The so-called Chinese “Dissident” Chen’s “Great Escape” to US: What about If Manning Were Chinese? What? Human Rights in China?
For weeks on end the international media was full of sentimental stories of Chinese ‘dissident’ Chen Guancheng. His escape from house arrest was dramatised to make it look like it was a scene from the Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Great Escape’.
Cheng was our new Steve McQueen. But unlike McQueen, who had to go back to jail, Cheng had a happy ending. He is now in the US studying law.
That was not all. There were stories of his family members and how they were running scared of the terrible Chinese government. Their lives were in danger and at any moment any one of them could be shot dead. Suspense hung in the air like a floppy hat.
That was not all. There were pictures of Cheng’s wife and kids on one day and on another an interview with his brother who spoke lovingly and nostalgically of Chen’s childhood heroics and how his childhood antics with the ‘communist regime’ helped him escape from house arrest.
His good looks, accentuated by his dark shades, and his blindness were subtly rolled into the story to give it a romantic hue. There was more to come. We were shown pictures of Cheng’s village and the places where he played as a child. The last pictures we saw were of his old and impoverished mother cooking a meal on a primitive stove like millions of Sub-Continent women who go unnoticed in the bigger scheme of things.
All this was carefully orchestrated to provoke sympathy in the minds of viewers and a few tears in their eyes.
In the forefront of the minds of readers and viewers were images of a kind, altruistic and benign America doing all it has to do for a freedom loving man like Chen and negative images of China oppressing its own people who are craving for freedom and justice from the ‘communist regime’.
This brings us to another dissident. He is an American and his name is Bradley Manning. It was he who allegedly did the free world a big favour when he exposed the crimes his country was committing in Iraq. The horrific images of US Air Force personnel firing on unarmed civilians in a suburb in Baghdad killing 17 civilians including children shall haunt all right thinking people till their last days like the My Lai massacre.
Those responsible for the slaughter are free men. Manning who exposed them is in military custody facing the prospects of life in prison. How’s that for justice!
The Western media (and it’s largely American owned) which pounces on any opportunity to espouse causes of dissidents like Cheng go curiously quiet when it comes to defending their own. Is it because they too are of an imperialist mindset like their leaders?
Before He was Imprisoned for His Courage to Tell the Truth to the World
Now Somewhere at An Unknown US Military Prison (March, 2011)
Maybe. Or else why is it that we don’t hear Bradley Manning’s mother pouring tears over her son’s fate like we saw Cheng’s mother do? Why is that we don’t see scenes of Manning’s hometown (if not ‘village’) with its parks and oak trees and beautiful homes?
Why is that we do not hear from Manning’s friends about how principled a boy he was in his childhood and about his penchant to expose the lies evil men tell? If Manning has a brother why is that we don’t see him singing paeans to his imprisoned dissident brother like we saw Cheng’s brother do?
While the US calls for accountability for war crimes, torture and abuse of power the world over, the war criminals in the US and UK go scot-free and it is Bradley Manning who has to pay for allegedly releasing videos of war crimes and documents that has embarrassed the empire.
The US military has banned the media from reporting Bradford Manning’s trial. If this happened to Cheng in China what would be the song that Hillary Clinton would sing? Song of Freedom or Sounds of Silence? Or what would the so called free media pundits say?
Why, I can picture all those guys climbing on the roof tops of their plush office go hoarse denouncing China for the entire world to hear. And quite rightly too! But when it comes to matters at home, they go into deaf and dumb mode. And yet Patricia Butenis US ambassador to Sri Lanka has the gall to say the US doesn’t have double standards!
If Bradley were a Chinese dissident the Western media will make him a world hero. Conversely speaking if Chen Guancheng were an American dissident he would be thrown behind bars for life.
Or he might be killed in accordance with President Barack Obama’s fatwa that it’s kosher to kill his fellow American citizens if they do not toe the empire’s line. Anwar al Awlaki was the first known American to be killed under Obama’s new dispensation. You can be sure he won’t be the last.
Authored by Hameed Abdul Karim, June 16, 2012
But obtained from http://www.bearcanada.com which is originally posted on Lankaweb.com.
The 4th Media News
For the sake of readers, The 4th Media introduces another Bradly Manning-related article below: and so does nsnbc.
Bradley Manning Now “Catatonic”: Obama ENOUGH!
by Ralph Lopez, War Is A Crime, March 8, 2011
As Obama’s crime of the destruction of Bradley Manning continues to unfold before our very eyes, Manning friend David House now tells us that over 8 months in isolation with movement and sleep restrictions placed on him have been having their intended effect.
