The Tonka Report

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Archive for May 2010

Israeli Commandos Raid And Slaughter Gaza Aid Flotilla Members

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May 31, 2010: Paul Joseph Watson / Prison Planet.com – May 31, 2010

The government of Israel, aided by many quarters of the international media, is attempting to spin today’s deadly IDF assault on a humanitarian aid ship carrying supplies to Gaza as the fault of the murdered activists on board the vessel, ludicrously characterizing machine-gun carrying Israeli troops who killed over a dozen innocent people as the victims of the incident.

“Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a press conference on Monday that while he was sorry for lives lost, the organizers of the Gaza-bound protest flotilla were solely responsible for the outcome of the fatal IDF raid earlier in the day,” reports the Jerusalem Post.

Elsewhere, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his “full backing” to the Israeli military and Israeli Navy commander Vice-Admiral Eliezer Marom commended the “bravery” of the IDF commandoes who slaughtered innocent people who were attempting to take food and supplies to the Gaza Strip, which has been under Israeli blockade for the last three years, a situation humanitarian groups have labeled “collective punishment,” a throwback to how the Nazis brutalized entire cities of people in retaliation to attacks against them by resistance groups.

In addition, a video released by Israeli authorities is circulating on You Tube entitled, Demonstrators Use Violence Against Israeli Navy Soldiers Attempting to Board Ship, which ludicrously claims to show activists attacking troops unprovoked, without mentioning the fact that troops aggressively boarded the vessel outside of Israeli territory with the aid of army helicopters and heavily armed IDF soldiers before the activists did anything. In reality, the video shows very little because it is shot from a perspective where the people on board look like ants and almost nothing can be deciphered from this. Comments were disabled on the video to prevent people from making this criticism.

The video “helpfully explain[s] what you’re supposed to see,” writes one Israeli journalist. “And, of course, the clip only contains the footage the IDF wanted to release; we don’t know what happened before or after this 60 seconds of video,” reports Al Jazeera.

The tone of Israel’s propaganda, that it was peace activists armed with nothing more than sticks and molotov cocktails who were responsible for the violence, and not heavily armed commando fighters backed up by helicopter gunships who in fact slaughtered at least 19 of the peace activists, is being cautiously parroted by some elements of the U.S. media.

One only has to look at the nature of the death toll to understand who was responsible for this brutal attack.

At least 19 people, and this figure is rising by the hour, were killed during the attack, with dozens more injured. Not one of those 19 victims is an IDF soldier, every single one is a Palestinian activist. If the activists on board the ship had planned to attack the soldiers, you might at least expect them to have claimed one fatality – but this wasn’t an attack by activists, it was a brutal assault by armed men with machine guns who violated international law and committed a despicable war crime before calling the monsters who carried it out brave heroes.

The Palestinian territories are controlled by Hamas, a group who legitimately won power in a democratic election. The ships were not therefore “seized” by Hamas as is being implied, the Hamas government controlled the ships because they won the election and it is their job to provide food and aid to their people.

Crucially, the attack took place in international waters, not inside Israeli territory. Israel had no right to board the ship under any legal definition.

As Mike Rivero at WhatReallyHappened explains, “Israel has no legal authority over the ships of other nations in international waters. Israel may not issue orders to foreign flagged ships in international waters. Ships are considered sovereign territory of the nations whose flags they fly. Setting foot on one without the permission of the captain is technically an act of war.

“The aid convoy did not “attack” the IDF. The aid convoy, being in international waters, attempted to defend themselves from an act of piracy by a nation with no legal authority over those ships.”

With Israel’s attack being condemned globally by every nation on the planet besides the U.S. and Britain, and being savaged by every media outlet besides the ever-compliant U.S. establishment press, attempts to lay the blame on the very activists who were killed while lauding their murderers as heroes will only crystallize the fact that Israel, alongside Britain and America and the globalists who control all three countries, are nothing less than the new Nazis and represent the biggest threat by far to international security and the sanctity of the rule of law.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: The most dangerous and ruthless ‘terrorists’ in the world are without a doubt the Israeli Zionist’s with their Christian Zionist counterparts backed and sanctioned by the United States and Britain via the international bankers and transnational corporations they control. This was nothing less than an act of war as the humanitarian ships were sailing in international waters under Turkish sovereignty. Remember the USS Liberty in 1967? Happy freakin’ Memorial Day! SJH

Link to original article below…

http://www.prisonplanet.com/israel-idf-troops-who-murdered-innocent-people-are-brave-heroes.html

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Energy Expert: Nuking BP Oil Geyser Is The Only Thing We Can Do

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May 30, 2010: Daniel Tencer / Raw Story – May 30, 2010

As the latest effort to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico meets with failure, the idea of nuking the immediate area to seal the oil underground is gaining steam among some energy experts and researchers.

One prominent energy expert known for predicting the oil price spike of 2008 says sending a small nuclear bomb down the leaking well is “probably the only thing we can do” to stop the leak.

Matt Simmons, founder of energy investment bank Simmons & Company, also says that there is evidence of a second oil leak about five to seven miles from the initial leak that BP has focused on fixing. That second leak, he says, is so large that the initial one is “minor” in comparison.

Simmons spoke to Bloomberg News on Friday, before BP announced that its latest effort to plug the leak, known as the “top kill” method, had failed.

“A week ago Sunday the first research vessel … was commissioned by NOAA to scour the area,” he said. They found “a gigantic plume” growing about five to seven miles from the site of the original leak, Simmons said.

Simmons said the US government should immediately take the effort to plug the leak out of the hands of BP and put the military in charge. “Probably the only thing we can do is create a weapons system and send it down 18,000 feet and detonate it, hopefully encasing the oil,” he said.

His idea echoes that of a Russian newspaper that earlier this month suggested the US detonate a small nuclear bomb to seal the oil beneath the sea. Komsomoloskaya Pravda argued in an editorial that Russia had successfully used nuclear weapons to seal oil spills on five occasions in the past.

Live Science reports: Weapons labs in the former Soviet Union developed special nukes for use to help pinch off the gas wells. They believed that the force from a nuclear explosion could squeeze shut any hole within 82 to 164 feet (25 to 50 meters), depending on the explosion’s power. That required drilling holes to place the nuclear device close to the target wells.

A first test in the fall of 1966 proved successful in sealing up an underground gas well in southern Uzbekistan, and so the Russians used nukes four more times for capping runaway wells.

Simmons also told Bloomberg that the idea to use radical measures like a nuclear bomb to seal the leak is probably not being contemplated by decision-makers “because BP is still totally in charge of the news and they have everyone focused on the top kill.”

Asked by a Bloomberg reporter about the risks involved in setting off a nuclear bomb off the coast of Louisiana, Simmons argued that a nuclear explosion deep inside a well bore would have little effect on surrounding areas. “If you’re 18,000 feet under the sea bed, it basically wont do anything [on the surface],” he said.

Joe Wiesenthal at Business Insider says the idea of using nukes will be getting a lot of attention now that the “top kill” procedure has failed:

Next, the so-called “nuclear option” is about to get a lot of attention. In this case, of course, nuclear option is not a euphemism. It’s the real idea that the best way to kill this thing is to stick a small nuke in there and bury the well under rubble. … By the middle of the coming week, it will be all over cable news, as pundits press The White House hard on whether it’s being considered and why not.

The following video was broadcast on Bloomberg News, Friday May 28, 2010…

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Those of you who know me and have talked to me personally about this catastrophe can attest that I have said a nuclear option would eventually be both contemplated and deployed… – SJH 

Link to original article below…

http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0529/energy-expert-nuke-oil-leak/

At Least 22 Shot In Chicago In Separate Shootings With One Dead!

