Mason County News
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Letter to the Editor
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 • Posted November 16, 2011

In 1933, the U.S. military’s most famous war hero, Major-General Smedley Butler said: “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. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. 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, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. 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.” After watching the Republican debate on CBS Saturday night I get the feeling that the recent disastrous wars in the Middle East have not satisfied the greed of Wall Street war profiteers. Now they have their accomplices in the major news media pushing for war with Iran by promoting fear that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. Of the 8 candidates questioned, only Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman refused to consider war with Iran an option.Major U.S. news corporations paved the way for the Iraq war with misinformation about Iraq WMDs. Now they are selling fear of Iranian nuclear weapons. If Wall Street succeeds in waging war with Iran it won’t be about nuclear weapons. It will be the same motive that General Butler spoke of in 1933 . . . huge war profits for the powerful corporations of Wall Street. It will mean trillions of dollars more in national debt which will be placed on the shoulders of the working people of this country. And of course the working people will be expected to do the fighting and dying in the war. General Butler’s most famous speech was titled “War is a Racket.” He said his title applies to all wars. You can read the entire speech here: or simply Google “War is a Racket.”

Larry Payne

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