Fightback: Bill the Barbarian

By SYLVIA WEINSTEIN

Bill Clinton, president of the United States, just as Bush before him, proved to the capitalist class that he was their man. He carried out a ruthless war against a harmless people, Iraq, to prove that the United States can bomb and march into any country, any time, without a moment’s notice.

I read Major Gen. Smedley Butlers’ speech delivered in 1931. He was the former commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. He won two Congressional Medals of Honor. This is an excerpt of his speech, titled “War Is a Racket”:

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 six 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.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the military service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical of 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 bought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see 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. I was rewarded with honors, medals, and promotions. 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.

Major Gen. Smedley Butler was absolutely right. He fought to keep U.S. capitalist investments safe. And Bill Clinton is doing the same thing. When they bomb Iraq they are telling the whole world what they can and will do if necessary to save the profits of the multi-corporate interests of this country.

Have a good new year and keep up the struggle against the modern pirates of Wall Street.