RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Simpich writes: "It will take a new antiwar movement. A movement that has changed American policy and the lives of millions of its participants has fallen on hard times. Unless the movement is able to redefine itself, Manning will stay in prison."

Supporters stand outside the White House with a variety of signs showing support for U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning. (photo: Michelle Basch/WTOP)
Supporters stand outside the White House with a variety of signs showing support for U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning. (photo: Michelle Basch/WTOP)


It Will Take a New Antiwar Movement to Free Bradley Manning

By Bill Simpich, Reader Supported News

22 August 13

 

RSN Special Coverage: Trial of Bradley Manning

rsn fr splash promo

 

radley Manning was sentenced today to 35 years. Now his case enters the political arena. His supporters all wore matching shirts for the cameras, emblazoned with a call for Obama to pardon Manning. What will it take to make that a realistic possibility?

It will take a new antiwar movement. A movement that has changed American policy and the lives of millions of its participants has fallen on hard times. Unless the movement is able to redefine itself, Manning will stay in prison. The horrors that he risked his life to halt will continue. The national security state will remain unchanged.

The passion is certainly there. As recently as 2008, it was Obama's consistent rejection of the war in Iraq that set him apart from Hillary Clinton and got him elected president. Hundreds of thousands of young and not-so-young people hurled themselves into a campaign that succeeded where the McCarthy and McGovern insurgencies failed a generation ago. That passion remains a force in American life.

However, the lack of an organized antiwar political force is the enduring tragedy of our times. It means that there is no effective entity that can hold Obama accountable for the trillion dollar defense budget that decimates human needs and any hope for economic, environmental, and spiritual renewal. This behemoth funds the garrison state of fourteen hundred US bases around the world, the continuing war in Afghanistan, and the drone attacks throughout the world.

The lack of an organized movement is caused by an old split in political forces that haunts us right up to the present day. During the Vietnam War, the strategic disagreement was between the single-issue call of "out now" versus the multi-issue call for addressing racial and economic issues as well as war. My analysis is that although the multi-issue approach won out, the vision of what it takes to build a successful social movement was lost in the scuffle. To spare the reader a litany of outrages, let it just be said that the battle has steadily devolved around far less important issues.

Meanwhile, the antiwar troops despaired of any end to the squabbling and stopped attending anyone's events. There is no longer even the annual "march against all bad things" that we used to joke about as our various formations moved together toward the local symbol of power. After all these years of organized challenge to the war machine, there is silence in the streets.

Although I am personally convinced that this splintering was caused and exacerbated by our opponents in the intelligence agencies, I can't prove it. More importantly, it doesn't matter in the short run. What matters is that we need to begin again.

Someone needs to call a meeting. With no prompting, I nominate the Bradley Manning Support Network. As they begin their work to obtain a presidential pardon, I hope they keep in mind that they can play an important role in rejuvenating an antiwar movement that can be a game-changer in human events.

This organization has raised 1.4 million dollars for the Manning defense. These individuals have been in the trenches for years and know what it takes to change the world. While they can turn out people for their actions, they also know what it takes to talk to their fellow Americans. Polls vary, but support for Manning is somewhere between 30 and 50% among Americans, and higher overseas. That's amazing for a criminal case involving an alleged "traitor" that the mainstream media has gone to great lengths to ignore.

If we can't build a powerful antiwar movement at this moment, in the midst of war fatigue and favorable social conditions, it's hard to see a way out. The importance of freeing Bradley Manning is a unifying force. With careful nurturing, it could also become a powerful guiding force.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+9 # dkonstruction 2013-08-22 08:15
I grew up during Vietnam. I grew up fearing that my older brother would be drafted (I was too young to understand that he could have gotten a college deferral). So, even though I grew up in a middle class family, the possibility that the war could come into our house and take my brother was very real to me.

So, while I many years ago opposed the draft I now believe that the only way to build a genuinely effective anti-war movement is when every son and daughter is at risk no matter their background, income etc. So, if we want to build an effective anti-war movement (though it may sound counterintuitiv e) bring back the draft with no exceptions/exem ptions/deferral s. As long as our military is basically made up of poor kids from small towns most of us have never heard of and they are the ones doing the fighting and dying "for us" most will simply not give a shit.

