Never Forget That Bradley Manning, Not Gay Marriage, Is The Issue
By John Pilger / informationclearinghouse.info

In the week Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, he  ordered bombing attacks on Yemen, killing a reported 63 people, 28 of them children. When Obama recently announced he supported same-sex marriage, American planes had not long blown 14 Afghan civilians to bits. In both cases, the mass murder was barely news. What mattered were the cynical vacuities of a political celebrity, the product of a zeitgeist driven by the forces of consumerism and the media with the aim of diverting the struggle for social and economic justice.

The award of the Nobel Prize to the first black president because he "offered hope" was both absurd and an authentic expression of the lifestyle liberalism that controls much of political debate in the west. Same-sex marriage is one such distraction.  No "issue" diverts attention as successfully as this: not the free vote in Parliament on lowering the age of gay consent promoted by the noted libertarian and war criminal Tony Blair: not the cracks in "glass ceilings" that contribute nothing to women's liberation and merely amplify the demands of bourgeois privilege. 

Legal obstacles should not prevent people marrying each other, regardless of gender. But this is a civil and private matter; bourgeois acceptability is not yet a human right. The rights historically associated with marriage are those of property: capitalism itself.  Elevating the "right" of marriage above the right to life and real justice is as profane as seeking allies among those who deny life and justice to so many, from Afghanistan to Palestine.

On 9 May, hours before his Damascene declaration on same-sex marriage, Obama sent out messages to campaign donors making his new position clear. He asked for money. In response, according to the Washington Post, his campaign received a "massive surge of contributions". The following evening, with the news now dominated by his "conversion", he attended a fundraising party at the Los Angeles home of the actor George Clooney. "Hollywood," reported the Associated Press, "is home to some of the most high-profile backers of gay marriage, and the 150 donors who are paying $40,000 to attend Clooney's dinner will no doubt feel invigorated by Obama's watershed announcement the day before." The Clooney party is expected to raise a record $15 million for Obama's re-election and will be followed by "yet another fundraiser in New York sponsored by gay and Latino Obama supporters". 

The width of a cigarette paper separates the Democratic and Republican parties on economic and foreign policies. Both represent the super rich and the impoverishment of a nation from which trillions of tax dollars have been transferred to a permanent war industry and banks that are little more than criminal enterprises. Obama is as reactionary and violent as George W. Bush, and in some ways he is worse. His personal speciality is the use of Hellfire missile-armed drones against defenceless people. Under cover of a partial withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, he has sent US special forces to 120 countries where death squads are trained. He has revived the old cold war on two fronts: against China in Asia and with a "shield" of missiles aimed at Russia. The first black president has presided over the incarceration and surveillance of greater numbers of  black people than were enslaved in 1850. He has prosecuted more whistleblowers - truth-tellers - than any of his predecessors.  His vice-president, Joe Biden, a zealous warmonger, has called WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange a "hi-tech terrorist".  Biden has also converted to the cause of gay marriage.

One of America's true heroes is the gay soldier Bradley Manning, the whistleblower alleged to have provided WikiLeaks with the epic evidence of American carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the Obama administration that smeared his homosexuality as weird, and it was Obama himself who declared a man convicted of no crime to be guilty. 

Who among the fawners and luvvies at Clooney's Hollywood moneyfest shouted, "Remember Bradley Manning"? To my knowledge, no prominent spokesperson for gay rights has spoken against Obama's and Biden's hypocrisy in claiming to support same-sex marriage while terrorising a gay man whose courage should be an inspiration to all, regardless of sexual preference. 

Obama's historic achievement as president of the United States has been to silence the anti-war and social justice movement associated with the Democratic Party.  Such deference to an extremism disguised by and embodied in a clever, amoral operator, betrays the rich tradition of popular protest in the US. Perhaps the Occupy movement is said to be in this tradition; perhaps not. 

The truth is that what matters to those who aspire to control our lives is not skin pigment or gender, or whether or not we are gay, but the class we serve. The goals are to ensure that we look inward on ourselves, not outward to others and never comprehend the sheer scale of undemocratic power, and to that we collaborate in isolating those who resist. This attrition of criminalising, brutalising and banning protest can too easily turn western democracies into states of fear. 

