Franklin Roosevelt won the Presidency in 1932. He embarked on sweeping social and economic reforms of American society to end the Depression that threatened the very survival of The United States as a thriving representative democracy.
Widespread, devastating unemployment. Vacant, idle factories. The dustbowl. Foreclosures. WWI veterans marched on DC demanding early payment of their bonus.This horrible period hit the not obscenely rich hard. Companies were meeting union organizing with armies of thugs. Ford mercenaries opened fire on strikers with machine guns during the River Rouge strike.
On the left we saw the growth in popularity of socialism and communism. It was mostly a flirtation by labor, the intelligentsia and writers. On the right we saw the rise of fascism. Groups sympathetic to Hitler and Italy sprung up. These too were mostly flirtations. Flirtations with a lot of money.
FDR was vilified by the uber wealthy elite. He was decried as a class traitor and socialist. Conservative opposition sprang up in response to the New Deal. Some of this opposition went deep into "Seven Days In May" territory.
In FDR's first hundred days he struck terror into the hearts and minds of the oligarchic Titans of Industry. They saw a threat to their privilege. A threat to their power. A tool of the Jewish Conspiracy. These men saw Roosevelt as a clear and present danger to their way of life. They were not amused.
Marine General Smedley Butler was a man very popular with his men. An one who came up through the ranks he built offensives to minimize casualties. He twice was awarded the Medal Of Honor so his heroism was well known.
He wrote a book called "War Is A Racket". He described his Marine career as being a bagman and enforcer for corporate America. He supported the bonus marchers even as Colonel Douglas MacArthur dispersed them with troops.
Butler was perhaps the most admired military man among veterans in America. There were also over a half million jobless veterans unhappy with America. So, he was approached by an American Legion leader and Wall Street guy with a curious offer.
Gerald MacGuire was a bond trader. Bill Doyle, the Commander of the Massachusetts American Legion. They offered to pay Butler to give a speech at the legion National Convention to return the US to the Gold Standard. The hope was Butler's popularity with veterans would put pressure on FDR to do so.
Butler later met with Robert Sterling Clark who had served with him during the Boxer Rebellion. Clark was an heir to the Singer fortune.
Finally Butler was implored to lead an uprising utilizing the dispossessed veterans as troops to march on Washington DC in preparation to institute a successful fascist coup. Butler had been assured money was no object and $300,000,000 was ultimately available. There was also a weapons cache ready for use. These arms were to be allegedly supplied by Remington Arms and the DuPont family.
These men wanted Butler to convince FDR to pretend he was too ill to continue as President or be forced out by Butler and the rag tag army.
Butler responded by testifying in front of the McCormick-Dickstein House Committee(forerunner of the House Un American Activities Committee). He named names. It was a who's who of the rich and powerful.
The leaders of GM, U.S.Steel, Standard Oil, Chase and Goodyear.
Irene DuPont. Yes, those DuPonts. (The American Liberty League)
Grayson Murphy. (Goodyear, Bethlehem Steel and J.P.Morgan)
Al Smith(Former Dem. NY Governor, American Liberty League)
Prescott Bush. Yes, those Bush's. Prescott was the Wall Street front man for the Nazi's. His Union Banking corporation had their assets seized under the Trading With The Enemy Act. UBC had through the use of a complicated financial maze supported Hitler and Nazi run corporations until 1942.
With the light of publicity on them the coup evaporated. It was made light of and suppressed by the major news organizations of the day. Due to his standing general Butler could not be brushed aside as a crank. The House Committee found there was a plot and did nothing.
Years later Speaker McCormick said, "General Smedley Butler was one of the outstanding Americans in our history. I cannot emphasize too strongly the very important part he played in exposing the Fascist plot in the early 1930s backed by and planned by persons possessing tremendous wealth."
If you look at the rhetoric of the right under FDR and today's laments about President Obama eerie similarities surface. Communists. Socialists. Tyrants. Anti-business. Monarchs. There has been calls for a coup during the Obama Administration. It has gone mainstream with impeachment threats. The Governor of Louisiana calling for a hostile takeover of Washington. A retired General has volunteered to lead a coup. The far right has called on the Military to oust the government. Elected officials have called for Second Amendment options to remove the President.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Here we go. Central Ohio is seeing July/August humidity matches or exceeds the temperature weather a tad early. I was relaxing with a cold Summer Shandy as I read more and more on the reaction to Iraq. I switched to Scotch.