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May 30, 2010: Deanese Williams-Harris / Chicago Breaking News – May 30, 2010

At least 22 people were wounded in separate shootings around the city (of Chicago) roughly between noon Saturday and noon Sunday, including a man who died this morning after he was shot in the head, said Chicago police.

At a news conference this morning, Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said that nearly half of the shootings appear to be gang-related, including the fatal incident. Weis added that at least two of the other victims have refused to cooperate with police, “which makes the job of our detectives … far more difficult.”

One of the shootings was particularly disturbing because one of the female victims was eight months pregnant, the superintendent said. No one in custody for any of the incidents.

The most recent incident happened in the 8000 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue just after noon today, Chicago Police Officer Laura Kubiak said. A man at the location was shot in the hand.

Four people were shot about 3:15 a.m. today in the 9100 block of South Marshfield Avenue, police said. The victims — two women, ages 32 and 30, and two men, ages 40 and 41 — were sitting in a vehicle when a dark four-door sedan approached, a man got out and opened fire. The older woman and the younger man were taken to local hospitals in serious conditions, police said. The other victims suffered only minor injuries.

About 2 a.m. in the 10800 block of South Racine Avenue, two people were shot while they sat in a parked vehicle, police said. One victim, a 43-year-old man, was shot in the chest and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition. The other victim, 22, was shot in the shoulder and was listed in “stable” condition at Roseland Community Hospital. Police said the 22-year-old is gang-affiliated. The men were shot by a passenger of a gold four-door car, police said.

About 12:45 a.m., a 16-year-old boy was shot in the 1500 block of East 67th Street. He was taken in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with a gunshot wound to his arm.

About 12:30 a.m., a 28-year-old man was shot in the Roseland neighborhood in the 10500 block of South Corliss Avenue, police said. He was taken to Roseland Community Hospital with a gunshot wound to his right calf and was described as in “stable” condition.

At the same time on the Southeast Side, three more people were shot as they sat on a porch in the 9200 block of South Blackstone Avenue, Kubiak said. One victim, a 25-year-old man, was taken in critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. An 18-year-old man was taken in “stable” condition to Advocate Trinity Hospital. Another victim, 27, was treated and released from Trinity with a graze wound to his arm, police said. The 18-year-old and 27-year-old have gang affiliations, Kubiak said.

About 12:28 a.m., a 19-year-old man was shot in the head in the 5100 block of South Laflin Street, police said. A spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office identifed the man as Darius Murphy of the 5300 block of South Bishop Street.

On the West Side about 12:15 a.m., two people were shot in the 3900 block of West Gladys Avenue, police said. A 24-year-old man was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital in “stable” condition with a graze wound to his head. A 19-year-old woman also was taken to the same hospital. She was listed in “stable” condition with a gunshot wound to her neck.

About 8:10 p.m. Saturday in the 2900 block of North Milwaukee Avenue in the Logan Square neighborhood, a 47-year-old man was shot in one arm in what police believe was a drive-by shooting. The victim was taken to Norwegian-American Hospital and was listed in good condition.

Roughly 20 minutes earlier in the Ashburn neighborhood, a man, 19, was wounded in the leg in the 3900 block of West 79th Street outside Bogan Computer Technical High School. He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and was listed in critical condition. The victim has gang affiliations and was not being cooperative in the police investigation, Kubiak said.

About 7:30 p.m., a 17-year-old boy was standing on the sidewalk on the 7400 block of South Evans Avenue when he heard shots and felt pain. He was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the upper right side.

Two people were shot about 6:45 p.m. in the 8400 block of South Muskegon Avenue but both told conflicting stories, said Kubiak.

An 18-year-old gang-affiliated man suffered a graze wound but refused treatment. He said he was walking in the 8400 block of South Escanaba Avenue when a suspect walked up and shot him, police said. The other victim, 19, told a different story. He said he was driving when someone pulled up and began shouting gang slogans and shot into his car, police said. He drove himself to Advocate Trinity Hospital where he was treated and released. Police could not locate either victims for interviews after the shootings, Kubiak said.

One of the shootings happened about 3 p.m. in the 6200 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue in the Woodlawn neighborhood. A 56-year-old man was standing on the corner when a passing car fired in his direction, police said. He fell to the ground in pain and discovered he was shot in his calf. He was taken to an area hospital and listed in good condition.

Earlier Saturday about 11 a.m., a 25-year-old man was shot on the 5300 block of South Laflin Street. He was wounded in the arm and hospitalized. Police said the Laflin shooting appeared to be gang-related, but witnesses were giving conflicting accounts of the event.

No one is in custody for any of the shootings. Calumet Area, Harrison Area and Wentworth Area detectives are investigating.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Obviously not all of these victims were upstanding citizens in their respective communities. But some were innocent bystanders caught in the fray and this is what happens when you disarm the law abiding citizens of an entire city as they have here in Chicago. Or maybe the sudden rash of shootings had something to do with Obama being in town this holiday weekend?SJH

Link to original article below…

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/05/2-wounded-in-separate-shootings.html

Criminal Investigations Sweep Across Florida ‘Political’ Landscape

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May 30, 2010:  Lucy Morgan and Adam C. Smith / The St. Petersburg Times – May 29, 2010

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist often laments “this culture of corruption in South Florida,” but increasingly it’s Tallahassee that looks like a central focus of multiple criminal investigations swirling about Florida.

In recent weeks, prominent legislators have hired criminal defense lawyers, while high-ranking and low-ranking GOP staffers have been summoned to grand juries meeting across the state.

Among them: Crist’s former top money-raiser, Meredith O’Rourke; former state GOP executive director Jim Rimes; and indicted ex-House Speaker Ray Sansom’s former fundraising aide, Melanie Phister, who at age 25 charged nearly $1.3 million on her state party credit card. Veteran observers of the state’s political process can’t remember a time when so many officials have been caught up in criminal investigations. “I don’t think we’ve ever had it at this level,” said longtime lobbyist Ron Book.

Amid the most tumultuous and unpredictable election year Florida has seen in decades, the names of at least a dozen political figures have popped up in five major federal investigations probing the pay-to-play culture of corruption in Florida:

• Alan Mendelsohn, 52, a Fort Lauderdale eye doctor and GOP campaign fundraiser, is indicted on federal fraud and influence-peddling charges.

• Scott Rothstein, 47, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer and campaign donor at the center of a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme, pleaded guilty in January to multiple federal charges of racketeering, money laundering and fraud.

• Sansom, 47, charged with grand theft in state court for secretly putting $6 million in the budget, is being looked at by federal officials in North Florida for his use of a GOP credit card and his role in creating a $113 million private prison.

• Jim Greer, 47, former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and a statewide grand jury for a secret contract benefitting a corporation Greer created with then-RPOF executive director Delmar Johnson. Greer is also under investigation by federal officials scrutinizing his use of Republican Party credit cards.

• FBI and IRS agents are fanning out across Florida in an escalating investigation of the way party officials and legislators used American Express cards for private purchases.

In a sign of how aggressively the Justice Department is pursuing reports of corruption in Florida, it has assigned Mary K. Butler, the lead prosecutor in the Jack Abramoff case, to look at Mendelsohn’s case, and longtime lobbyist and political operative Steve Hull has been given immunity from prosecution for cooperating with federal authorities.