As Mark Twain once said that we can't have empire abroad (and be apathetic about it) and have democracy at home. Sadly, time has proven him right. We also can't have an effective anti-war movement unless everyone, every family, every mother, every father, ever brother, sister etc., has a real stake in the war i.e., they have someone dear to them who may have to go fight and come home in a body bag.

short of bringing back the draft I think all this talk of an effective anti-war movement is delusional (as is believing that Bradley Manning -- who I think is a real hero -- can do it).
 
 
+4 # jazzman633 2013-08-22 11:18
No, please let us not bring back the draft, which is nothing more than the government laying claim to the bodies and lives of its citizens to fight wars that politicians make up.

I think that when politicians start a war, they and their families should be conscripted immediately, no exceptions (Grandpa can do KP).

Since that's impossible, America should do what it can under the Constitution: restore war-making power to Congress; no more "Presidential" wars. Also, dramatically reuce the size and budget of the mlitary, and dismantle the world empire that requires such a gigantic armed force.
 
 
+3 # dkonstruction 2013-08-22 12:49
Quoting jazzman633:
No, please let us not bring back the draft, which is nothing more than the government laying claim to the bodies and lives of its citizens to fight wars that politicians make up.

I think that when politicians start a war, they and their families should be conscripted immediately, no exceptions (Grandpa can do KP).

Since that's impossible, America should do what it can under the Constitution: restore war-making power to Congress; no more "Presidential" wars. Also, dramatically reuce the size and budget of the mlitary, and dismantle the world empire that requires such a gigantic armed force.


I agree that we should dramatically reduce the size of the military and dismantle the global empire but if there is no draft so that the vast majority of Americans have no direct stake (as in possibly losing their son/daughter, relative, close friend etc) it will be much harder if not impossible to build such a movement. I think this is one of the real lessons from Vietnam (the last time we had an effective anti-war movement in this country).
 
 
+3 # Malcolm 2013-08-23 10:31
Point taken, but how many of our young men died before we managed to get the hell out of Vietnam Nam?

Also, does anyone here remember CA US Senator George Murphy 's comment to reporters about the protests? Sure we citizens were truly worked up about the "war". Murphy was on the top floor of the Mark Hopkins (maybe the St Francis, right across the street, in San Francisco) Below him, the wide boulavard was filled with protesters. The Tv camera spanned the crowd, showing that it extended from the embarcadero in the east, westward clear out of sight, actually extending into-and FILLING-Golden Gate Park!

Asked by a reporter if this huge protest changed his hawkish view on the Usa involvement in Nam, he stated, "Just a bunch of counter culture hippies; doesn't mean a DAMN THING.

I don't think having tens of thousands of dead draftees is the answer. The answer, IF THERE IS ONE, is to SOMEHOW ban the military industrial purchase and control of the federal government.
 
 
+2 # PGreen 2013-08-23 16:18
The sensibility of bringing back the draft in order to oppose it seems a bit odd. I think that the problem goes deeper, to the war-making powers of the presidency. In the aftermath of Iran-contra (1980s) congress passed a law requiring that the presidency certify the necessity of any armed intervention after a suitable period of time--or get out immediately. Unfortunately, every president, Democrat and Republican, has ignored it.
What we need are democratic-popu list checks on the potential abuses of power committed by government, be they war-making or NSA surveillance. These are fundamental to our freedom, and probably our survival.
 
 
-15 # RightForAReason 2013-08-22 11:28
Did you miss the fact that the USA has an all volunteer military somewhere? There are no conscripted troops. Just people who want to serve their country.
 
 
+8 # dkonstruction 2013-08-22 12:47
Quoting RightForAReason:
Did you miss the fact that the USA has an all volunteer military somewhere? There are no conscripted troops. Just people who want to serve their country.