House has told MSNBC that by the end of January Manning appeared “catatonic” and that he had “severe problems communicating,” with it having taken House nearly 45 minutes on a recent visit to engage in any meaningful way (video below.)
House said Manning’s demeanor was as “if he had just woken up and didn’t know what was going on around him.” Manning was “utterly exhausted physically and mentally…it was difficult to have any kind of social engagement.”
Also, a full month after Congressman Dennis Kucinich formally requested a visit, the Army has stalled on the request.
All for the crime of reporting war crimes and criminal behavior even among the highest-ranking military officials in Iraq.
In 2005, General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “It is absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service member [in Iraq], if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to try to stop it.”
Chase Mader writes in HuffPo that soon after deployment to Iraq, Manning:
“soon found himself helping the Iraqi authorities detain civilians for distributing “anti-Iraqi literature” — which turned out to be an investigative report into financial corruption in their own government entitled “Where does the money go?”
The penalty for this “crime” in Iraq was not a slap on the wrist. Imprisonment and torture, as well as systematic abuse of prisoners, are widespread in the new Iraq.
From the military’s own Sigacts (Significant Actions) reports, we have a multitude of credible accounts of Iraqi police and soldiers shooting prisoners, beating them to death, pulling out fingernails or teeth, cutting off fingers, burning with acid, torturing with electric shocks or the use of suffocation, and various kinds of sexual abuse including sodomization with gun barrels and forcing prisoners to perform sexual acts on guards and each other…
Like any good soldier, Manning immediately took these concerns up the chain of command. And how did his superiors respond? His commanding officer told him to “shut up” and get back to rounding up more prisoners for the Iraqi Federal Police to treat however they cared to…”
Manning also found a video and an official report on American air strikes on the village of Granai in Afghanistan’s Farah Province (also known as “the Granai massacre”). According to the Afghan government, 140 civilians, including women and a large number of children, died in those strikes.
War crimes? What war crimes? This is the point of view of the Pentagon as it destroys Bradley Manning.
On the Haditha killings (found to be “collateral damage” by the Army despite an American officer’s unearthing and handing up the chain of command a video showing close up bullet wounds) a recent Counterpunch article by Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis recounts:
” Consider what happened to the U.S. soldiers who, over a period of hours, not minutes, went house to house in the Iraqi town of Haditha and executed 24 men, women and children in retaliation for a roadside bombing. I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head,” said one of the two surviving eyewitnesses to the massacre, nine-year-old Eman Waleed. “Then they killed my granny.” Almost five years later, not one of the men involved in the incident is behind bars. And despite an Army investigation revealing that statements made by the chain of command “suggest that Iraqi civilian lives are not as important as U.S. lives,” with the murder of brown-skinned innocents considered “just the cost of doing business,” none of their superiors are behind bars either.”
Massacres of civilians in retaliation for IEDs seems to have been standard fare in Iraq. Ethan McCord says his unit was ordered to engage in ““360 rotational” fire and “kill every mother in the street” in the event of an IED.
The officer who gave the order was Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, “the lost Kauz” who is featured in David Finkel’s book “The Good Soldiers.” Col. K is also the executive officer who led the first investigation into the death of Pat Tillman.
Josh Stieber, a McCord unit-mate who also witnessed the order, said the logic was to get residents to be “pro-active” in preventing the planting of roadside bombs. Brass knew that the people in the houses nearest probably saw it planted and didn’t say anything.
“Yeah, it was an order that came from Kauzlarich himself, and it had the philosophy that, you know, as Finkel does describe in the book, that we were under pretty constant threat, and what he leaves out is the response to that threat. But the philosophy was that if each time one of these roadside bombs went off where you don’t know who set it … the way we were told to respond was to open fire on anyone in the area, with the philosophy that that would intimidate them, to be proactive in stopping people from making these bombs …”
Now nine Afghan children have been killed after what the Army says was mistaken identity after a nearby rocket attack on American forces. These boys could have been the boys some on this site got to know well in the New Year’s Global Call for Peace (they weren’t, but they were just as precious.)
Defense Secretary Robert Gates once said people like Bradley Manning have “blood on their hands” for releasing documents which might identify Afghan informants. But look down Robert, and don’t flinch. They are dripping.
Commander-in-Chief Obama, order Bradley Manning released!
The White House Phone Numbers
Comments: 202-456-1111 Switchboard: 202-456-1414 FAX: 202-456-2461
Webform for email: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Also demand your congressman speak up and castigate this administration for the treatment of Bradley Manning, leave a voicemail if it is after-hours (24/7):
Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121