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Reply #9: Gen. Butler was a real maverick. [View All]

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-25-09 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Gen. Butler was a real maverick.
The guy didn't want to see the Corps "ruined."



Maverick Marine:

General Smedley D. Butler and the Contradictions of American Military History


(excerpt from chapter called "To Hell with the Admirals")

By Hans Schmidt

Denied the commandancy, Butler did not dig in for a prolonged sulk as major general manqu. In the letter in which he vowed to block Naval Academy rivals for the next fifteen years, he also alluded to a resilience that precluded anything like General Barnett's last stand as commander of the Pacific: "We must keep our faces to the Sun and out of the shadow. Keep our tails up and go on and what ever comes of this, it will be for the best in the end." Several months later he was making up his mind to retire. He met with Arthur Burks for advice, after which Burks wrote him thoughtfully summarizing the pros and cons. Burks observed that "the mental uncertainty which prompted you to ask me to that conference was totally unlike you, and came down in favor of early retirement and an offer fromJoseph Alber's lecture bureau. Smedley had said that now he would never be commandant, and that the Corps was being ruined. Burks argued that he might stay in to try and save it. But there was the prospect of "leaping" from the "top of the heap" in the marines to "a neighboring heap which may be higher, if your legs are springy enough-which they won't be at sixty four." And if Smedley were to succeed his father in Congress, he would "be back in the driver~s seat," with no military regulations to hamper him.'8

With what he thought was almost half his life ahead of him, Butler decided to retire. The decision preceded the Mussolini incident. Being beaten at the top rung of command politics did not, however, mean he would go out quietly. Now definitely an outsider in Corps and navy politics, he continued in command at Quantico and resumed his extracurricular public speeches. Recent developments freed him from careerist constraints and from any need to defer meticulously to superiors. Despite not going out of his way to foment trouble, this fragile situation soon broke down, and he again ran afoul of brittle and maladroit chiefs in the Hoover administration.

In a speech on "how to prevent war" delivered to the Philadelphia Contemporary Club in January 1931, Butler related an anecdote about Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini while making the point that "mad-dog nations" could not be trusted to honor disarmament agreements. Butler recounted a story told him by an unnamed friend who had been taken by Mussolini for a high-speed automobile ride through the Italian countryside, in the course of which the dictator ran down a child and did not bother even to slow down: "My friend screamed as the child's body was crushed under the wheels of the machine. Mussolini put a hand on my friend's knee. 'It was only one life,' he told my friend. 'What is one life in the affairs of a State.'" '~

The Italian government protested, Rome newspapers denounced the speech as "insolent and ridiculous," and Mussolini issued a categorical denial: "I have never taken an American on a motor-car trip around Italy, neither have I run over a child, man or woman." Secretary of State Stimson issued a formal apology to Mussolini for "discourteous and unwarranted utterances by a commissioned officer of this government on active duty." Smedley was placed under arrest and ordered court-martialed by President Hoover. 20

The New York Times, in its lead story, characterized this as surprisingly severe and as yet another instance of the State Department dominating the navy. It was the first time a general officer in the U.S. services had been court-martialed since Major General Fitz John Porter was cashiered for disobedience of orders following a Union Army battle loss in 1862. More recently there had been the famous 1925 prosecution of Colonel Billy Mitchell, and the upcoming Butler trial promised similar fireworks. A cabinet officer warned Hoover that he could "see no profit in putting the Admirals up against a dashing Marine with a unique flair for publicity." And in a bizarre non sequitur, the Navy Department released a brochure, "The United States Navy in Peace Time," which included the commendation:

"Probably no finer example of successful arbitration by American officers has been demonstrated in recent years than the peacemaking achievements that crowned General Butler's efforts in China in 1927 and 1928." 21

CONTINUED...

http://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/53/butler02-by_sc...



