Throughout the years various men of military service have spoken up and spoken out against the actions of the American military. Some men speak up about atrocities that have gone covered up, about discrimination, about deceptions that have been used against the American public, and about actions that have been taken that are contrary to what they view as American principles. Major General Smedley Butler is one of the most outspoken military service men who opposed the actions of the military that he served in.

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 (second from right) in Veracruz, Mexico - 1914

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.”

Smedley Butler at his 1931 retirement ceremony

Though Butler was not a member of the American Communist Party he did give speeches at Communist Party meetings in the 1930s as well as many speeches for the League Against War and Fascism. When asked about the company he was keeping he noted, “They told me I’d find a nest of communists here. I told them ‘What the hell of it!’”

“War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses."