Former Bush Official Just Confirmed That Our Wars Are for Corporate Interests

Written by on March 31, 2016 in Government, Military with 29 Comments


By Claire Bernish | The Anti Media

(ANTIMEDIA) United States — “I think Smedley Butler was onto something,”Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former George W. Bush administration heavyweight, told Salon in an exclusive interview.

Major General Smedley Butler earned the highest rank in the U.S. Marine Corps, accumulating numerous accolades as he helped lead the United States through decades of war. He later became an ardent critic of such militarism and imperialism.

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“War is a racket,” Butler famously said, and Wilkerson — who has also turned critical of U.S. imperialist policy — agrees with and admires the esteemed Marine.

Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to former secretary of state, Colin Powell, has grown tired of “the corporate interests that we go abroad to slay monsters for.”

Of the profiteering scheme that wars have come to embody, Wilkerson quoted Butler:

“Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

 Noting Butler’s brief but accurate characterization of what Eisenhowercalled the military-industrial complex, Wilkerson added that today’s war machine “is more pernicious than Eisenhower ever thought it would be.”

The willingness of such weapons and military equipment corporations to excuse the transgressions of repressive and abusive regimes in the Middle East and Asia for the sake of profit, Wilkerson asserted, stands as evidence Eisenhower underestimated the extent the to which the problem would manifest.

“Was Bill Clinton’s expansion of NATO — after George H. W. Bush and [his Secretary of State] James Baker had assured Gorbachev and then Yeltsin that we wouldn’t go an inch further east — was this for Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon, and Boeing, and others, to increase their network of potential weapons sales?” Wilkerson asked.

“You bet it was,” he answered his own question.

“Is there a penchant on behalf of the Congress,” he continued, “to bless the use of force more often than not because of the constituencies they have and the money they get from the defense contractors?

“You bet.

“It’s not like Dick Cheney or someone like that went and said let’s have a war because we want to make money for Halliburton,” Wilkerson explained, describing such decision-making as “pernicious.”

Taking his description a step further, Wilkerson characterized those corporations flooding congressional elections and political PACs with cash as “another pernicious influence.”

Relating another ill of the U.S. war machine, Wilkerson repined the creep of privatization of “public functions, like prisons,” for which the former Bush official places greatest blame on Republicans — though Democrats appear as eager about the shift. Salon mentioned Hillary Clinton’s speech from 2011, during her tenure as Secretary of State, in which she stated, “It’s time for the United States to start thinking of Iraq as a business opportunity.”

Indeed, journalist Jeremy Scahill extensively reported and investigated the enormous army of private contractors operating in Iraq and Afghanistan — with a particular focus on Blackwater. Run by notorious mercenary Erik Prince — who recently became the subject of an investigation by the Dept. of Justice and other federal agencies — Blackwater appeared to operate so unpredictably as to essentially be a rogue organization.

Scahill penned an article for the Guardian in 2007, revealing the exact troubles with privatization Wilkerson referred to — there were 48,000 ‘private contractors’ working for 630 companies in varying capacities in Iraq.

“In many respects,” Wilkerson continued, “it is now private interests that benefit most from our use of military force. Whether it’s private security contractors, that are still all over Iraq or Afghanistan, or it’s the bigger-known defense contractors, like the number one in the world, Lockheed Martin.”

Contractors have arguably done the most to damage U.S.’ international relations and accountability than any other factor — except for the corporations paying them. All of this profit for belligerence has clearly benefited one de facto policy: American imperialism.

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“We now dwarf the Russians or anyone else who sells weapons in the world,” Wilkerson noted. “We are the death merchant of the world.”

Now, Wilkerson worried, “We’ve privatized the ultimate public function: war.”

This article (Former Bush Official Just Confirmed That Our Wars Are for Corporate Interests) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo,

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  1.' Michael Young says:

    Are you fucking kidding me?

  2.' Colleen Lunt says:

    No shit, Sherlock. Just NOW we’re realizing this? This very thing was discussed in my high school economics class- 1977; I’m sure others knew it sooner.

  3.' Jon Morgan says:

    Too bad most Americans are too stupid to even watch nascar.

  4.' Jeff Andrews says:

    no forethought concerning foodstuffs nor commodities mothers

  5.' Deanna Dokken says:

    I think more of the people are aware than they thought !!!!!! We just don’t know how to stop it!!!!!!

  6.' Parker Raphael says:

    oil–middle east duh

  7.' T.j. Dillon says:

    so, explain to me how soldiers are heroes…? how can you save a life, when your hands are full of weapons? soldiers are mindless attack dogs, and they will kill you if you dont praise them. i think the “terrorists”, are the good guys fighting to stop the elite from taking over. and americans arent smart enough to analyze both sides, to see the big picture.

    •' Jenny Penny says:

      That’s what I think too

    •' Graham Barnett says:

      I think you are both weirdos.

    •' Vanessa Brown says:

      I have to disagree. Most soldiers are men from military families and or join the military so that they can hope to have a better future. Maybe this statement would be true if we appointed mass murderers or any person guilty of murder in the military…. Which might not be a bad idea. They like to kill no more ptsd to pay for. Hmm….. It’s something to think about isn’t it…..

  8.' Thato Thale says:

    no way…really?

  9.' George R. Scheffler says:

    They say it every time. American foreign diplomacy has always and awkwardly at that, wobbled on this point, supplying money and arms has backfired so many times, it demonstrates an arrogance to the public of those countries, we back government’s who can’t even, or are not willing ,to pay soldiers of their own. Screws THEIR economy, pisses those people off, and then take all those arms and supply, and turn it right back at the U.S. Meanwhile back here their are steadier jobs, obscenely huge contract profits, and boys and girls coming home in a box. On the other hand , peaceful, social interaction, like the Peace Corps as an example, has a far better chance of success in showing those peoples, that Americans are not all schmucks. Ideals for a better quality of life have a lasting effect, without the loss of thousands of lives. It may not have the effect of a lasting peace, but people worldwide tend to feel better when they are building a productive society and not being bombed for it. By the way , What ever happened to Col. Oliver North ?

  10.' Tracey Lynne says:

    Are we seriously saying we didn’t know this already?

  11.' Jenny Penny says:

    Derp.. ya think?

  12.' Martin Schulz says:

    “War Is A Racket”
    by Major General Smedley Butler

  13.' Katrina Rynkiewicz says:

    Nothing That I already didn’t know but it makes me sick to think that human life has no value to these money hungry grubs. Its disgusting and horrible.

  14.' Peter Slusshie says:

    no shit

  15.' Rachael Guidi says:

    Wow, I have to check, are we human beings still?

  16.' Shekina Blue says:

    Of course they are it’s the Elite weaving their greedy web, do they really give a shit about those who serve and get killed or mane? NO they don’t as all as they are making money the rest is of NO Interest and the sooner the world wakes up to it the better

  17.' Beatrice Silver says:

    That cannot be a surprise to anyone.

  18.' Shaun Watson says:

    No shit Sherlock

  19.' Dan Carden says:

    I’d say that most don’t care, they have been raised in a culture of violence that has very little respect for life.

  20.' Charles Swank says:

    facebook is helping to raise consciousness and save our world

  21.' Elizabeth Delaune says:

    No kidding

  22.' Peggy Deardorf says:


  23.' Lisa Marlatt says:

    Of course, Elites, liberals

  24.' Kim Rice says:

    I fully expect a Pres. Trump to wage wars for businesses, corporations AND his ego. We’ll be at war with the whole world!

  25.' Vanessa Brown says:


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