The man who wrote "War Is a Racket" was a peace maker. A man of Integrity. A true Hero.
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  -Smedley Butler Stopped American Fascist Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR Octafish  Jul-25-09 05:37 PM   #0 
  - Smedley Butler was one of America's greatest patriots  MrScorpio   Jul-25-09 05:39 PM   #1 
  - That's why the Wall Street fascists chose him.  Octafish   Jul-25-09 05:58 PM   #6 
     - Wow, why am I not surprised that Al Smith and John Raskob were involved?  Odin2005   Jul-25-09 08:13 PM   #24 
     - Wasn't Prescott Bush also among them?  bobbolink   Jul-25-09 08:51 PM   #31 
     - Prescott Bush, Goodyear Tire, Heinz, DuPont, Birds' Eye, Maxwell House...  troubledamerican   Jul-25-09 09:00 PM   #34 
     - Prescott was central to the plot - he was chosen to be the chief liaison with Hitler's Germany  leveymg   Jul-26-09 07:29 AM   #53 
        - There's another side to this story - how Allen Dulles and friends moved Nazi gold out of Europe  leveymg   Jul-26-09 07:50 AM   #55 
        - Dr. Mengele financed operations with illegal drugs from his South American redoubt  Octafish   Jul-26-09 10:12 AM   #63 
           - I think you and Leveymg should collaborate on a book  bear425   Jul-26-09 11:45 AM   #70 
           - And an honor and pleasure  leveymg   Jul-26-09 12:34 PM   #77 
        - Had dinner last year w Edwin Black, author of "IBM and the Holocaust"  mod mom   Jul-26-09 10:07 AM   #61 
           - They've been trying ever since to control America's economy through deregulation of their activities  bjobotts   Jul-26-09 02:08 PM   #84 
           - Using an army of lobbyists rather than marines and dollars rather than guns to make a fascist corpo  bjobotts   Jul-26-09 02:09 PM   #85 
           - Wow! What was Mr. Black like?  Octafish   Jul-27-09 07:02 PM   #103 
     - Yep. nt  anonymous171   Jul-26-09 01:44 AM   #46 
  - K&R (note: Seize not Sieze) nt  valerief   Jul-25-09 05:41 PM   #2 
  - My bad! LOL! It's from the original source...  Octafish   Jul-25-09 06:01 PM   #7 
  - Not much of a warrior, tho.....  Bigmack   Jul-25-09 05:43 PM   #3 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Jul-25-09 06:08 PM   #8 
  - most of those awards were for killing brown folks  Thothmes   Jul-25-09 06:24 PM   #12 
  - That why he wrote... War is a Racket....  Bigmack   Jul-25-09 08:25 PM   #26 
  - He was actually nominated for the medal of honor three times!  cascadiance   Jul-26-09 02:04 AM   #49 
  - K&R  redqueen   Jul-25-09 05:52 PM   #4 
  - Gen. Butler was a real maverick.  Octafish   Jul-25-09 06:14 PM   #9 
     - A true Hero, indeed.  redqueen   Jul-25-09 06:37 PM   #13 
     - Wait, they fired him because he insulted Benito fucking Mussolini?  anonymous171   Jul-26-09 01:46 AM   #47 
  - The real heroes rarely make it into the history books. Thank you for your service Octafish  glitch   Jul-25-09 05:57 PM   #5 
  - You're welcome, glitch. The Nuevo Reich wants to bury the lessons of the past...  Octafish   Jul-25-09 06:20 PM   #11 
  - I am reminded of a quote:  Odin2005   Jul-25-09 08:19 PM   #25 
  - A man who is entirely, unforgivably too obscure  Posteritatis   Jul-25-09 06:18 PM   #10 
  - What would the students say when they learned about Butler?  Octafish   Jul-25-09 07:32 PM   #18 
  - Well, they were freshman classes, so the bar was set with a shovel  Posteritatis   Jul-25-09 08:26 PM   #27 
