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What You Should Know / July 2, 2010

war is a racket -- Marine Smedley Darling Butler is one of the most highly decorated military men from the pre-World War II era. He served from 1898 to 1931 and saw action all over the world. Butler became a prominent political figure and was one of America’s important leaders of the liberal movement of the 1930s. Butler advocated military isolationism and was against American involvement in World War II. His isolationist views are certainly unpopular today, and in fact are not compatible with the current geopolitical situation. His views, however, developed from 33 years of serving as what he called “a gangster for capitalism.”

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  • 1. JT  |  July 3rd, 2010 at 1:05 am

    You forgot to mention his terrifically badass Eagle Globe & Anchor tattoo, stretching from his throat to his waist.

    Forgive me for being a suckass, but I’ve been reading exiled since I was twelve. Thank you. You guys have been an inspiration.

  • 2. aleke  |  July 3rd, 2010 at 3:31 am

    I’m glad you decided to put that up. To hell with war!

  • 3. aleke  |  July 3rd, 2010 at 4:17 am

    the War on Terror is a racket:

  • 4. FrankMcG  |  July 3rd, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    A lot of people like to talk about the “coup” attempt in the 30s and hype it up as a hairsbreath to 1984 coming to life so that it sounds sensational and Smedly was Jack Bauer disarming the fascism bomb with one second left.

    But really the more you read into it the more it sounds like a pipe dream of one or two crackpot bankers that never would have went anywhere.

  • 5. Plamen petkov  |  July 4th, 2010 at 3:50 am

    the “war on drugs” was a racket.
    Turns out WWII was a racket too.
    So was WWI.
    So were the “Crusades” and their sequels II, III, IV and so on…
    Wait, now that I think about it, Alexander “the Great”‘s war of conquest against Egypt, Afghanistan and India in 334 BC was a racket too!
    Conclusion: war is and ALWAYS will be a racket. Don’t stop the presses.

  • 6. wholelottashakin  |  July 4th, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    McChrystal is to Smedley Butler as Obama is to MLK. Very pale copies, and even that is an overly generous stretch. If this isn’t proof of our devolution as a society, I don’t know what is.

  • 7. Zhu Bajie  |  July 5th, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Would Butler have become a Fox (in-the-hen-house) news goon? Probably that’s McChrystal (meth head) will do.

  • 8. aleke  |  July 6th, 2010 at 8:08 pm


    Wait you mean imperialist wars of conquest are despicable imperialist wars? WOA!! Welp, better let them keep going on then..

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