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Are We Living Under a Military Coup?

An Ironically Patriotic Essay

Butler got involved in the 1933 coup when he was asked by the Wall Street cabal to be their “man on a white horse” to lead the plot. Due to his humility and his bravery, Butler was beloved by the common soldier -- even when he pushed them. In one story, a soldier has fallen out of a long march and General Butler, wearing no insignia of rank, gets the man back up and walking by carrying his pack. The plotters modeled their efforts on the rising fascist states in Europe and the various colored-shirt thug organizations significantly made up of WWI veterans. Fatefully, Butler was a terrible choice; for one, he supported FDR. Smelling a rat, he played along with the plotters’ front-man, Gerald MacGuire, a fat, cigar-chomping stock broker paid to go to Europe and study the various colored-shirt groups. The idea was to install Butler as the commander of the American Legion, whose 500,000 members -- many disgruntled WWI vets -- had been used to smash union strikers with baseball bats. The Legion outnumbered the US military at the time. With the help of a reporter from The Philadelphia Record, Butler got the goods and went to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which held hearings and exposed the right-wing plot. (That's the very same HUAC that went on to notoriety as a prosecutor/persecutor of the left.) Those named in the coup all denied they were plotting anything, and the story disappeared into obscurity. No charges were made.

Had the cabal, instead, set up General Douglas MacArthur as the “man on a white horse” -- who they had considered -- it might have turned out differently. MacArthur had an arrogant “fascist” character, but he was not loved by the common soldier. Butler and MacArthur had crossed paths in July 1932 during the Bonus March encampment in Washington DC. Butler was sympathetic and spoke to the encamped veterans seeking their promised bonus for WWI service. “They may be calling you tramps now, but in 1917 they didn’t call you bums!” the crusty, diminutive general hollered at them. “You are the best-behaved group of men in the country today. I consider it an honor to be asked to speak to you.” MacArthur, of course, led the troops who burned the Bonus Marchers out, killing one veteran and wounding 50.

“War is a racket. It always has been,” is how Butler’s booklet War Is a Racket opens. “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 very many.” The little book ends this way: “Secretly each nation is studying and perfecting newer and ghastlier means of annihilating its foes wholesale. ... But victory 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 a greater prosperity for all peoples.”

story | by Dr. Radut