Metallic Pea

Frustrating People Since 1971.

Old Gimlet Eye

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General Smedley Butler was one of the most decorated marines in the history of the United States Marine Corps, having been awarded the Medal of Honor twice.  (In other words, he knew a thing or two about war.)  I am of the opinion that we can learn a great deal from a man of his experience and wisdom.


Now — you Mothers, particularly! The only way you can resist all this war hysteria and beating of tom-toms is by asserting the love you bear your boys. When you listen to some well-worded, some well-delivered war speech, just remember it’s nothing but sound. No amount of sound can make up to you for the loss of your boy. After you’ve heard one of those speeches and your blood’s all hot and you want to bite somebody like Hitler — go upstairs to where your boy’s asleep…. Look at him. Put your hand on that spot on the back of his neck. The place you used to love to kiss when he was a baby. Just rub it a little. You won’t wake him up. He knows it’s you. Just look at his strong, fine young body because only the best boys are chosen for war. Look at this splendid young creature who’s part of yourself, then close you eyes for a moment and I’ll tell you what can happen…. 


Somewhere — five thousand miles from home. Night. Darkness. Cold. A drizzling rain. The noise is terrific. All Hell has broken loose. A star shell bursts in the air. Its unearthly flare lights up the muddy field. There’s a lot of tangled, rusty barbed wires out there and a boy hanging over them — his stomach ripped out, and he’s feebly calling for help and water. His lips are white and drawn. He’s in agony. 


There’s your boy.


The same boy who’s lying in bed tonight. The same boy who trusts you…. Are you going to run out on him? Are you going to let someone beat a drum or blow a bugle and make him chase after it? Thank God, this is a Democracy and by your voice and your vote you can save your boy. 


~ Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC, author of War Is a Racket in his call for the United States remain neutral in World War II.





Written by ninepoundhammer

April 24, 2008 at 5:48 pm

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