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War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is a real gem, a classic, that should be in any library desiring to focus on national security. It is a very readable collection of short essays, ending with a concise collection of photographs that show the horror of war--on one page in particular, a pile of artillery shells labeled "Cause" and below is a photo of a massive pile of bodies, labeled "Effect."
Of particular interest to anyone concerned about the current national security situation, both its expensive mis-adventures abroad and its intrusive violation of many Constitutional rights at home, is the author's history, not only as a the most decorated Marine at the time, with campaign experience all over the world, but as a spokesperson, in retirement, for placing constitutional American principles over imperialist American practice.
The following quotations from the book are intended to summarize it:
"I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil intersts 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." [p. 10]
"War is a racket. ...It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives." [p. 23]
"The general public shoulders the bill [for war]. This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies.Read more ›
Imagine my suprise now, after having learned that our brave and tough idol had confessed to being the best "enforcer" for big business there ever was! He then became a whistle blower of the highest order. Brave and honest men and women who attain some kind of fame on the world stage do not get to live too long in this world. Their outspokeness is extinguished as soon as people start listening. In General Butler's case there was a glitch in the system. He rose to the heights in rank because of his courage, heart, and tenacity during times of WAR. They had no choice but to elevate him. He earned his unobstructed view of how the world works with blood, sweat, and tears. When he realized that he was just being used... All hell broke loose. His passionate essay in this book should be read by everyone living in this great country. He tells it the way it was and the way it still is.
It's going to be a while before someone else from so high-up steps "out of line" and talks. Can you imagine this happening nowadays? Not gonna happen. It seems that Generals are now chosen for political reasons.
So read this book about the brave General who showed even more courage as a Civilian.
Butler's central thesis is that regardless of the popular rhetoric that often accompanies warfare, it is waged almost exclusively for profit. He advances this argument in three decisive examples.
EXAMPLE 1: CORPORATE MILITARY PROFITS RESULTING FORM WAR
In an early version of "follow the money", Butler provides pre- and post-World War I data on some of America's leading corporations to demonstrate the surge in profits that they experienced from the war, often totaling several hundred percent. While some companies, such as Dupont, arguably produced goods that contributed directly to America's military victory in 1918, others such as saddle manufacturers did not. Even when these companies failed to contribute directly to the war effort, they still managed to lobby the government to retrain or expand their contracts. Its as though powerful, well connected oil services company today were to contract with the government to supply oil to the military during a foreign campaign and then deliberately overcharge it.Read more ›
The first sentences of Butler's book, written in 1935 and mainly referring to World War I remain true today, "War is a racket. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious." Butler then rips into war profiteers who never shouldered a rifle yet made millions in blood money. Throughout his writing Butler posits that the single focus of war is to make money for the few by trading in the blood of the many. To know that in 2004 these words accurately and eerily describe the majority of the men and women now in control of the United States of America is shameful and disgraceful.
In Chapter Two "Who Makes the Profits" Butler analyzes who made money during the Wars he was involved with. He analyzes how they made their money and how much they made.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Eye-opening. If only all officials could be as self-aware and courageous as the General, then the US would not be responsible for all the failed states it has created for the... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
a must read for anyone interested in changing inexcusable relations between government and the defense industryPublished 10 days ago by Alexander
I'm having a hard time believing what I just read was written in 1935, by a Brigadier General who happens to be America's most decorated soldier. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
I enjoyed this short book for the history it provides. General Butler wrote this during the build-up to the second world war and was no doubt part of the America First group along... Read morePublished 2 months ago by History Major
For a short book it's an outstanding read. book was in great shape and shipped fast. what more could you want.Published 3 months ago by Honesty
Read this book, think about this book, try to understand this book... Or just bend over and take it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Wm B
Good information on political-military and big business influence in international affairs.Published 4 months ago by Juan B. Suarez
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