Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Universal Smedley

"The common people don't want war"
Dr. Buffy Sainte-Marie wrote the song The Universal Soldier.

That generally unknown song was later recorded and made much more generally well known, on the pop charts, by Sir Donovan of England.

In case you have not heard her perform it, that song is shown being performed by Dr. Sainte-Marie in the video at the end of this post.

So what about the photo to the left, is that The Universal Smedley?

Yes and no, that is a photo of General Hermann Goering, a NAZI of the old Germany who became infamous, because, as Robert McNamara pointed out, the Germans lost that war, and those nations who lose the [world] wars are drafted to supply the war criminals in the subsequent war trials.

I will quote General Goering later in this post.

The Universal Smedley is General Smedley D. Butler, who was a U.S. Marine and who is the very epitome of the universal soldier, every bit as much as the blues singer Blind Willie McTell is the epitome of the mainstream media.

I say that because Smedley not only participated in more wars than most mortals, but he was also decorated as much or more during war activities than most mortals.

The catch to this is that General Butler also wrote the book "War Is A Racket", as well as being the first 99% v 1% Occupy Washington D.C. speaker ever.

While doing all that, The Universal Smedley seems to have also coined the phrase "the soldier class" (a.k.a. "the 99%") way back in 1933:
"We are divided, in America, into two classes: The Tories on one side, a class of citizens who were raised to believe that the whole of this country was created for their sole benefit, and on the other side, the other 99 per cent of us, the soldier class, the class from which all of you soldiers came. That class hasn’t any privileges except to die when the Tories tell them. Every war that we have ever had was gotten, up by that class. They do all the beating of the drums. Away the rest of us go. When we leave, you know what happens. We march down the street with all the Sears-Roebuck soldiers standing on the sidewalk, all the dollar-a-year men with spurs, all the patriots who call themselves patriots, square-legged women in uniforms making Liberty Loan speeches. They promise you. You go down the street and they ring all the church bells. Promise you the sun, the moon, the stars and the earth,–anything to save them. Off you go. Then the looting commences while you are doing the fighting. This last war made over 6,000 millionaires. Today those fellows won’t help pay the bill."
(General Smedley Butler, Foreign Service Magazine, Dec. 1933, emphasis added). So, "what is the point Dredd?", you may be wondering.

The point is that talking the talk but not walking the walk is the reason our nation and civilization are in serious trouble.

Listen to one of Smedley's contemporaries:
Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship ... voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
(General Hermann Goering, Gilbert, G., 1995. Nuremberg Diary. New York: Da Capo Press. pp. 278–279. ISBN 0306806614). The "funny" thing is, the NAZI propaganda meisters say they learned their best propaganda from America.

Dig the song in that light, or dig graves, it has always been our choice after all.

The next post in this series is here.

The music begins at 1:47 ... interview prior to that:

The Donovan version:


  1. Brilliant post. Where is the Smedley quote from? I don't recognize it from the version of "War Is A Racket" that I read....

  2. Aaron,

    A copy of the text of the December issue is purportedly here.

  3. "I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war." - Albert Einstein


  4. The question "Is War Inevitable?" was asked to the public.

    Their responses are here: Link