Pedro Baños, How They Rule The World. The 22 Secret Strategies of Global Power, Ebury Press, London, 2019, pp. 269-270.

“Major General Smedley Darlington Butler was a member of the US Marine Corps, the youngest ever captain, the most decorated military man in American history and one of only two marines to have been twice awarded the highest decoration in the country, the Medal of Honor, for outstanding heroism in combat.

In 1935, having retired from active service, Butler gave a speech that later became a short book, entitled War Is a Racket, criticizing the American use of armed forces to benefit Wall Street.

He provided details of how Washington had intervened in Latin America only to satisfy the interests of leading American companies, and how businessmen had taken advantage of the army to send soldiers into bloody battles. Major General Butler’s speech began:

War is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the 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 very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill”.

José María López Jiménez

Especialista en regulación financiera. Doctor en Derecho

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