Raoul DeGroot



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It's not a one note day.
The popular impulse is to make it into one.

You don't have to spend the day spewing diatribes about institutionalized murder and neither do you have to sit wringing your hands in awed silence.

If you're really reflecting on the subject, you probably wouldn't do either of those things. Talking is good.
Post Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:47 am
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mortalthoughts
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im not as bothered by this as i come off in this thread
sorry about that.
Post Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:52 am
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Jared Paul



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Re: Lest we forget ...war is a racket  Reply with quote  

firefly wrote:
WAR IS A RACKET

By General Smedley D. Butler

That war is a racket has been told us by many, but rarely by one of this stature. Though he died in 1940, the highly decorated General Butler (two esteemed Medals of Honor) deserves to be heralded for his timeless message, which rings true today more than ever. His riveting 1935 book War is a Racket merits inclusion as required reading for every high school student, and for every member of our armed forces today. Below is a ten-page summary of the best of this powerful exposé. For a concise, two-page version, click here.

Foreword
Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933 by General Smedley Butler, USMC

War is just a racket. 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.

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.

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 safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. 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. 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.

CHAPTER ONE: War Is A Racket

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is 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.

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows. [Please note these are 1935 U.S. dollars. To adjust for inflation, multiply all figures X 10 or more]

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill. And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.

Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side by side. Italy and Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germany cast sheep's eyes at each other. All of them are looking ahead to war. Not the people – not those who fight and pay and die – only those who foment wars and remain safely at home to profit.

There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and diplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making. Hell's bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers?

Not in Italy, to be sure. Premier Mussolini knows what they are being trained for. He, at least, is frank enough to speak out. The publication of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said: "And above all, Fascism… believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace…War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it."

Undoubtedly Mussolini means exactly what he says. His well-trained army, his great fleet of planes, and even his navy are ready for war. His recent stand at the side of Hungary in the latter's dispute with Yugoslavia showed that. And the hurried mobilization of his troops on the Austrian border after the assassination of Dollfuss showed it too. There are others in Europe too whose sabre rattling presages war, sooner or later. Herr Hitler, with his rearming Germany and his constant demands for more and more arms, is an equal if not greater menace to peace.

Yes, all over, nations are camping in their arms. The mad dogs of Europe are on the loose. The trend is to poison us against the Japanese. What does the "open door" policy to China mean to us? Our trade with China is about $90,000,000 a year. Or the Philippine Islands? We have spent about $600,000,000 in the Philippines in thirty-five years and we (our bankers and industrialists and speculators) have private investments there of less than $200,000,000.

Then, to save that China trade of about $90,000,000, or to protect these private investments of less than $200,000,000 in the Philippines, we would be all stirred up to hate Japan and go to war – a war that might well cost us tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, and many more hundreds of thousands of physically maimed and mentally unbalanced men.

Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit – fortunes would be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitions makers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well. Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn't they? It pays high dividends.

But what does it profit the men who are killed? What does it profit their mothers and sisters, their wives and their sweethearts? What does it profit their children? What does it profit anyone except the very few to whom war means huge profits? Yes, and what does it profit the nation?

Take our own case. Until 1898 we didn't own a bit of territory outside the mainland of North America. At that time our national debt was a little more than $1,000,000,000. Then we became "internationally minded." We forgot, or shunted aside, George Washington's warning about "entangling alliances." We went to war. We acquired outside territory. At the end of the World War period, as a direct result of our fiddling in international affairs, our national debt had jumped to over $25,000,000,000.

It would have been far cheaper (not to say safer) for the average American who pays the bills to stay out of foreign entanglements. For a very few this racket, like bootlegging and other underworld rackets, brings fancy profits, but the cost of operations is always transferred to the people – who do not profit.

CHAPTER TWO: Who Makes The Profits?

The World War cost the United States some $52,000,000,000. Figure it out. That means $400 [over $4,000 in today's dollars] to every American man, woman, and child. And we haven't paid the debt yet. We are paying it, our children will pay it, and our children's children probably still will be paying the cost of that war.

The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are 6, 8, 10, and sometimes 12%. But war-time profits – ah! that is another matter – 20, 60, 100, 300, and even 1,800% – the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let's get it. Of course, it isn't put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and "we must all put our shoulders to the wheel," but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket – and are safely pocketed. Let's just take a few examples.

Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people – didn't one of them testify before a Senate committee recently that their powder won the war? Or saved the world for democracy? How did they do in the war? Well, the average earnings of the du Ponts for the period 1910 to 1914 were $6,000,000 a year. It wasn't much, but the du Ponts managed to get along on it. Now let's look at their average yearly profit during the war years, 1914 to 1918. Fifty-eight million dollars a year profit we find! Nearly ten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were pretty good. An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent.

Take one of our little steel companies that patriotically shunted aside the making of rails and girders and bridges to manufacture war materials. Well, their 1910 - 1914 yearly earnings averaged $6,000,000. Then came the war. And, like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Did their profits jump – or did they let Uncle Sam in for a bargain? Well, their 1914 - 1918 average was $49,000,000 a year!

Or, let's take United States Steel. The normal earnings during the five-year period prior to the war were $105,000,000 a year. Not bad. Then along came the war and up went the profits. The average yearly profit for the period 1914 - 1918 was $240,000,000. Not bad. There you have some of the steel and powder earnings. Let's look at something else.

A little copper, perhaps. That always does well in war times. Anaconda, for instance. Average yearly earnings during the pre-war years 1910 - 1914 of $10,000,000. During the war years 1914 - 1918 profits leaped to $34,000,000 per year. Or Utah Copper. Average of $5,000,000 per year during the 1910 - 1914 period. Jumped to an average of $21,000,000 yearly profits for the war period.

Let's group these five, with three smaller companies. The total yearly average profits of the pre-war period 1910 - 1914 were $137,480,000. Then along came the war. The average yearly profits for this group skyrocketed to $408,300,000. A little increase in profits of approximately 200 per cent. Does war pay? It paid them.

But they aren't the only ones. There are still others. Let's take leather. For the three-year period before the war the total profits of Central Leather Company were $3,500,000. That was approximately $1,167,000 a year. Well, in 1916 Central Leather returned a profit of $15,000,000, a small increase of 1,100 per cent. That's all. The General Chemical Company averaged a profit for the three years before the war of a little over $800,000 a year. Came the war, and the profits jumped to $12,000,000 – a leap of 1,400 per cent.

International Nickel Company – and you can't have a war without nickel – showed an increase in profits from a mere average of $4,000,000 a year to $73,000,000 yearly. Not bad? An increase of more than 1,700 per cent. American Sugar Refining Company averaged $2,000,000 a year for the three years before the war. In 1916 a profit of $6,000,000 was recorded.

Listen to Senate Document No. 259. The Sixty-Fifth Congress, reporting on corporate earnings and government revenues. Considering the profits of 122 meat packers, 153 cotton manufacturers, 299 garment makers, 49 steel plants, and 340 coal producers during the war. Profits under 25 per cent were exceptional. For instance the coal companies made between 100 per cent and 7,856 per cent on their capital stock during the war. The Chicago packers doubled and tripled their earnings.

And let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather than incorporated organizations, they do not have to report to stockholders. And their profits were as secret as they were immense. How the bankers made their millions and their billions I do not know, because those little secrets never become public – even before a Senate investigatory body.

Here's how other patriotic industrialists and speculators chiseled their way into war profits.

Take the shoe people. They like war. It brings business with abnormal profits. They made huge profits on sales abroad to our allies. Perhaps, like the munitions manufacturers and armament makers, they also sold to the enemy. For a dollar is a dollar whether it comes from Germany or from France. But they did well by Uncle Sam too. For instance, they sold Uncle Sam 35,000,000 pairs of hobnailed service shoes. There were 4,000,000 soldiers. Eight pairs, and more, to a soldier. My regiment during the war had only one pair to a soldier. Some of these shoes probably are still in existence. They were good shoes. But when the war was over Uncle Sam has a matter of 25,000,000 pairs left over. Bought – and paid for. Profits recorded and pocketed.

There was still lots of leather left. So the leather people sold your Uncle Sam hundreds of thousands of McClellan saddles for the cavalry. But there wasn't any American cavalry overseas! Somebody had to get rid of this leather, however. Somebody had to make a profit in it – so we had a lot of McClellan saddles. And we probably have those yet.

Also somebody had a lot of mosquito netting. They sold your Uncle Sam 20,000,000 mosquito nets for the use of the soldiers overseas. I suppose the boys were expected to put it over them as they tried to sleep in muddy trenches – one hand scratching cooties on their backs and the other making passes at scurrying rats. Well, not one of these mosquito nets ever got to France!

