Below was a speech by then VP of the Anti-Imperialist League: US Senator Carl Schurz. Schurz was a veteran and exile from the 1848 German Revolutions, a Union General and confidant of Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War; a senator from Missouri during the Grant administration, a Secretary of the Interior under the Cleveland administration and president of the Civil Service Reform League where he befriended later US President Theodore Roosevelt as progressives but parted ways on the future of US foreign relations.
Much of what he said is enlighteningly prescient and relevant in the subsequent decades of American history and most recently in the Bush II regime.
by Senator Carl Schurz
Platform of the American Anti-imperialist League
"Lest this seem to be the bellicose pipedream of some dyspeptic desk soldier, let us remember that the military deal of our country has never been defensive warfare. Since the Revolution, only the United Kingdom has beaten our record for square miles of territory acquired by military conquest. Our exploits against the American Indian, against the Filipinos, the Mexicans, and against Spain are on a par with the campaigns of Genghis Khan, the Japanese in Manchuria and the African attack of Mussolini.
No country has ever declared war on us before we first obliged them with that gesture. Our whole history shows we have never fought a defensive war. And at the rate our armed forces are being implemented at present, the odds are against our fighting one in the near future." - --Major General Smedley D. Butler, America's Armed Forces: 'In Time of Peace', 1935. 1898-1914: The Phillipines.