Dan Smith: The myth of ending war
With this column I'm going to take you back several years to WWI and the time leading up to that war. I'm going to show you that things have not changed in regard to war except for the amount of money being spent. Even though most of those around at the time of WWI are now dead, others have come along and have taken their place. I will show you the myth of ending war.
Although I have vast knowledge of all of the wars we have been involved in, especially the ones we are in now, I will focus on a military man who was very outspoken about the futility of war resolving a conflict and the real reasons we fight wars. It is not for patriotic duty, never has been really, although some may convince themselves that is why they are fighting.
I will refer to a United States Marine Major General by the name of Smedley D. Butler who fought in WWI and was awarded two Congressional Medals of Honor, a Distinguished Service medal. After retiring, he was a Republican candidate for Senate in 1932. General Butler died on June 21, 1940 at the Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, Pa. His booklet, "War is a Racket" will serve as my guide using his numbers.
The numbers and figures used in this column will be pre-1940. In any of our wars or conflicts, only a few reap the profits attributed to a conflict. The percentage of profit can be enormous to the businessman and his company in a war situation. They were anywhere from 20% all the way to 1800%. DuPont was making $6 million a year prior to 1914; afterward during 1914-18, it was $58 million.
United States Steel $105 million a year; afterward during WWI, $240 million. Utah Copper before 1914, $5 million; afterward, $21 million a year. Every industry that was involved with the war made huge profits. Our government was not shy in handing out lots of money to fight over seas. They still do the same thing today with companies like Halliburton and private security firms. Of course it doesn't hurt if you have a swinging door from the political arena to the companies that are paid big money with help from people like Dick Chaney who push for more war and others like John McCain.
I can go on forever with examples of obscene profits made on the backs of the soldiers who not only not get any of the profit money, but in many cases, get the shaft after they come home. The care of wounded military has not changed much since WWI.
Until 1898, we did not own any territory outside the mainland of North America. Our national debt at that time was $1 billion. It was then we started going international. We forgot what George Washington said about foreign entanglements. After WWI our debt rose to $25 billion. The profiteers made their millions, and the American people paid the dollar debt.
By the way, we never did pay off WWI debt. I suppose you know we're up to $17 trillion now in all debt. As I stated in the past, it is now impossible to pay it off, ever! Since debt cannot be sustained forever, we will collapse as an economy very soon. You can't keep moving the money around forever, robbing Paul to pay Peter.
Our military, whether you know it or not, is being used by foreign countries to secure their geopolitical goals since they have not the means to do so. We send our boys in and tell them the mission and give a patriotic sounding reason on why we're doing this or that. If you stop to think for one minute you'll see that their actions do nothing to further the cause or goals of the U.S. We are beyond real attack with our might so they are not needed over there for defense.
I know this subject is hard to swallow for most people because you have been taught to think a certain way about war. The case presented for war is made by experts who know how to manipulate the public and get them hyped up to get behind a perceived situation. Isn't it funny that we never get a return on our investment from these wars. You and me are paying the debt burden racked up by war profiteers from our senators and congressmen.
Let's vote them all out and start with real Constitutional leaders that consider us first!