[Forward Notes by Chris Gupta <email@example.com>:
This book, written it the mid 1930's, is a must-read as it succinctly shows
the real reason behind war and is every bit applicable today (adjusted to
$ value) as it was then. It's such a clear demonstration of the exploitation
of our vulnerabilities, not only in war, but in medicine, energy, etc. No
education should be complete without it! The book is not very big and will
only take a few minutes to read. Please read and pass it on. Thanks
By Major General Smedley Butler
January 16, 2003
"...But don't forget -- the soldier paid part of the dollars
and cents bill too. Up to and including the Spanish-American War, we had
a prize system, and soldiers and sailors fought for money. During the
Civil War they were paid bonuses, in many instances, before they went into
service. The government, or states, paid as high as $1,200 for an enlistment.
In the Spanish-American War they gave prize money. When we captured any
vessels, the soldiers all got their share -- at least, they were supposed
to. Then it was found that we could reduce the cost of wars by taking all
the prize money and keeping it, but conscripting [drafting] the soldier
anyway. Then soldiers couldn't bargain for their labor, Everyone else could
bargain, but the soldier couldn't.
Napoleon once said, "All men are enamored of decorations . . . they
positively hunger for them." So by developing the Napoleonic system -- the
medal business -- the government learned it could get soldiers for less
money, because the boys liked to be decorated. Until the Civil War
there were no medals. Then the congressional Medal of Honor was handed out.
It made enlistments easier. After the Civil War no new medals were issued
until the Spanish-American War.
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 in Germany, the good pastors called upon the Germans to kill
the allies . . . to please the same God. That was a part of the general
propaganda, built up to make people war conscious and murder conscious.
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
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, 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 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..."
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