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by Major General Smedley Butler Thursday, Jan. 17, 2002 at 6:56 PM
cea-usa@egroups.com USA

To hell with war!


by Major General Smedley Butler

United States Marine Corps [Retired]




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

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