Each of the three leading U.S. Senate candidates has at least some exposure in federal and state investigations: Democrat Kendrick Meek of Miami pushed for millions of dollars for a developer who faces criminal charges and who hired Meek’s mother and helped Meek’s chief of staff buy a home; top Crist money-raisers have been charged with crimes, while Greer, his hand-picked state party chairman, is the target of probes; Republican candidate Marco Rubio, among 31 Republican politicians and operatives who are facing FBI and IRS scrutiny, has the IRS looking at his use of state party credit cards.

The avalanche of criminal investigations began in early 2009 with the indictment of former House Speaker Sansom after he accepted a $110,000-a-year job at Northwest Florida State College on the very day he became speaker. A St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald investigation showed how in the previous two years, Sansom steered $35 million to the school.

A Tallahassee grand jury indicted Sansom along with college president Bob Richburg and Jay Odom, a West Florida developer and major contributor to Sansom and the Florida Republican Party. The three are charged with grand theft and conspiracy to commit grand theft in connection with a $6 million appropriation Sansom allegedly slipped into the state budget for the college to build a hangar for Odom’s corporate jet business. The three could face trial later this year.

As part of the Sansom investigation, State Attorney Willie Meggs obtained records detailing Sansom’s lavish charges to a GOP American Express card totaling more than $173,000. The credit card charges sparked federal investigations of Sansom and Greer, the GOP chairman who had been living a life of luxury with chartered jets, four-star hotels and chauffeured limousines charged to his party card. Now Greer is out of a job and has retained a criminal defense attorney and a lawyer to sue party officials who ousted him.

Federal investigators are interviewing party operatives who worked with Greer and combing through GOP records with an eye toward potential tax charges. Anyone who obtained personal benefits from the cards and failed to report them to IRS could be in trouble. A Pensacola grand jury looking at Sansom’s credit card charges is also investigating Sansom’s role in budgeting money for the new Blackwater River private prison in Santa Rosa County.

In South Florida, two of the state’s biggest fundraisers face a laundry list of federal criminal charges in unrelated indictments. Mendelsohn, an ophthalmologist who served on Crist’s transition team and staged a 2009 fundraiser for Rubio, raised millions for state campaigns. He is accused of diverting more than $600,000 to his own use, to pay private school tuition for his children and expenses for a mistress.

Mendelsohn often boasted of his ability to influence state officials with money. The indictment accuses him of giving more than $87,000 to a former public official who was not named. At one point trying to convince authorities that he had bribed Crist, Mendelsohn made a wired phone call to former Crist chief of staff George LeMieux, now a U.S. senator. Apparently suspicious, LeMieux had aides report the call to the FBI, leading to Mendelsohn being charged with lying to the FBI in addition to accusations that he defrauded campaign donors.

Crist said Wednesday he was unaware of Mendelsohn’s claims until he was contacted by reporters after the doctor was indicted. Crist said he thought Mendelsohn “seemed like a nice guy, he’s a doctor and gets some credibility for that.”

Fort Lauderdale lawyer Rothstein has admitted bilking investors in a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme. Some of the money taken from investors was used as campaign donations to Crist, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and dozens of legislators and both political parties.

In 2008 at a birthday party for the governor, a number of donors paid $5,200 to get their names on candles placed on a fancy chocolate cake. Rothstein donated $52,000 to the GOP to get his name in big letters. After he was elected governor, Crist appointed Rothstein to the Judicial Nominating Commission that nominates judges in Broward County. Much of the money has been returned to a receiver appointed to oversee Rothstein’s assets. Rothstein is cooperating with federal investigators and faces sentencing in June. He could receive up to 100 years.

The sheer number of public corruption investigations under way appears unprecedented in Florida, and several observers blame the amount of money that dominates the political process. “The money has become obscene,” says Ken Plante, a former state senator who has lobbied legislators for more than 30 years. “Somehow we have got to turn this thing around. It may take a constitutional amendment.”

CORRECTION: The campaign of Marco Rubio did not get donations from Scott Rothstein. An earlier version of this story was incorrect on that point.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: The corruption has always been going on. The difference is that people are finally waking up enmass and that is why these egregious crimes are being exposed. I’ve personally met Governor Charlie Crist on several occasions over the years and the man is a snake… – SJH

Link to original article below…

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/gubernatorial/politics-at-heart-of-criminal-investigations-swirling-across-florida/1098422

Beijing Now Suspects False Flag Attack On South Korea’s Corvette

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May 30, 2010: Wayne Madsen / Online Journal – May 28, 2010

WMR’s intelligence sources in Asia suspect that the March attack on the South Korean Navy anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, the Cheonan, was a false flag attack designed to appear as coming from North Korea.

One of the main purposes for increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula was to apply pressure on Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to reverse course on moving the U.S. Marine Corps base off Okinawa. Hatoyama has admitted that the tensions over the sinking of the Cheonan played a large part in his decision to allow the U.S. Marines to remain on Okinawa. Hatoyama’s decision has resulted in a split in the ruling center-left coalition government, a development welcome in Washington, with Mizuho Fukushima, the Social Democratic Party leader threatening to bolt the coalition over the Okinawa reversal.

The Cheonan was sunk near Baengnyeong Island, a westernmost spot that is far from the South Korean coast, but opposite the North Korean coast. The island is heavily militarized and within artillery fire range of North Korean coastal defenses, which lie across a narrow channel.

The Cheonan, an ASW corvette, was decked out with state-of-the-art sonar, plus it was operating in waters with extensive hydrophone sonar arrays and acoustic underwater sensors. There is no South Korean sonar or audio evidence of a torpedo, submarine or mini-sub in the area. Since there is next to no shipping in the channel, the sea was silent at the time of the sinking.

However, Baengnyeong Island hosts a joint US-South Korea military intelligence base and the US Navy SEALS operate out of the base. In addition, four U.S. Navy ships were in the area, part of the joint U.S-South Korean Exercise Foal Eagle, during the sinking of the Cheonan. An investigation of the suspect torpedo’s metallic and chemical fingerprints show it to be of German manufacture. There are suspicions that the US Navy SEALS maintains a sampling of European torpedoes for sake of plausible deniability for false flag attacks. Also, Berlin does not sell torpedoes to North Korea, however, Germany does maintain a close joint submarine and submarine weapons development program with Israel.

The presence of the USNS Salvor, one of the participants in Foal Eagle, so close to Baengnyeong Island during the sinking of the South Korean corvette also raises questions. The Salvor, a civilian Navy salvage ship, which participated in mine laying activities for the Thai Marines in the Gulf of Thailand in 2006, was present near the time of the blast with a complement of 12 deep sea divers. Beijing, satisfied with North Korea’s Kim Jong Il’s claim of innocence after a hurried train trip from Pyongyang to Beijing, suspects the U.S. Navy’s role in the Cheonan’s sinking, with particular suspicion on the role of the Salvor. The suspicions are as follows:

1. The Salvor engaged in a seabed mine-installation operation, in other words, attaching horizontally fired anti-submarine mines on the sea floor in the channel.

2. The Salvor was doing routine inspection and maintenance on seabed mines, and put them into an electronic active mode (hair trigger release) as part of the inspection program.

3. A SEALS diver attached a magnetic mine to the Cheonan, as part of a covert program aimed at influencing public opinion in South Korea, Japan and China.

The Korean peninsula tensions have conveniently overshadowed all other agenda items on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visits to Beijing and Seoul.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Inch by inch, step by step, slowly we edge toward all out world war… – SJH

Link to original article below…

http://www.onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_5930.shtml

Memorial Day: War Is A Racket – By General Smedley Butler, USMC

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May 29, 2010: Redacted News Editor’s / Redacted News – May 18, 2009

“I spent 33 years and 4 months in active service as a member of our country’s most agile military force–the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was part of a racket all the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an original thought until I left the service.” – Smedley D. Butler (1881-1940)

Published in 1935 by Round Table Press, Inc., New York. It was condensed in Reader’s Digest as a book supplement, with an introduction by Lowell Thomas, who praised Butler’s “…moral as well as physical courage… ”

CHAPTER ONE: War Is A Racket

WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the 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 very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few — the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill. And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.

Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side by side. Italy and Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germany cast sheep’s eyes at each other, forgetting for the nonce [one unique occasion], their dispute over the Polish Corridor.

The assassination of King Alexander of Jugoslavia [Yugoslavia] complicated matters. Jugoslavia and Hungary, long bitter enemies, were almost at each other’s throats. Italy was ready to jump in. But France was waiting. So was Czechoslovakia. All of them are looking ahead to war. Not the people — not those who fight and pay and die — only those who foment wars and remain safely at home to profit.

There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and diplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making. Hell’s bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers?

Not in Italy, to be sure. Premier Mussolini knows what they are being trained for. He, at least, is frank enough to speak out. Only the other day, Il Duce in “International Conciliation,” the publication of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said:

“And above all, Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. . . . War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it.”

Undoubtedly Mussolini means exactly what he says. His well-trained army, his great fleet of planes, and even his navy are ready for war — anxious for it, apparently. His recent stand at the side of Hungary in the latter’s dispute with Jugoslavia showed that. And the hurried mobilization of his troops on the Austrian border after the assassination of Dollfuss showed it too. There are others in Europe too whose sabre rattling presages war, sooner or later.

Herr Hitler, with his rearming Germany and his constant demands for more and more arms, is an equal if not greater menace to peace. France only recently increased the term of military service for its youth from a year to eighteen months.

Yes, all over, nations are camping in their arms. The mad dogs of Europe are on the loose. In the Orient the maneuvering is more adroit. Back in 1904, when Russia and Japan fought, we kicked out our old friends the Russians and backed Japan. Then our very generous international bankers were financing Japan. Now the trend is to poison us against the Japanese. What does the “open door” policy to China mean to us? Our trade with China is about $90,000,000 a year. Or the Philippine Islands? We have spent about $600,000,000 in the Philippines in thirty-five years and we (our bankers and industrialists and speculators) have private investments there of less than $200,000,000.

Then, to save that China trade of about $90,000,000, or to protect these private investments of less than $200,000,000 in the Philippines, we would be all stirred up to hate Japan and go to war — a war that might well cost us tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, and many more hundreds of thousands of physically maimed and mentally unbalanced men.

Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit — fortunes would be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitions makers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well.

Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn’t they? It pays high dividends. But what does it profit the men who are killed? What does it profit their mothers and sisters, their wives and their sweethearts? What does it profit their children? What does it profit anyone except the very few to whom war means huge profits? Yes, and what does it profit the nation?

Take our own case. Until 1898 we didn’t own a bit of territory outside the mainland of North America. At that time our national debt was a little more than $1,000,000,000. Then we became “internationally minded.” We forgot, or shunted aside, the advice of the Father of our country. We forgot George Washington’s warning about “entangling alliances.” We went to war. We acquired outside territory. At the end of the World War period, as a direct result of our fiddling in international affairs, our national debt had jumped to over $25,000,000,000. Our total favorable trade balance during the twenty-five-year period was about $24,000,000,000. Therefore, on a purely bookkeeping basis, we ran a little behind year for year, and that foreign trade might well have been ours without the wars.

It would have been far cheaper (not to say safer) for the average American who pays the bills to stay out of foreign entanglements. For a very few this racket, like bootlegging and other underworld rackets, brings fancy profits, but the cost of operations is always transferred to the people — who do not profit.

CHAPTER TWO: Who Makes The Profits?

The World War, rather our brief participation in it, has cost the United States some $52,000,000,000. Figure it out. That means $400 to every American man, woman, and child. And we haven’t paid the debt yet. We are paying it, our children will pay it, and our children’s children probably still will be paying the cost of that war.

The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits — ah! that is another matter — twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent — the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let’s get it.

Of course, it isn’t put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and “we must all put our shoulders to the wheel,” but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket — and are safely pocketed. Let’s just take a few examples:

Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people — didn’t one of them testify before a Senate committee recently that their powder won the war? Or saved the world for democracy? Or something? How did they do in the war? They were a patriotic corporation. Well, the average earnings of the du Ponts for the period 1910 to 1914 were $6,000,000 a year. It wasn’t much, but the du Ponts managed to get along on it. Now let’s look at their average yearly profit during the war years, 1914 to 1918. Fifty-eight million dollars a year profit we find! Nearly ten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were pretty good. An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent.

Take one of our little steel companies that patriotically shunted aside the making of rails and girders and bridges to manufacture war materials. Well, their 1910-1914 yearly earnings averaged $6,000,000. Then came the war. And, like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Did their profits jump — or did they let Uncle Sam in for a bargain? Well, their 1914-1918 average was $49,000,000 a year!

Or, let’s take United States Steel. The normal earnings during the five-year period prior to the war were $105,000,000 a year. Not bad. Then along came the war and up went the profits. The average yearly profit for the period 1914-1918 was $240,000,000. Not bad.

There you have some of the steel and powder earnings. Let’s look at something else. A little copper, perhaps. That always does well in war times.

Anaconda, for instance. Average yearly earnings during the pre-war years 1910-1914 of $10,000,000. During the war years 1914-1918 profits leaped to $34,000,000 per year.

Or Utah Copper. Average of $5,000,000 per year during the 1910-1914 period. Jumped to an average of $21,000,000 yearly profits for the war period.

Let’s group these five, with three smaller companies. The total yearly average profits of the pre-war period 1910-1914 were $137,480,000. Then along came the war. The average yearly profits for this group skyrocketed to $408,300,000. A little increase in profits of approximately 200 per cent. Does war pay? It paid them. But they aren’t the only ones. There are still others. Let’s take leather.

For the three-year period before the war the total profits of Central Leather Company were $3,500,000. That was approximately $1,167,000 a year. Well, in 1916 Central Leather returned a profit of $15,000,000, a small increase of 1,100 per cent. That’s all. The General Chemical Company averaged a profit for the three years before the war of a little over $800,000 a year. Came the war, and the profits jumped to $12,000,000. a leap of 1,400 per cent.

International Nickel Company — and you can’t have a war without nickel — showed an increase in profits from a mere average of $4,000,000 a year to $73,000,000 yearly. Not bad? An increase of more than 1,700 per cent.

American Sugar Refining Company averaged $2,000,000 a year for the three years before the war. In 1916 a profit of $6,000,000 was recorded.

Listen to Senate Document No. 259. The Sixty-Fifth Congress, reporting on corporate earnings and government revenues. Considering the profits of 122 meat packers, 153 cotton manufacturers, 299 garment makers, 49 steel plants, and 340 coal producers during the war. Profits under 25 per cent were exceptional. For instance the coal companies made between 100 per cent and 7,856 per cent on their capital stock during the war. The Chicago packers doubled and tripled their earnings.

And let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather than incorporated organizations, they do not have to report to stockholders. And their profits were as secret as they were immense. How the bankers made their millions and their billions I do not know, because those little secrets never become public — even before a Senate investigatory body. But here’s how some of the other patriotic industrialists and speculators chiseled their way into war profits.

Take the shoe people. They like war. It brings business with abnormal profits. They made huge profits on sales abroad to our allies. Perhaps, like the munitions manufacturers and armament makers, they also sold to the enemy. For a dollar is a dollar whether it comes from Germany or from France. But they did well by Uncle Sam too. For instance, they sold Uncle Sam 35,000,000 pairs of hobnailed service shoes. There were 4,000,000 soldiers. Eight pairs, and more, to a soldier. My regiment during the war had only one pair to a soldier. Some of these shoes probably are still in existence. They were good shoes. But when the war was over Uncle Sam has a matter of 25,000,000 pairs left over. Bought — and paid for. Profits recorded and pocketed.

There was still lots of leather left. So the leather people sold your Uncle Sam hundreds of thousands of McClellan saddles for the cavalry. But there wasn’t any American cavalry overseas! Somebody had to get rid of this leather, however. Somebody had to make a profit in it — so we had a lot of McClellan saddles. And we probably have those yet.

Also somebody had a lot of mosquito netting. They sold your Uncle Sam 20,000,000 mosquito nets for the use of the soldiers overseas. I suppose the boys were expected to put it over them as they tried to sleep in muddy trenches — one hand scratching cooties on their backs and the other making passes at scurrying rats. Well, not one of these mosquito nets ever got to France!

Anyhow, these thoughtful manufacturers wanted to make sure that no soldier would be without his mosquito net, so 40,000,000 additional yards of mosquito netting were sold to Uncle Sam. There were pretty good profits in mosquito netting in those days, even if there were no mosquitoes in France. I suppose, if the war had lasted just a little longer, the enterprising mosquito netting manufacturers would have sold your Uncle Sam a couple of consignments of mosquitoes to plant in France so that more mosquito netting would be in order.

Airplane and engine manufacturers felt they, too, should get their just profits out of this war. Why not? Everybody else was getting theirs. So $1,000,000,000 — count them if you live long enough — was spent by Uncle Sam in building airplane engines that never left the ground! Not one plane, or motor, out of the billion dollars worth ordered, ever got into a battle in France. Just the same the manufacturers made their little profit of 30, 100, or perhaps 300 per cent.

Undershirts for soldiers cost 14¢ [cents] to make and uncle Sam paid 30¢ to 40¢ each for them — a nice little profit for the undershirt manufacturer. And the stocking manufacturer and the uniform manufacturers and the cap manufacturers and the steel helmet manufacturers — all got theirs.

Why, when the war was over some 4,000,000 sets of equipment — knapsacks and the things that go to fill them — crammed warehouses on this side. Now they are being scrapped because the regulations have changed the contents. But the manufacturers collected their wartime profits on them — and they will do it all over again the next time.

There were lots of brilliant ideas for profit making during the war. One very versatile patriot sold Uncle Sam twelve dozen 48-inch wrenches. Oh, they were very nice wrenches. The only trouble was that there was only one nut ever made that was large enough for these wrenches. That is the one that holds the turbines at Niagara Falls. Well, after Uncle Sam had bought them and the manufacturer had pocketed the profit, the wrenches were put on freight cars and shunted all around the United States in an effort to find a use for them. When the Armistice was signed it was indeed a sad blow to the wrench manufacturer. He was just about to make some nuts to fit the wrenches. Then he planned to sell these, too, to your Uncle Sam.

Still another had the brilliant idea that colonels shouldn’t ride in automobiles, nor should they even ride on horseback. One has probably seen a picture of Andy Jackson riding in a buckboard. Well, some 6,000 buckboards were sold to Uncle Sam for the use of colonels! Not one of them was used. But the buckboard manufacturer got his war profit.

The shipbuilders felt they should come in on some of it, too. They built a lot of ships that made a lot of profit. More than $3,000,000,000 worth. Some of the ships were all right. But $635,000,000 worth of them were made of wood and wouldn’t float! The seams opened up — and they sank. We paid for them, though. And somebody pocketed the profits.

It has been estimated by statisticians and economists and researchers that the war cost your Uncle Sam $52,000,000,000. Of this sum, $39,000,000,000 was expended in the actual war itself. This expenditure yielded $16,000,000,000 in profits. That is how the 21,000 billionaires and millionaires got that way. This $16,000,000,000 profits is not to be sneezed at. It is quite a tidy sum. And it went to a very few.

The Senate (Nye) committee probe of the munitions industry and its wartime profits, despite its sensational disclosures, hardly has scratched the surface. Even so, it has had some effect. The State Department has been studying “for some time” methods of keeping out of war. The War Department suddenly decides it has a wonderful plan to spring. The Administration names a committee — with the War and Navy Departments ably represented under the chairmanship of a Wall Street speculator — to limit profits in war time. To what extent isn’t suggested. Hmmm. Possibly the profits of 300 and 600 and 1,600 per cent of those who turned blood into gold in the World War would be limited to some smaller figure.

Apparently, however, the plan does not call for any limitation of losses — that is, the losses of those who fight the war. As far as I have been able to ascertain there is nothing in the scheme to limit a soldier to the loss of but one eye, or one arm, or to limit his wounds to one or two or three. Or to limit the loss of life. There is nothing in this scheme, apparently, that says not more than 12 per cent of a regiment shall be wounded in battle, or that not more than 7 per cent in a division shall be killed. Of course, the committee cannot be bothered with such trifling matters.

CHAPTER THREE: Who Pays The Bills?

Who provides the profits — these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and 1,800 per cent? We all pay them — in taxation. We paid the bankers their profits when we bought Liberty Bonds at $100.00 and sold them back at $84 or $86 to the bankers. These bankers collected $100 plus. It was a simple manipulation. The bankers control the security marts. It was easy for them to depress the price of these bonds. Then all of us — the people — got frightened and sold the bonds at $84 or $86. The bankers bought them. Then these same bankers stimulated a boom and government bonds went to par — and above. Then the bankers collected their profits.

But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill. If you don’t believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefields abroad. Or visit any of the veteran’s hospitals in the United States. On a tour of the country, in the midst of which I am at the time of this writing, I have visited eighteen government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about 50,000 destroyed men — men who were the pick of the nation eighteen years ago. The very able chief surgeon at the government hospital at Milwaukee, where there are 3,800 of the living dead, told me that mortality among veterans is three times as great as among those who stayed at home.

Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the fields and offices and factories and classrooms and put into the ranks. There they were remolded; they were made over; they were made to “about face”; to regard murder as the order of the day. They were put shoulder to shoulder and, through mass psychology, they were entirely changed. We used them for a couple of years and trained them to think nothing at all of killing or of being killed.

Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another “about face”! This time they had to do their own readjustment, sans [without] mass psychology, sans officers’ aid and advice and sans nation-wide propaganda. We didn’t need them any more. So we scattered them about without any “three-minute” or “Liberty Loan” speeches or parades. Many, too many, of these fine young boys are eventually destroyed, mentally, because they could not make that final “about face” alone.

In the government hospital in Marion, Indiana, 1,800 of these boys are in pens! Five hundred of them in a barracks with steel bars and wires all around outside the buildings and on the porches. These already have been mentally destroyed. These boys don’t even look like human beings. Oh, the looks on their faces! Physically, they are in good shape; mentally, they are gone.

There are thousands and thousands of these cases, and more and more are coming in all the time. The tremendous excitement of the war, the sudden cutting off of that excitement — the young boys couldn’t stand it.

