In 1935, Major General Smedley Butler warned the world that “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.”
And we ignored it.
26 years later, in 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower – a retired five-star Army general – gave the nation a dire warning about what he described as a threat to democratic government. He called it the military-industrial complex, a formidable union of defense contractors and the armed forces.
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.“
In his remarks, Eisenhower also explained how the situation had developed:
“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of ploughshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.”
57 years after that, we see exactly what they warned about… and as far as we can tell, only Ron and Rand Paul remain to argue against ‘war’ – even though President Trump talks of ‘peace’, the bombing continues – and so here we are today, beholden to the US war machine…