Anyhow, these thoughtful manufacturers wanted to make sure that no soldier would be without his mosquito net, so 40,000,000 additional yards of mosquito netting were sold to Uncle Sam. There were pretty good profits in mosquito netting in those days, even if there were no mosquitoes in France. I suppose, if the war had lasted just a little longer, the enterprising mosquito netting manufacturers would have sold your Uncle Sam a couple of consignments of mosquitoes to plant in France so that more mosquito netting would be in order.

Airplane and engine manufacturers felt they, too, should get their just profits out of this war. Why not? Everybody else was getting theirs. So $1,000,000,000 – count them if you live long enough – was spent by Uncle Sam in building airplane engines that never left the ground! Not one plane, or motor, out of the billion dollars worth ordered, ever got into a battle in France. Just the same the manufacturers made their little profit of 30, 100, or perhaps 300 per cent.

Undershirts for soldiers cost 14¢ [cents] to make and uncle Sam paid 30¢ to 40¢ each for them – a nice little profit for the undershirt manufacturer. And the stocking manufacturer and the uniform manufacturers and the cap manufacturers and the steel helmet manufacturers – all got theirs. When the war was over some 4,000,000 sets of equipment – knapsacks and the things that go to fill them – crammed warehouses on this side. Now they are being scrapped because the regulations have changed the contents. But the manufacturers collected their wartime profits on them – and they will do it all over again the next time.

There were lots of brilliant ideas for profit making during the war.

One very versatile patriot sold Uncle Sam twelve dozen 48-inch wrenches. Oh, they were very nice wrenches. The only trouble was that there was only one nut ever made that was large enough for these wrenches. That is the one that holds the turbines at Niagara Falls. Well, after Uncle Sam had bought them and the manufacturer had pocketed the profit, the wrenches were put on freight cars and shunted all around the United States in an effort to find a use for them. When the Armistice was signed it was indeed a sad blow to the wrench manufacturer. He was just about to make some nuts to fit the wrenches. Then he planned to sell these, too, to your Uncle Sam.

The shipbuilders felt they should come in on some of it, too. They built a lot of ships that made a lot of profit. More than $3,000,000,000 worth. Some of the ships were all right. But $635,000,000 worth of them were made of wood and wouldn't float! The seams opened up – and they sank. We paid for them, though. And somebody pocketed the profits.

It has been estimated by statisticians and economists and researchers that the war cost your Uncle Sam $52,000,000,000. Of this sum, $39,000,000,000 was expended in the actual war itself. This expenditure yielded $16,000,000,000 in profits. That is how the 21,000 billionaires and millionaires got that way. This $16,000,000,000 profits is not to be sneezed at. It is quite a tidy sum. And it went to a very few.

The Senate committee probe of the munitions industry and its wartime profits, despite its sensational disclosures, hardly has scratched the surface. Even so, it has had some effect. The State Department has been studying "for some time" methods of keeping out of war. The War Department suddenly decides it has a wonderful plan to spring. The Administration names a committee – with the War and Navy Departments ably represented under the chairmanship of a Wall Street speculator – to limit profits in war time. To what extent isn't suggested. Hmmm. Possibly the profits of 300 and 600 and 1,600 per cent of those who turned blood into gold in the World War would be limited to some smaller figure.

Apparently, however, the plan does not call for any limitation of losses – that is, the losses of those who fight the war. As far as I have been able to ascertain there is nothing in the scheme to limit a soldier to the loss of but one eye, or one arm, or to limit his wounds to one or two or three. Or to limit the loss of life.

There is nothing in this scheme, apparently, that says not more than 12 per cent of a regiment shall be wounded in battle, or that not more than 7 per cent in a division shall be killed. Of course, the committee cannot be bothered with such trifling matters.

CHAPTER THREE: Who Pays The Bills?

Who provides the profits – these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and 1,800 per cent? We all pay them – in taxation. We paid the bankers their profits when we bought Liberty Bonds at $100.00 and sold them back at $84 or $86 to the bankers. These bankers collected $100 plus. It was a simple manipulation. The bankers control the security marts. It was easy for them to depress the price of these bonds. Then all of us – the people – got frightened and sold the bonds at $84 or $86. The bankers bought them. Then these same bankers stimulated a boom and government bonds went to par – and above. Then the bankers collected their profits.

But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill.

