The words that former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara recently used concerning the war that he promoted in Vietnam can be applied to all of our interventionist military adventures: “We were wrong, terribly wrong.” McNamara didn’t appreciate the advice offered by another Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient, General David Shoup, and had him removed as Commandant.
And more recently Rummy didn’t listen to Marine Corps General “They’ve screwed up” Anthony Zinni who said that invading Iraq was a strategic blunder.
Years ago, General Butler said: “Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected President in 1916 on a platform he had “kept us out of war.” Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany. . . What caused our government to change its mind so suddenly? MONEY.”
What can we do to stop the madness? First, fight recruiting and the coming draft. Studies for the Army show parents are the top obstacles to recruiting. “Opposition to . . . military service is increasing significantly among both moms and dads,” says a study of 1,200 potential recruits by the firm Millward Brown. Another look at potential recruits, by GfK Custom Research, found that the biggest influences in candidates’ decisions to join were mothers, named by 81% of respondents, followed by fathers, at 70%. “Reach the parents with the Army’s new message, particularly moms,” the study urges. But General Butler had another message.
Various anti-recruit, anti-draft and anti-serve organizations are listed at the “links.”
It’s important to end the current involvement, and even more important to prevent future ones. The war racket has been able to flourish and expand, for the benefit of corporations and not for the people, because our governmental leaders and representatives are not sufficiently constrained by the Constitution in its present form.
Smedley Butler said: “If we really want to make it impossible to have our young men sent abroad to fight the wars of others, then let us by all means insist upon adding the Peace Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”
The ongoing war in Iraq is a poster child for war is a racket for all of the reasons previously covered. Let’s make sure that we end it and don’t go there again. Our principal overseas bases in Germany and Korea are anachronisms which should have been shuttered long ago. Germany’s standard of living is higher than ours and South Korea doesn’t need us to defend their Hyundai and Kia auto export plants. And we need to recall the secret, provocative military units now operating under Presidential order in various countries around the world.
We must change our national military policy from one which makes us the last imperial empire in the world to one which restores us to the family of nations who enjoy peace and prosperity. We’d be in accordance with the US National Defense Strategy, which states: “The United States and its allies and partners have a strong interest in protecting the sovereignty of nation states. In the secure international order that we seek, states must be able to effectively govern themselves and order their affairs as their citizens see fit. Nevertheless, they must exercise their sovereignty responsibly, in conformity with the customary principles of international law, as well as with any additional obligations that they have freely accepted. It is unacceptable for regimes to use the principle of sovereignty as a shield behind which they claim to be free to engage in activities that pose enormous threats to their citizens, neighbors, or the rest of the international community.”
The US Constitution has no provision for foreign military adventures. It provides only “for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”
We’d also be in accordance with the United Nations Charter, which disallows aggression.
We need to put the priority back on the people rather than on war-racket profits. It would make us more secure by strengthening our domestic base, heartening our people and making us less disliked abroad.
Smedley Butler said: “The United States is in no danger whatever of military invasion. Even the Navy and War Departments, which are always preparing for war, and the State Department, which is always talking about peace but thinking about war, agree on that. By reason of our geographical position, it is all but impossible for any foreign power to muster, transport and land sufficient troops on our shores for a successful invasion.”
We can do it and we will!