Since I said we should bring back the draft clearly I know and understand that we now have an all volunteer military. my point, which you do not address at all, is that (in response to the question raised by the article about how to rebuild the US peace movement) if the vast majority of Americans are not risking anyone in their family or anyone they know by going to war I believe it will be much more difficult if not impossible to build an effective peace movement and that the reason we had such a movement during the Vietnam War (but not since then) was precisely because there was a draft.
 
 
+2 # PGreen 2013-08-23 16:36
Even during Vietnam there were widespread exceptions granted to more affluent families. I could easily see a new draft being two-tier, or even three tier, thus undercutting all but those with the least political power.

Don't forget that the "peace churches" played a strong part in organizing against the war, prompted in part by 20,000 CO's who returned from the camps and prisons where they were interred during WW2. Grouping them together, my father told me, amounted to forcibly bringing together 20,000 activists, who had nothing to do for five years (after a brutal day of unpaid labor--the whole thing was paid for by the "peace churches" as an alternative to jail or worse) in the evening but talk about how to change things. Not all of them were strictly religious; many of them were atheists who also refused to fight on moral grounds. Lots of socialists, etc., too.

I don't think the government will make the mistake of locking up such people together again.
 
 
+10 # phrixus 2013-08-22 15:46
Americans are also joining the military just to have a job - something the US government and the private sector seem unwilling or incapable of providing (certainly for living wages). Many also join to get an education, an education that they would otherwise be unable to afford. By keeping the unemployment level high the US is able to fill the military ranks with fresh potential victims using lies about patriotism, spreading democracy, nation-building and fighting terrorism. Then the government (in partnership with its corporate owners) starts wars based on a different set of lies in order to steal resources, overthrow "unfriendly" governments, expand its power globally, and most importantly, send massive profits to the military-indust rial complex. The dead or disabled veterans aka "patriots" are quickly shuffled aside or entombed in the labyrinth of one of our greatest bureaucracies: the Veteran's Administration. In the meantime the government violates the civil rights of all Americans via the NSA, CIA et al. Democracy in the US is not dying - it is cold, stone dead.
 
 
+1 # lorenbliss 2013-08-22 12:16
As you say, unless the U.S. again requires military service of everyone, there will be no effective anti-war movement. The USian “Left” is hopelessly compromised. Its viciously bourgeois values – vehement anti-unionism, contempt for welfare recipients, opposition to socialism in general – have reduced it to a pseudo-Left or even an Ayn-Rand Left. With its narrow focus on sexual freedom and forcible civilian disarmament, it has utterly lost the ability to mobilize the masses.

Such is the legacy of the Vietnam Era, in which the One Percent cleverly destroyed the solidarity that had birthed and sustained the New Deal. This was done by creating an obscenely pampered, draft-exempt academic and professional elite that forever shifted the burden of military service onto lower income people. Meanwhile the arrogance and socioeconomic hatefulness of this new elite drove the blue-collar and pink-collar classes into the arms of the Republican Party forever. But the USian “Left” remains blind to these matters because of its bourgeois-minde d rejection of the historical truth of class struggle.

The other reason the draft will never be reinstated is the One Percent's terror of revolution. Indeed this was the main reason the draft was ended. The ever-more-cunni ng Ruling Class has learned from history that to provide military training to an oppressed population is to give that population the power of self-liberation .
 
 
+3 # dkonstruction 2013-08-22 14:20
Great comment Lorenbliss. For me the other part of problem with most of the academic so-called left was there embracing what to me is ultimately reactionary (post-modernist ) dreck theory and completely got rid of their study of Marx or any others based on real class analysis and those who rejected the complete relativism and identity politics of what now passes for so much of so-called "radical" theory.
 
