To clarify the injustice in the verdict finding Pfc. B. Manning guilty of 20 of the charges against this anti-war hero, contrast it with the record of real war criminal George W. Bush. To keep it simple, examine their role regarding only the U.S. war against Iraq.
Bush was president of the United States during the buildup to the invasion of Iraq and the first five years of the U.S./British-led occupation. The Bush administration repeated a series of lies it used as pretexts for the invasion and occupation. These included charges that Iraq had a role in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, that Iraq was in collusion with al Qaida terrorists, and that Iraq had so-called weapons of mass destruction and was going to use them against the U.S.
Not a word was true.
As commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, Bush was responsible for the destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure, the deaths of upwards of 1.5 million Iraqis, the displacement of another 4 million to 6 million Iraqis, and sowing sectarian discord when the occupation forces were unable to defeat the Iraqi resistance head on. This discord still continues in Iraq.
To his crimes against Iraqis, add the deaths and horrible wounding of tens of thousands of U.S. youth and the waste of some trillions of dollars paid for war materiel by U.S. workers in taxes.
It’s true Bush is so unpopular that he has stayed out of the limelight. Still, he was recently rewarded with a presidential library.
Manning, a young working-class soldier who witnessed the U.S. crimes in Iraq and others in Afghanistan, acted in a completely different way. Manning made a bold attempt to stop the crimes that Bush and others committed by releasing an enormous amount of secreted information that exposed U.S. crimes to the people of the world – – and first and foremost to the people of the United States.
Some of this information exposed a bit of the truth about the brutal U.S. war on Iraq – – the video of a helicopter execution of Iraqi civilians is one dramatic example. For telling these truths to the world’s people, Manning now faces up to 136 years in prison.
Bush is a war criminal. Manning is a working-class hero.
Free Manning! Jail Bush!