This morning I’ve got my eye on two seemingly unrelated, yet related, topics.
First is Steven W. Thrasher’s scathing and ridiculously on-point article Haaay to the Chief: The Military-Industrial Complex Conquers the Homos, where he discusses the San Francisco Pride’s recent decision to rescind Bradley Manning’s Grand Marshall role, and then slams SF Pride and the HRC for accepting sponsorship from some of the most hated and god-awful companies in the US, ie drone and weapons manufacturers (Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin) and big-banks (Wells Fargo and Bank of America). In a stunning display of support for the American militarized-corporotacracy, SF Pride announced that not only would Manning not be honored at this years event, but that
However, until that time, even the hint of support for actions which placed in harms way the lives of our men and women in uniform — and countless others, military and civilian alike — will not be tolerated by the leadership of San Francisco Pride.
Long gone are the days of questioning the systems and structures of “justice,” health care, racism, Wall Street, poverty. SF Pride has decidedly “sold-out,” gone mainstream, and is now schmoozing and benefiting from banks like Wells Fargo who is currently being sued for screwing over the 99%. It will be interesting to see if there will be any counter events organized in the near future.
Next up in newsworthy topics is the on-going, slowly-but-surely, creeping of the US military towards West Africa. Yesterday the Washington Post reported that 10 troops had been sent to Mali, which, although may seem like a small number, is a complete 360 from statements made just a few months ago in which the State Department and Leon Panetta adamantly stressed that the US would only provide intelligience and tactical support.
Then, this morning it was announced that 550 marines had been sent to Spain to assist on AFRICOM missions. The troops will be housed in Morón, which is in southern Spain and just a few hundred kilometers from Morocco. Though technically not on the continent, General Rodriguez said that could change:
Right now, they’re temporarily going to Morón, Spain, as a placeholder… [But] I think they are going to move sometime. It wouldn’t surprise me to find them moving around the African continent.
AKA, they’re definitely not staying in Spain for very long.
So what do Bradley Manning, San Francisco Pride and AFRICOM all have in common? They all denote the collective complacency and blind acceptance of the state-surveillence-apparatus. In other words, we’ve forgotten how to question the military. This is embodied in social, civilian events such as Pride, which used to be about celebrating radical difference and resistance. This is embodied by the HRC accepting money from companies that make drones that kill innocent people around the world. This is embodied by the blind, unquestioning folks who support the HRC. This is embodied by the fact that the US is slowly moving towards another war, this time in Mali, West Africa, and somehow it just isn’t showing up on the national radar.
This is a slippery-slope, and I hope that the truth-tellers can keep speaking their truths so that we may have a collective re-awakening sooner than later.