 
+8 # indian weaver 2013-08-22 13:18
I agree. With a common draft, and with all the rich kids belonging to dubya and Obama in the draft, the entire aspect of war changes. The reason this totalitarian fascist regime is possible is that, as stated by dkonstruction, is that none of us have a stake in the death and destruction levied upon everyone by the rich and famous dubya and Obama. These military adventures by Obama are basically private wars, period. That is one major reason the Viet Nam "war" was shut down: everyone was affected, including my brother and me who were in the draft in 1968 and 1970. And Obama hides the body bags coming home as did dubya. Now why do you suppose the body bags are now hidden? And the body bags were not hidden coming back from Viet Nam into Andrews Air Force Base. This is one of many ways Obama hides behind his cowardice, and indeed, the entire military is now run by fascist cowards hiding in big buildings that are fortified against We the People, as are their fortified gated communities. Afraid of us and they should be. We know who they are and the threat they pose to each of us, our country and planet.
 
 
+2 # dkonstruction 2013-08-22 14:23
Quoting indian weaver:
I agree. With a common draft, and with all the rich kids belonging to dubya and Obama in the draft, the entire aspect of war changes. The reason this totalitarian fascist regime is possible is that, as stated by dkonstruction, is that none of us have a stake in the death and destruction levied upon everyone by the rich and famous dubya and Obama. These military adventures by Obama are basically private wars, period. That is one major reason the Viet Nam "war" was shut down: everyone was affected, including my brother and me who were in the draft in 1968 and 1970. And Obama hides the body bags coming home as did dubya. Now why do you suppose the body bags are now hidden? And the body bags were not hidden coming back from Viet Nam into Andrews Air Force Base. This is one of many ways Obama hides behind his cowardice, and indeed, the entire military is now run by fascist cowards hiding in big buildings that are fortified against We the People, as are their fortified gated communities. Afraid of us and they should be. We know who they are and the threat they pose to each of us, our country and planet.


I have no illusions that even many, let alone most, rich kids actually faced real combat due to the draft but it was surely the fact that the vast majority of middle class kids had to face this prospect that enabled the anti-Vietnam war movement to grow as it did and that's why I believe to build a new anti-war movement a draft is necessary.
 
 
+8 # grandma lynn 2013-08-22 08:56
"...there is silence in the streets." In Plymouth, NH, we've done our weekly peace vigil from February, 1998, when Blair and Clinton wanted to stop bombing Iraq (Kofi Annan talked them out of it, at least until before Christmas that year) through now. We've had probably seven different banners. We've had war to vigil against from Clinton, through Bush, through Obama. A supporter gave us two bottles of fancy wine to have together when the war is over, but the wine bottles sit untouched. Obama is as much about war as Clinton and Bush were. Our military has weapons. Our military is active 24/7. Our military has people needing experience and promotion up the ranks. It's a tough row to hoe, but the peace movement must persist all this time that we are at war. In behalf of others in my vigil group, I urge everyone to return to peace efforts, anti-war efforts, especially if you were lulled into stupor by Obama's original "win."
 
 
-1 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 11:12
We can not wait for the democrat or republican party to offer us a candidate for the people. I think we the people need to pull together a group of about 100 people, one of whom can be named as the candidate on the ballot, but all of whom would be known to us before the election and would be cabinet members, advisors, aids, staff members. We need to know who these people are and we need non politicians with knowledge and integrity in this group who will represent the needs and welfare of the people of the United States and the people of the world rather than the profit interests of the 1%, for a change. Several good journalists need to be in the group as well as Naom Chomsky, Bill Moyers, Bill McKibben. Who else do you know who should be in the group?Environme ntalists. Antiwar group leaders. Food freedom leaders and experts. Experts in all the fields. Maybe Robert Redford? Ocean Robbins? Do you know how to contact any of the people who should be in this group, and get a response? I contacted Naom Chomsky and he agreed to be in the group IF IT Gets organized, but he wasn't willing to organize it. Who will help with this?
 
 
+4 # dkonstruction 2013-08-22 11:31
Quoting grandma lynn:
"I urge everyone to return to peace efforts, anti-war efforts, especially if you were lulled into stupor by Obama's original "win."


