So let me begin this by saying I have only followed this case on the periphery. Mainly because it involves the US Army, and I try to spend as little time as possible thinking about the Army. That being said, I have done my homework and caught up as much as possible.
Tomorrow the fate of Bradley Manning will be decided. Whether history will write him as a traitor or as a hero is still up for grabs. Did he leak classified information? Yes. But why? Well, in my opinion Manning was a stand up soldier. He saw wrongdoing and wanted people to answer for it. If you aren’t familiar with the most famous leak Manning had, take a moment to watch this video. Bradley Manning will probably give up his life’s freedom so you could see this video…it’s the least we can do to honor that kind of gesture.
If you don’t watch this video here’s the lowdown. A bunch of men were in Baghdad. 2 of them were photographers for the press and their cameras were mistaken as weapons. A US Apache helicopter fired upon the men killing all of them. Then a makeshift ambulance or just a group of good samaritans drove up with 2 children in the van to try and save the one man who was still breathing and the American soldiers in the chopper killed all of them as well. Bradley Manning knew this was wrong. Bradley Manning doesn’t believe war means “kill ’em all let God sort them out.” So Bradley Manning handed this video as well as thousands of other classified documents over to the public to inform us and let us decide if this war is being fought the correct way.
Now the people who have the most to lose want you to think Bradley Manning is a freak, or a terrorist, or a traitor, but I hope that we all have learned over the years that that is business as usual. Why do we decide to believe politicians in times like these when they are constantly screwing us and taking advantage of us the other 99.9% of the time? Bradley Manning is one of us and he will most likely rot in a cell the rest of his life because he stood up for what he believed in.
He did the ultimate sacrifice a soldier can do – HE GAVE HIS LIFE FOR HIS COUNTRY.
What do you believe in? Are you working to make America the place you want to call home? Or are you acting like the robber barons and politicians who see an easy buck at the expense of others? Selfishness and standoffishness has taken our country by storm. Everyone wants easy money and fame. People stockpile food and guns to protect themselves when the shit hits the fan…why don’t we just make sure the shit doesn’t hit the fan? While were at it, why don’t we make sure everyone has a toilet and air conditioning? We spend so much time, money, and effort into making sure that we have more than our neighbor. And yet we call our neighbors our friends and our family…
Now that I have a child I have to wonder what’s the point of teaching my daughter how to share? What’s the point of teaching her kindness? Are these going to become useless traits in our future society? Shouldn’t I teach her how to dupe the less intelligent out of their money? Shouldn’t I teach her how to scare and harm her peers? Shouldn’t I teach her how to steal from society in broad daylight? Because those are the people we look up to as Americans. The super rich. The ultimate fighters. The most ruthless gangsters. They are the one’s who are remembered and they are the ones who delete their sorted past from the memories of future generations.
It’s time to decide, and this is a very personal decision. What are you doing in your life that is going to make this country and this world and beautiful one? Who are you taking advantage of? What do you have to offer society and are you making it available? Are you making changes in your life to benefit future generations?
Just remember, right now it’s us shooting innocent people from the sky – ending their lives without a court date or even a reason. Just ask a British, Italian, French, Spaniard, Russian, Mongolian, Chinese, Japanese, etc., if they ever though their country would not be the strongest in the world. Drones are being launched by the thousands and many of them are weaponized. Will you be shot one day while having a backyard BBQ? What if you are out on the range shooting old beer cans…will you be called a terrorist?
The world is warming exponentially, not only physically but mentally, and we are at a crossroads to save the human race from ourselves. If you allow your daily life to go on as usual…if you keep thinking some superhero or savior is going to take care of you then we don’t stand much of a chance as a race. We are so jaded that we refuse to believe in anything or anyone and meanwhile these positive catalysts like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden and Occupy Wall Street as well as negative catalysts like melting icecaps and school shooters and real terrorists. They come and go and we keep waiting for the heavens to part so we can get off our lazy asses and finally stand up for what we believe in. Well let me tell you this – if that day ever comes when a god does show up he/she/it isn’t gonna want any of us. Because who would want a bunch of people who have destroyed his/her/it’s creation, destroyed each other, and have lived their lives taking as opposed to giving? We’d probably kill Jesus or Mohammed if we haven’t already…well, I guess we did once already…
I’m not a religious man but I do respect most world religions and there is a reason why all of them include some form of the golden rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” or “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” “What’s mine is yours.” If you think about it, it’s the recipe for a Utopia.
August 1st goes out to Bradley Manning. I only hope if I ever was put into the position you were that I would have half the courage and conviction you did. You will be remembered.