“I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy
investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for.
One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights.
War for any other reason is simply a racket."
Major General Smedley Darlington Butler
(1881-1940) Major General USMC, "Old Gimlet Eye'' and "Hell Devil Darling", most highly decorated military man from the pre-World War II era
from a speech in 1933
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Reader comments about this quote:
I like it
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Interesting that the Maj. Gen. shared these observations in the context of effectively leaving Hitler alone and staying out of WWII.
     -- John, TC, MN     
    It was stopping the oil from flowing, trading oil in Euros, pride, and making a few VERY rich - I'm sure there were other reasons...
     -- RobertSRQ     
    John, your statement would be a little more honorable if America came into the WWII in 1939 but they waited two years, and ONLY came in because of Pearl Harbor and that was suspect too. They left Britain and its allies to fight Hitler... Poland was invaded and America did nothing ■ where was that courage for fighting despots in 1939
     -- RobertSRQ     
    Hitler most probably never would have come to power if we had stayed out of WW!. It was of no concern to us.
     -- Shooterman, Beaumont, Tx     
     -- Anonymous      
    There would be no wars if wars were financed with taxes. How do we know that wars are not financed with taxes? To pay taxes with dollar bills that the IRS said "are not dollars" is Mission Impossible. To pay taxes with credit is Mission Impossible and the Fed said that their system of plunder "works only with credit" that would keep its value "if there were fewer people bidding against each other."---booklet, Keeping Our Money (their credit) Healthy. ALL WARS are financed with weightless and invisible bank credit. To abolish banking is to abolish wars. At one time, 6 or more states probited banking in their constitutions--researched by attorney, Larry Becraft of Huntsville, AL
     -- Dave Wilber, St. Louis     
    The scam of govt and war is ancient, and we never learn the deception of the powerful. Read the following, forget the religious aspect and just see it as historical proof this scam was exposed 3000 yr ago and we STILL won't listen: 1 Sam 8:6-18 "But when (Israel) said, 'Give us a king [king, Congress, premier, president, call it what you will] to lead us,' (God told Samuel to) 'warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.' ...'This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. [Oh that Congress would be so kind as to take just a tenth!] Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day."
     -- Paul, Union, WA     
  • 1
    Major General Smedley Darling Butler is my kind of general. Would that our countrymen shared such a sentiment enough to elect representatives that honored their oaths to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Wow, I like it! Does this mean that we should go to war with almost every candidate for U.S. President that supports gun control and clearly violates the Bill of Rights? Guiliani, Romney, McCain, Clinton, Obama, Kucinich, Edwards, etc. etc. etc. would be in big trouble if Major General Butler had his way. They are all wiping their collective behinds with the Bill of Rights!
     -- www.SaveTheGuns.com, Maine     
    RobertSRQ, there was no honor sought in my statement. I'm providing historical context and trying to show that many of today's arguments aren't new. In retrospect, a majority of western civilization ultimately view America's involvement in the Second war and the subsequent Marsall Plan - bloody and costly as it was - as amoung our finest hours. As for when we entered WWII, I'm sure you aren't meaning to imply there wasn't a national debate about whether America should be involved in WWII until Pearl Harbor? While most sided with the General before 7 Dec (in no small part due to our experience in Europe in the First war and Europe's inability to learn from it and play nice), most subsequently ditched the isolationist tendencies that are less and less relevant with the march of technology. While America was slow in entering WWII, I'd also take issue with your statement that we left the UK and her allies all alone.By 1940, we were trading warships for bases we didn't really need and $BILLION'S (in 1940's dollars!) of US dollars worth of equipment and material passed through Newfoundland on it's way to support the Allies in their fight. Ultimately, every war flat out sucks. War really is hell and many die while a few prosper. But in the end, it is a part of a fallen humanity and history is full of lessons that building a big fence and playing defense is no less costly, no less bloody and no less prosperous for the few.
     -- John, TC, MN     
  • 1
    You will find that war is hated the most by those who have seen the most of it. This kind of opinion is not uncommon among Generals. They do however rise to the task when their country calls. These quotes make for good anti war rhetoric but I doubt that they let you in on the whole of the men that are being quoted. These men are not the simpletons that these quotes would have you believe. There is nothing that happens in this world without someone somewhere finding a way to profit from it. It does not mean that every thing is done for that profit. The fact that someone does profit from a war in no way evidence that that war happened for profit to be made. The lack of cognitive thought in this area is astounding. I have always said that the average person is almost as intelligent as a box of rocks but sometimes I see evidence that the I Q of the box is moving up to above average.
     -- warren, olathe     
     -- The Swamp Fox, Reidsville, NC      
    Hitler , never would have came to power if the Rothchilds had not provided him with the money to sieze power. Why should have America been fighting in Europe in WW2? We were attacked by the Jappanese.
     -- Karl Marx, Franklin     
    Remeember old Smedley Butler was the last of the those who had earned The Congresional Medal of Honour, TWICE! He also exposed the plot of BANKERS and Wealthy Industrialists to assisnate FDR!
     -- Chris Morgan, Franklin     
  • 2
     -- Ronw13, ID      
     -- Mary, MI      
     -- jim k, Austin      
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