Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Paradox of Major General Butler

Progressives and Ron Paul Libertarians love to post quotations by two-time Medal of Honor winning Marine General Smedley Darlington Butler an outspoken critic of U.S. military adventurism, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. They always quote the part where he accuses US "capitalists"of using the military to clean up messy countries so our companies can go in and make money in those places.  Then they attempt to make the correlation between these evil war-mongering capitalists and conservative Republicans of today.  What they don't tell you is that Major General Butler was a REPUBLICAN!

And what he said was true. General Butler's service was during a time when corporate corruption was at its height under the Robber Barons.  The military WAS being misused in support of American business interests.  Here's the passage from a speech by the General that is most widely quoted.

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.

Butler's quote was first published in a socialist magazine during the 30s. The socialists embraced Butler for his supposed "pacifism". He supported the Bonus Army march on Washington and turned against Hoover for his treatment of WWI veterans and supported Roosevelt.  Unfortunately for Roosevelt, Butler also opposed the new president's policies and got in trouble with the socialists over his negative comments about Benito Mussolini (the then darling of the socialists who were busily carving statues of him in East Coast parks.
Butler accused several wealthy Americans including JP Morgan and a retired Army general as well as a cabal of Jewish bankers of fomenting a plot  against the government, which they invited him to lead.

The Democrat controlled congress did hearings, slapped some hands and buried the names of those involved. The Democrat press branded the whole thing a hoax and General Butler a tool. 

History is a funny thing.  If you'll look for the name of the presidents who tried to break up the power of the Robber Barons around the time of General Butler's service, you'll find Teddy Roosevelt (Republican) leading the charge.  The Democrat Party was up to their eyeballs in efforts to use the military to benefit their wealthy friends.  Later, it was Dwight Eisenhower who warned us AGAINST the military-industrial complex.  He was a REPUBLICAN too. 

A recent study found that some 80% of those surveyed who were classified as RICH supported the Democrat Party and President Obama financially.  Yet the progressive apologists would have us believe that it is Republicans who support the greedy capitalists and vice versa.

What do you suppose that those greedy capitalists know that we don't that would cause them to invest that much money into the Democrat Party?

"Oh, but that all changed after Abraham Lincoln," the progressives will tell you.  "The Democrats have switched roles with the Republicans."

Progressives maintain that the Democrat leopard, author of the Jim Crow laws, segregation, poll taxes and supporter of the robber baron monopolies has change its spots.  Well, folks, I don't buy it.  Leopards cannot change their spots, except, of course, for the so-called black panther which is really a leopard without visible spots unless you look close.  The panther hides his spots and in the process turns almost completely black in one of natures more interesting parables.  Whatever the liberal progressive Democrat coalition may say, history says different.

  • Democrats say Roosevelt saved the country during the Depression.  History says he lengthened it and made it worse.
  • Democrats say Republicans start wars.  History shows that in the past hundred years, WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam were all started under Democrat presidents. And before you point out Grenada and Panama and the two Gulf Wars, let me remind you about the debacle in the desert under Carter, the Yugolsavian distraction under Clinton and the Libyan Adventure under Obama.  
  • Democrats say Republicans fight wars to support business interests.  History says American troops helped stabilize the governments where we intervened and the increased trade improved standards of living for the citizens of those "Banana Republics" AND we didn't occupy them, we helped them set up governments and left.
  • Democrats say Republicans are rich, greedy capitalists, yet the majority of actual greedy capitalists support Democrats heavily.
  • Democrats say they are the party of the "working man".  History shows that the working man of the heartland votes conservative by and large.
  • Democrats say that government is sneaky and evil AND that more government is the solution to the problem!
Okay, I still don't get that one. I'm verklempt.

Talk amongst yourself.

(c) 2013 by Tom King

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