On 12 May, in Sydney, Australia, home of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, a protest parade in support of gay marriage filled the city centre. The police looked on benignly. It was a showcase of liberalism. Three days later, there was to be a march to commemorate the Nakba ("The Catastrophe'), the day of mourning when Israel expelled Palestinians from their land.  A police ban had to be overturned by the Supreme Court.

That is why the people of Greece ought to be our inspiration. By their own painful experience they know their freedom can only be regained by standing up to the German Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and their own quislings in Athens. People across Latin America have achieved this: the indignados of Bolivia who saw off the water privateers and the Argentinians who told the IMF what to do with their debt. The courage of disobedience was their weapon. Remember Bradley Manning.

www.johnpilger.com

3.5 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
Trump Turned Down the Debate for Fear of a Sanders Nomination
Liam Miller · 34,268 views today · Trump recently waffled about debating Sanders; he said he would for $10M to charity. He must not have expected the money to materialize. It did; and he bailed. But why? It...
The Real Reason America Used Nuclear Weapons Against Japan. It Was Not To End the War Or Save Lives.
Washington's Blog · 30,701 views today · Like all Americans, I was taught that the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to end WWII and save both American and Japanese lives. But most of the...
Harry Patch: Anti-War Hero
6 min · 13,072 views today · Harry Patch had no time for, 'Thieving politicians lies'. Poem: Heathcote Williams Narration: Alan Cox Montage: Alan Cox and Margaret Cox
Scientists Puzzled by Slowing of Atlantic Conveyor Belt, Warn of Abrupt Climate Change
Mike Gaworecki · 7,199 views today · Scientists are increasingly warning of the potential that a shutdown, or even significant slowdown, of the Atlantic conveyor belt could lead to abrupt climate change, a shift...
Memorializing the Horrors of War With 10 Must-See War Films
John W. Whitehead · 7,112 views today · “The horror... the horror...”—Apocalypse Now (1979) “You can’t show war as it really is on the screen, with all the blood and gore. Perhaps it would be better if you could...
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
John Pilger · 5,690 views today · Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968; I was with Robert Kennedy when...
Brené Brown on How to Reckon with Emotion and Change Your Narrative
Brené Brown · 5,120 views today · The most powerful stories may be the ones we tell ourselves, says Brené Brown. But beware—they're usually fiction.
Used and Betrayed - 100 Years of US Troops as Lab Rats
31 min · 4,073 views today · On Memorial Day, politicians will speak at ceremonies all over the country and repeat their favorite mantra: “Support the troops.” This pledge is hammered into the American...
War, Propaganda and the Media: A Detailed Primer on the Tactics of Modern War Propaganda
Anup Shah · 3,706 views today · We must remember that in time of war what is said on the enemy’s side of the front is always propaganda, and what is said on our side of the front is truth and righteousness...
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 3,271 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
Live Rich: A Spoken Word Film about The True Meaning of Wealth
4 min · 3,072 views today · This consumer madness is consuming us. Follow Buy Nothing Day on Twitter and Facebook. Video by Gary Turk.
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine · 2,432 views today · “…everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.” —Arthur Young; 1771 Our popular economic wisdom says that...
A World War Has Begun - Break The Silence
John Pilger · 2,336 views today · I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they ask, "Where is...
The Little Man Who Lives in My Head
Zee Chang · 1,961 views today · “It finally clicked. I have bad self esteem when it comes to men.” — Journal Entry, October 27, 2015
A Simple 6 Step Self Compassion Exercise to Combat Depression and Low Self Esteem
5 min · 1,548 views today · It’s all too easy to be extremely tough on ourselves; we need – at points – to get better at self-compassion. Here is an exercise in how to lessen the voices of self-flagellation.
Something Extraordinary Is Happening in the World, And Most People Haven't Noticed
Gustavo Tanaka · 1,538 views today · Most of us haven't quite realized there is something extraordinary happening. A few months ago, I freed myself from standard-procedure society. I broke the chains of fear that...
The 'Sexy Lie' We Should Be Talking About
12 min · 1,453 views today · "I am here today to talk about a lie." That's how politics professor Caroline Heldman opened her Jan. 2013 TEDxYouth San Diego talk on the topic of sexual objectification. "I'd...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into A Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,336 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 898 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Masculinity Is Killing Men: The Roots of Men and Trauma
Kali Holloway · 872 views today · We begin the damaging process of turning boys into men long before boyhood ends.
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Never Forget That Bradley Manning, Not Gay Marriage, Is The Issue