Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! CounterPunch is entirely supported by our readers. Your donations pay for our small staff, tiny office, writers, designers, techies, bandwidth and servers. We don’t owe anything to advertisers, foundations, one-percenters or political parties. You are our only safety net. Please make a tax-deductible donation today.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Resolved: Act Like Bradley Manning

by MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE

I was in Kentucky, more than a week, visiting family. “Get the paper,” my mother instructed, adding a “please.” When I picked up the December 25th edition of the Lexington-Herald Leader, the center contents tumbled from my grasp as if someone had ruptured a pi?ata. Colorful ads spread across the table, pleas to the tired, the poor, the masses, yearning for the almost free, the slash-priced bargains to be bought one day after the gift giving when store doors would open before sunrise.

But the BIG Pi?ata in the sky burst overnight and continued dumping snow through Sunday sunrise, afternoon, and long past our sad-hour glasses of wine.

Shoppers dug out, I later read, and made the drive to malls, adding more commercial cheer to the weekend.

My sister sang, “The weather outside is frightful.”

And that’s not all. If inclined, we, now, can fear underwear, ink cartridges, shoes, thermoses, and coffee cups and yield to hands that pat and grope for weaponized objects lurking, possibly, at the edge of or in a body cavity.

A female suicide bomber killed at least 45 refugees in Pakistan on Crassmas–the day many people rip through gift wrapping and stuff their pie holes to commemorate the birth of Christ. President Obama struck from his vacation destination in Hawaii with an oh, sooooooo American and sanctimonious admonishment:

Killing innocent civilians outside a World Food Program distribution
point is an affront to the people of Pakistan, and to all humanity. The
United States stands with the people of Pakistan in this difficult time,
and will strongly support Pakistan’s efforts to ensure greater peace,
security and justice for its people.

Isn’t killing an affront to humanity regardless of the location of the crime scene, whether the murder occurs outside a food distribution center, in Manhattan skyscrapers, on Afghan roadsides, or during a theatrically-named combat operation? Or when the carnage is the result of a U.S. drone strike or indiscriminate, unprovoked gunfire from an Apache Helicopter that kills civilians and injures children (U.S. Army PFC Bradley Manning stands accused of disclosing video evidence of the latter massacre)? And isn’t the occupation itself an example of American exceptionalism, a civilian-killing mission accomplished? Furthermore, focus on the “peace, security and justice” soundbite–four words that convey one hell of an Obama hypocrisy-fest.

Also from Hawaii, Obama called Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeff Lurie to praise the decision to give Michael Vick a second chance. Lurie said that the president “knew how Michael was doing?” Does Obama ever, even for one minute, consider the unjust incarceration and solitary confinement of Bradley Manning who was arrested after sending emails in which he admitted passing information to WikiLeaks–information exposing U.S. war crimes? Does the president know or care how Bradley is doing?

Despite the dark side of domestic and foreign exploitation, shopaholiday materialism continues. Tis the season.

Bubble wrapped in the safety of limitless wealth, the superrich purchase from a category called For Those Who Have Everything.

Millions, abused by Wall Street, want something non-frivolous, like holding on to their homes, a job, and healthcare–securities that separate hope from despair.

As the days of 2010 dwindle down, New Year’s resolution makers are listing good intentions.

Weight loss. Better diet. Exercise.

More time with family and friends.

Drinking less alcohol or none at all.

No more cigarettes.

And, YES, these are important.

But let’s work on mankind’s urgencies–alleviating poverty, prosecuting the crimes of banksters, the crimes of war criminals, ending the brutality of U.S. empire and torture, and demanding a REAL criminal investigation of 9/11.

Let’s resolve to be citizens of the world, caring for humanity, the species, and not just the country, state, neighborhood, school, team, or affiliation.

To honor our planet.

To demand justice.

To act responsibly and courageously. Like Bradley Manning. For him, we must do something huge. Because he did.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore. She can be reached at missybeat@gmail.com.

 

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
September 30, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
Thinking Dangerously in the Age of Normalized Ignorance
Stanley L. Cohen
Israel and Academic Freedom: a Closed Book
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Can Russia Learn From Brazil’s Fate? 
Andrew Levine
A Putrid Election: the Horserace as Farce
Mike Whitney
The Biggest Heist in Human History
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Sick Blue Line
Rob Urie
The Twilight of the Leisure Class
Vijay Prashad
In a Hall of Mirrors: Fear and Dislike at the Polls
Alexander Cockburn
The Man Who Built Clinton World
John Wight
Who Will Save Us From America?
W. T. Whitney
When Women’s Lives Don’t Matter
Howard Lisnoff
What was Missing From The Nation’s Interview with Bernie Sanders
Jeremy Brecher
Dakota Access Pipeline and the Future of American Labor
Binoy Kampmark
Pictures Left Incomplete: MH17 and the Joint Investigation Team
Andrew Kahn
Nader Gave Us Bush? Hillary Could Give Us Trump
Steve Horn
Obama Weakens Endangered Species Act
Dave Lindorff
US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing
John W. Whitehead
Uncomfortable Truths You Won’t Hear From the Presidential Candidates
Ramzy Baroud
Shimon Peres: Israel’s Nuclear Man
Brandon Jordan
The Battle for Mercosur
Murray Dobbin
A Globalization Wake-Up Call
Jesse Ventura
Corrupted Science: the DEA and Marijuana
Richard W. Behan
Installing a President by Force: Hillary Clinton and Our Moribund Democracy
Andrew Stewart
The Democratic Plot to Privatize Social Security
Daniel Borgstrom
On the Streets of Oakland, Expressing Solidarity with Charlotte
Marjorie Cohn
President Obama: ‘Patron’ of the Israeli Occupation
Norman Pollack
The “Self-Hating” Jew: A Critique
David Rosen
The Living Body & the Ecological Crisis
Joseph Natoli
Thoughtcrimes and Stupidspeak: Our Assault Against Words
Ron Jacobs
A Cycle of Death Underscored by Greed and a Lust for Power
Kim Nicolini
Long Drive Home
Louisa Willcox
Tribes Make History with Signing of Grizzly Bear Treaty
Art Martin
The Matrix Around the Next Bend: Facebook, Augmented Reality and the Podification of the Populace
Andre Vltchek
Failures of the Western Left
Ishmael Reed
Millennialism or Extinctionism?
Frances Madeson
Why It’s Time to Create a Cabinet-Level Dept. of Native Affairs
Laura Finley
Presidential Debate Recommendations
José Negroni
Mass Firings on Broadway Lead Singers to Push Back
Leticia Cortez
Entering the Historical Dissonance Surrounding Desafinados
Robert J. Burrowes
Gandhi: ‘My Life is My Message’
Charles R. Larson
Queen Lear? Deborah Levy’s “Hot Milk”
David Yearsley
Bring on the Nibelungen: If Wagner Scored the Debates
September 29, 2016
Robert Fisk
The Butcher of Qana: Shimon Peres Was No Peacemaker
James Rose
Politics in the Echo Chamber: How Trump Becomes President
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Vice Grip on the Presidential Debates
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]