The Jaded Prole

A Progressive Worker's Perspective on the political and cultural events of our time.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Anniversary March -- A Dream Deferred

Much of the focus of the anniversary Civil Rights March is Nostalgic in nature and focused on Dr. Martin Luther King. Though his "I Have A Dream" speech is what had the most impact that day, he was one of many speakers, just as he was one of many who struggled and sacrificed himself for basic human rights. We must not allow this struggle or the memory of the breadth of it and of what Dr. King stood for to be reduced to one speech or to limit nostalgia for hand-holding amidst the monstrosity this nation has become. We must instead remember and heed his echoing words saying that “We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values…when machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” We are still the number one purveyor of violence in the world, we have an even greater divide between rich and poor as well as the largest prison population in the country resulting from uneven justice that targets brown and black people. Today as the civil rights of all are threatened we must not let the political establishment white wash the struggle while suppressing dissent even at this march we will be left with the hollow Wall Street version of King, the wrong king:

The wrong King
That familiar face adorning January
eyes set wide
on the promised land of justice
seems an impostor
a pretender to the dream,
a one dimensional doppleganger.

Despite the preacher's and politician's
shallow acknowledgments and
the recognizable visage
this is not the King that called his country
"the number one purveyor of violence in the world"
or that called for a guaranteed annual income.
Not the King that talked of the "triple evils
of racism, economic exploitation, and war"
so popular but unmentionable in these times.
No, the face looks right but
the message is all wrong.
They're confusing Martin with Rodney
"Can't we all get along?"

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Statement by Bradley Manning After Being Sentenced for Exposing US Crimes

Upon being sentenced to 35 years in prison for exposing war crimes and crimes against humanity that will not be prosecuted much less investigated by the CIA run US, Bradly Manning wrote these words.

"The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We've been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we've had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.

I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized in our efforts to meet this risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.

In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.

Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown our any logically based intentions [unclear], it is usually an American soldier that is ordered to carry out some ill-conceived mission.

Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy—the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, the Japanese-American internment camps—to name a few. I am confident that many of our actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light.

As the late Howard Zinn once said, "There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."

I understand that my actions violated the law, and I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intention to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.

If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal".

Bradley Manning is a political prisoner who we must strive to have released but his conscience is free. He, unlike the President, the last President, the generals, and many soldiers has chosen to maintain his humanity and not be a part of the greatest death machine in history.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Growing Movement Against Corporate Dictatorship

David Cobb getting to the nitty-gritty

He is with the Move to Amend movement which seeks to over rule the Supreme Court "Citizens United Ruling" empowering corporations.