If you don't believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefields abroad. Or visit any of the veteran's hospitals in the United States. On a tour of the country, in the midst of which I am at the time of this writing, I have visited eighteen government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about 50,000 destroyed men – men who were the pick of the nation eighteen years ago. The very able chief surgeon at the government hospital; at Milwaukee, where there are 3,800 of the living dead, told me that mortality among veterans is three times as great as among those who stayed at home.

Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the fields and offices and factories and classrooms and put into the ranks. There they were remolded; they were made over; they were made to "about face"; to regard murder as the order of the day. They were put shoulder to shoulder and, through mass psychology, they were entirely changed. We used them for a couple of years and trained them to think nothing at all of killing or of being killed.

Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another "about face"! This time they had to do their own readjustment, sans [without] mass psychology, sans officers' aid and advice and sans nation-wide propaganda. We didn't need them any more. So we scattered them about without any "three-minute" or "Liberty Loan" speeches or parades. Many, too many, of these fine young boys are eventually destroyed, mentally, because they could not make that final "about face" alone.

In the government hospital in Marion, Indiana, 1,800 of these boys are in pens! Five hundred of them in a barracks with steel bars and wires all around outside the buildings and on the porches. These already have been mentally destroyed. These boys don't even look like human beings. Oh, the looks on their faces! Physically, they are in good shape; mentally, they are gone.

There are thousands and thousands of these cases, and more and more are coming in all the time. The tremendous excitement of the war, the sudden cutting off of that excitement – the young boys couldn't stand it.

That's a part of the bill. So much for the dead – they have paid their part of the war profits. So much for the mentally and physically wounded – they are paying now their share of the war profits. But the others paid, too – they paid with heartbreaks when they tore themselves away from their firesides and their families to don the uniform of Uncle Sam – on which a profit had been made. They paid another part in the training camps where they were regimented and drilled while others took their jobs and their places in the lives of their communities. The paid for it in the trenches where they shot and were shot; where they were hungry for days at a time; where they slept in the mud and the cold and in the rain – with the moans and shrieks of the dying for a horrible lullaby.

But don't forget – the soldier paid part of the dollars and cents bill too. Up to and including the Spanish-American War, we had a prize system, and soldiers and sailors fought for money. During the Civil War they were paid bonuses, in many instances, before they went into service. The government, or states, paid as high as $1,200 for an enlistment. In the Spanish-American War they gave prize money. When we captured any vessels, the soldiers all got their share – at least, they were supposed to. Then it was found that we could reduce the cost of wars by taking all the prize money and keeping it, but conscripting [drafting] the soldier anyway. Then soldiers couldn't bargain for their labor, Everyone else could bargain, but the soldier couldn't.

Napoleon once said, "All men are enamored of decorations...They positively hunger for them." So by developing the Napoleonic system – the medal business – the government learned it could get soldiers for less money, because the boys liked to be decorated. Until the Civil War there were no medals. Then the Congressional Medal of Honor was handed out. It made enlistments easier. After the Civil War no new medals were issued until the Spanish-American War.

In the World War, we used propaganda to make the boys accept conscription. They were made to feel ashamed if they didn't join the army. So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With few exceptions our clergymen joined in the clamor to kill, kill, kill. To kill the Germans. God is on our side...It is His will that the Germans be killed. And in Germany, the good pastors called upon the Germans to kill the allies...to please the same God. That was a part of the general propaganda, built up to make people war conscious and murder conscious.

Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the "war to end all wars." This was the "war to make the world safe for democracy." No one mentioned to them, as they marched away, that their going and their dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross might be torpedoed by submarines built with United States patents. They were just told it was to be a "glorious adventure."

Thus, having stuffed patriotism down their throats, it was decided to make them help pay for the war, too. So, we gave them the large salary of $30 a month. All they had to do for this munificent sum was to leave their dear ones behind, give up their jobs, lie in swampy trenches, eat canned willy (when they could get it) and kill and kill and kill...and be killed.

But wait! Half of that wage (just a little more than a riveter in a shipyard or a laborer in a munitions factory safe at home made in a day) was promptly taken from him to support his dependents, so that they would not become a charge upon his community. Then we made him pay what amounted to accident insurance – something the employer pays for in an enlightened state – and that cost him $6 a month. He had less than $9 a month left.

Then, the most crowning insolence of all – he was virtually blackjacked into paying for his own ammunition, clothing, and food by being made to buy Liberty Bonds. Most soldiers got no money at all on pay days. We made them buy Liberty Bonds at $100 and then we bought them back – when they came back from the war and couldn't find work – at $84 and $86. And the soldiers bought about $2,000,000,000 worth of these bonds!

