Daily Archives: March 28, 2004

Quote of the Day: War

Quote of the Day

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of 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 masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. 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.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

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. 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 (where have I heard that name before?). 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.–Maj Gen Smedley Butler, USMC, from a speech he delivered in 1933 (Thanks to Nabakov)

Don’t Mess with the Union Guys

Conservative blogger and big Bush backer Matt Margolis got into a scuffle with some union guys (the dumb fuck–steelworkers for chrissake, don’t he know any better than that?) during Bush’s foray into Boston and is just livid about it, the poor kid. So is Philosoraptor‘s Winston Smith:

Yes, of course I undestand it’s an isolated incident. Yes, I also understand that this is something that is more often associated with the right and the very far left than the liberal center. Blah, blah, blah. Frankly, I have no time for anyone who is inclined to make such arguments. We’re the God-damned good guys–or have we forgotten that? WE DO NOT DO THINGS LIKE THIS.

Wrong. The union guys do. That’s how they got their goddam unions–by fighting people who tried to and often did kill anyone who wanted to form a union. Or has Mr Smith forgotten his history? Margolis, by his own account, got into a shouting match with one of the union guys and all but dared him to go ahead and make something of it. Well, anybody from my neighborhood could have told him you don’t challenge union guys to a duel, especially nowadays. They’ve been hammered by 25 years of radcon hatred and abuse. They’ve watched their unions be attacked as Communist, unAmerican, or subsidiaries of the Mob; they’ve had their company pensions stolen by their employers with the help and encouragement of Bush I; they’ve watched conservatives like Bush II disembowel worker protections, advance management powers, and eviscerate labor laws; they’ve seen the Labor Dept turned over to corporate shills who never worked a day in their lives; and they’re painfully aware of how tenuous globalization and the Bush-engineered deficit make thier jobs. This is not the group some pissant, privileged college kid should be deliberately giving the finger to. These aren’t intellectual liberals who talk things over; they’re basically right-wing thugs, tough as nails and not prone to lengthy dialogue.

Not that I condone what they did. I wouldn’t condone a grizzly mauling a camper, either, but if that camper had walked up to that bear while it was minding its own business and poked a stick in its eye, well, it would be kind of hard to work up any real sense of righteous indignation against the bear. Faults on both sides, don’t ya know. Margolis, protected son of privilege as he no doubt is, has learned a valuable Nature lesson: Don’t treat wild tigers as if they’re house cats.

Margolis and his friends got off easy. A couple of punches were thrown that didn’t do much damage, Margolis got knocked to the ground, and somebody else’s glasses got broke. Not much as crowd-fights go. I’ve seen worse at the hot dog stand during a Sox game. So it’s doubly hard to get excited when I remember the very real, genuine violence we’ve been suffering from right-wing Neandethals for the past 20 years.

Gays have been murdered. Doctors who perform abortions have been assassinated. Environmental activists have been threatened, badly beaten, maimed, and murdered. Churches have been bombed. A govt building has been bombed, killing over 200 people. Family Clinics have been bombed, not because they perform abortions but because they dared to counsel pregnant women that abortion was one of their legitimate, legal options. Anti-war demonstrators have been beaten so badly they ended up in the hospital, and one was killed in Texas–shot by a man who overheard him criticize Bush in a bar. A community office devoted to promoting diversity was pipe-bombed only a month ago. Plots by right-wing paramilitary and white supremacist groups have been discovered that planned cyanide bombings, anthrax attacks, and botulin poisonings of left-wing targets. Right-wing radio personalities regularly incite their listeners to disrupt liberal and progressiver meetings, marches, and gatherings, and lefties now regularly receive threatening phone calls and emails like these:



If I see you or any of your comrades from Dem Underground I will kick the living shit out of you you filthy faggotcunt traitorDO NOT IDENTIFY YOURSELF AS LEFTIST OUT ON THE STREET YOU PIECE OF SHIT OR YOU WILL BE BEATEN UNCONSCIOUS YOU GODDAM ENEMY OF AMERICA!!!!!

I could go on. The depredations from the right are massive and on-going and extremely violent. So when a right-wing blogger gets punched in the nose and acts like that’s the worst civil rights violation he could ever imagine, I’m like, “Where have you been, you whiny, spoiled little brat? We get dragged behind trucks and clubbed and shot and run over and bombed and you don’t even notice but we’re supposed to turn the world upside down because some union goon scratched your face after you taunted him? You need a lesson or two in ‘Get Real’, kid.”

I’ll make a deal with you, Matt. You condemn right-wing murder and the hate-mail and disruption tactics of your fellow Freepers, and I’ll condemn the punch in your nose. It’s not a fair trade but I’m a generous guy.