The transcript of a speech given in 1933 by former Major General Smedley Butler. Butler served in the US military for 34 years, and at the time of his death he was the most decorated soldier is US history...... WAR is a racket. It always has been It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people.