21st Century Wire
“War is racket”, said US Marine General Smedley Butler back in 1933. It seems that very little has changed from then until now.
When this great veteran of war delivered his magnanimous speech, he explained why modern nations get into wars, what are the consequences, and who benefits from them. Butler explained, “War is 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.”
As soon as the western media began screaming last week about a chemical weapons attack they alleged was carried out by the Syrian government ‘against its own people’, the cash register had already began to ring.
Like clockwork, Washington and its NATO allies switched to war footing, announcing that a cruise missile US naval strike was in the work. Lockheed Martin is the largest and most influential contractor within the US military industrial complex network. From the moment the media reported the chemical attack on August 21st, companies shares began to climb for the next five days, as talk of war reached its apogee and saw US Secretary of State John Kerry deliver the pre-war address to the American and world public on Monday.
Look how Lockheed Martin’s corporate industrial fortunes are directly tied to the manufactured wars being cooked up in Washington DC, London, Tel Aviv and Paris:
Aside from its own cruise missile models starting at $1 million each – which could be deployed by the thousands against Syria in the coming weeks, Lockheed Martin also has ring-fenced highly lucrative support and maintenance contracts for other similar system. Defense Industry Daily reported just last month:
“Unit cost for the baseline AGM-158 JASSM is currently around $1 million per missile, but the USAF hopes to bring that down to around $800,000 eventually. Don’t forget the ongoing maintenance costs, either: Lockheed Martin has a 2012 – 2017 support contract underway for the entire weapon family.”
The motive for war lies exclusively with those nations and groups who produce the instruments of war, and those who reap the profits.
General Butler went on to describe the exact same racket we are witnessing today:
“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.
(…) 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.”
If they want something, land, resources, or industry… simple, they just take it.
Smedley Butler knew this when he delivered his masterclass back in 1933. So when will we finally learn this lesson?
How much more blood lust for dollars will it take for 21st century society to wake up to the greatest cons of all time?
Companies like Lockheed Martin and their investors benefit, and we pay for it. All of it.
Read the full text of Smedley Butlers speech, “War is a racket” here.