Grandma lynn, while I praise and commend you for your dedication and activism at a certain point both we as individuals and the movement as a whole (such that it is) has to take a critical look at what we have been doing (since it basically hasn't worked). Time for those of us who agree with the peace agenda to become self-critical and admit that the tactics we have been using (at least since the run up to the first gulf war if not before) have been a miserable failure and we have to start asking ourselves why and what we therefore have to do differently. Otherwise, we are simply insane (as Einstein defined it i.e., going the same thin over and over again and expecting different results). There is simply way too little self-criticism and substantive discussion about tactics. To me this is the lesson we need to learn and need to address.
 
 
+1 # grandma lynn 2013-08-22 13:31
I meant to write ..."wanted to start bombing..."
 
 
+9 # fredboy 2013-08-22 09:13
Again, one of the key issues is to hold up a mirror to a command and control system that forces every subordinate--un der penalty of prison or death--to hide wrongdoing. Or not report it.

It would seem this goes against and weakens the very fabric of national defense: it demands cowardice from every member of the armed services.

Logically, this is the tipping point.
 
 
-4 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 11:13
We can not wait for the democrat or republican party to offer us a candidate for the people. I think we the people need to pull together a group of about 100 people, one of whom can be named as the candidate on the ballot, but all of whom would be known to us before the election and would be cabinet members, advisors, aids, staff members. We need to know who these people are and we need non politicians with knowledge and integrity in this group who will represent the needs and welfare of the people of the United States and the people of the world rather than the profit interests of the 1%, for a change. Several good journalists need to be in the group as well as Naom Chomsky, Bill Moyers, Bill McKibben. Who else do you know who should be in the group?Environme ntalists. Antiwar group leaders. Food freedom leaders and experts. Experts in all the fields. Maybe Robert Redford? Ocean Robbins? Do you know how to contact any of the people who should be in this group, and get a response? I contacted Naom Chomsky and he agreed to be in the group IF IT Gets organized, but he wasn't willing to organize it. Who will help with this?
 
 
+3 # intheEPZ 2013-08-22 11:18
It also goes against the oath that all enlistees swear: to protect the Constitution.
 
 
+10 # bdeja 2013-08-22 09:36
Murdering soldiers get a few years in prison , once in a while. War criminal politicians get a free ride, as do bankster, torturers and wall street white collar wrongdoers. But anyone who dares shed some light on the "Dark side" of government or business gets buried in jail forever. What is wrong with this picture? And what is it about most Democrats and "journalists" that allows them to be quietly complicit with this horrific state of affairs?
 
 
+1 # HowardMH 2013-08-22 10:44
Because Obama is a Wimp and he is the Lead from Behind puppy dog that is hiding under the bed.
 
 
+2 # Tazio 2013-08-22 09:38
Private Manning said he had felt that he was female since childhood, a fact that was discussed during his court-martial.

“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” the statement said. “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.”

The statement went on to request that Private Manning’s supporters “refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility).” It was signed, “Chelsea Manning.”
 
 
+5 # bbaldwin2001 2013-08-22 09:55
I feel very sorry for Bradley Manning. The idea of a Presidential Pardon is good, however I would be very surprised if it happened. Very happy, but very surprised.
 
 
-2 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 11:14
We can not wait for the democrat or republican party to offer us a candidate for the people. I think we the people need to pull together a group of about 100 people, one of whom can be named as the candidate on the ballot, but all of whom would be known to us before the election and would be cabinet members, advisors, aids, staff members. We need to know who these people are and we need non politicians with knowledge and integrity in this group who will represent the needs and welfare of the people of the United States and the people of the world rather than the profit interests of the 1%, for a change. Several good journalists need to be in the group as well as Naom Chomsky, Bill Moyers, Bill McKibben. Who else do you know who should be in the group?Environme ntalists. Antiwar group leaders. Food freedom leaders and experts. Experts in all the fields. Maybe Robert Redford? Ocean Robbins? Do you know how to contact any of the people who should be in this group, and get a response? I contacted Naom Chomsky and he agreed to be in the group IF IT Gets organized, but he wasn't willing to organize it. Who will help with this?
 
 
+3 # Arden 2013-08-22 10:00
The only solution is to continue to educate people about 9/11 and the involvement of our government in it. When enough people realize the truth, the young will stop fighting senseless and inhuman wars. War is obsolete. The weapons of today make it so.
 
