It’s Saturday morning. I have better things to do than take 15 minutes of my precious time to reformat yet another piece about war for this blog. And yet I must. Now that we the people have apparently “won” — at least temporarily — a skirmish with the Military Industrial Complex over striking Syria I see all sorts of stories congratulating us for our collective action in an emergency. But this emergency is not over.
Do we care for our children? Do we care for the plants, the animals, the rivers and mountains? Then we need to emerge, and keep on emerging, all of us fueled by our enormous disgust with the war-making machine, into the brilliant light of day. We need to dust off our secret dread that all is lost and turn it into concerted action for a regenerative future. And we must do this over and over again, over the long haul.
It will not be easy. It will not be simple. But it is necessary. The war machine is relentless. We must become even more so.
I google “swords into ploughshares” and see nothing current. No group or organization pops up that is obviously devoted to retooling the machinery of war into peace. What? Why not?
In order to stop the next war, we must retool our entire economy.
September 13, 2013
by Anthony Fraud
These events led Butler to publish a short book that today still gives us a realistic and truthful picture of the forces keeping this nation in a perpetual state of emergency, involving us in war after war against other nations, and diverting so much of our wealth and resources to military buildup.
His credibility is immense. A highly decorated and courageous veteran of multiple overseas conflicts, Smedley Butler is still, to this day, one of a small handful of American soldiers to twice receive the Medal of Honor for bravery in combat. Having been wounded in the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, and having seen the horrors of France during World War I, as well as combat in several other conflicts, Maj. Gen. Butler has unique credibility when it comes to discussing the workings of the war machine.
His book, War is a Racket, denounces the workings of the military-industrial complex, the network of industrialists, financiers, and government officials who directly profit from war, a security state, and the industries that support this. It is a must read still today, as his logic and clarity offers deep insight into why our priorities are so stoutly centered around war and security. It is very, very lucrative for people in high places.
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.
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.
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 parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? 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.
Since Smedley Butler’s warnings nearly a hundred years ago, we have since received warnings from other high-ranking Americans about the insidiousness and danger of permitting an economy to be created out of war and destruction, most notably from former US Presidents Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.
These warnings by such prominent Americans are worth repeating and spreading as the national debate is steered toward military endeavors and away from other critical concerns. And with the high profile whistleblowing cases of WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden, the American public has again been alerted to the fact that government does not always obey its own laws, reveal its true motives, or serve the interests of the citizenry.
War is definitely a racket, and unless you’re taking dividends from the industries that press for it, you have nothing to gain.
Sigmund Fraud is a survivor of modern psychiatry and a dedicated mental activist. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com where he pursues the possibility of a massive shift towards a more psychologically aware future for mankind.