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Smedley D. Butler quotes (showing 1-23 of 23)

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and 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 benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might 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.”
Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
“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.”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is a Racket
“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.”
Smedley D. Butler
“In a 1931 speech, Butler recounted a story about Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, how he had run over a child with his car, and said, as he moved on, “It was only one life. What is one life in the affairs of the State.”
Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
“Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. The was the "war to end wars." This was the "war to make the world safe for democracy." No one told them that dollars and cents were the real reason. 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 State 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 that 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”
Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
“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.”
Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
“There are only two reasons why you should ever be asked to give your youngsters. One is defense of our homes. The other is the defense of our Bill of Rights and particularly the right to worship God as we see fit. Every other reason advanced for the murder of young men is a racket, pure and simple.”
Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
“AL INFIERNO CON LA GUERRA”
Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
“Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the “war to end wars.” This was the “war to make the world safe for democracy.” No one told them that dollars and cents were the real reason. 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.”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
“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.”
Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
“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”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is A Racket!: And Other Essential Reading
“The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nations manhood can be conscripted.”
Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
“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”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is A Racket!: And Other Essential Reading
“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”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is A Racket!: And Other Essential Reading
“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,”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is A Racket!: And Other Essential Reading
“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,”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is A Racket!: And Other Essential Reading
“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.   Picture of a WW1 soldier whose jaw was shot”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is A Racket!: And Other Essential Reading
“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.   There”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is A Racket!: And Other Essential Reading
“Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!   “Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth into battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it —   For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimmage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!   We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.   (After a pause.) “Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits.”   …”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is A Racket!: And Other Essential Reading
“To summarize: Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket.   We must take the profit out of war.   We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war.   We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.    ”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is A Racket!: And Other Essential Reading
“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”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is A Racket!: And Other Essential Reading
“The active pacifists, however, are not of this class: they are not men without impulsive force but men in whom some impulse to which war is hostile is strong enough to overcome the impulses that lead to war.”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is A Racket!: And Other Essential Reading
“The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits -- ah! that is another matter -- twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent -- the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let's get it.   Of”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is A Racket!: And Other Essential Reading


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