 
+3 # dkonstruction 2013-08-22 11:24
Quoting Arden:
The only solution is to continue to educate people about 9/11 and the involvement of our government in it.


With all due respect, to say that the only "solution" (i.e., the only way to build an effective anti-war movement in this country) is around educating people about "the truth" of 9/11 is absurd. Even if I were to say I agree with you 100% about our gov't's role in 9/11 to believe that this is what we organize around instead of trying to organize a movement around: 1) the cost in human lives (not to mention the other physical destruction); 2) the cost to our economy as a whole by having an economy that devotes so much of its resources to the warfare state instead of e.g., creating living wage jobs, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure including developing a national 21st century smart grid and high speed rail system, redeveloping our manufacturing base to create high wage jobs; retrofitting every public building (to start) to make them energy efficient; etc. These are the things around which people can and should be organized (and there are many more such as the creation of a Mondragon like network of worker-owned businesses). To posit that the only way to build an effective anti-war (and by extension pro-jobs, pro-environment , pro- political and economic democracy) movement is to talk about 9/11 is to ensure that we will continue to get our butts kicked as we have for at least the last 30 years.
 
 
+7 # Arden 2013-08-22 11:59
You are correct about what we should ORGANIZE around. I just meant that too many young people still need to learn the truth of how this country operates. If they knew how they were lied to about 9/11, they wouldn't have volunteered to fight Bush's, or anyone's, wars. If they really want to fight, they would fight the real perpetrators of war.
 
 
+3 # AuntieTom 2013-08-22 10:41
"This behemoth funds the garrison state of fourteen hundred US bases around the world, the continuing war in Afghanistan, and the drone attacks throughout the world."

Are these exaggerations? 1400 US bases is a higher number of US bases than I've heard elsewhere, though maybe they've increased. Secondly, I believe drone strikes have been to the Middle East, not throughout the world.

Also, I'd be interested to know more about the reasons for the evaporation of the peace movement. To resuscitate it, Chelsea Bradley Manning may or may not be the best figure-head. His clearly expressed position of objection to all the uncaring killing and his courageous action to expose it is certainly clear and admirable enough to serve as the banner for the peace/anti-war movement, but his jailed predicament might limit public support.
 
 
+5 # dkonstruction 2013-08-22 11:42
Quoting AuntieTom:
I'd be interested to know more about the reasons for the evaporation of the peace movement. To resuscitate it, Chelsea Bradley Manning may or may not be the best figure-head. His clearly expressed position of objection to all the uncaring killing and his courageous action to expose it is certainly clear and admirable enough to serve as the banner for the peace/anti-war movement, but his jailed predicament might limit public support.


The anti-war movement basically fell apart after the end of the Vietnam War (and the collapse of the national social movement as a whole which itself was due to many factors including internal splits/division s as well as gov't agent provocateurs, programs like COINTELPRO and outright assassinations) .

It then took another serious blow when the draft was ended and our military basically became the gov't's only real jobs program for working class and poor folks with limited formal education.

And, finally, The other issue I believe was the lack of any serious and coordinated effort on the part of progressives to fight for the "peace dividend" that we were supposed to have after the collapse of the Soviet Union i.e., the peace movement made no connection between "peace" and the need to restructure our economy towards peaceful purposes that would actually develop the economy for the benefit of working people. And, to this day, you rarely, rarely, hear any so-called "peace activists" talking this.
 
 
+8 # Arden 2013-08-22 12:12
AuntieTom, one reason for the evaporation of the peace movement is that the mainstream press has been bought out and does not report it as they should, and did during Vietnam.

In 2003, my local paper reported that 30,000 people attended the first war protest in Washington about Iraq, with one paragraph on the last page of the A section. I attended the march. The numbers of people were greater than for the Vietnam protests in Washington, which I also took part in.
 
 
+2 # dkonstruction 2013-08-22 12:53
Quoting Arden:
AuntieTom, one reason for the evaporation of the peace movement is that the mainstream press has been bought out and does not report it as they should, and did during Vietnam.

