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Friday, May 18, 2012

Never Forget That Bradley Manning, Not Gay Marriage, Is The Issue

Never Forget That Bradley Manning, Not Gay Marriage, Is The Issue

By John Pilger
Information Clearing House
Friday, May 18, 2012

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

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31355.htm

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