Yes, the soldier pays the greater part of the bill. His family pays too. They pay it in the same heart-break that he does. As he suffers, they suffer. At nights, as he lay in the trenches and watched shrapnel burst about him, they lay home in their beds and tossed sleeplessly – his father, his mother, his wife, his sisters, his brothers, his sons, and his daughters.

When he returned home minus an eye, or minus a leg or with his mind broken, they suffered too – as much as and even sometimes more than he. Yes, and they, too, contributed their dollars to the profits of the munitions makers and bankers and shipbuilders and the manufacturers and the speculators made. They, too, bought Liberty Bonds and contributed to the profit of the bankers after the Armistice in the hocus-pocus of manipulated Liberty Bond prices.

And even now the families of the wounded men and of the mentally broken and those who never were able to readjust themselves are still suffering and still paying.

CHAPTER FOUR: How To Smash This Racket!

Well, it's a racket, all right. A few profit – and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can't end it by disarmament conferences. You can't eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can't wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war.

The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nations manhood can be conscripted. One month before the Government can conscript the young men of the nation – it must conscript capital and industry and labor. Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted – to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.

Let the workers in these plants get the same wages – all the workers, all presidents, all executives, all directors, all managers, all bankers – yes, and all generals and all admirals and all officers and all politicians and all government office holders – everyone in the nation be restricted to a total monthly income not to exceed that paid to the soldier in the trenches!

Let all these kings and tycoons and masters of business and all those workers in industry and all our senators and governors and majors pay half of their monthly $30 wage to their families and pay war risk insurance and buy Liberty Bonds. Why shouldn't they? They aren't running any risk of being killed or of having their bodies mangled or their minds shattered. They aren't sleeping in muddy trenches. They aren't hungry. The soldiers are! Give capital and industry and labor thirty days to think it over and you will find, by that time, there will be no war. That will smash the war racket – that and nothing else.

Maybe I am a little too optimistic. Capital still has some say. So capital won't permit the taking of the profit out of war until the people – those who do the suffering and still pay the price – make up their minds that those they elect to office shall do their bidding, and not that of the profiteers.

Another step necessary in this fight to smash the war racket is the limited plebiscite to determine whether a war should be declared. A plebiscite not of all the voters but merely of those who would be called upon to do the fighting and dying. There wouldn't be very much sense in having a 76-year-old president of a munitions factory or the flat-footed head of an international banking firm or the cross-eyed manager of a uniform manufacturing plant – all of whom see visions of tremendous profits in the event of war – voting on whether the nation should go to war or not. They never would be called upon to shoulder arms – to sleep in a trench and to be shot. Only those who would be called upon to risk their lives for their country should have the privilege of voting to determine whether the nation should go to war.

It would be a simple matter each year for the men coming of military age to register in their communities as they did in the draft during the World War and be examined physically. Those who could pass and who would therefore be called upon to bear arms in the event of war would be eligible to vote in a limited plebiscite. They should be the ones to have the power to decide – and not a Congress few of whose members are within the age limit and fewer still of whom are in physical condition to bear arms. Only those who must suffer should have the right to vote.

A third step in this business of smashing the war racket is to make certain that our military forces are truly forces for defense only.

At each session of Congress the question of further naval appropriations comes up. The swivel-chair admirals of Washington (and there are always a lot of them) are very adroit lobbyists. And they are smart. They don't shout that "We need a lot of battleships to war on this nation or that nation." Oh no. First of all, they let it be known that America is menaced by a great naval power. Almost any day, these admirals will tell you, the great fleet of this supposed enemy will strike suddenly and annihilate 125,000,000 people. Just like that. Then they begin to cry for a larger navy. For what? To fight the enemy? Oh my, no. Oh, no. For defense purposes only.

Then, incidentally, they announce maneuvers in the Pacific. For defense. Uh, huh. The Pacific is a great big ocean. We have a tremendous coastline on the Pacific. Will the maneuvers be off the coast, two or three hundred miles? Oh, no. The maneuvers will be two thousand, yes, perhaps even thirty-five hundred miles, off the coast. The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to see the United States fleet so close to Nippon's shores. Even as pleased as would be the residents of California were they to dimly discern through the morning mist, the Japanese fleet playing at war games off Los Angeles.

