Christopher's Reviews > War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
I have to admit, all of the hype I'd encountered before finally getting to this book led me to believe that this would be an articulate and impassioned voice of "right" over "might" from the pen of one the USMC's mightiest warriors. However, Smedley seems to reduce the "cost" of war primarily to its economic terms and goes into the $$$ figures of how much companies make during war-time and preparation for war-time. Smedley died before WWII and all of the statistics and numbers he gives in this "op/ed" piece are really chump change compared to what transpired after the military industrial complex truly exploded. Still, his sentiment is sincere and at the time it was written, there weren't too many men with his credentials able to speak out this way, calling out Wall Street and their bought-and-paid-for politicians; but the value I think of Smedley Butler lies more in what he did for his fellow military men than what he wrote: Smedley Butler and the Bonus Army.
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Quotes Christopher Liked
“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.”