That’s a part of the bill. So much for the dead — they have paid their part of the war profits. So much for the mentally and physically wounded — they are paying now their share of the war profits. But the others paid, too — they paid with heartbreaks when they tore themselves away from their firesides and their families to don the uniform of Uncle Sam — on which a profit had been made. They paid another part in the training camps where they were regimented and drilled while others took their jobs and their places in the lives of their communities. They paid for it in the trenches where they shot and were shot; where they were hungry for days at a time; where they slept in the mud and the cold and in the rain — with the moans and shrieks of the dying for a horrible lullaby.

But don’t forget — the soldier paid part of the dollars and cents bill too. Up to and including the Spanish-American War, we had a prize system, and soldiers and sailors fought for money. During the Civil War they were paid bonuses, in many instances, before they went into service. The government, or states, paid as high as $1,200 for an enlistment. In the Spanish-American War they gave prize money. When we captured any vessels, the soldiers all got their share — at least, they were supposed to. Then it was found that we could reduce the cost of wars by taking all the prize money and keeping it, but conscripting [drafting] the soldier anyway. Then soldiers couldn’t bargain for their labor, Everyone else could bargain, but the soldier couldn’t.

Napoleon once said, “All men are enamored of decorations . . . they positively hunger for them.” So by developing the Napoleonic system — the medal business — the government learned it could get soldiers for less money, because the boys liked to be decorated. Until the Civil War there were no medals. Then the Congressional Medal of Honor was handed out. It made enlistments easier. After the Civil War no new medals were issued until the Spanish-American War.

In the World War, we used propaganda to make the boys accept conscription. They were made to feel ashamed if they didn’t join the army. So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With few exceptions our clergymen joined in the clamor to kill, kill, kill. To kill the Germans. God is on our side . . . it is His will that the Germans be killed. And in Germany, the good pastors called upon the Germans to kill the allies . . . to please the same God. That was a part of the general propaganda, built up to make people war conscious and murder conscious.

Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the “war to end all wars.” This was the “war to make the world safe for democracy.” No one mentioned to them, as they marched away, that their going and their dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross might be torpedoed by submarines built with United States patents. They were just told it was to be a “glorious adventure.”

Thus, having stuffed patriotism down their throats, it was decided to make them help pay for the war, too. So, we gave them the large salary of $30 a month. All they had to do for this munificent sum was to leave their dear ones behind, give up their jobs, lie in swampy trenches, eat canned willy (when they could get it) and kill and kill and kill . . . and be killed. But wait!

Half of that wage (just a little more than a riveter in a shipyard or a laborer in a munitions factory safe at home made in a day) was promptly taken from him to support his dependents, so that they would not become a charge upon his community. Then we made him pay what amounted to accident insurance — something the employer pays for in an enlightened state — and that cost him $6 a month. He had less than $9 a month left.

Then, the most crowning insolence of all — he was virtually blackjacked into paying for his own ammunition, clothing, and food by being made to buy Liberty Bonds. Most soldiers got no money at all on pay days. We made them buy Liberty Bonds at $100 and then we bought them back — when they came back from the war and couldn’t find work — at $84 and $86. And the soldiers bought about $2,000,000,000 worth of these bonds!

Yes, the soldier pays the greater part of the bill. His family pays too. They pay it in the same heart-break that he does. As he suffers, they suffer. At nights, as he lay in the trenches and watched shrapnel burst about him, they lay home in their beds and tossed sleeplessly — his father, his mother, his wife, his sisters, his brothers, his sons, and his daughters.

When he returned home minus an eye, or minus a leg or with his mind broken, they suffered too — as much as and even sometimes more than he. Yes, and they, too, contributed their dollars to the profits of the munitions makers and bankers and shipbuilders and the manufacturers and the speculators made. They, too, bought Liberty Bonds and contributed to the profit of the bankers after the Armistice in the hocus-pocus of manipulated Liberty Bond prices. And even now the families of the wounded men and of the mentally broken and those who never were able to readjust themselves are still suffering and still paying.

CHAPTER FOUR: How To Smash This Racket!

WELL, it’s a racket, all right. A few profit — and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can’t end it by disarmament conferences. You can’t eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can’t wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war.

The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nations manhood can be conscripted. One month before the Government can conscript the young men of the nation — it must conscript capital and industry and labor. Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted — to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.

Let the workers in these plants get the same wages — all the workers, all presidents, all executives, all directors, all managers, all bankers — yes, and all generals and all admirals and all officers and all politicians and all government office holders — everyone in the nation be restricted to a total monthly income not to exceed that paid to the soldier in the trenches!

Let all these kings and tycoons and masters of business and all those workers in industry and all our senators and governors and majors pay half of their monthly $30 wage to their families and pay war risk insurance and buy Liberty Bonds. Why shouldn’t they? They aren’t running any risk of being killed or of having their bodies mangled or their minds shattered. They aren’t sleeping in muddy trenches. They aren’t hungry. The soldiers are! Give capital and industry and labor thirty days to think it over and you will find, by that time, there will be no war. That will smash the war racket — that and nothing else.

Maybe I am a little too optimistic. Capital still has some say. So capital won’t permit the taking of the profit out of war until the people — those who do the suffering and still pay the price — make up their minds that those they elect to office shall do their bidding, and not that of the profiteers.

Another step necessary in this fight to smash the war racket is the limited plebiscite to determine whether a war should be declared. A plebiscite not of all the voters but merely of those who would be called upon to do the fighting and dying. There wouldn’t be very much sense in having a 76-year-old president of a munitions factory or the flat-footed head of an international banking firm or the cross-eyed manager of a uniform manufacturing plant — all of whom see visions of tremendous profits in the event of war — voting on whether the nation should go to war or not. They never would be called upon to shoulder arms — to sleep in a trench and to be shot. Only those who would be called upon to risk their lives for their country should have the privilege of voting to determine whether the nation should go to war.

There is ample precedent for restricting the voting to those affected. Many of our states have restrictions on those permitted to vote. In most, it is necessary to be able to read and write before you may vote. In some, you must own property. It would be a simple matter each year for the men coming of military age to register in their communities as they did in the draft during the World War and be examined physically. Those who could pass and who would therefore be called upon to bear arms in the event of war would be eligible to vote in a limited plebiscite. They should be the ones to have the power to decide — and not a Congress few of whose members are within the age limit and fewer still of whom are in physical condition to bear arms. Only those who must suffer should have the right to vote.

A third step in this business of smashing the war racket is to make certain that our military forces are truly forces for defense only. At each session of Congress the question of further naval appropriations comes up. The swivel-chair admirals of Washington (and there are always a lot of them) are very adroit lobbyists. And they are smart. They don’t shout that “We need a lot of battleships to war on this nation or that nation.” Oh no. First of all, they let it be known that America is menaced by a great naval power. Almost any day, these admirals will tell you, the great fleet of this supposed enemy will strike suddenly and annihilate 125,000,000 people. Just like that. Then they begin to cry for a larger navy. For what? To fight the enemy? Oh my, no. Oh, no. For defense purposes only. Then, incidentally, they announce maneuvers in the Pacific. For defense. Uh, huh.

The Pacific is a great big ocean. We have a tremendous coastline on the Pacific. Will the maneuvers be off the coast, two or three hundred miles? Oh, no. The maneuvers will be two thousand, yes, perhaps even thirty-five hundred miles, off the coast. The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to see the United States fleet so close to Nippon’s shores. Even as pleased as would be the residents of California were they to dimly discern through the morning mist, the Japanese fleet playing at war games off Los Angeles.

The ships of our navy, it can be seen, should be specifically limited, by law, to within 200 miles of our coastline. Had that been the law in 1898 the Maine would never have gone to Havana Harbor. She never would have been blown up. There would have been no war with Spain with its attendant loss of life. Two hundred miles is ample, in the opinion of experts, for defense purposes. Our nation cannot start an offensive war if its ships can’t go further than 200 miles from the coastline. Planes might be permitted to go as far as 500 miles from the coast for purposes of reconnaissance. And the army should never leave the territorial limits of our nation.

To summarize: Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket. We must take the profit out of war. We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war. We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.

CHAPTER FIVE: To Hell With War!

I am not a fool as to believe that war is a thing of the past. I know the people do not want war, but there is no use in saying we cannot be pushed into another war. Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had “kept us out of war” and on the implied promise that he would “keep us out of war.” Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany. In that five-month interval the people had not been asked whether they had changed their minds. The 4,000,000 young men who put on uniforms and marched or sailed away were not asked whether they wanted to go forth to suffer and die.

Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly? Money. An allied commission, it may be recalled, came over shortly before the war declaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group of advisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language, this is what he told the President and his group:

“There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost. We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, American manufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billion dollars. If we lose (and without the help of the United States we must lose) we, England, France and Italy, cannot pay back this money . . . and Germany won’t. So . . . ”

Had secrecy been outlawed as far as war negotiations were concerned, and had the press been invited to be present at that conference, or had radio been available to broadcast the proceedings, America never would have entered the World War. But this conference, like all war discussions, was shrouded in utmost secrecy. When our boys were sent off to war they were told it was a “war to make the world safe for democracy” and a “war to end all wars.”

Well, eighteen years after, the world has less of democracy than it had then. Besides, what business is it of ours whether Russia or Germany or England or France or Italy or Austria live under democracies or monarchies? Whether they are Fascists or Communists? Our problem is to preserve our own democracy. And very little, if anything, has been accomplished to assure us that the World War was really the war to end all wars.

Yes, we have had disarmament conferences and limitations of arms conferences. They don’t mean a thing. One has just failed; the results of another have been nullified. We send our professional soldiers and our sailors and our politicians and our diplomats to these conferences. And what happens?

The professional soldiers and sailors don’t want to disarm. No admiral wants to be without a ship. No general wants to be without a command. Both mean men without jobs. They are not for disarmament. They cannot be for limitations of arms. And at all these conferences, lurking in the background but all-powerful just the same, are the sinister agents of those who profit by war. They see to it that these conferences do not disarm or seriously limit armaments. The chief aim of any power at any of these conferences has not been to achieve disarmament to prevent war but rather to get more armament for itself and less for any potential foe.

There is only one way to disarm with any semblance of practicability. That is for all nations to get together and scrap every ship, every gun, every rifle, every tank, every war plane. Even this, if it were possible, would not be enough. The next war, according to experts, will be fought not with battleships, not by artillery, not with rifles and not with machine guns. It will be fought with deadly chemicals and gases.

Secretly each nation is studying and perfecting newer and ghastlier means of annihilating its foes wholesale. Yes, ships will continue to be built, for the shipbuilders must make their profits. And guns still will be manufactured and powder and rifles will be made, for the munitions makers must make their huge profits. And the soldiers, of course, must wear uniforms, for the manufacturer must make their war profits too. But victory or defeat will be determined by the skill and ingenuity of our scientists.

If we put them to work making poison gas and more and more fiendish mechanical and explosive instruments of destruction, they will have no time for the constructive job of building greater prosperity for all peoples. By putting them to this useful job, we can all make more money out of peace than we can out of war — even the munitions makers. So…I say,

TO HELL WITH WAR!

One of the most decorated combat veterans in US military history…but you’ll never hear his name. Here’s why:

The Real Speech Re-Created By An Actor

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: As a former US Marine and Patriot of this Republic, I aspire to be as honorable as Major General Smedley Butler – a true American hero – as we all should seriously reflect and reassess on this Memorial Day, what the real purpose is for the endless wars, who stands to profit (transnational corporations and international bankers), and who ultimately suffers We, the People! – SJH 

Link to original article below…

http://redactednews.blogspot.com/2009/05/war-is-racket.html

Ten Things You Need To Know About The Gulf Of Mexico Disaster

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May 28, 2010: Daniela Perdomo / AlterNetMay 27, 2010

How the owner of the exploded oil rig has made $270 million off the disaster, and nine other shocking, depressing facts about the oil spill.

It’s been 37 days since BP’s offshore oil rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, crude oil has been hemorrhaging into ocean waters and wreaking unknown havoc on our ecosystem — unknown because there is no accurate estimate of how many barrels of oil are contaminating the Gulf. 

Though BP officially admits to only a few thousand barrels spilled each day, expert estimates peg the damage at 60,000 barrels or over 2.5 million gallons daily. (Perhaps we’d know more if BP hadn’t barred independent engineers from inspecting the breach.) Measures to quell the gusher have proved lackluster at best, and unlike the country’s last big oil spill — Exxon-Valdez in 1989 — the oil is coming from the ground, not a tanker, so we have no idea how much more oil could continue to pollute the Gulf’s waters. The Deepwater Horizon disaster reminds us what can happen — and will continue to happen — when corporate malfeasance and neglect meet governmental regulatory failure. 

The corporate media is tracking the disaster with front-page articles and nightly news headlines every day (if it bleeds, or spills, it leads!), but the under-reported aspects to this nightmarish tale paint the most chilling picture of the actors and actions behind the catastrophe. In no particular order, here are 10 things about the BP spill you may not know and may not want to know — but you should.

1. Oil Rig Owner Has Made $270 Million Off The Oil Leak

Transocean Ltd., the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig leased by BP, has been flying under the radar in the mainstream blame game. The world’s largest offshore drilling contractor, the company is conveniently headquartered in corporate-friendly Switzerland, and it’s no stranger to oil disasters. In 1979, an oil well it was drilling in the very same Gulf of Mexico ignited, sending the drill platform into the sea and causing one of the largest oil spills by the time it was capped… nine months later.

This experience undoubtedly influenced Transocean’s decision to insure the Deepwater Horizon rig for about twice what it was worth. In a conference call to analysts earlier this month, Transocean reported making a $270 million profit from insurance payouts after the disaster. It’s not hard to bet on failure when you know it’s somewhat assured.

2. BP Has A Terrible Safety Record

BP has a long record of oil-related disasters in the United States. In 2005, BP’s Texas City refinery exploded, killing 15 workers and injuring another 170. The next year, one of its Alaska pipelines leaked 200,000 gallons of crude oil. According to Public Citizen, BP has paid $550 million in fines. BP seems to particularly enjoy violating the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and has paid the two largest fines in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s history. (Is it any surprise that BP played a central, though greatly under-reported, role in the failure to contain the Exxon-Valdez spill years earlier?)

With Deepwater Horizon, BP didn’t break its dismal trend. In addition to choosing a cheaper — and less safe — casing to outfit the well that eventually burst, the company chose not to equip Deepwater Horizon with an acoustic trigger, a last-resort option that could have shut down the well even if it was damaged badly, and which is required in most developed countries that allow offshore drilling. In fact, BP employs these devices in its rigs located near England, but because the United States recommends rather than requires them, BP had no incentive to buy one — even though they only cost $500,000. SeizeBP.org estimates that BP makes $500,000 in under eight minutes.

3. Oil Spills Are Just A Cost Of Doing Business For BP

According to the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, approximately $1.6 billion in annual economic activity and services are at risk as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Compare this number — which doesn’t include the immeasurable environmental damages — to the current cap on BP’s liability for economic damages like lost wages and tourist dollars, which is $75 million. And compare that further to the first-quarter profits BP posted just one week after the explosion: $6 billion.