  - I have political science professors who have not heard of Smedley Butler.  OnyxCollie   Jul-25-09 11:29 PM   #40 
  - college history and Butler  blackbird13   Jul-27-09 08:49 AM   #96 
  - K&R....and don't forget the involvement of George W Bush's grandfather...  AntiFascist   Jul-25-09 07:12 PM   #14 
  - Watch this BBC documentary on Prescott Bush's involvement in this...  cascadiance   Jul-25-09 07:22 PM   #16 
  - Prescott Bush also helped bring Nixon into power...  AntiFascist   Jul-25-09 07:36 PM   #20 
  - J Edgar Hoover ''watched'' over Butler.  Octafish   Jul-25-09 07:55 PM   #22 
  - This explains much about the earliest connections between...  AntiFascist   Jul-25-09 08:31 PM   #28 
  - Thanks! I knew Prescott Bush was in there somewhere.....  bobbolink   Jul-25-09 08:55 PM   #32 
  - K&R  Uzybone   Jul-25-09 07:14 PM   #15 
  - As Thom Hartmann would note this is a symptom of our textbooks being censored by Texas school system  cascadiance   Jul-25-09 07:36 PM   #19 
  - some of my older family would note that Texas Republicans  Bluenorthwest   Jul-26-09 07:41 AM   #54 
  - Reminds me of when Republicans complain about "rewriting history."  Beartracks   Jul-26-09 12:58 AM   #44 
  - K&R  conscious evolution   Jul-25-09 07:28 PM   #17 
  - "War is a Racket" is required reading.  Naturyl   Jul-25-09 07:40 PM   #21 
  - That's something they will never teach you in history class  Odin2005   Jul-25-09 08:10 PM   #23 
  - Thank you for all you do to shine a light on scrubbed history.  bleever   Jul-25-09 08:45 PM   #29 
  - The Plot To Overthrow FDR -- dvd  bobbolink   Jul-25-09 08:49 PM   #30 
  - Butler rocks  ellie   Jul-25-09 08:57 PM   #33 
  - K&R. JFK could have done with a few Butlers on his Secrete Service detail! n/t  ControlledDemolition   Jul-25-09 09:17 PM   #35 
  - Oh yeah.  Octafish   Jul-27-09 07:08 PM   #104 
  - K&R. nt  OnyxCollie   Jul-25-09 09:17 PM   #36 
  - I wonder who our next Smedley Butler is going to be?  santamargarita   Jul-25-09 09:32 PM   #37 
  - Perhaps they were afraid Pat Tillman would have been one...  cascadiance   Jul-25-09 09:45 PM   #39 
  - He or she knows they are being watched.  Octafish   Jul-26-09 09:55 AM   #60 
  - If they'd succeeded, I wonder who's side we would've been on in WW2?  Marr   Jul-25-09 09:36 PM   #38 
  - And what if Al Smith had become president instead of FDR?  Jim Sagle   Jul-26-09 03:11 PM   #86 
  - My grandparents knew Smedley Butler.  begin_within   Jul-25-09 11:36 PM   #41 
  - Don't ever throw out the letters whether or not there are any between your parents and Butler.  peacetalksforall   Jul-26-09 09:48 AM   #57 
     - You're so right. My stepmother threw out a lot of my stuff,  begin_within   Jul-26-09 11:16 AM   #69 
  - Rest in peace wherever you are Smedley Butler  sasquatch   Jul-26-09 12:19 AM   #42 
  - Great report Octafish  MagickMuffin   Jul-26-09 12:27 AM   #43 
  - Smedley Butler, Meet John Perkins  Octafish   Jul-27-09 07:24 PM   #106 
  - K&R nt  Mithreal   Jul-26-09 01:38 AM   #45 
  - Fucking republicans are preaching the same exact socialism bullshit about Public Option health care.  LaPera   Jul-26-09 01:55 AM   #48 
  - I'm glad you pointed this out,  Greyhound   Jul-26-09 02:31 AM   #50 
  - Thanks for reminding me, Greyhound...  Octafish   Jul-26-09 09:50 AM   #59 
  - To answer your question, NO.  bobbolink   Jul-26-09 06:17 PM   #91 
  - Perfect n/t k*r  autorank   Jul-26-09 03:37 AM   #51 
