Washington's War on Nicaragua

Washington's War on Nicaragua

Washington's War on Nicaragua

Washington's War on Nicaragua


By their very nature, covert activities, or special activities, are a lie. There's great deceit—deception—practiced in the conduct of covert operations. They are at essence a lie.

Oliver North, Iran-Contra Hearings, July 7, 1987.

General Smedley Butler led American marines into Nicaragua eight years before the Russian revolution of 1917. He died before Oliver North was born.

Butler is a Marine Corps legend. He earned an extraordinary two Congressional Medals of Honor, the nation's highest military award for bravery. As a civilian, Butler was also a legend. He exposed a fascist conspiracy to stage a coup against Franklin D. Roosevelt and criticized the congressional committee that investigated the plot: "Like most committees, it has slaughtered the little and allowed the big to escape." Butler unmasked the "war-mongers, dollar-patriots, war profiteers and military chiselers." He warned of "the evils of provocative militarism" and called for restructuring U.S. armed forces to serve a truly defensive mission. "As a soldier," said Butler, "I long suspected that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it."

Reflecting on the notion of war as a racket, Butler wrote in 1935: "It may seem odd for me, a military man, to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent 33 years and 4 months in active service as a member of our country's most agile military force—the Marine Corps...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...

"Thus I helped make Mexico...safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for . . .

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