BP’s chief executive, Tony Hayward, has solemnly promised that the company will cover more than the required $75 million. On May 10, BP announced it had already spent $350 million. How fantastically generous of a company valued at $152.6 billion, and which makes $93 million each day.

The reality of the matter is that BP will not be deterred by the liability cap and pity payments doled out to a handful of victims of this disaster because they pale in comparison to its ghastly profits. Indeed, oil spills are just a cost of doing business for BP. This is especially evident in a recent Citigroup analyst report prepared for BP investors: “Reaction to the Gulf of Mexico oil leak is a buying opportunity.”

4. The Interior Department Was At Best Neglectful, And At Worst, Complicit

It’s no surprise BP is always looking out for its bottom line — but it’s at least slightly more surprising that the Interior Department, the executive department charged with regulating the oil industry, has done such a shoddy job of preventing this from happening. Ten years ago, there were already warnings that the backup systems on oil rigs that failed on Deepwater Horizon would be a problem. The Interior Department issued a “safety alert” but then left it up to oil companies to decide what kind of backup system to use. And in 2007, a government regulator from the same department downplayed the chances and impact of a spill like the one that occurred last month: “[B]lowouts are rare events and of short duration, potential impact to marine water quality are not expected to be significant.”

The Interior Department’s Louisiana branch may have been particularly confused because it appears it was closely fraternizing with the oil industry. The Minerals Management Service, the agency within the department that oversees offshore drilling, routinely accepted gifts from oil companies and even considered itself a part of the oil industry, rather than part of a governmental regulatory agency. Flying on oil executives’ private planes was not rare for MMS inspectors in Louisiana, a federal report released Tuesday says. “Skeet-shooting contests, hunting and fishing trips, golf tournaments, crawfish boils, and Christmas parties” were also common.

Is it any wonder that Deepwater Horizon was given a regulatory exclusion by MMS? It gets worse. Since April 20, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, the Interior Department has approved 27 new permits for offshore drilling sites. Here’s the kicker: Two of these permits are for BP. But it gets better still: 26 of the 27 new drilling sites have been granted regulatory exemptions, including those issued to BP.

5. Clean-Up Prospects Are Dismal

The media makes a lot of noise about all the different methods BP is using to clean up the oil spill. Massive steel containment domes were popular a few weeks ago. Now everyone is touting the “top kill” method, which involves injecting heavy drilling fluids into the damaged well. 

But here’s the reality. Even if BP eventually finds a method that works, experts say the best cleanup scenario is to recover 20 percent of the spilled oil. And let’s be realistic: only 8 percent of the crude oil deposited in the ocean and coastlines off Alaska was recovered in the Exxon-Valdez cleanup. Millions of gallons of oil will remain in the ocean, ravaging the underwater ecosystem, and 100 miles of Louisiana coastline will never be the same.

6. BP Has No Real Cleanup Plan

Perhaps because it knows the possibility of remedying the situation is practically impossible, BP has made publicly available its laughable “Oil Spill Response Plan” which is, in fact, no plan at all. Most emblematic of this farcical plan, BP mentions protecting Arctic wildlife like sea lions, otters and walruses (perhaps executives simply lifted the language from Exxon’s plan for its oil spill off the coast of Alaska?). The plan does not include any disease-preventing measures, oceanic or meteorological data, and is comprised mostly of phone numbers and blank forms. Most importantly, it includes no directions for how to deal with a deep-water explosion such as the one that took place last month.

The whole thing totals 600 pages — a waste of paper that only adds insult to the environmental injury BP is inflicting upon the world with Deepwater Horizon.

7. Both Transocean And BP Are Trying To Take Away Survivors’ Right To Sue

With each hour, the economic damage caused by Deepwater Horizon continues to grow. And BP knows this. So while it outwardly is putting on a nice face, even pledging $500 million to assess the impacts of the spill, it has all the while been trying to ensure that it won’t be held liable for those same impacts.

Just after the Deepwater explosion, surviving employees were held in solitary confinement, while Transocean flacks made them waive their rights to sue. BP then did the same with fishermen it contracted to help clean up the spill though the company now says that was nothing more than a legal mix-up. If there’s anything to learn from this disaster, it’s that companies like BP don’t make mistakes at the expense of others. They are exceedingly deliberate.

8. BP Bets On Risk To Employees To Save Money — And Doesn’t Care If They Get Sick

When BP unleashed its “Beyond Petroleum” re-branding/greenwashing campaign, the snazzy ads featured smiley oil rig workers. But the truth of the matter is that BP consistently and knowingly puts its employees at risk. An internal BP document shows that just before the prior fatal disaster — the 2005 Texas City explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 170 — when BP had to choose between cost-savings and greater safety, it went with its bottom line.

BP Risk Management memo showed that although steel trailers would be safer in the case of an explosion, the company went with less expensive options that offered protection but were not “blast resistant.” In the Texas City blast, all of the fatalities and most of the injuries occurred in or around these trailers. Although BP has responded to this memo by saying the company culture has changed since Texas City, 11 people died on the Deepwater Horizon when it blew up. Perhaps a similar memo went out regarding safety and cost-cutting measures?

Reports this week stated that fishermen hired by BP for oil cleanup weren’t provided protective equipment and have now fallen ill. Hopefully they didn’t sign waivers.

9. Environmental Damage Could Even Include A Climatological Catastrophe

It’s hard to know where to start discussing the environmental damage caused by Deepwater Horizon. Each day will give us a clearer picture of the short-term ecological destruction, but environmental experts believe the damage to the Gulf of Mexico will be long-term. In the short-term, environmentalists are up in arms about the dispersants being used to clean up the oil slick in the Gulf. Apparently, the types BP is using aren’t all that effective in dispersing oil, and are pretty high in toxicity to marine fauna such as fish and shrimp. The fear is that what BP may be using to clean up the mess could, in the long-term, make it worse.

On the longer-term side of things, there are signs that this largest oil drilling catastrophe could also become the worst natural gas and climate disaster. The explosion has released tremendous amounts of methane from deep in the ocean, and research shows that methane, when mixed with air, is the most powerful (read: terrible) greenhouse gas — 26 times worse than carbon-dioxide. Our warming planet just got a lot hotter.

10. No One Knows What To Do And It Will Happen Again

The very worst part about the Deepwater Horizon calamity is that nobody knows what to do. We don’t know how bad it really is because we can’t measure what’s going on. We don’t know how to stop it — and once we do, we won’t know how to clean it up. BP is at the helm of the recovery process, but given its corporate track record, its efforts will only go so far — it has a board of directors and shareholders to answer to, after all. The U.S. government, the only other entity that could take over is currently content to let BP hack away at the problem. Why? Because it probably has no idea what to do either.

Here’s the reality of the matter — for as long as offshore drilling is legal, oil spills will happen. Coastlines will be decimated, oceans destroyed, economies ruined, lives lost. Oil companies have little to no incentive to prevent such disasters from happening, and they use their money to buy government regulators’ integrity. Deepwater Horizon is not an anomaly — it’s the norm.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: As I’ve stated since the beginning of this catastrophe, this will prove to be the most devastating man-made disaster ever unleashed to date. That is the primary reason why I moved from the west coast of Florida up here to Chicago… – SJH

Link to original article below…

http://www.alternet.org/environment/147014/10_things_you_need_%28but_don%27t_want%29_to_know_about_the_bp_oil_spill/