  - I always amazes me that people think the US treats it soldiers and vetrans well.  geckosfeet   Jul-26-09 07:28 AM   #52 
  - Interesting aside, there. (nt)  redqueen   Jul-26-09 09:39 AM   #56 
  - I'm curious. How has the History Chanel covered Butler. Honestly, sufficiently, barely?  peacetalksforall   Jul-26-09 09:49 AM   #58 
  - Barely, AFAIK.  onager   Jul-26-09 10:51 AM   #65 
  - Thanks for the background, the lead to the miniseries, and the autobio.  peacetalksforall   Jul-26-09 11:45 AM   #71 
  - Side proposal or request. Since you have taught and since you have been in Egypt  peacetalksforall   Jul-26-09 01:00 PM   #79 
     - I don't really know much about the education nowadays.  onager   Jul-26-09 01:25 PM   #80 
  - I would say barely at best  Libertas1776   Jul-26-09 05:34 PM   #89 
  - Please watch THE PLOT TO OVERTHROW FDR  bobbolink   Jul-26-09 06:21 PM   #94 
  - As I wrote upthread.... DVD--THE PLOT TO OVERTHROW FDR  bobbolink   Jul-26-09 06:20 PM   #93 
  - This would make a great movie!  rucky   Jul-26-09 10:09 AM   #62 
  - It has been made into a (TV) movie.  onager   Jul-26-09 10:52 AM   #66 
  - Butler a credit. North a disgrace to the marines. Which one got famous?  RedCloud   Jul-26-09 10:14 AM   #64 
  - The conspirators, INCLUDING PRESCOTT BUSH, should have been executed.  kestrel91316   Jul-26-09 10:55 AM   #67 
  - And perhaps by doing so spared us of the mess we had for the last 8 years to boot!  cascadiance   Jul-26-09 06:13 PM   #90 
  - Congress buried the whole thing, nobody was even prosecuted.  Greyhound   Jul-27-09 12:48 PM   #100 
  - Hello, Octafish!  XanaDUer   Jul-26-09 11:12 AM   #68 
  - Good story, good message  govegan   Jul-26-09 12:04 PM   #72 
  - not so unusual, FDR himself considered a dictatorship  Hamlette   Jul-26-09 12:12 PM   #73 
  - Dr. my eyes  HiyaEmerald Eyes   Jul-26-09 12:15 PM   #74 
  - Many thanks, Octafish, for posting this. We can get the word out even if the textbooks  bertman   Jul-26-09 12:17 PM   #75 
  - You're welcome, bertman. Credit goes to DU and all good DUers who give a damn about Democracy.  Octafish   Jul-27-09 07:17 PM   #105 
  - Thanks for keeping this story alive. The BBC program is a must see for all DU'ers.  David Zephyr   Jul-26-09 12:33 PM   #76 
  - We should lobby Free Speech TV or Link TV to carry it...  cascadiance   Jul-26-09 06:19 PM   #92 
  - ...temporarily. nt  tomp   Jul-26-09 12:38 PM   #78 
  - K & R  swilton   Jul-26-09 01:31 PM   #81 
  - This has got to be worth bookmarking....  lyonn   Jul-26-09 01:49 PM   #82 
  - I learned about it in a goddamned *game* book.  Orsino   Jul-26-09 01:56 PM   #83 
  - K&R good one...exposes/reminds us of Mil indust complex  opihimoimoi   Jul-26-09 03:18 PM   #87 
  - the greatest heroes of American (and probably everybody else's) history are ignored or erased by  yurbud   Jul-26-09 05:30 PM   #88 
  - Here is the 43-minute video!  bobbolink   Jul-26-09 06:31 PM   #95 
  - It's amazing how so many today mock the notion of such elements diligently at work behind the scenes  Echo In Light   Jul-27-09 08:53 AM   #97 
  - General Smedley Butler would have made a great DU member  formercia   Jul-27-09 09:00 AM   #98 
  - bttt!  Karenina   Jul-27-09 12:03 PM   #99 
  - so, they make this academy award movie about Patton  newspeak   Jul-27-09 02:07 PM   #101 
     - A crying shame, it is. (nt)  redqueen   Jul-27-09 05:48 PM   #102 
 

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