The ships of our navy, it can be seen, should be specifically limited, by law, to within 200 miles of our coastline. Had that been the law in 1898 the Maine would never have gone to Havana Harbor. She never would have been blown up. There would have been no war with Spain with its attendant loss of life. Two hundred miles is ample, in the opinion of experts, for defense purposes. Our nation cannot start an offensive war if its ships can't go further than 200 miles from the coastline. Planes might be permitted to go as far as 500 miles from the coast for purposes of reconnaissance. And the army should never leave the territorial limits of our nation.

To summarize: Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket: 1.) We must take the profit out of war; 2.) We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war; 3.) We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.

CHAPTER FIVE : To Hell With War!

I am not a fool as to believe that war is a thing of the past. I know the people do not want war, but there is no use in saying we cannot be pushed into another war. Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had "kept us out of war" and on the implied promise that he would "keep us out of war." Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany.

In that five-month interval the people had not been asked whether they had changed their minds. The 4,000,000 young men who put on uniforms and marched or sailed away were not asked whether they wanted to go forth to suffer and die. Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly?

Money.

An allied commission, it may be recalled, came over shortly before the war declaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group of advisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language, this is what he told the President and his group:

"There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost. We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, American manufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billion dollars. If we lose (and without the help of the United States we must lose) we, England, France and Italy, cannot pay back this money...and Germany won't. So....."

Had secrecy been outlawed as far as war negotiations were concerned, and had the press been invited to be present at that conference, or had radio been available to broadcast the proceedings, America never would have entered the World War. But this conference, like all war discussions, was shrouded in utmost secrecy. When our boys were sent off to war they were told it was a "war to make the world safe for democracy" and a "war to end all wars."

Well, eighteen years after, the world has less of democracy than it had then. Besides, what business is it of ours whether Russia or Germany or England or France or Italy or Austria live under democracies or monarchies? Whether they are Fascists or Communists? Our problem is to preserve our own democracy. And very little, if anything, has been accomplished to assure us that the World War was really the war to end all wars.

Yes, we have had disarmament conferences and limitations of arms conferences. They don't mean a thing. One has just failed; the results of another have been nullified. We send our professional soldiers and our sailors and our politicians and our diplomats to these conferences. And what happens?

The professional soldiers and sailors don't want to disarm. No admiral wants to be without a ship. No general wants to be without a command. Both mean men without jobs. They are not for disarmament. They cannot be for limitations of arms. And at all these conferences, lurking in the background but all-powerful, just the same, are the sinister agents of those who profit by war. They see to it that these conferences do not disarm or seriously limit armaments. The chief aim of any power at any of these conferences has not been to achieve disarmament to prevent war but rather to get more armament for itself and less for any potential foe.

There is only one way to disarm with any semblance of practicability. That is for all nations to get together and scrap every ship, every gun, every rifle, every tank, every war plane.

So...I say, TO HELL WITH WAR!

Note: Imagine if we took General Butler's advice and in wartime forced corporations to join our soldiers in making sacrifices for their country. We could pass laws which guarantee that corporate profits decrease during war rather than increase. Do you think that wars would still drag on for years as in Vietnam and Iraq? Please help to make this a reality by sending this information to your friends and colleagues and contacting your government representatives.

http://www.wanttoknow.info/warisaracket


Just heard about this book last week.

How is this NOT required reading?

Thanks for posting.


*My father is a vietnam vet. His oldest brother died there "in service," and his second oldest brother just barely made it back alive. A bunch of other relatives as well. I've got family and friends from my neighborhood in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. I'm not offended by the timing of this book, and neither is my father. www.IVAW.org are not offended by the timing of this book either. More and more soldiers are speaking up all the time:
www.thefallujahproject.org/

It seems more disrespectful to me to not share the words of a General who served for 35 years and in even poorer taste to not spread the info that might prevent people from joining in the first place, or encourage them in their decision to leave.
Post Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:01 pm
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badjerk



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 427
Location: pdx
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Yeah this thread reminded me of the book Winter Soldier that was also released by IVAW. From what i know they are a great organization. the book was pretty well done, and i got a chance to hear from and speak to one of their representatives a while ago.

i know im late but thanks for posting, and no better timing than veteran's day in my opinion.

link to Winter Soldier book, which benefits IVAW


https://www.ivaw.org/mojostore/mojostore.php?_=view&ProductID=13472
Post Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:52 pm
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