First off why is ANY news organization asking the crowd of incompetent, war mongering, lizard fucking toads anything about Iraq. The only question they should be asked is if the violence and potential collapse of the government is due to them fucking up everything beyond any possible repair in 2003.
Paul Wolfowitz of all people was on Sunday blaming the President for the neo-con insanity his gang of ineffectual, imitation intellectuals imposed on the US and the world in the early 20th Century.
One thing you can always count on the American public, politicians and media is a complete lack of understanding historical context.
Had any member of the Bush regime asked a history professor or even cracked a survey course college level textbook, the collapse of Iraq into sectarian fighting and a factionalized civil war would not have been a total fucking surprise! However, facts were rare as a Rockefeller Republican in the run up in 2003.
From the day Bush and Cheney took the reigns of power, Saddam was a target of escalating rhetoric. Since Clinton warned of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda the Bushies decided to ignore them. Instead any premise to hammer Iraq was being explored. After all, what do Dems know? And Clinton beat Daddy.
Even though Saddam was contained his very existence was a thorn in the side of the nuke the desert into glass wing of the GOP. After all, Bush the Elder betrayed them by not taking Baghdad in '91.
Then came the terrible, tragic and avoidable attack on 9/11/2001.
Seeing no one was talking about ignoring the Presidential Daily Briefing warning of imminent attack, realizing the nation's unity and the World on our side, the Bush Administration realized they'd been given a blank check. They intended to cash it on the road to Baghdad. Lie followed lie. Exaggeration compounded falsehoods and misleading statements. America was in the fast lane to an optional war of "pre-emption".
All through the history of the US we never fought a pre-emptive war. WE did not strike first. When Hawks were trying to talk JFK into hitting Cuba to prevent them from launching missiles at us, Bobby Kennedy reminded everyone that America did not do that. Well, that was then. This is now. The so-called Bush doctrine said we could hit anyone whom we thought were going to strike at us. It did not matter that they had not done anything. It was a scathing indictment of how these neo-con scum saw our place in the world. Being the last superpower meant we could do anything we want.
They reallocated resources from Afghanistan, repeating our mistake under Reagan. By stepping out leaving a vacuum, we invited chaos. Rather rebuilding the economy and infrastructure we turned it into a collection of factions.
Having convinced our citizens and legislature, over the objections of most of the world's intelligence services,of the imminent danger, we struck Iraq.
The Iraqi Army followed tradition and folded like an empty wallet. WE rolled into Baghdad, overthrew the power structure and were amazed, since we didn't have a sufficient force to provide security, that Iraq collapsed into civil war. Yeah, we broke it.
The conniving weasels surrounding Bush had promised a short, easy, justified war. It would be paid for by oil revenue. We were greeted as liberators until society collapsed. The lies were exposed as we became mired in house to house fighting.
AS opinion turned, those that voiced concern or opposition to this misguided adventure, Defense Secretary Von Rumsfeld called us appeasers. Criticizing ol' W was unpatriotic.
Our troops were poorly supplied. A body armor shortage. Unarmored Humvees. An Army not large enough to carry on two wars without constantly redeploying the troops over and over.
Bush left office and disappeared from GOP history. Barack Obama, the new President, now got all the blame for what happened. Condemned and second guessed as we got out of Iraq. We had prepared them as well as we could. They had to want a democracy.
Iraq continued to have problems.
Recently a militant group called ISIS has hit hard in Iraq. They have taken cities. The Iraqi Army melted away as is there want.
Now on the news shows and other media outlets, the people who formulated this disaster are bitching at President Obama for losing Iraq. They want a reset where we invade once more. They draw parallels with the fall of Viet Nam.(Which happened under a Republican President,Gerald Ford. This was after Nixon, another GOP stalwart negotiated the treaty).
I was around when Nam fell. I do not recall one voice in Congress calling for us to go back in.
That's all we hear now from the War Party. These lying,mindless toadies can't wait to send the best of America into harm's way once more.
The press needs to ignore them. They need to shut the fuck up and crawl back under their rocks and prey only on grubs. They are like a monkey fucking a football as they jockey for screen time.
We can only do so much to fix the mess they left. now, they want to fuck it up beyond repair.
These attention whores are the worst of us. Let them fade into the mists of time where they can get ass fucked by the countless dead whose blood is on their hands.