I partly agree with guest columnist Kevin Foley (“Loving, hating America on Memorial Day,” Friday’s MDJ), but as usual, his facts are almost right. Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler was a true hero and patriot, but the most decorated Marine in history was Lt. Gen. Chesty Puller. Small point, Mr. Foley, but if you are going to talk Marine Corps, don’t half-step!
Gen. Butler also supported the Bonus Army in 1932, a group of 43,000 peaceful unemployed protesters, many of them World War I veterans who had camped in Washington for months seeking bonuses promised to them after the war. These veterans were ultimately routed, gassed, some were shot and killed, and their camp was burned, by our own Gen. Douglas MacArthur and his subordinates, Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton.
After researching that disgusting episode in our country’s history, I do not think very much of MacArthur and I am uncertain about the other two. I doubt we will ever know the truth about that group that Foley mentioned, because as he correctly pointed out, they were never investigated and Butler’s story, which I believe was absolutely true, was dismissed by a New York Times editorial which said “Butler’s story was a gigantic hoax” and a “bald and unconvincing narrative.”
Gen. Butler later said, “I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.”
The New York Times now says “Afghanistan could have as much as $1 trillion worth of untapped mineral deposits and maybe the world’s largest lithium deposits.” Coincidentally, our prez has just decided that 2,500 Marines will now be stationed in Australia. If you Google “Lanthanides” and “Mount Weld” which is in western Australia, maybe it will make you suspicious. Lithium and Lanthanides are both essential components for batteries that will be used in hybrid vehicles.
Kenneth D. Parrott