In 2003, my local paper reported that 30,000 people attended the first war protest in Washington about Iraq, with one paragraph on the last page of the A section. I attended the march. The numbers of people were greater than for the Vietnam protests in Washington, which I also took part in.


I agree with you about the mainstream press but one of the other lessons has to be that demonstrations in and of themselves are not effective. More people came out around the world to protest against the invasion of Iraq (before it happened) and it got us nothing. One day demonstrations are nice but by themselves they actually do very little.
 
 
+2 # Arden 2013-08-23 13:12
Demonstrations definitely worked during the Vietnam War. They were very well reported upon at that time. So the PTB (powers that be) must have planned and worked hard to not let it happen again, knowing that they would eventually be wanting to go to war again.

But WE didn't know that. At least, I didn't. Or maybe we could have done more to counter the effort to suppress future protests?
 
 
-31 # RightForAReason 2013-08-22 11:24
Manning is a traitor. He should have received the death penalty.
 
 
+12 # thekidde 2013-08-22 12:37
Then you must think that Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, etc. are also traitors. The reason you are "right" must be sheer ignorance.
 
 
+2 # dkonstruction 2013-08-22 14:32
Quoting thekidde:
Then you must think that Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, etc. are also traitors. The reason you are "right" must be sheer ignorance.


Manning is indeed a hero but Henry and Jefferson were indeed "traitors" to the cause of freedom, equality and justice since both owned slaves (and Jefferson, during his presidency) opposed the Haitian Revolution and refused to recognize the new independent nation precisely because it was carried out by slaves who were freeing themselves and he feared that this could come to the US plus he wanted Haiti to return to being a French colony to which he could then deport all US slaves).
 
 
-1 # Arden 2013-08-23 13:23
So if Jefferson wanted to deport all US slaves to Haiti, it sounds like he wasn't so interested in keeping them for all of eternity. Even some Quakers had slaves until they realized it was not right for our country.
 
 
+9 # polfrosch 2013-08-22 13:45
According to british law George Washingon was a traitor - and would have been executed for high treason. Shurely with some propagandistic pomp - in front of a cheering crowd.

Talking about treason - it´s you who betrays the ideals of your country.

Does it really take a german to remind you of your heroes of humanity, people like Henry David Thoreau?

The reason why your country had a good name in the world was never it´s military power, it´s executions or it´s intelligence services.

It was the good will of it´s people, their sense of fairness, their appreciation for civic rights, for tolerance - their big heart. It was also Jazz and R&B (yes!)and your free press, but most of all the ability to correct injustice by the means of a true democracy.

And - at least for me - the hope free speech, the right to dissent, the distrust for the state were not only engraved in your constitution but also in the hearts and minds of most Americans.

Your statement is sobering and disappointing.
 
 
+5 # dkonstruction 2013-08-22 14:26
Quoting RightForAReason:
Manning is a traitor. He should have received the death penalty.


So, Manning is a traitor though there is no evidence caused the US any harm but did in fact bring to light war crimes committed by the US military but Bush is not a traitor (and a criminal on other counts such as violating the international ban on torture that we signed on to and attacking a country that did not attack us, never threatened to attack us and lying to us about their having WMD's?
 
 
+3 # cordleycoit 2013-08-22 12:13
The American left are simply soft and unthinking accomplices to the crimes their government commits. they have followed the model of the Vichy French living on their knees to some of the most corrupt men and women in the world. They are lining of the fig leaf covering liberty. Yet the whine when their masters tell them to whine. Welcome to Snow Ball's world.
 
 
+15 # thekidde 2013-08-22 12:36
I was drafted in 1966 (jr. at U. of Utah). Volunteered for infantry OCS and shipped with the 198th LIB to Vietnam the end of 1967, That war, as with virtually all wars, was the result of hubris, ignorance and profit making. My son has served in Korea, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan (Cpt/Cav). I believe Manning deserves a Bronze Star for speaking up(I have one as does my son). Shame on America, Obama and the military for this whole affair.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN